Audit committees (RMG 202)

Audit committees are integral to good corporate governance of Commonwealth entities. A good audit committee can significantly assist the accountable authority in meeting their duties and responsibilities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

The guide on the role of audit committees includes matters that the accountable authority could consider when determining the audit committee's functions, structure and conduct.


These guides are relevant to non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs) and corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs)

It may also assist audit committees in understanding their role and responsibilities. 

What do audit committees do?

Audit committees play an important role in supporting the governance of Commonwealth entities, providing independent advice to accountable authorities, assisting them to meet their duties and obligations under the PGPA Act and supporting the development of key practice and capacity within Commonwealth entities.

Developing the audit committee charter

The charter is the accountable authority’s blueprint for the audit committee’s operations. It assists the accountable authority to manage and maximise the value of their audit committee.

The model audit committee charter [209 KB] is a tool that aims at assisting, accountable authorities and officials supporting accountable authorities, in developing a written charter that determines the functions of the audit committee. The model charter lists legislative requirements and highlights additional matters an accountable authority may wish to consider when developing the charter.

Sourcing audit committee members

Audit committees must have a majority of independent members. The professional peak bodies listed below can assist accountable authorities to source appropriately skilled independent candidates. There is no mandatory requirement for Commonwealth entities to approach these peak professional bodies or to use their services exclusively.

Professional peak bodies

Available services

Australian Institute of Company Directors
Directorship Opportunities Partner
Australian Institute of Company Directors
Phone: 1300 739 119

An advertisement for a specific audit committee role can be placed on the Australian Institute of Company Directors website by a Commonwealth entity.  This advertisement can outline the specific skills sets and requirements the entity is seeking.

Governance Institute of Australia
Mr Jack Hammond
Digital Marketing Specialist
Phone: 02 9233 5744

The Governance Institute of Australia can advertise an audit committee position to its membership via the ‘Governance career opportunities’ webpage on the website.  The text must be formatted as per guidelines available.

Institute of Internal Auditors – Australia
Ms Lynette Mason
Executive Officer & Company Secretary
Phone: 02 8268 5811

The Institute of Internal Auditors Australia has established a database of prequalified professional members with the appropriate specialist skill set.

Chartered Accountants Australia and
New Zealand

Mr Richard Lindsay
Regional Manager – ACT
Phone: 02 9290 5618

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand can work with a Commonwealth entity to determine individual requirements.  They can provide a shortlist of potential candidates for an audit committee, sourcing candidates through their existing databases and networks.


CPA Australia
Ms Kimberley Ohayon
General Manager - ACT
Phone: 02 6267 8556

CPA Australia can advertise an audit committee position to a targeted membership group (likely to be those that hold fellow membership status).

ISACA Canberra Chapter
(IT Governance Specialists)
Mr Alistair Nicholson
Canberra Chapter President

ISACA’s membership profile includes individuals that have experience in IT security, IT auditing, IT risk management and those specialising in IT governance more broadly.  ISACA will source potential candidates through an expression of interest process and can work with Commonwealth entities to provide a shortlist of suitable candidates. 

The Australian Computer Society (ACS)
Mr Rupert Grayston
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 02 9299 3666

ACS can advertise audit committee positions to those members that have expertise in IT governance, information management, information security, procurement, contract management and technology auditing (minimum professional standard level 5 of the Skills Framework for the Information Age) and can provide a shortlist of suitable candidates. 

Risk Management Institution of Australasia (RMIA)
Mr Simon Levy
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 02 9095 2500

RMIA will work with a Commonwealth entity to determine individual requirements and can shortlist suitable applicants from within their network of Certified Practicing Risk Managers (CPRMs). RMIA can also advertise an audit committee position to its membership via electronic direct mails, linked-in and on their website.

Did you find this content useful?