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
The Australian National Audit Office story
One of the first things the new parliament did after Federation in 1901 was pass 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Over the last eight decades, the Audit Act has been first amended then superseded.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 conduct efficiency reviews of government activities and 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 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 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.
The recruitment process
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 the various activities of the ANAO. You’ll also learn how to provide advice on the performance and financial management of government agencies. The program comprises “an intensive learning and development program, including technical, people management and general training and skill development”.
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. If your application makes the shortlist you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. Here you’ll have the chance to discuss your skill set, 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 $60,966 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. You’ll have the opportunity to work throughout Australia and possibly overseas. ANAO staff also have access to an extensive learning and development program and generous studies assistance after they complete of 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 works. 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 vibe of the place
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.
From the Employer:
"About the ANAO
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) improves public sector performance and supports accountability and transparency in the Australian Government through independent reporting to the Parliament, the Executive and the public.
We provide an independent view of the performance and financial management of Australian Government entities, and help to ensure that Australia's public administration is accountable to Parliament and to the public it serves.
We conduct financial audits, as well as performance audits and assurance reviews, highlighting areas where improvements can be made to benefit all Australians. This can include assessing the IT systems that allow these entities to deliver their outcomes.
Our work has real impacts on government programs, policies, projects, systems and reporting.
Our graduate program
The ANAO Graduate Program is a one-year program where you'll learn how analyse and report on the finances and performance of Federal Government agencies or how to support these functions. Working across a range of Federal Government agencies and entities, you'll develop a real understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in government.
We'll help you reach your potential by providing you with a customised learning and development program that blends internal, external, online, technical and soft skills training. You'll also have the opportunity to work in different areas of the ANAO, giving you the full picture of our organisation.
You'll contribute to meaningful work from day one and get the opportunity to make your mark in a small, dedicated organisation.
We are recruiting graduates for a number different areas including:
- Assurance Audit Services Group: Contribute to the financial statements audits of government entities and provide assurance to Parliament that government money is properly accounted for;
- Performance Audit Services Group: Review the efficiency, effectiveness, economy and ethics of the implementation of government policies and programs;
- System Assurance and Data Analytics Branch: Not just an average IT job, you will get the chance to assist with financial statement and performance audits, and use your technical knowledge to provide analytics and assurance services on some of the largest IT systems in the southern hemisphere;
- Professional Services and Relationships Group: Support the audit and assurance activities of the ANAO with robust methodology and advice, and support the Auditor?General in his relationship with the Parliament and key public sector stakeholders both nationally and internationally;
- Corporate Management Branch: As an enabling branch, CMB provides strategic frameworks and transactional services that support the efficient operations of the ANAO through human resources, financial management, information technology and security, organisational change, digital design and communications, records management, library and research services, governance and accommodation support.
Explore the benefits:
- starting salary from $60,966
- extensive learning and development opportunities
- a variety of work and roles
- excellent career progression opportunities
- flexible working arrangements
- work/life balance
- permanent employment on successful completion of the program
- advancement on successful completion of the program
- access to study assistance on successful completion of the program.
To be eligible for our graduate program, you must:
- have completed a qualification equivalent to a three-year Australian undergraduate degree in the last seven years, or complete the degree in 2018
- be a current Australian citizen
- be prepared to undertake an appropriate security clearance
- be willing to relocate to Canberra (we can provide allowances to assist with relocating).
The ANAO is seeking graduates from diverse academic backgrounds, like Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Data Science, Arts, Management, Law, Social Sciences, Economics, Public Administration, Commerce, Communication and more.
Applications are open between 8:00am Monday 5 February 2018 and 11:30pm Sunday 1 April 2018.
Visit www.anao.gov.au/careers/graduates to see the full position description and submit your application.
Contact the ANAO’s Graduate Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org".