Year & Event
Establishment Of Audit Office (Straits Settlements)
The Audit Office of the Straits Settlements was established by the British
colonial government in 1867. This was the year that the Straits Settlements
were made a Crown Colony of the British Empire.
Birth of the Singapore Audit Office
The Auditor-General’s Offices of the Straits Settlements and the Federated
Malay States were merged into a single department, the “Audit Department”.
A Singapore Audit Office (later renamed the “Audit Department”) was established
under the charge of a Deputy Auditor, who was subordinate to the Auditor-General
in Kuala Lumpur.
Enactment of Audit Ordinance
The official standing of the Audit Department was enhanced with the enactment
of an Audit Ordinance which formally gave the Director of Audit the legal
authority to carry out his duties.
Administration Under The Federation Of Malaysia
In 1963, Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak signed the Malaysia Agreement
in London to form the Federation of Malaysia. The Singapore Audit Department
became a branch of the Malaysian Audit Department under the Auditor-General
Singapore Audit Department came under Singapore Government’s authority
after Singapore gained independence.
Enactment Of The Audit Act
Singapore Parliament passed the Audit Act to re-enact the 1959 Audit Ordinance
that lapsed when Singapore became part of Malaysia. The Act stipulated
the responsibilities of the Director of Audit and safeguarded the Director
of Audit’s terms of service to allow him to carry out his work objectively
and autonomously, without fear or favour.
Re-Designation Of Director Of Audit As Auditor-General
The Director of Audit was re-designated Auditor-General in 1970.
Renaming The Audit Department
The Audit Department was renamed the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) in
Constitutional Amendment And AGO’s Enlarged Role
The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore was amended to empower the
President to veto government’s use of national reserves as well as appointments
to vital public sector positions – including that of the Auditor-General.
Along with these changes, the terms of appointment and duties of the Auditor-General
were also enshrined in the Constitution. The Constitution also imposed
on the Auditor-General the additional duty of informing the President of
any proposed transaction of the Government which is likely to draw on the
reserves of the Government which were not accumulated by the Government
during its current term of office.
Amendment To Audit Act
The Audit Act was amended in 2017 to allow the Minister for Finance to
direct AGO to conduct "follow-the-dollar" audits. The amendment also provided
powers of search and seizure, including within non-government entity premises
in relation to "follow-the-dollar" audits.