This section is about our audit program and the status of audits in progress. 

Our audits provide independent assurance that government programs are delivering on their objectives efficiently, effectively and economically. Our audits are not just about compliance. We identify and share our insights on better ways to deliver public services.

The Auditor-General Act 2009 requires us to prepare a strategic audit plan, each year, of the performance audits we propose to conduct over the coming three years.  

To ensure that we focus on the topics that matter, we apply a strategic audit planning approach. This involves assessing the challenges, risks, and opportunities facing the public sector and local governments.

Sometimes, new audit topics are added after our plan is published. These changes are reflected below. 

We welcome your suggestions for potential performance audit topics and your contributions to any audits in progress.

Our 2020-23 plan was published in December 2019. Since then, we have re-assessed our previously proposed audits for financial year 2020–21 to determine if they remain relevant following the COVID-19 pandemic. We have updated the table below to reflect this financial year's audits and a document outlining the changes is available on this webpage. 

View prior year strategic audit plans here

2020-21

In response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Queensland Government is implementing a new child and family support system over the next 10 years. It is intended to have a greater focus on supporting families in providing a safe and secure home for their children.

This response reinforces that parents and families are responsible for the care and safety of their children, with the government's role being to support parents and families by providing the right services at the right time for those in need. Implementing the reforms will require a fundamental shift in the way government agencies, child safety professionals, and community organisations work with vulnerable families, and with each other.

The Queensland Government is investing $406 million over five years from 2014–15 to 2018–19 to better support the state’s most vulnerable families and children.
 

Audit Objective

The objective of this audit is to assess how effectively Queensland government agencies work together for the safety and wellbeing of Queensland children.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  • Queensland Family and Child Commission
  • Queensland Police Service
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health
  • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Office of the Public Guardian.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Tabled
4 August 2020

Audit committees are an important part of the governance framework of public sector entities. They are mandatory for all government departments and are encouraged for other public sector entities.

Audit committees provide independent assurance and advice to accountable officers and boards. To provide assurance they require:

  • a documented charter that identifies the committee's responsibilities
  • individuals with the right combination of skills and experience
  • a sound working relationship with the accountable office or board and the entity.

Audit committees are also responsible for monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by audits and other review activities and ensuring the coverage of audits is aligned with the entity’s risks.

Purpose of the report

This report will assess the effectiveness of the audit committees of public sector entities.

Who we might audit
  • A selection of state government departments and statutory bodies.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Tabled
8 September 2020

Purpose of the report

This report will provide a broad outline of government's activities in response to COVID-19, including estimated costs of those activities. It is not a performance audit and will not assess the effectiveness of the government's response activities.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Tabled
22 September 2020

Purpose of the report

This report will identify the facts relating to the S/4 HANA implementation and the subsequent actions the department has undertaken. 

The areas we will focus on are:

  • key processes informing the go-live decision
  • the outcomes of the project and the impacts on the Queensland Health sector
  • the projects taken to stabilise the system and the continuing projects to manage it.
Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • A sample of hospital and health services
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Tabled
23 September 2020

The Queensland guardianship system protects the rights and interests of individuals who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. It aims to provide adequate and appropriate support for individuals to make decisions, with as much autonomy as possible. The law assumes an adult has the capacity to make a decision, unless evidence proves otherwise. Capacity is defined as an individual’s ability to:

  • understand the nature and effect of decisions
  • freely and voluntarily make decisions
  • communicate those decisions in some way.

It is important to assess the level of capacity in the context of the decision that the individual is making. While an individual’s decision-making capacity may be impaired, they may still be able to make some decisions for themselves. Therefore, depending on the level of impairment in the situation, the individual may require someone to make the decision on their behalf, or may only require support to make the decision themselves. Delivering appropriate social, legal, health and financial outcomes for these adults is important for their quality of life. 

The Office of the Public Guardian, the Office of the Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Advocate are responsible for providing an effective and integrated service that supports and promotes the rights of adults with impaired decision-making capacity.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how well Queensland’s guardianship system manage complaints and investigations to improve the protection of people with impaired decision-making capacity.

Who we might audit
  • Public Trustee Queensland
  • Office of the Public Guardian.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Tabled
24 September 2020

Purpose of the report

This report will identify the facts relating to the awarding of sports grants within Queensland during 1 July 2017–29 February 2020.

The areas we will focus on are:

  • What is the process for awarding sports grants?
  • Has the minister or the department exercised discretion in the awarding of sports grants?
  • What is the value and location of monies expended through sports grants?
Parliamentary Committee
Transport and Public Works Committee
Audit status
Tabled
29 September 2020

Purpose of the report

This report will highlight recurring risks and issues that entities need to manage and will share learnings with the wider public sector. It is not a performance audit or any other form of assurance of the program and projects.

Parliamentary Committee
Transport and Public Works Committee
Audit status
Tabled
30 September 2020

Community safety is improved by the enforcement of strict controls on the possession of firearms. In 1996, the Commonwealth of Australia and states and territories established the National Firearms Agreement as a result of the Port Arthur massacre. It sets out minimum requirements in relation to the regulation of firearms. 

In Queensland, people who want to possess a firearm must apply for and be granted both a firearms license and a ‘Permit to Acquire’. The Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing unit is responsible for administering all aspects of the Weapons Act 1990, Weapons Regulations 2016 and Weapons Categories Regulations 1997. This includes the issue and renewal of all licenses, permits and exemptions, and the maintenance of the commissioner’s firearms register. Ensuring license holders are aware of and comply with their obligations to maintain appropriate security of their firearms is crucial to:

  • effective gun control and regulation
  • reducing gun thefts.

The Queensland Police Service reported that there were 844,129 firearms registered in Queensland as of 3 June 2018. Between 2014 and 2017, 2,599 firearms were reported stolen.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively the Queensland Police Service regulates firearms in Queensland to ensure community safety.

Who we might audit
  • Queensland Police Service.
Parliamentary Committee
Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee
Audit status
To be tabled
Anticipated tabling: Oct-Dec 2020

The owner of a dam is responsible for its safety. Having a dam safety management program in place can minimise the risk of its failure, and the potential impact on human life and property.

Under the provisions of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is responsible for the regulation of dams that are referrable. (Referrable dams are those that dam owners have assessed as putting people at risk in the event of failure.)

Around half of the referrable dams in Queensland are owned by Seqwater (26 dams) and Sunwater (23 dams). All referrable dam owners must have an approved emergency action plan in place.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy may put safety conditions on referrable dams. These safety conditions may require dam owners to develop standard operating procedures and undertake works to improve the dam’s integrity.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess whether entities are effectively managing the safety of Queensland’s dams.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
  • Seqwater
  • Sunwater.
Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
In progress
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Most public sector entities, including departments, statutory bodies, and government owned corporations and the entities they control, prepare annual financial statements and table these in parliament. Each year the Treasurer also prepares consolidated state government financial statements. The consolidated state government financial statements separately disclose transactions and balances for the general government sector and the total state sector.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our financial audits for all entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Who we might audit

All entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

In Queensland, most electricity is generated, transmitted, and distributed by state government-owned corporations and controlled entities. These include CS Energy, Stanwell, Powerlink, Energy Queensland, Ergon Energy, and 30 subsidiaries.

CS Energy and Stanwell are electricity generators. They produce electricity and sell into the National Electricity Market. Powerlink transmits electricity from generators to Energy Queensland, the distributor. Energy Queensland then distributes electricity from the transmission network to consumers. From there, electricity retailers purchase and sell electricity to households and businesses.

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of the Queensland Government’s energy entities for 2019–20.

Who we might audit

State government owned corporations and controlled energy entities. These included CS Energy, Stanwell, Powerlink, Energy Queensland, Ergon Energy, and 30 subsidiaries.

Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Entities within the Queensland public education sector intend to deliver world class education and training services. Collectively, the sector aims to help individuals make positive transitions from early childhood through to all stages of schooling, providing them with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for future education, training, or the workforce. This sector provides a variety of services and uses substantial resources to deliver these services.

Audit Objective

This audit will summarise the results of our financial audits of the Queensland public universities and their controlled entities, the Queensland grammar schools, and a small number of other education-specific entities with a financial year end of 31 December.

Who we might audit

Entities within the Queensland public education sector.

Parliamentary Committee
Education, Employment and Small Business Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

In Queensland, water is primarily used by households, agriculture, mining, electricity generation, tourism, and manufacturing industries. Queensland’s state and local government owned water entities provide water throughout the state, and comprise bulk water suppliers, distributor-retailers, local governments, and smaller water boards.

Seqwater sells treated bulk water to local council regions within South East Queensland. This water is sold either directly to councils or through Distributor-Retailer Authorities (Unitywater and Queensland Urban Utilities).

Outside of South East Queensland, SunWater operates much of the bulk water infrastructure that supplies irrigators and industrial customers. For retail customers, water is sourced, treated and distributed by local government owned infrastructure (water boards).

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of state and local government owned water entities, and two controlled entities for 2019–20.

Who we might audit

The six main state and local government owned water entities, and two controlled entities. These included Seqwater, SunWater, Gladstone Area Water Board, Mount Isa Water Board, Queensland Urban Utilities, and Unitywater.

Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Most public sector entities, including departments, statutory bodies, and government owned corporations and the entities they control, prepare annual financial statements and table these in parliament. Each year the Treasurer also prepares consolidated state government financial statements. The consolidated state government financial statements separately disclose transactions and balances for the general government sector and the total state sector.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our financial audits for all entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Who we might audit

All entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland health entities manage a large asset base and are funding innovative clinical care programs. This puts pressure on their financial sustainability. The Queensland public health sector includes the Department of Health and Queensland Ambulance Service, 16 hospital and health services, 13 hospital foundations, and three health statutory bodies and their controlled entities.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our 2019–20 financial audits of the entities in the Queensland public health sector.

Who we might audit

Entities in the Queensland public health sector.

Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland’s seven transport entities play a critical role in delivering a single integrated transport network that connects Queensland’s people, and facilitates a growing economy.

Direction and oversight of the state’s transport sector is provided by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR). The department’s primary role is to plan, manage and deliver Queensland’s integrated transport environment to achieve sustainable transport solutions for road, rail, air and sea. DTMR also provides oversight of Queensland Rail Group and Port entities. Queensland Rail Group is Queensland’s railway manager and operator, servicing the passenger, tourism, resources and freight customer markets. The port entities are part of Queensland’s network of 19 ports, which ranges from small community ports to large coal export terminals and a capital city multi-cargo port.

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of seven state-owned transport entities for 2019–20.

Who we might audit

Seven state-owned transport entities including the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail Group, and Government Owned Corporations.

Parliamentary Committee
Transport and Public Works Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland's local governments are involved in a wide range of activities—from delivering key community services, such as roads, water, sewerage and waste treatment, to providing banking, retail, medical, cultural and recreational services.

Most local governments, and the entities that they control, produce annual financial statements. How useful these statements are depends on their quality and the time taken to produce them. Timely and accurate financial reporting is essential for effective decision-making, managing of public funds and assets, and the delivery of public accountability.

Audit Objective

This audit will summarise the results of our financial audits of the Queensland councils and the related entities they control that produced financial statements at 30 June.

Who we might audit

A selection of councils, to be advised.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Health service planning aims to improve service delivery to better meet the health needs of the population. It is future orientated and usually adopts a medium- to long-term (10–15 years) perspective. Good planning helps to make the best use of current and future health resources including funding, staff and infrastructure.

Delivering health services occurs in an increasingly dynamic environment with ever changing community expectations, government priorities and technological advances. Health budgets are constrained, yet there are ever-increasing pressures and demands on the public health system.

The Department of Health is responsible under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 for statewide planning for the public health system. Hospital and Health Services must contribute to, and implement, statewide service plans that apply to them. They must also undertake further service planning that aligns with these plans.

Queensland Health’s strategy—Your health, Queensland's future: Advancing health 2026—identifies sustainability as one of five underpinning principles. This includes ensuring available resources are used efficiently and effectively for current and future generations.
 

Audit Objective

This audit will assess the effectiveness of the Department of Health and the Hospital and Health Services in planning for sustainable health services. 

Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • Selected Hospital and Health Services.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
In progress
Anticipated tabling: to be determined
Contributions closed
Audit Objective

This audit will assess the effectiveness of Queensland’s Office of the Public Guardian in supporting adults with a decision-making incapacity.

Who we might audit

Office of the Public Guardian

Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
In progress
Audit Objective

The objective of this audit is to assess whether the Department of Health (the department) and Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) have effectively implemented the recommendations made in Report 3: 2014–15 Emergency department performance reporting. In addition, we will assess whether the department, including Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), and HHSs are effectively managing Emergency Length of Stay (ELOS) and Patient Off Stretcher Time (POST) performance.

Who we might audit

The Department of Health, including QAS, and three selected HHSs including Gold Coast HHS, Metro South HHS and Townsville HHS.

Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
In progress
Anticipated tabling: to be determined
Contributions closed
Audit Objective

This review will assess effectiveness in appointing and renewing government boards and management of associated risks.

Who we might audit

Selected public sector entities

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Audit Objective

This report will share lessons learnt from past audits about strategies to deliver public services efficiently and will highlight the importance of sound administration.

Who we might audit

Selected public sector entities

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned

In 2008, the Australian Government promoted teaching and learning with the use of technologies through its Digital Education Revolution national partnership agreement. This partnership agreement provided a total of over $2 billion in funding to the Australian states and territories to provide computers and software to all students in school years 9 to 12, deliver digital learning resources, and provide professional development in information and communication technology (ICT) for teachers.

In Queensland, the Department of Education implemented initiatives to support learning with technology. These included ‘bring your own digital device’ to school for learning purposes, computers for teachers, access to ICT courses for students and teachers, digital practice guides, and the creation of ‘the learning place’ (the department’s secure eLearning environment).

It continues to invest in digital technologies that enable seamless access at any time, any place and on any device.

Audit Objective

This audit will examine whether the Department of Education is achieving its objectives in implementing a digital strategy to support learning in a digital world.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Education.
Parliamentary Committee
Education, Employment and Small Business Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Public patients are referred to specialists from emergency departments or their general practitioner. Hospital and health services develop guidelines, which help the referring doctors decide to whom they will refer patients and to ensure the doctors provide appropriate information.

Long waiting times and inappropriate referrals to specialist medical appointments can contribute to sub-optimal outcomes for patients. As at 1 April 2019, the Department of Health reported 219,158 patients were waiting for a specialist outpatient appointment. Patients waiting longer than clinically recommended periods of time varied between 10 and 50 per cent depending on the specialty.

The Department of Health establishes outpatient waiting times as an important performance measure in their service agreements with the hospital and health services and assigns funding for this initiative. The Queensland health sector has several strategies to address specialist outpatient waiting times, including the Specialist Outpatient Strategy and the Clinical Prioritisation Criteria program (currently being developed).

Audit Objective

This audit will assess the effectiveness of strategies employed to ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatment within the recommended time.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • Selected hospital and health services.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

On 10 September 2014, the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland was established. In February 2015, the taskforce finalised its report, Not now, Not ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland.

The taskforce reported that domestic violence in Queensland has continued to increase over the period to 2015, costing the state’s economy between $2.7 and $3.2 billion annually. In its subsequent budgets, the Queensland Government committed $328.9 million to respond to the issues and recommendations in the Not now, Not ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland report.

Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026 (the Strategy), seeking to change community attitudes and behaviours, integrate service responses and strengthen justice system responses, is being delivered through a series of action plans. These action plans include the government’s response to the Not Now, Not Ever report, delivering a broad range of activities and initiatives, including legislative changes, policy directives, additional funding for programs and services and system changes (for example improvements to information sharing).

Audit Objective

This audit will examine how effective Queensland government initiatives have been in preventing and responding to domestic violence.

Who we might audit
  • Queensland Police Service
  • Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  • Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors
  • Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  • Selected public sector entities.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Audit Objective

This report will identify the facts relating to the government’s framework for transitioning to meet its renewable energy targets.

Who we might audit

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Audit status
Planned
Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively public sector entities are managing the contracts for the delivery of major new infrastructure.

Who we might audit

Selected public sector entities

Parliamentary Committee
State Development, Tourism, Innovation and Manufacturing Committee
Audit status
Planned

2021–22

Audit committees are an important part of the governance framework of local councils. Unlike state government departments, they are not mandatory for all local councils. 

Audit committees provide independent assurance and advice to accountable officers and boards. To provide assurance they require:

  • a documented charter that identifies the committee's responsibilities
  • individuals with the right combination of skills and experience
  • a sound working relationship with the accountable officer or board and the entity.

Audit committees are also responsible for monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by audits and other review activities and ensuring the coverage of audits is aligned with the local councils’ risks.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess the effectiveness of audit committees in local governments.

Who we might audit
  • Local councils.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was the fifth time Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games. The 11-day sporting and cultural event involved athletes and officials from 70 different nations and territories.

With a budget of approximately $2 billion, the Commonwealth Games relied on significant public and private investment.

Beyond the 11-day sporting event, the Commonwealth Games has the potential to provide long-term economic, industry, social and community benefits to Queensland.

In December 2014, in our report 2018 Commonwealth Games: Progress, we recommended that the Office of the Commonwealth Games Coordination complete its legacy evaluation framework, including measures and targets to evaluate realisation of legacy benefits.

The Queensland Government subsequently finalised and implemented the ‘Embracing 2018 Legacy Program’. The programs legacy benefits include:

  • delivering GC2018: The Inspiring Games
  • enduring jobs and powering economic growth
  • accelerating the Gold Coast to a world-class boutique city
  • building active, engaged and inclusive communities.
Audit Objective

This audit will assess whether the state has realised the intended legacy benefits from the Commonwealth Games.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development
  • Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Local councils.
Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Successive Queensland governments have had strategies aimed at delivering digital services that:

  • meet people’s needs
  • foster better collaboration and connectivity
  • build trust in government services.

The government intends to position Queensland as a leader in digital government now and in the future. It has developed a range of government programs and initiatives intended to deliver on this commitment.

This audit will assess the design and implementation of the strategies to deliver on the government’s commitment.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively the Queensland Government is delivering digital and information technology improvements to provide outcomes for Queenslanders.

Who we might audit
  • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Department of Housing and Public Works.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The Queensland Police Service has over 13,000 operational staff and 14,000 total staff. It is responsible for providing policing services to more than 4.9 million Queenslanders, who are spread over more than 1.7 million square kilometres.

Deploying police resources efficiently and effectively means using the most appropriate types and number of resources in the right place at the right time to maximise public safety outcomes.

Two objectives that the Queensland Police Service commits to in its 2017–21 strategic plan are to make the community safer and equip its workforce for the future.

Audit Objective

This audit will examine how efficiently and effectively the Queensland Police Service deploys its resources to maximise public safety.

Who we might audit
  • Queensland Police Service.
Parliamentary Committee
Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Offending by young people can stem from a range of complex social problems such as family dysfunction, poor educational outcomes, unemployment, and substance abuse. Addressing the root causes of offending can help young people better connect with their communities and reduce the risk of them committing future crimes.

The Queensland Government has committed to reduce young offender recidivism by five per cent by 2020–21. This commitment is part of its Keeping Communities Safe priority in its Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities plan.

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is responsible for youth justice. It, the Queensland Police Service and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General have a range of programs and initiatives intended to divert young offenders from the justice system and help them to avoid the risk of reoffending.

Audit Objective

This audit will examine the effectiveness of youth justice diversion and rehabilitation initiatives to support young people in better connecting with the community and reducing their risk of reoffending.

Who we might audit
  • Queensland Police Service
  • Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  • Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  • Department of Youth Justice.
Parliamentary Committee
Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The annual budget cycle of the Queensland Government includes a Capital Statement. This statement presents an overview of proposed capital outlays by each Queensland Government department each year, as well as a summary of the government’s approach to infrastructure provision. Capital outlays are broken down into capital purchases (including acquisitions under finance leases) and capital grants.

The level of capital expenditure over the 2017–18 forward estimates is forecast to exceed $42 billion, with growth largely attributable to additional infrastructure investment associated with the state infrastructure fund.

Historically, Queensland Government agencies have been unable to spend the approved capital funds in the budget period. This increases the risk that government assets are unable to effectively support the delivery of key social services, or to support the state’s development, the needs of local communities, and local employment opportunities.

The state’s budget sector has underspent its capital program by more than $7.7 billion (14 per cent) over the last five financial years.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how efficiently and effectively the Queensland Government estimates and delivers its capital programs.

Who we might audit
  • Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Selected public sector entities.
Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Although floods are a natural phenomenon, they can have devasting impacts. The 2010–11 flood events in Queensland resulted in 35 people losing their lives. The estimated cost of the flooding events was in excess of $5 billion.

In response to the disaster, the Queensland Government established the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry on 17 January 2011. The inquiry looked at the:

  • preparation, planning and response to the floods
  • performance of private insurers
  • measures taken to manage the supply of essential services
  • adequacy of forecasts and early warnings systems
  • implementation of operational plans for dams
  • land use planning.

On 16 March 2012, the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry released its final report into the 2010–11 floods. The inquiry made 177 recommendations, directed both to state and local governments. The Queensland government supported all the recommendations.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess whether Queensland is better able to prevent and prepare for floods following the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
  • Department of Environment and Science
  • Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Queensland Reconstruction Authority
  • Local councils.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Most public sector entities, including departments, statutory bodies, and government owned corporations and the entities they control, prepare annual financial statements and table these in parliament. Each year the Treasurer also prepares consolidated state government financial statements. The consolidated state government financial statements separately disclose transactions and balances for the general government sector and the total state sector.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our financial audits for all entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Who we might audit

All entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland health entities manage a large asset base and are funding innovative clinical care programs. This puts pressure on their financial sustainability. The Queensland public health sector includes the Department of Health and Queensland Ambulance Service, 16 hospital and health services, 13 hospital foundations, and three health statutory bodies and their controlled entities.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our 2020–21 financial audits of the entities in the Queensland public health sector.

Who we might audit

Entities in the Queensland public health sector.

Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland’s seven transport entities play a critical role in delivering a single integrated transport network that connects Queensland’s people, and facilitates a growing economy.

Direction and oversight of the state’s transport sector is provided by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR). The department’s primary role is to plan, manage and deliver Queensland’s integrated transport environment to achieve sustainable transport solutions for road, rail, air and sea. DTMR also provides oversight of Queensland Rail Group and Port entities. Queensland Rail Group is Queensland’s railway manager and operator, servicing the passenger, tourism, resources and freight customer markets. The port entities are part of Queensland’s network of 19 ports, which ranges from small community ports to large coal export terminals and a capital city multi-cargo port.

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of seven state-owned transport entities for 2020–21.

Who we might audit

Seven state-owned transport entities including the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail Group, and Government Owned Corporations.

Parliamentary Committee
Transport and Public Works Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Queensland's local governments are involved in a wide range of activities—from delivering key community services, such as roads, water, sewerage and waste treatment, to providing banking, retail, medical, cultural and recreational services.

Most local governments, and the entities that they control, produce annual financial statements. How useful these statements are depends on their quality and the time taken to produce them. Timely and accurate financial reporting is essential for effective decision-making, managing of public funds and assets, and the delivery of public accountability.

Audit Objective

This audit will summarise the results of our financial audits of the Queensland councils and the related entities they control that produced financial statements at 30 June.

Who we might audit

A selection of councils, to be advised.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Most public sector entities, including departments, statutory bodies, and government owned corporations and the entities they control, prepare annual financial statements and table these in parliament. Each year the Treasurer also prepares consolidated state government financial statements. The consolidated state government financial statements separately disclose transactions and balances for the general government sector and the total state sector.

Audit Objective

This report summarises the results of our financial audits for all entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Who we might audit

All entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls.

Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

In Queensland, most electricity is generated, transmitted, and distributed by state government-owned corporations and controlled entities. These include CS Energy, Stanwell, Powerlink, Energy Queensland, Ergon Energy, and 30 subsidiaries.

CS Energy and Stanwell are electricity generators. They produce electricity and sell into the National Electricity Market. Powerlink transmits electricity from generators to Energy Queensland, the distributor. Energy Queensland then distributes electricity from the transmission network to consumers. From there, electricity retailers purchase and sell electricity to households and businesses.

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of the Queensland Government’s energy entities for 2020–21.

Who we might audit

State government owned corporations and controlled energy entities. These included CS Energy, Stanwell, Powerlink, Energy Queensland, Ergon Energy, and 30 subsidiaries.

Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

Entities within the Queensland public education sector intend to deliver world class education and training services. Collectively, the sector aims to help individuals make positive transitions from early childhood through to all stages of schooling, providing them with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for future education, training, or the workforce. This sector provides a variety of services and uses substantial resources to deliver these services.

Audit Objective

This audit will summarise the results of our financial audits of the Queensland public universities and their controlled entities, the Queensland grammar schools, and a small number of other education-specific entities with a financial year end of 31 December.

Who we might audit

Entities within the Queensland public education sector.

Parliamentary Committee
Education, Employment and Small Business Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

In Queensland, water is primarily used by households, agriculture, mining, electricity generation, tourism, and manufacturing industries. Queensland’s state and local government owned water entities provide water throughout the state, and comprise bulk water suppliers, distributor-retailers, local governments, and smaller water boards.

Seqwater sells treated bulk water to local council regions within South East Queensland. This water is sold either directly to councils or through Distributor-Retailer Authorities (Unitywater and Queensland Urban Utilities).

Outside of South East Queensland, SunWater operates much of the bulk water infrastructure that supplies irrigators and industrial customers. For retail customers, water is sourced, treated and distributed by local government owned infrastructure (water boards).

Audit Objective

This audit summarises our financial audit results of state and local government owned water entities, and two controlled entities for 2020–21.

Who we might audit

The six main state and local government owned water entities, and two controlled entities. These included Seqwater, SunWater, Gladstone Area Water Board, Mount Isa Water Board, Queensland Urban Utilities, and Unitywater.

Parliamentary Committee
Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised
Contributions closed

2022–23

A conflict of interest may occur when there is a real or perceived conflict between private interests and public duty. Undeclared conflicts of interest present a significant fraud risk within local government. Mismanagement of conflicts of interest can damage a council’s reputation and ability to deliver services.

In 2016–17, the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) examined how 13 councils had dealt with allegations of conflicts of interest and the adequacy of their conflict of interest systems.

In October 2017, the CCC released its report about ‘Managing and responding to conflicts of interest involving council employees’. It recommended 10 councils implement an overarching framework to enable them to apply a coordinated approach to identify, manage and monitor conflicts of interest.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively councils manage and respond to conflicts of interest.

Who we might audit
  • Local councils.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Regions outside of South East Queensland account for approximately one-third of the state’s total economic output and around 28 per cent of the population. They are critical to Queensland’s economy and future.

The State Government’s Queensland Plan—Queenslanders’ 30-year vision recognises that regions are ‘the engine rooms of our state’ and ‘offer a unique and competitive advantage’. It also highlights that our regions face significant challenges including population migration to metropolitan cities.

The Queensland Plan aims to create strong and prosperous regions with diverse economies over the next 30 years. It sets high-level targets for population growth, liveability, employment and industry attraction, retention and diversification for achieving these goals.

In addition to the Queensland Plan, the government has a range of programs and initiatives including Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities; Advancing Queensland’s Regions, and a range of economic and social policy initiatives that contribute to our regions.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess the Queensland Government’s effectiveness in progressing the goals for strong and prosperous regions in its Queensland Plan.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs
  • Selected local councils.
Parliamentary Committee
Economics and Governance Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The number of students in Queensland state schools with a recognised disability is increasing. The highest rates of growth are students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and hearing impairment.

Schools may need to make reasonable adjustments to the way they teach students with disability, or the way the students access the school, to ensure they can participate. For example, where some students with an autism spectrum disorder find handwriting stressful and difficult, the school may use word processing technology as an alternative.

All schools receive resourcing to support students with disability and can request access to a range of regional specialist services.

Audit Objective

This audit will examine whether the Department of Education is effectively and efficiently supporting students with disability to maximise their education outcomes.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.
Parliamentary Committee
Education, Employment and Small Business Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Mining is a critical component of Queensland’s economy. It has diverse reserves of coal, minerals, and petroleum and coal seam gas. The environmental, economic and social impacts of mining activities can be significant.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is responsible for granting authorities to prospect and mining leases. The Department of Environment and Science is the administering authority, under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. It approves eligibility criteria and conditions for environmentally relevant activities, such as mining.

Poorly managed mining approvals can delay and add cost to mining companies and have subsequent economic and environmental impacts. 

Audit Objective

This audit will assess the effectiveness and efficiency of public sector entities in granting mining approvals.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Environment and Science
  • Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
Parliamentary Committee
State Development, Tourism, Innovation and Manufacturing Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The Queensland Government’s innovation initiative Advance Queensland was launched in July 2015 with initial funding of $180 million and a vision of fostering innovation to create jobs and build a strong and diverse Queensland economy.

Now with funding increased to $755 million in 2018–19, Advance Queensland is aimed at ‘tackling today’s challenges and grasping tomorrow’s opportunities, giving future generations of Queenslanders the skills and education, they need to succeed’.

The program focuses on:

  • boosting entrepreneurial culture by improving access to finance, new business opportunities, and management support for start-ups and small to medium enterprises
  • positioning Queensland as a place for industry to collaborate with entrepreneurs, universities, businesses and government to turn great ideas into commercial products and jobs creation
  • helping make Queensland an investment destination for businesses by building a collaborative environment between research bodies and industry
  • providing opportunities for small businesses to collaborate and build on their innovation and ideas, to help them grow and improve products and services, and compete in a global market
  • reinvigorating science, research and innovation to help create the knowledge-based jobs of the future.
Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively the Queensland Government implements its Advance Queensland initiative.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, including the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
  • Selected public sector entities.
Parliamentary Committee
State Development, Tourism, Innovation and Manufacturing Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Queensland spends over $930 million annually on state-funded mental health services. Each year, one in five adults experience a mental disorder, and approximately half experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives.

Connecting care to recovery 2016–2021 is a five-year plan that sets the direction and highlights priorities for action and investment across Queensland’s state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug service system. It aims to deliver earlier and more effective and integrated responses, improved partnerships and collaboration, more effective use of workforce and increased system performance.

The most efficient and effective place for a patient to be supported in their ongoing recovery from an episode of mental ill-health is in their community. For a successful recovery, patients require access to the right services, in the right place and at the right time.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how well Queensland’s state-funded mental health services are minimising the hospitalisation of mental health patients and providing for effective transition of care into their community.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • Selected hospital and health services
  • Queensland Mental Health Commission
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal
  • Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

The health of Queenslanders 2016 report states that 19 per cent of children in Queensland are overweight and a further seven per cent are obese. This rate has not changed since 2007–08. The rate of childhood obesity 30 years ago was two per cent.

Childhood obesity can have a range of adverse consequences including social discrimination, poor self-esteem, depression, and childhood type 2 diabetes. In the longer term, obese children have a higher likelihood of adult health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and joint problems. These consequences can cause significant individual morbidity and mortality, lost productivity, and increased direct health care costs.

My health, Queensland's future: Advancing health 2026 is a 10-year vision and strategy for the Queensland health system. It was released in 2016. One headline measure of success in this strategy is to reduce childhood obesity by 10 per cent by 2026.

There are important links between health and education. Those with higher educational attainment tend to have better health generally. In addition, schools can deliver specific education initiatives to ensure children and families are aware of how to eat healthily and are aware of the importance of nutrition and weight in the context of overall health.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess if the Department of Health’s and the Department of Education’s strategies are effectively reducing childhood obesity.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Education
  • Selected hospital and health services.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised

Queensland Health’s strategy—My health, Queensland's future: Advancing health 2026 —outlines that cardiovascular disease and cancer are the primary causes of death for Queenslanders. It also explains that improving the integration of care to patients with chronic disease is an important strategy for achieving better outcomes.

The term 'chronic disease' refers to a group of diseases that tend to be long-lasting and have persistent effects. They account for 88 per cent of the burden of disease and 91 per cent of all deaths. Chronic disease costs $45.8 billion nationally, or 87 per cent of recurrent allocated health expenditure, and up to $5 billion per year in Queensland. It can also have a significant impact on work productivity. The Australian Government, state and territory governments, and primary care providers share the management of chronic disease.

Integrated care aims to improve patient experience by better coordinating an individual’s care across primary and preventative care, mental health, and specialist and hospital care. Better coordination of care is also designed to avoid unnecessary services and hospitalisations, thereby reducing costs. The Queensland Government has developed a $35 million integrated care innovation fund for integrated care projects.

Audit Objective

This audit will assess how effectively and efficiently Queensland Health is managing integrated care of chronic disease, including how they work with primary health networks and general practitioners.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Health
  • Selected hospital and health services.
Parliamentary Committee
Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee
Audit status
Planned
Anticipated tabling: to be advised