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Record keeping

Subregulation 6.70 of the NGER Regulations requires an audit team leader to keep the records relating to the audit for five years from the date of the report of the audit.

Audit team leaders are required to keep records supporting the audit opinion. This allows the Clean Energy Regulator to assess, if needed, the auditor’s performance through inspections. These records should be complete and detailed, and provide an understanding of the audit and the conclusions drawn from the audit evidence obtained.

Evidence of auditing decisions is integral to the integrity and transparency of the Clean Energy Regulator audit framework.

Where an audit team leader is leaving an employer, it is the audit team leader’s responsibility to retain or have access to records relating to the audit for five years from the date of the report of the audit. We recommend that audit team leaders make their employers aware of this obligation and if appropriate, include in their employment contracts the right to access documents after employment ceases for a period of at least five years.

Where an auditor is under inspection or is otherwise requested to provide information, the auditor is required to contact their employer or former employer and request access to the documents. If the employer denies access, the Clean Energy Regulator may compel the provision of this information. However, this will only occur in exceptional circumstances after the auditor has taken reasonable steps to access the documents on their own.

4.2.1 Inspection of audit documents

Subregulation 6.43 of the NGER Regulations allows an inspector to inspect documents in the possession of the auditor, which support decisions made by the auditor for the audit.

The Clean Energy Regulator conducts inspections to:

  • review the decision-making processes the auditor uses in carrying out Part 6 audits to ensure that the auditor’s professional judgement is being exercised appropriately, and
  • ensure that the auditor is complying with the requirements of the Audit Determination and the NGER Regulations in carrying out Part 6 audits.

An inspection may be conducted during or after the completion of a Part 6 audit, and it may be conducted up to five years after the completion of the audit. It involves a physical visit by an official of the Clean Energy Regulator or by a person appointed under regulation 6.40, and any registered greenhouse and energy auditor may be inspected.

When inspecting the performance of auditors, the Clean Energy Regulator requires full and free access to the auditors’ files and other relevant documents.

Inspectors may need to take copies of documents to complete their assessments and prepare inspection reports off-site, as well as to support inspection findings in work papers and reports.

Once information is obtained from an auditor by the Clean Energy Regulator or its officials (including its inspectors), that information becomes protected information. It is an offence to disclose that information unless the disclosure is authorised or required by law.

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