A range of audit activities are undertaken by internal and external auditors to provide assurance to the General Manager, the Audit Committee and managers within the Commission about risk-related activities.

External scrutiny

The Auditor-General issued an unqualified independent audit report on the Commission’s 2013–14 financial statements. There were no other reports issued by the Auditor-General relating to the Commission in 2013–14.

There were no reports on the operation of the Commission by a Parliamentary Committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and there were no agency capability reviews.

The President, General Manager and the Executive attended Senate Estimates hearings on 21 November 2013, 27 February 2014 and 2 June 2014.

Internal audit arrangements

BDO Australia Ltd was contracted to undertake an annual program of independent internal audits. The following internal audits were considered by the Audit Committee and finalised in 2013–14:

  • 2012–13 Certificate of Compliance review
  • Fair Work Commission’s Corporate Credit Card report
  • Review of CMS Financial Transactions
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Review of Financial Controls—Payroll, and
  • 2013–14 Certificate of Compliance review.

2012–13 Certificate of Compliance Audit

The status of corporate credit cards, usage and credit limits was reviewed. A number of issues regarding corporate credit card usage had been highlighted in BDO’s 2012–13 report. In response the Commission limited and significantly reduced the number of cards issued.

Audit of the Commission’s Case Management System (CMS) Financial Transactions

The findings of BDO’s Review of CMS Financial Transactions, which reviewed the way in which the Commission deals with matters requiring handling of fees from applicants, identified low level risks that were actively managed by the Commission.

Audit of Financial Controls—Payroll

The BDO Review of Financial Controls—Payroll identified a number of risks, including in terms of formal segregation of duties and continuity of function in a very small team environment. The Committee discussed progress on actioning the Commission’s management response to the audit’s recommendations to mitigate the risks through the extension of externally provided payroll services.

2013–14 Certificate of Compliance Audit

The findings of the BDO 2013–14 Certificate of Compliance review identified four issues, two where the Commission was partially compliant (Corporate Card Register and documentation to support Corporate Card purchases) and two where the Commission was compliant with opportunities for improvement (regularity of review and completeness of procedures). These issues have been responded to by the Commission to the satisfaction of the Audit Committee and the Executive.

Judicial decisions and administrative review

There were no judicial decisions, decisions of administrative tribunals or decisions by the Australian Information Commissioner that have had or may have a significant impact on the Commission’s operations during 2013–14.

Corporate reporting

In 2013–14, the Commission undertook corporate reporting through:

  • the prescribed annual report and State of the Service reporting requirements
  • other external reports such as the Portfolio Budget Statements and central agency surveys, and
  • responses to parliamentary questions.

See Appendix N for corrections to the Fair Work Commission Annual Report 2012–13 (PDF).

Fraud control

In accordance with guideline 5.7 of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2011 (PDF), the Commission:

  • has prepared fraud risk assessments and has in place a fraud control plan which was updated during 2012–13
  • has appropriate fraud prevention, detection and investigation, and reporting procedures and processes in place, and
  • has collected annual fraud data and reported that these comply with the guidelines.

The Fraud Control Guidelines are issued by the Minister for Justice and Customs pursuant to Regulation 19 of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997.

In accordance with guideline 5.8 of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2011 the General Manager’s certification in respect of fraud control is at Appendix O.