How state auditors can help more

Australian state auditor generals generally examine university financial statements but they could do more if they chose. The NZ Auditor General certainly does

Across the ditch, AG John Ryan has just reported on the University of Auckland buying a $5m house which VC Dawn Freshwater (yes the former UWA VC) rented from it.

The report sets out the how and why of the purchase and Uni Auckland accepts the report’s findings, and acknowledges there were shortcomings in the university’s handling of the purchase process.”

Mr Ryan also makes a point that his Australian colleagues could consider, “it is important that public organisations manage sensitive expenditure appropriately and are aware of how it might be perceived. Otherwise, public trust and confidence in an organisation can be damaged or diminished.”

So, can state auditor generals here do more than examine university financial statements and point to operational and accounting issues therein? CMM has asked the NSW Audit Office, which replied, “the Auditor-General may at any time make a report to parliament on any matter that arises from or relates to the exercise of the audit or other functions of the Auditor-General and that in the opinion of the Auditor-General should be brought to the attention of Parliament.”