The Auditor-General yesterday provided the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, with his unqualified audit report for Defence’s 2007-08 financial statements. This is the first unqualified financial audit for Defence in seven years.
Defence’s financial statements were last free of audit qualification in 2000-01.
“This is a significant achievement and shows that the Rudd Labor Government is delivering for Defence. It is an important part of my agenda to fix the Defence budget, together with the independent audit of the Defence budget and our $10 billion savings program,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Defence has been working hard to improve transparency and certainty in its financial systems and, together with the budget audit, will help establish the true position of Defence’s finances.
Under the Minster’s strong leadership on the Defence budget, the department has addressed several areas of audit qualification, including general stores inventory, explosive ordnance, repairable items, infrastructure, plant and equipment assets and leave provisions.
“I would like to thank the Auditor-General and his team for working closely with my department to resolve its financial management issues,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The Auditor-General has acknowledged that Defence’s efforts on this front are returning dividends. I am keen to build on this success to further improve the integrity of Defence’s financial management through initiatives such as the budget audit being led by George Pappas,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
This unqualified position is a significant milestone in the Government’s efforts to put the dysfunctional Defence budget we inherited back on track.
Rudd Government Puts Defence Financial Statements Back on Track