The first annual audit of water brokers who use the Water Register’s Broker Portal to lodge allocation trades online has been completed with positive results.

The Broker Portal was established in November 2013. Since then, more than 15 brokers have entered into an agreement with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) to use the portal.

The portal allows brokers to lodge allocation trades online on behalf of their customers at a reduced cost, with near-instant results in most cases. More than 50% of all allocation trades completed in Victoria are now lodged through the portal with over 6,000 trades submitted successfully since it was launched.

The audit

RSM Bird Cameron, on behalf of the Department, conducted the audit to ensure that all brokers using the portal are complying with the Water Register Interface Access Agreement and its Common Rules.

This involved site visits to all active authorised brokers throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia between May and June this year. A representative sample of more than 800 transactions were tested, as well as other checks such as the storage of sensitive information and investigation of broker’s knowledge of their responsibilities to both their clients and DEPI.

Positive results

RSM Bird Cameron did not find anything to suggest that the overall control environment surrounding the portal is inadequate.

However, there were some recommendations about how to further refine the rules in place for brokers and improve the overall performance of the system.

The Department has been in contact with each broker to address any short comings found in the audit. The audit will be done each year to make sure that brokers continue to comply with the Access Agreement and Common Rules.