Murray-Darling Basin audit
The National Water Commission acquired an ongoing Murray-Darling Basin audit function as a requirement set out in the Water Act 2007.
The Commission’s audit role will provide independent oversight on the effectiveness of the implementation of the Basin Plan and associated water resource plans. In this context, our audit goal is to contribute to more effective management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Independent audits in the basin will be an important element of the new basin governance arrangements. The aim is to improve public confidence, strengthen accountability and transparency, and promote continuous improvement in water resource management at the basin and water management area scales.
Sections 87 to 90 (Part 3) of the Water Act describe the Commission’s audit role. The first audit must be completed within five years of the commencement of the Act, and thereafter at not more than five-yearly intervals.
This means our first audit is due by 3 March 2013. The Commission is developing a forward program that will enable us to meet our ongoing audit obligations.
The Commission must give the Federal Minister for Water a written report on each of our audits, after which the Minister has 15 sitting days to table the report in each house of parliament. We must also supply copies of the report to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and to the relevant state minister in each of the Murray–Darling Basin states.