The history of the Auditor-General

1824

William Lithgow appointed Colonial Auditor-General, to compile and examine the colony’s accounts and report on government departments to the Governor.

1855

The UK Constitution Act 1855 formalised government in New South Wales, and the Auditor-General was made a member of the government.

1870

Powers and duties of the Auditor-General first set in legislation, in the Audit Act 1870.

1902

Audit Act 1902 prohibited the Auditor-General from being a member of the Executive Council or of the parliament.

1929

Audit (Amendment) Act 1929 changed the tenure of office of the Auditor-General from life to ceasing at 65.

1984

Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 established the Auditor-General’s Office (6 January 1984).

1989

Auditor-General’s Office declared a statutory body, allowing it to be both more independent and more commercial.

1991

The Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 expanded the Auditor-General’s role to include performance audits, limited tenure to seven years (no age limit), and prevented acceptance of any other post in the NSW public service.

2001

Auditor-General’s role expanded to report on issues of waste, probity and financial judgement.

2004

Auditor-General given power to employ staff directly, and set wages and conditions.

2013

Tenure of Auditor-General extended to eight years.

2016

The Local Government Act 1993 expanded the Auditor-General’s mandate to include financial and performance auditing of local government.