What it does: Keeps an eye on the public sector’s finances and performance
Staff stats: Around 350
The good bits: Great training, fascinating and important work
The not so good bits: Needing to get every detail correct
Hiring grads with degrees in: Sciences; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Property & Built Environment
One of the first things the new parliament did after Federation in 1901 is passed the Audit Act. This established the legal foundation for the appointment of an Auditor-General and the legislative basis for the auditing of the Federal Government and Australian Public Service. A Federal Audit Office was established in Melbourne in 1902 and moved to Canberra in 1935.
Over the last eight decades, the Audit Act has been first amended then superseded. Both the Auditor-General and what’s now called the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) have progressively acquired more scope to do things such as to conduct efficiency reviews of government activities and have gained more independence from the government of the day. Much as a business will have an auditor, the Federal Government has the ANAO to audit the financial statements of Commonwealth agencies, authorities, companies and their subsidiaries, as well as to conduct performance audits of these entities.
As far as public service employers go, ANAO is one of the most prestigious. It reports to Federal Parliament and is located in the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. The ANAO has strong relationships with overseas audit institutions, including through delivering capacity building activities to the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BPK) and the Auditor-General’s Office of Papua New Guinea (AGO).
In layman’s terms the ANAO “seeks to improve public sector performance and accountability through independent reporting on Australian Government administration to the Parliament, the Executive and the public”. The ANAO’s work can have major impacts on government programs, policies, projects, systems and reporting.
The ANAO “is committed to promoting and supporting social inclusion, equity and diversity”. It seeks to do this by creating “a working environment that supports and encourages staff that have a range of skills and life experiences and different cultural and social backgrounds”.
The ANAO also has a network of Diversity Contact Officers who aim to foster a supportive, flexible and fair work environment where differences between employees are respected and seen as an asset to the ANAO.
The ANAO has a role in ensuring that Australians’ tax dollars are spent as effectively as possible. The work you do will help to hold other Government agencies to account to ensure they are reporting accurately on their finances and that their programs are administered efficiently, effectively, and economically. This work can have a broad-reaching impact on the way Government functions.
ANAO’s grad program runs for 12 months and you’ll need to be based in Canberra to do it. Over the duration of the program, you’ll develop expertise in some combination of financial auditing, performance auditing, IT system assurance, data analytics or public service corporate management, depending on where you are placed. You’ll also learn how to provide advice on the performance and financial management of government agencies. The program comprises “ a structured training program, featuring face-to-face workshops and self-directed online learning that gives practical strategies to apply to work at your own pace.” It also offers flexibility and choice in your work rotations.
Applicants from any discipline are welcome to apply. However, the ANAO mainly employs those with accounting, finance, arts, management, law, social sciences, public administration, commerce and communication degrees. You’ll need to be an Australian citizen, or about to become one. You should also be an achievement-orientated self-starter with a good understanding of business and strong written and verbal communication skills.
The recruitment process begins with an online application. This will then be followed by a one-way video interview. If your application makes the shortlist you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. Here you’ll have the chance to discuss your skillset, abilities, personal qualities and extra-curricular activities. After this come reference and security checks. If there are no red lights at this final stage, you could receive an offer
Grads start on a salary of $63 429 but this goes up every year in line with their enterprise agreement. You’ll get generous super (15.4%) and leave entitlements, as well as flexible working arrangements if you need them. ANAO staff also have access to an extensive learning and development program and generous studies assistance after they complete the program.
Rather than working for one public sector entity, at the ANAO you work with a range of them, gaining experience in a lot of different areas. As a result, you’ll develop a deep understanding of what informs government policy decisions. You’ll also get a big-picture perspective on how the Federal Government and Australian Public Service work. You’ll end up with valuable and transferrable skills that you can leverage to forge an interesting career in the public service or a lucrative one in the private sector.
The ANAO claims to have a “friendly, supportive corporate culture” and to provide “challenging work that is of benefit to the people of Australia”. Given you’ll be holed up in Canberra with everyone else doing the grad program, you can expect to do plenty of out-of-hours socialising.
“The ANAO are driven by a strong culture of integrity and independence, and our people are committed to fully understanding and shining a light on aspects of public administration for the benefit of everyone.
Do you feel strongly about our purpose of ensuring government accountability and transparency? Then we’d love to receive your application! Whatever your academic background, we have a place right here for your unique skills and experience.
Our 12-month graduate program offers:
Think about all the fast-moving policy and implementation challenges faced by the government right now. Along with advances that have been made in technology and analytics, it’s a really exciting time to be in audit! Find out more at www.anao.govau."