There is a “substantive and ongoing role” for the Auditor-General to assess value for money achieved by agencies from major investments in IT projects, says the 2010 Strategic Review of the Queensland Audit Office.
The position of Auditor-General is a critical element of the integrity and accountability framework of the Queensland public sector.
The Review was undertaken in accordance with the goal of maintaining the integrity and accountability of the Queensland Audit Office (QAO).
As at 17 December, the QAO’s Information Systems Audit Section had 17 filled positions - more than three times its 5 positions in December 2003, reflecting the increased adoption of complex information technology applications by Queensland Government agencies. The Review found the section “to have a strong level of relevant qualifications and experience to undertake Information Systems audits”.
According to the Review, investment in IT projects by public sector agencies is now substantial, and is likely to grow further as business systems generally become more heavily IT-based.
The Review praised the past and present efforts of the Auditor-General, citing his interest in such topics as cross-sector audits of ICT project management (Report to Parliament No. 4 for 2008) and IT Network Security (Report to Parliament No. 4 for 2009).
Also recognised was the notion that future infrastructure and IT investment audits may take a number of forms – including traditional attest audits (including cross-sector audits), performance audits, assurance audits or special audits – depending on the ultimate objective of the audit.
The Review recommended that the Auditor-General give consideration to an expanded focus of audits of infrastructure and IT investments, building on the work already undertaken in these areas.
The full 2010 Strategic Review of the Queensland Audit Office is available here.