Consideration of Auditor-General Report 11: 2023-24 – State entities 2023


Role of the Auditor-General 

The role of the Auditor-General is to provide Parliament with independent assurance of public sector accountability and performance. This is achieved through reporting to Parliament on the results of its financial and performance audits and other insights.

About the Auditor-General Report

View:Auditor General Report 11: 2023-24—State entities 2023

The report summarises the audit results of 240 Queensland state government entities, including the 20 core government departments. It also analyses the consolidated financial performance of the Queensland Government (referred to as the ‘total state sector') for 2022–23.

The QAO found the financial statements of all departments, government owned corporations, most statutory bodies, and the entities they control are reliable and comply with relevant laws and standards. However, the QAO again raised concerns that ongoing delays in the tabling of annual reports means the financial statements of departments and statutory bodies are dated and less relevant by the time they are released to the public.

The report states that in 2022–23, the total state sector reported a net operating surplus of $11.1 billion, compared with a surplus of $1.3 billion in 2021-22. The improved financial performance of the state was mainly due to significant increase in royalty revenue (money paid by mining companies to Queensland in exchange for the right to mine) for coal and oil. 

The QAO also found that entities are still not taking appropriate measures to ensure they fully understand and manage security risks posed by third parties providing services for their information systems. The QAO also found issues with entities’ internal controls (systems and processes) similar to those raised in previous years. These relate to information systems, payroll, and procurement. The QAO stated entities need to focus on clearing outstanding issues from previous years.

The QAO reported that some of its findings reflect Professor Coaldrake’s comments on the culture of the Queensland public sector. The QAO found some departments have had at least 3 changes in director-general in the last 5 years, and contractor and consultancy costs have increased dramatically. The QAO stated that more work is also needed to ensure special payments (not required by contract or legislation) are defensible and appropriate.

The QAO also mentioned that the second round of machinery of government changes for 2023 impacted 12 departments and 14 functions of government. This included re-establishing a Department of Youth Justice, last abolished in 2020, with Youth Justice having moved 5 times in 6 years. It also saw the new Brisbane 2032 Coordination Office move from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet to the Department of State Development and Infrastructure.

Referral to Committee 

Standing Order 194B provides that the Committee of the Legislative Assembly shall as soon as practicable after a report of the Auditor-General is tabled in the Assembly refer that report to the relevant portfolio committee(s) for consideration.  

The committee is responsible under section 94 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 for assessing the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government financial management by examining government financial documents and considering reports of the Auditor-General.

The Committee of the Legislative Assembly referred this Auditor-General’s report to the committee on 21 March 2024.

Advanced Search

Related Publications

Publication Details Type Published Date Tabled Date Committee Name