The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has said that it didn’t get traction on its investigation and that some documents were only provided after its audit closed.
Speaking to the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, auditor-general Grant Hehir said that it was forced to take James Shipton’s remuneration payments to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg after ASIC didn’t take decisive action by referring the matter to the remuneration tribunal.
“It felt to me that we weren’t getting enough traction in getting management attention to it as I thought was appropriate for the significance of the issue,” Mr Hehir said, later adding that the matter “should have rung alarm bells”.
Mr Hehir also suggested “there may have been issues of governance” that stopped ASIC from taking action and that ASIC didn’t provide some documents regarding the transaction with KPMG until after the close of the ANAO’s audit.
“To some extent, when we’re doing audits, we rely on management to give us everything that’s available in order to provide an appropriate opinion and in this case, receiving additional evidence after the close of the audit, I didn’t think was appropriate governance.”
More to come.