Saturday, April 13, 2024

OAG guide to audit and risk committees published

The Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) has published a guide for Government departments on audit and risk committees and how to ensure they operate as effectively as possible.

The guide, Getting the most out of your audit and risk committee: a guide for government departments outlines the benefits of an audit and risk committee, the foundations of an effective committee, considerations for appointing members, the best size for a committee and meeting scheduling advice.

“The public’s trust in the public sector is built through public organisations demonstrating competence, reliability, and honesty in all that they do. Showing these characteristics also requires the building of genuine and enduring relationships between public organisations and the public they serve,” the OAG said in a statement.

“None of this is easy to do. It requires public organisations to have robust policies, processes, and systems, competent and motivated staff, management and governance that is strong and effective, and constant attention to risk from those who lead and serve in public organisations.”

The Office said additional challenges that arise in government departments include:

  • governance and management being more closely entwined compared to organisations where governance is formally separated from management (for example, organisations with a board of governors);
  • the scale and complexity of operations; and
  • high levels of political and public scrutiny and accountability.

“Understanding and managing risk in a government department is particularly challenging. This is where a well-functioning Audit and Risk Committee (the Committee) can add significant value.”

“Understanding and managing risk in a government department is particularly challenging. This is where a well-functioning audit and risk committee can add significant value,” the OAG said.

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