Report shows best financial governance for almost a decade

Ipswich City Council has recorded its strongest result in almost a decade following an independent assessment of its financial governance.

The result is part of an independent financial audit tabled in Queensland Parliament earlier this month by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) as part of its Local Government 2022 report.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the way council manages people, systems and processes to deliver financial reporting, efficient operations and compliance with applicable laws has received its highest rating since 2015.

“This progress is recognition of the current council’s determination to act with transparency and integrity and an unwavering belief that effective governance leads to better community outcomes for Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.

“Critical to this achievement has been the way council now works throughout the year with rigour and discipline to focus on addressing areas identified for improvement, as well as council’s open and transparent public reporting.

“In line with the Local Government Act 2009, council also has an Audit and Risk Management Committee comprising five members, including three external, independent experts to ensure impartiality and that our internal controls and risk management focus are always improving.”

The state’s 77 councils undergo a financial audit every year where internal controls around financial governance is measured as either ‘effective’, ‘partially effective’ or ‘ineffective’.

In 2019, only one of council’s controls was considered by the Auditor-General to be effective. This year all five were rated as effective.

Mayor Harding said as one of Queensland’s largest councils, Ipswich has a responsibility to improve financial governance.

“This is something the community rightly expects of us, and we need to deliver,” Mayor Harding said.

“I am proud of our performance because it means we are not only delivering on our duties as a council for our community, but we’re also demonstrating the importance of improved financial governance within local government.

“This report card marks a point in time, and while council’s processes and controls surrounding finance, payroll, procurement and information systems were recognised as effective, we will continue to drive for greater transparency, accuracy and accountability.”

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