Performance auditing: the jurisdiction of the Australian auditor general - De Jure or De Facto? A comment
As Parker and Guthrie (1991) state, the question of the Australian Auditor- General’s performance audit mandate has become an issue of much debate over the last two decades.
The initial development of performance auditing by the Australian Audit Office (AAO) can be traced back to the early 1970s. In part this was due to the application of existing powers provided by Section 54 of the Audit Act 1901. These investigations were termed by the AAO ‘project audits’. Amendments to the Act, in 1979, additionally permitted the AAO to undertake efficiency audits in addition to fiscal regularity audits. The problem, since the introduction of these amendments, has been that, all too often, debate on the mandate of the Auditor-General has suffered because authors have often not clearly defined what they mean by terms such as ‘effciency’, ‘effectiveness’ and ‘performance’.