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Audit and assurance

Auditing and assurance review is a critical tool for the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) in encouraging and monitoring compliance with the Basin Plan.

The MDBA has a broad audit function with significant information gathering, inspection and investigation powers under the Water Act and the Basin Plan. The MDBA will undertake and publish its own monitoring, auditing and, if required, undertake investigations to provide the community with confidence that Basin Plan reporting is accurate and implementation is on track.

Audits and investigations may be undertaken as part of the annual work program, or may be instigated in response to a specific incident or intelligence received.


Audit and Assurance Annual Work Program
Audit and assurance annual work program 2020–21

The annual work program sets out the audit and assurance activities the MDBA is planning to undertake in the 2020–21 water year. The audit and assurance work program is consistent with the MDBA’s 2020–21 annual compliance priorities and is an important element of the MDBA’s broader program to monitor Basin Plan implementation and compliance.

Metering reviews

In 2019, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority conducted a number of reviews to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of metering and monitoring processes for water licence holders across the Basin.

These reviews were of specific regions where there was a wide variance in geographies and State legislation relating to how water use is currently managed. For these reasons, care should be taken when comparing findings and recommendations across the reviews conducted.

Victorian Lower Murray Metering Review
Lower Murrumbidgee Metering Review
2019 Water trade price reporting audit

During 2018–19, the MDBA conducted a two-part audit of water trade price reporting. This first part of the audit assessed the effectiveness of the processes and procedures of each Basin state to collect, validate, record and report accurate water trade pricing information for the water year 2017-18. The second part of the audit assessed water traders’ compliance with the requirement to report accurate price information to their relevant approval authority in accordance with s12.48 of the Basin Plan.

Trade Price Audit Overview
Part 1 – MDBA audit of Basin states’ processes
Part 2 – Independent assurance report of individual trades
Summary of Part 2 Independent assurance report of individual trades
Response to recommendations from Trade Price Audit
Northern Rivers Connectivity Event Review
The MDBA and the Natural Resources Access Regulator reviewed the effectiveness of governance and management arrangements, operational activities, compliance processes and procedures to ensure compliance.
Updated: 30 Jul 2021  •   MDBA reports