Chair's Foreword

The Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements and the operations of Commonwealth entities plays an important role in promoting accountability and transparency in Australia. It provides assurance to the Parliament and the public that Commonwealth expenditure is conducted with appropriate controls and assurances of financial accuracy. It also provides an opportunity for the ANAO to examine the internal operations and controls of Commonwealth entities, and identify areas of public administration which require improvement.
This report examines the ANAO’s reports at different stages of the CFS process. Auditor-General’s Report No. 25 (2020-21) Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30 June 2020 examines the final results arising from the 2019-20 reporting period. Auditor-General’s Report No. 40 (2020-21) Interim Report on Key Financial Controls of Major Entities provides the interim results of the audits of a selection of Commonwealth entities for the
2020-21 reporting period.
The Committee is pleased to note that the ANAO found that most entities were operating with appropriate internal controls to ensure that the financial statements were prepared free from material misstatement. The ANAO also found a reduction in the number of significant findings in Commonwealth entities, which highlights the strong administration across the Australian Government.
In line with the Committee’s interest in upholding the high standards of public administration across the Australian Government, the Committee has examined topics such as long-term significant findings or legislative breaches, cyber security of Commonwealth entities, and parliamentary tabling dates in relation to entities’ annual reports. The Committee has also made recommendations in relation to these topics.
I wish to thank the entities who engaged in the inquiry and also express my thanks to my colleagues on the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit for their work in producing this report.
Lucy Wicks MP

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