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Departmental Circular 6 2018

A woman writing on a post-it note on a whiteboard

The Auditor General has conducted a number of local government Performance Audits since the proclamation of the Local Government Amendment (Auditing) Act 2017.

This has included the review of a selection of local governments to assess their controls for verifying the identity and credentials of new employees and monitoring the status of existing employees.

All the local governments reviewed needed to improve in some way their practices for screening employees. Many instances were found where local governments did not perform important checks, including checking of identity, verifying the right to work in Australia, referee checks and criminal background checks. Due diligence is required to exercise the care that is expected to be taken by Local Government’s before entering into an agreement or contract with another party.

Additionally, policies and practices for the monitoring of existing employees for changes in status, such as new criminal convictions, which could impact their employment, were generally lacking.

The report Verifying Employee Identity and Credentials Report 24 June 2019 is available on the Auditor General’s website.

Local government CEO’s should ensure that appropriate policies and practices are in place, to address this area of potential risk.

Refer to Departmental Circular 05-2019 Local government auditing, for information on addressing any matters identified as significant by the auditor in an audit report. 

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the department on 61 8 6552 7300 or via email

Page reviewed 27 February 2023