Terms of Reference
Any items, matters or circumstances connected with the following Auditor-General reports:
No. 14 (2015–16) Approval and Administration of Commonwealth Funding for the East West Link Project
No. 38 (2016–17) The Approval and Administration of Commonwealth Funding for the WestConnex Project
Having considered Auditor-General Reports 20-36 (2016–17) on 8 February 2017, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit resolved to conduct an inquiry based on the above Auditor-General reports.
Under section 8(1) of the legislation establishing the JCPAA, the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951, one of the duties of the Committee is to ‘examine all reports of the Auditor-General (including reports of the results of performance audits) that are tabled in each House of the Parliament’ and ‘report to both Houses of the Parliament, with any comment it thinks fit, on any items or matters in those … reports, or any circumstances connected with them, that the Committee thinks should be drawn to the attention of the Parliament’.
The purpose of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) is to scrutinise the governance, performance and accountability of Commonwealth entities and companies—focusing on whether public money is used in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner. The JCPAA is therefore the Parliament’s joint public administration committee.
The Committee’s powers are contained within the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951.
The Committee examines all reports of the Auditor-General, adopting inquiries, including thematic inquiries, based on specific audit reports. In adopting inquiries based on audit reports, the Committee considers:
the significance of the program or issues raised in audit reports
the audited agencies response to the audit
the potential public interest benefits in conducting an inquiry
The Committee examines a broad range of evidence. In addition to the ANAO reports, the Committee receives submissions from audited agencies and the public, and conducts public hearings. The Committee also considers relevant public sector frameworks and findings of other relevant reviews, reports and audits. In particular, the Committee references the relevant sections of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), PGPA Rule 2014, and associated resource management guidance. As the primary piece of Commonwealth resource management legislation, the PGPA Act establishes a single system of governance and accountability for public resources.