Changing Government

Commences 9.00am

Session One: Changes in Government Agenda 

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Public Service in a Time of Uncertainty

 Peter Shergold will examine five key challenges to democratic governance, and the implications that these have for the role of public servants.  The vocation will become more challenging and public administration may have to change in quite fundamental ways.  Nevertheless, Professor Shergold will conclude that, from bottom to top, the moral agency which public servants exercise on a daily basis will be more important than ever.

Keynote speaker

Peter Shergold
Chancellor, Western Sydney University and National President, Institute of Public Administration Australia

Tom burton_400x400

Precision Government: When Governments Know Everything About Everyone

This talk will discuss how the availability of data about citizens provides government with profound opportunities, but will also lead to fundamental change in the way the public sector performs its role. 


Tom Burton
Award-winning journalist and editor of “The Mandarin”


Session Two: Assurance in a Networked World

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Martin Stewart Weeks

Assurance in a Networked World

In a more complex and connected world, the concept of auditing - a disciplined way to track process, probity and performance - inevitably becomes more complex and connected as well. How to determine proper and appropriate accountability for the way money is spent, how people and organisations behave and how they achieve the public purpose results for which they are responsible is becoming harder to define and determine.

This discussion will explore trends in public sector management, especially the growing reliance on cross-sector, multi-contextual networks of collaboration, influence and action to ask some questions about the implications for the art and practice of effective public sector auditing.

Martin Stewart-Weeks
Independent advisor and facilitator working at the intersection of policy, public sector management, technology and innovation

Fran Thorn 300×300

Performance Audit and Gov 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...Being Contemporary and Relevant Versus 'Courageous'?

Nearly 10 years on from the Govt 2.0 taskforce, public sector embrace of innovation and the rapid inter-connection of modern technologies and social media is best described as “patchy”, but still aspirational.  Can performance auditors keep up if the public sector struggles to create a working environment in which fail-fast, redefine-even-quicker, and merciless public reporting of any and every 'citizen journalist' calls for a flexibility that defies hard-wired ways of doing, implementing and accountability?

Included in the hard-wiring are the performance watchword goal of public interest and the twin public sector gods of efficiency and effectiveness.  Is that enough, and will that enable the public sector to stay relevant and move beyond the “gotcha” critique? 

Fran Thorn
Former Partner, Deloitte Australia. Former Secretary, Departments of Health, Human Services & Innovation, Industry & Regional Development, Victoria

LUNCH 12.45 pm to 2.00 pm

Breakout Session: Emerging Issues in Performance Audit

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Parallel Session 1

Fraser Mckinlay 300×300

Public Audit in an Age of Unprecedented Change - the Scottish Experience

Devolution in Scotland has always been a process, not a destination. The Scottish Parliament has in recent years secured significant new powers over its finances and across a wide range of policy areas, such as social security. This brings real opportunities and big challenges for public finances in Scotland, with major implications for how public services are delivered in future.

All of this raises big questions for public audit in Scotland. This session will explore the big changes taking place, what it means for public services in Scotland, and how Audit Scotland is responding to the big questions for public audit in an age of unprecedented change.

Fraser McKinlay
Director of Performance Audit and Best Value,
Audit Scotland

Catherine Hardy 300×300
Mark Sercombe 300×300

Participatory Governance: Re-imagining Performance

Participatory governance is not new. Various labels, definitions and claims of the potential of citizen participation for advancing values of democratic governance span multiple decades.

Interest in participatory governance appears to have grown substantially in the last decade as society, government and policy makers continue to grapple with wicked problems, younger people demand greater engagement with institutions that affect them, and the affordances of digital technology. But how do we know whether participatory governance measurably improves the condition of the system being governed and the performance of the governing system? How is participation designed effectively and how does it impact evaluation, transparency and accountability? What might the audit criterion look like?

In this presentation we consider some of these issues in the context of real life case examples for the purpose of highlighting opportunities, challenges and implications for policy makers and performance auditors.

Associate Professor Catherine Hardy
Business Information Systems
The University of Sydney Business School


Mark Sercombe
Principal Consultant
Technology Risk

Khimji Vaghijani 300×300

Personally Yours - Data, Analytics, Privacy and Ethics

The ability to link and analyse data has led to major changes in customer intimacy and personalisation of services for companies. Linking and analysing data is also helping government become smarter and deliver better outcomes for citizens.

This presentation highlights considerations on privacy and ethics for data analytics project.


Dr. Khimji Vaghjiani
NSW Data Analytics Centre

Parallel Session 2

Martin Hoffman 300×300

Performance Auditing - Friend or Foe to Public Service Innovation and Customer Satisfaction?

Martin Hoffman
NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation

Chris McNally

Applications Of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector – Implications for Accountability and Transparency

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in business and Government as a way to support customer and citizen interactions, new questions need to be considered in terms of assessing how Government services are delivered.  How do agencies who employ AI ensure transparency and accountability of services and outcomes as decisions become more automated?  What steps need to be taken to govern the use of AI, and encompass ethics in the use of AI?

Accenture presents a point of view on steps agencies can take to address these challenges in delivering transparent and accountable public services.

Chris McNally
Managing Director & Delivery Lead
Government, Education & Health
Accenture Australia and New Zealand

Lisa Rauter 200×200

Auditing Innovative Approaches to Policy and Program Design and Delivery – How do we Ensure we Don’t Discourage Experimentation and Risk Taking.

This topic will cover what innovation is (and how it comes about) in the public sector and performance audit issues when auditing program and policy design that includes elements of innovative or experimental practice.

Experimentation is a necessary element of learning, improving and taking advantage of new technologies and opportunities to enhance value for money and impact. This doesn’t come without the risk of failure. What should we be looking for as performance auditors in innovative programs and practices, how do we identify practices that enable learning, adaptation and risk management and how do we capture the benefit of failure as a way to learn and improve?

Lisa Rauter
Group Executive Director, Performance Services Group
Australian National Audit Office


Session Three: Social Outcomes

Cheryl Kernot

Social Outcomes

Within the drive for efficiency, economy and improved effectiveness, government needs to ensure that focus remains on social outcomes so that the lives of citizens are enhanced by public sector service delivery.

Cheryl Kernot
Expert on social business, social enterprise and social procurement

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Day one concludes at 4.30pm


Performance Auditors Responding to Change

Commences 9.00am

Session Four: Citizen-Centred Auditing

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Carol Bellringer 300×300

The Voice of Indigenous People in the Work of the Auditor General: the Canadian Experience

Auditor General of British Columbia, Carol Bellringer, will discuss how her office is working to incorporate the voices of Indigenous peoples into the audits they conduct, and into the culture of the workplace. She will discuss some of her office’s reports, including audits in the areas of Education and Climate Change, and an examination of Government’s actions in response in British Columbia’s Commission of Inquiry into Missing Women.

Ms. Bellringer will also include information about other initiatives taking place across Canada that are impacting legislative auditors.

Carol Bellringer
Auditor-General of British Columbia, Canada

Michael audit

Citizen-Participatory Audits in the Philippines – Enhancing Government Transparency and Accountability

In the Philippines, the Commission on Audit of the Philippines (COA) works together with citizens (civil society, academic groups, community members and the private sector) to audit the processes of delivering public services and government programs. The components of the program are: Partnership building, Capacity development, Public communication and Knowledge and tools generation. The development of the program has not been easy, and both the COA and the citizens of the Philippines have had to learn a great deal to make the program a success.

In 2017, the program was conferred a Special Mention Award from the Jury of Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency. Michael G. Aguinaldo will share the journey taken by the COA and the citizens of the Philippines in developing this successful program.

Michael G. Aguinaldo
Chairman of the Commission on Audit of the Philippines


Session Five: The Audit of the Future

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Emma Bradshaw 300×300-2

The Performance Auditor of the Future

With the public sector facing challenges driven by technological change and empowered citizens, and continued pressure to do more with less, what skills and capabilities will performance auditors need in order to hold government to account?  Where will future performance auditors come from, and how can Audit Offices build the capabilities of their future workforce?

KPMG is facing many of these same challenges when considering their advisory workforce of the future.  Emma Bradshaw, Associate Director, People Performance & Culture, will share with us how KPMG is building and planning for its workforce of the future as well as discussing the fundamental shifts in Human Resources to rise to this challenge.

Emma Bradshaw
Associate Director, People Experience
KPMG Australia

Grant Hehir 300×300

Panel speaker

Grant Hehir
The Auditor-General for Australia
Australian National Audit Office

Dr Maxine Cooper 300×300

Panel speaker

Dr Maxine Cooper
Auditor-General for the Australian Capital Territory

Andrew Greaves 300×300

Panel speaker

Andrew Greaves
Victorian Auditor-General
Victorian Auditor-General's Office

LUNCH - 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm

Breakout Session: Innovations in Performance Audit

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Parallel Session 3

John Reed

Auditing UN Sustainability Goals (Gender Equity)

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) around the world are preparing to audit their governments’ implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When they do so, it will be essential to audit a fundamental aspect of the SDGs: gender equality.

Gender inequalities are still deep-rooted in all countries and societies. They are the most pervasive, systemic, and structural of all inequalities, and they affect us all. When girls and women do not have equal access to resources and equal opportunities to participate in decision making, their families, communities, and countries feel the significant social and economic costs. In fact, a 2015 report from the McKinsey Global Institute looked at the economic implications of gender inequality and found that advancing women’s equality could add US$12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

Adopted by UN member states in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for actions to be implemented by all countries and all stakeholders. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each with targets and associated indicators, which are to be met by 2030. Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is both a standalone goal (SDG 5) and a crosscutting theme that will influence, and be influenced by, progress on the other goals. This reflects the understanding that achieving gender equality is both a core development objective as well as a means to increase economic growth and development and achieve social outcomes in areas like education and health.

The Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation, in partnership with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Women Deliver, has developed guidance to help auditors: The Practice Guide to Auditing the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Gender Quality.  The presentation at IMPACT 2018 will highlight developments in relation to auditing the UN SDGs as well as practical ways that audit institutions can integrate gender equality considerations into performance audits examining governments’ preparedness to implement, monitor, and report on the SDGs.

The Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and strengthening public sector performance audit, oversight, and accountability in Canada and internationally through research, education, and knowledge sharing.

John Reed
President and CEO
Canadian Audit & Accountability Foundation

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Using Data Analytics to Improve Mental Health Services in New Zealand

Mike Scott will describe how the Office of the Auditor-General in New Zealand worked collaboratively with the New Zealand Ministry of Health and District Health Boards to analyse extensive data collections to understand mental health patient journeys. Insights from this analysis identified specific groups of patients whose journeys had different characteristics.

By understanding the reasons people have different experiences the mental health sector can make service improvements and influence better outcomes for some of New Zealand's most vulnerable citizens.

Mike Scott
Assistant Auditor General, Performance Audit Group Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand

Sally Gaven 300×300

The new Social: Evaluating Emerging and Collective Efforts

New ways of delivering social and human services make assessing their value and effectiveness uniquely challenging, yet ever more necessary.

Sally will discuss the practicalities of evaluating innovative social programs involving multiple agencies and other partners, and identify guiding principles to maximise accountability and transparency.

Sally Gaven
Sally Gaven Consulting

Parallel Session 4

Rob Kilbride
John Hanwright 300×300

Using Analytics and External Datasets to Enhance Audit Insight

Rob Kilbride and John Hanwright will discuss how QAO is using data sources external to those available from the client, such as Social Media, to not only provide an independent perspective on performance audits but also inform the performance audit topics selected.

The session will also include learnings from the data journey so far at QAO in establishing an in-house analytics capability.

Robert Kilbride
Director, Audit Analytics
Queensland Audit Office


John Hanwright
Manager, Performance Audit
Queensland Audit Office


David Hodges 300×300

Adding Value to Performance Audit with Risk Intelligence Tools and Techniques

Technology advances, the explosion of data and new ways of working are redefining the risk landscape for the public sector.  This session will explore some of the new tools and techniques that are being used to derive risk intelligence through data analysis and practical tips for performance audit planning and execution. 

David Hodges
Managing Director, NSW and ACT



A Hands-on Approach to Auditing Cybersecurity: the WA Experience

The Western Australian Audit Office has built an internal capability for conducting penetration tests and interrogating public sector cyber security. Peter will share the story about how and why the WAAO built this capability internally.

Peter Bouhlas
Senior Director, Information Systems and Performance Audit
Office of the Auditor General, Western Australia

Reflections and Wrap up

Conference concludes at approx 4 pm




Dee Madigan 400×400


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