Publication Details

This article was originally published as Rose, G, Environmental Performance Auditing of Government - the Role for an Australian Commissioner for the Environment, Environmental & Planning Law Journal, 18(3), June 2001, 293-318.


Commonwealth performance in environmental management can be systematically assessed and reviewed through public sector environmental audits. Australia’s experiences in public sector environmental audit indicate that its difficulties lie in inadequate available baseline data and vague policy benchmarks. Significant governmental efforts are being made to address the national data problem but not the benchmarks. Recent trends towards more systematic government performance reporting may eventually feed back to improve benchmarks. Some urge the establishment of an Australian Commissioner for the Environment to implement performance reporting, amongst other tasks. The potential role of the Commissioner as national auditor in particular is examined, drawing largely on Canadian experience.

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