Charles Cerutty

Charles John Cerutty CMG (25 November 1870  19 January 1941) was a senior Australian public servant. He was Commonwealth Auditor-General between 1926 and 1935.

Charles Cerutty

Commonwealth Auditor-General
In office
4 June 1926  22 November 1935
Personal details
Charles John Cerutty

(1870-11-25)25 November 1870
Sale, Victoria
Died19 January 1941(1941-01-19) (aged 70)
Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australian
OccupationPublic servant

Life and career

Cerutty was born in Sale, Victoria on 25 November 1870.[1]

Cerutty entered the Victorian Public Service in 1888, and was transferred to the Commonwealth Public Service in 1901, the year of Federation.[2] His first Commonwealth position was as a sub-accountant in the Department of the Treasury.[3]

In June 1926, Cerutty was appointed the Commonwealth Auditor-General. He delivered his final audit report in October 1935.[4] During his time as Auditor-General, he was outspoken often—particularly in regard to accounting methods, and the increasing funds spent on the old-age and invalid pension systems.[4] Following his final report, strong representations were made by some Members of Parliament that his furlough pay should be cancelled in punishment.[5] Cerutty declined to withdraw his report, stating that he had a job to do and had merely placed the facts before all concerned.[6]

During his tenure as Auditor-General, Cerutty strongly opposed the move of his office from Melbourne to Sydney, arguing that its work would be less efficient and economical to carry out from Canberra.[7]

Cerutty died in Caulfield, Melbourne on 19 January 1941.[8]


Cerutty was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1927.[9]


  1. Stewart, Elizabeth, "Cerutty, Charles John (1870–1941)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University, archived from the original on 23 August 2015
  2. "Mr. Charles John Cerutty". Advocate. Burnie, Tasmania. 4 July 1928. p. 2.
  3. National Portrait Gallery, Charles John Cerutty CMG 1870 – 1941, archived from the original on 23 August 2015
  4. "The Auditor-General: Mr Cerutty's Final Report". The Central Queensland Herald. 28 November 1935. p. 8.
  5. "Federal Auditor-General: Disciplining Mr. Cerutty". Kalgoorlie Miner. 19 November 1935. p. 1.
  6. "Mr. Cerutty declines to withdraw". Recorder. Port Pirie, South Australia. 16 November 1935. p. 1.
  7. "Auditor-General's office: Removal to Canberra: Opposed by Mr. Cerutty". The Argus. Melbourne, Victoria. 23 November 1935. p. 24.
  8. "Mr. C. J. Cerutty dies: Former Auditor General: Fearless critic of Government policy". The Canberra Times. 21 January 1941. p. 2.
  9. "Search Australian Honours, Name: CERUTTY, James John, Award: The Order of St Michael and St George - Companion",, Australian Government, archived from the original on 23 August 2015
Government offices
Preceded by
John William Israel
Commonwealth Auditor-General
1926 – 1935
Succeeded by
Herbert Charles Brown
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