26 September 2023

APRA found to be honest and effective

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A performance audit into the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) probity management has found it to be largely effective.

In his report Probity Management in Financial Regulators — Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Auditor-General Grant Hehir said it was essential that financial regulators uphold high probity standards, to strengthen the legitimacy and integrity of the regulator and support the objectives of the regulatory scheme.

Mr Hehir said Probity management at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was largely effective.

“With the exception of not having a policy for senior executive remuneration, APRA has arrangements structured to manage the probity risks selected for ANAO review and arrangements to promote compliance with probity requirements,” Mr Hehir said.

“APRA has a framework and arrangements for monitoring the effectiveness of internal controls and compliance with probity requirements, and for providing assurance to the accountable authority in relation to probity,” he said.

“The framework includes regular compliance monitoring, reporting to management and high-level governance committees, and arrangements for following up on identified instances of non-compliance.”

Mr Hehir said while APRA fully or largely complied with most of the probity related requirements examined in the audit, there was partial compliance with requirements for the use of corporate credit cards.

“There is evidence that APRA has addressed identified non-compliance with the APRA Code of Conduct, conflict of interest requirements, the disclosure of financial holdings policy, and some instances of non-compliance relating to corporate credit card use,” the Auditor-General said.

Mr Hehir made two recommendations to APRA, to establish a policy for senior executive remuneration and to improve arrangements for the management of gifts, benefits and hospitality.

The Auditor-General’s report can be accessed at this PS News link and a 92-page pdf version at this link.

The audit team was Grace Guilfoyle, James Sheeran, Jo Rattray-Wood, Alexandra McFadyen and Michelle Page.

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