The Auditor-General Annual Report 2010-2011

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OTHER MANAGEMENT ISSUES

We undertake a range of other management activities and services in support of our primary audit functions.

Major competitive tendering and contracting activities

All tenders and contractual arrangements are carried out in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and contracts are subject to evaluation. Our procedures are designed to meet our business needs and achieve value for money for the Australian Government.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website (www.tenders.gov.au).

During 2010–11, 34 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $0.830 million (including GST). In addition, 27 ongoing consultancy contracts were active, involving a total actual expenditure of $0.705 million (including GST).

More detailed information on consultancy services is set out in Appendix 6.

Major competitive tendering and contracting activities in 2010–11 included the following.

  • Major financial statement audits—We contracted firms to assist with a number of financial statement audits. The major financial statement audits included in this period were for NBN Co (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Comcare (Ernst & Young), Australian Federal Police (Moore Stephens) and CSIRO (KPMG).
  • Information Technology—The main contracts let for the period were for the redevelopment of the website (Reading Room), the test server environment (Unisys) and the finance system upgrade (Technology One).

Freedom of information

The Auditor-General Act 1997 provides the Auditor-General with an exemption from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2010. Performance audits, assurance reviews and audit opinions are tabled in the Parliament and/or published on our website.

Service charter

The ANAO does not have a service charter, as we do not provide a direct service to members of the public. However, we recognise that we provide a service to the community through our audit reports and publications such as better practice guides.

Grant programs

The ANAO does not administer any grant programs.

Disability reporting

Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. Those reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, departments and agencies are no longer required to report on those functions.

Assets management

The ANAO assets management policy is set out in the Auditor-General’s Instructions and supporting procedural rules. High-value assets are subject to whole-of-life management, including formal tendering for acquisition, scheduled maintenance, and detailed accounting of disposal or return at the end of the useful life of the asset. Our assets management practices are designed to protect the interests of the Australian Government.

Purchasing policies and procedures

Our procurement guidelines are set out in the Auditor-General’s Instructions and supporting procedural rules, which are derived directly from the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. All purchasing is bound by the procedural rules under the underlying principle of value for money and is routinely the subject of internal audit. In addition, all contractual performance is subject to evaluation. Our procurement practices are designed to protect the interests of the Australian Government.

Emergency and business continuity plans

We have a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan. We reviewed and made improvements to the plan in April 2011. The arrangements in the Business Continuity Plan were assessed in the 2011 Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey and were awarded an above-average score of 7.9 against an average of 6.3 for the 134 participating agencies.

Advertising and market research

The ANAO has not undertaken media advertising campaigns and therefore did not make any payments to advertising agencies. Payments over $11,200 (inclusive of GST) to market research organisations and media advertising organisations, incurred in the course of audit and assurance reviews, are set out in Appendix 7. The ANAO did not make any payments to direct mail organisations or polling organisations.