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Through a well managed discourse of independence successive Commonwealth Governments have been able to have very extensive Executive intrusions in state audit accepted as benign and untainted by political interests, thereby maintaining an illusion of an unfettered, autonomous state audit function. This discourse of state audit independence has been successful in embedding an interpretation of independence at odds with the operational reality. A conditional form of independence has been promoted as substantive independence and has thereby created multiple and often conflicting beliefs about what is and what ought to be the nature of independence in state audit. The discourse has confused differences in the independence of the person of the state auditor and the independence of his Office.

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