Coalition Commences National Commission of Audit

MC 7/13

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

Hon. J.B. Hockey MP

Date: Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Coalition Government today announces the commencement of the National Commission of Audit. The Commission is an essential step in addressing Labor’s record of waste and mismanagement.

The Commission of Audit was a key election commitment of the Coalition. It will assess the role and scope of Government, as well as ensuring taxpayers’ money is spent wisely and in an efficient manner.

The Commission’s work will feed into the Government’s work on the division of responsibilities between Local, State and Federal Governments.

Over coming months the Commission may hold public and private hearings, receive submissions from stakeholders including the public, and directly liaise with Government Departments. All Departments of the Government have been asked to fully cooperate with the Commission.

The Commission of Audit will provide an initial report to the Government before the end of January 2014 with the final report forming part of the 2014-15 Budget process.

The full terms of reference for the Commission are attached.

The Government has appointed Mr Tony Shepherd AO to chair the Commission.

Mr Shepherd is eminently qualified to undertake this task. Mr Shepherd has been President of the Business Council of Australia since late 2011 and has been chairman of listed company Transfield Services since 2005.

The other Commissioners and their backgrounds are as follows:

Dr Peter Boxall AO is currently chairman of the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), after a distinguished career in the Federal Public Service. He was the Secretary of the Department of Resources Energy and Tourism, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, and before that the Department of Finance and Administration.

Mr Tony Cole AO is a former Treasury Secretary.He has previously been Deputy Secretary to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank. He is National Practice Leader of William M. Mercer's Investment Consulting practice, and Chairman of the Melbourne Institute Economic Forums.

Mr Robert Fisher AM is a former Director-General of the Western Australian Departments of Industrial and Regional Development, of Trade and of Family and Children’s Services. He was also the Executive Director of the Western Australian Department of State Development and the Agent-General for Western Australia in London.

The Hon. Amanda Vanstone served as a Minister in the Howard Government from 1996 until 2007, including seven and a half years as a cabinet minister. Her Ministerial career included responsibility for key service delivery portfolios of Families and Community Services, Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Employment and Justice and Customs.

The Commission’s Secretariatwill be headed up by Mr Peter Crone, who will work with officials from the Department of Finance and The Treasury in the day to day administration of the Commission. Mr Crone is currently the Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Business Council of Australia and has served as an adviser for both State and Federal Governments.

The Coalition Government looks forward to working with the Commissioners and the Secretariat over coming months.