26 September 2023

Forensic audits dissect PS risks

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Auditor General, Caroline Spencer has provided Parliament with an update on the activities of her Forensic Audit Business Unit during 2022, as required by the Auditor General Act 2006.

“I am pleased that our initial program of targeted forensic audits has delivered results, producing three reports of significant value to the public sector over the last 12 months,” Ms Spencer (pictured) said.

“These reports identified multiple concerning findings in respect of lost data, inadequate maintenance of supplier information, poor fraud risk management and non-compliance with Commonwealth requirements in entities with a heightened risk of exposure to criminal activity.”

She said the third report Forensic Audit Results 2022 was a better practice guide and continued her Office’s commitment to producing guidance that demonstrated excellence and helped the Western Australian public sector perform efficiently and effectively.

“With a focus on fraud risk management, the guide assists WA public sector entities to manage that risk, providing process and tools to empower them to improve how they discharge responsibility for controlling their exposure to fraud and corruption risks,” Ms Spencer said.

“We also hosted two fraud resilience forums, both well received with over 100 people attending each,” she said.

“These forums promote continuous fraud and corruption risk awareness by sharing knowledge and building a platform for collaboration across the WA public sector.”

She said her office continued to adapt and innovate, refining the forensic methodology and focusing on enhancing the interaction of audit, intelligence and data analytics through a forensic audit lens.

“We established forensic frameworks and strengthened our capability across the team, and with the support and influence of these maturing activities, our current work program shows momentum building in our forensic audits currently under way,” Ms Spencer said.

“The Forensic Audit team continues to strengthen relationships across organisations and entities to advance and coordinate the building of fraud resilience in the WA public sector,” the Auditor General said.

The Auditor’s 19-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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