Audit in a Democracy : The Australian Model of Public Sector Audit and its Application to Emerging Markets book cover
1st Edition

Audit in a Democracy
The Australian Model of Public Sector Audit and its Application to Emerging Markets

ISBN 9780367604240
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring the role of public sector audit in emerging democracies and developing countries, this book provides an account of the relationship between the public sector auditor, the legislature and executive government. In particular, it introduces public sector audit's capacity to assess government agencies' compliance with the law and their management of taxpayer or internationally funded programs and services. The volume: ¢ Explores the Australian model of public sector audit. ¢ Provides a definition of a supreme Audit Institution (SAI) and the role and responsibilities of the public sector auditor. ¢ Examines the authority necessary for the SAI to function effectively. ¢ Discusses likely future reform of the SAI's legal framework. ¢ Illustrates how audit can be used to strengthen democratic institutions in emerging market economies. It will be of use to researchers, academics and students interested in the critical issues surrounding audit in general and public sector audit in particular. It will also be a valuable guide to practitioners in this area.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. What is the Australian Model of Public Sector Audit?: The legislature and audit in Australia; Why is there an auditor-general?; What standards does the auditor-general apply?; Money for audits; The special case of performance audits; What happens to audit opinions?; The Australian model of public sector audit summarised. What is a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI)?: Why and how can a legislature use audit?; What are the purposes of public sector audit?; Should public sector audit be at the front?; Who should pay for audits?; What are the different kinds of audits?; How do audits lead to change? living with two masters - the client and the auditee. What Authority Does the SAI Need for its Work?: What freedom should the legislature permit the SAI to have?; The planning, conduct and reporting of audits; How can the SAI reduce costs and increase its impact when it conducts two kinds of audits? What Are the Next Steps in Reform of an SAI's Legal Framework?: The legal basis for audits summarised; The next steps; Appendix: attributes of SAIs; Bibliography; Index.

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Paul Nicoll is Executive Director of the Performance Audit Service Group in the Australian National Audit Office, Australia.


'Dr Paul Nicoll from the Australian National Audit Office has put together an extraordinary review of contemporary issues associated with Public Sector Auditing. The book will obviously be of great interest to those concerned with the elaboration and improvement of Public Sector Auditing in democratic nations from a policy, theoretical and practical perspective. Finally, the book makes a significant contribution to the academic literature on this important topic.' James Guthrie, University of Sydney, Australia 'Nicoll's book is a readable and thoughtful analysis, including helpful summaries at the end of each chapter and at the halfway point. The first half will certainly be of interest to those seeking an understanding of public sector audit in Australia. The second half will be of particular interest to practitioners in developing countries. From either perspective, this is a valuable contribution to the literature on state audit.' Public Administration