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Published research and professional literature on performance auditing to date has been largely concerned with outlining general international experience and developments, considering relevant concepts and describing single-system processes. This observation also applies to audits entitled ‘valuefor-money’ or ‘operational’ but which employ the same key concepts and pursue the same objectives (Parker, 1986). Indeed the 1986 International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (1986) selected ‘performance audit’ as the common future term to be applied to audits examining economy, efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Little by way of research results are available however, with respect to the results or impacts of this type of audit. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study designed to provide preliminary evidence as to certain apparent outcomes of performance audits through the examination of a sample of reports produced in Australia over recent years. Performance auditing in Australia is in its infancy but has been undertaken by a number of Auditor-Generals in the Commonwealth and different states of Australia. Reports produced for the Commonwealth by the Australian Audit Office (AAO), in Victoria by the Victorian Auditor-General (VAG) and in South Australia by the South Australian Auditor-General (SAAG), are examined with respect to concepts employed, report content, report format and auditee responses. These variables are also examined in the light of different approaches to performance auditing employed by the three Auditors-General.

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This page is a summary of: PERFORMANCE AUDITING OUTCOMES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY, Financial Accountability and Management, March 1988, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0408.1988.tb00288.x.
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