The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised Victorian Water Agencies of the 2019 – 2020 Risk Management Plan audit period. Water businesses are required to complete the audit by 31 May 2020. The auditable period is from 21 March 2018 until the date of the audit. The Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 Risk Management Plan Regulatory Audit - Guidance Information (2017) has not changed and is applicable to this audit period. As yet, DHHS has not scheduled an auditor briefing session and preliminary advice is to forward any queries to DHHS in the meantime. Water agencies are encouraged to be prepared and commence engaging with auditors.
Auditors must be approved by DHHS to undertake the audit. Section 12(3) of the Act requires that auditors submit a copy of the certificate stating any non-compliant outcome to the department within five days of completing the audit. Audit certificates from audits resulting in a compliant outcome must be sent to the department within 14 days of completing the audit. This is documented in the auditor’s conditions of approval. Auditors should note that these timeframes are bound by the Act; granting of time extensions is not possible. Where an audit certificate is not submitted by the required due date, the water agency is at risk of non-compliance.