THE ROLE OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE IN NSW LOCAL COUNCIL AND GOVERNANCE
School of Acounting, Charles Sturt University, Australia
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Background – The appointment of administrators to local councils in some cases in recent years has highlighted the importance of good governance and has cast doubt on the effectiveness of council audit committees in overseeing council activities. New South Wales (NSW) state government internal audit guidelines mandate that local councils must have a functioning audit committee but do not prescribe how to achieve such functionality. Research into failures of audit committees points to fact that audit committee effectiveness depends on composition, authority,
resources, and diligence.
Purpose – This research will evaluate effectiveness of local council audit committees in NSW through an examination of factors framed by New Institutional theory (NIS) and duly considering the needs of key stakeholders, namely the State government and ratepayers.
Design/Methodology/Approach – A mixed method design, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods, will be used to collect data. The sample consists of twenty Sydney metropolitan councils, to be selected from a total population of 128.
Research Limitations – It is not practical to include all councils in NSW for this thesis due to limitations of access, a sample of the population will be selected.
Originality/Value – This research make original contribution to point out the importance of audit committee in local government institutions and provide ways to meet the challenges faced by local government institutions in a complex and evolving political and economic landscape to achieve integrity, ethical governance and accountability.
Audit Committee; Local Council; Governance; Audit Quality; Governanc