Electricity network operators have the prime responsibility for meeting their statutory obligations, including:
complying with the conditions of their electricity networks licensing regime
taking all reasonable steps to operate safe electricity networks and complying with specific safety and reliability obligations
complying with employment guarantees requirements (for privatised and partly privatised networks)
IPART's role is to hold ENOs accountable for meeting their obligations by developing and implementing an effective risk based compliance and enforcement framework.
We use independent audits in our compliance work
An important part of IPART’s electricity network compliance framework is to have independent audits undertaken to test compliance with regulatory obligations. This is in addition to our compliance reporting regime.
For these audits, all auditors must be independent and approved by IPART before undertaking an audit. The auditees are required to nominate a preferred auditor, either from our approved Audit Services Panel, or they can nominate another auditor for approval.
Auditors are approved to undertake specific types of audits in one or more of our regulatory areas. In some cases, depending on the audit scope, they may be required to engage additional expertise relevant to the scope of works. Our regulatory areas for auditing are:
Electricity network safety management systems
compliance with reliability and performance licence conditions
compliance with critical infrastructure security licence conditions (including data security)
compliance with employment guarantees, and
compliance with environmental impact assessment obligations.
More details on these area are provided in relevant Audit Guideline.
Audits are undertaken according to our Audit Guidelines
We have developed a number of Audit Guidelines outlining the processes, principles that apply and minimum audit criteria to be used during electricity networks independent audits.
Audit guideline – Audit fundamentals, process and findings is relevant to the auditees and auditors for every audit undertaken. This will:
assist auditees in engaging auditors and preparing for audits, and
provide lead auditors and their teams with an understanding of IPART’s approach to third party audits.
Some editable documents to be used when engaging an auditor are found below:
Auditor nomination form (if auditor is not on our audit services panel)
Conflict of interest statement
Deed poll – Audit panel members
Tripartite audit deed – Non panel - nominated auditors
We have Audit Guidelines specific to each type of audit, which set out some more detail on expected expertise and criteria to be used in audits. These are to be used together with the Audit guideline – Audit fundamentals, process and findings for any audit undertaken for IPART.
Audit guideline – Electricity networks safety management systems
Audit guideline – Distribution reliability and performance licence conditions
Audit guideline – Critical infrastructure licence conditions
Audit guideline – Employment Guarantees
Audit guideline – Compliance with the NSW Code of Practice
Audit guideline – Transmission reliability standard
We review our Audit Guidelines from time to time
From time to time we review the Audit Guidelines and consult on the changes. We will publish the document and seek submissions.
The Audit Services Panel
All auditors must be approved by IPART before undertaking an independent audit. IPART has established an Audit Services Panel to assist auditors and networks to find suitable engagements. This panel is updated from time to time as auditors join or leave the panel.
Instructions to join the Audit Services Panel
If you wish to join the Panel, the following documents will assist you. Applications may be submitted to IPART at any time and appointments will be reviewed periodically.
Fact Sheet – Join the Technical and Audit Service Panel
Instructions for applying
Application Form – PART A
Application Form – PART B
Audit Services Panel Agreement