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This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Attorney-General’s Department in promoting the revised Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and the extent to which selected entities are meeting its core requirements.
The Attorney-General has overall policy responsibility for Australian Government protective security arrangements, while accountable authorities are responsible for protective security arrangements within their own organisations. The PSPF assists entities to protect their people, information and assets at home and overseas by providing policy, guidance and better practice advice for governance, personnel, physical and information security.
In 2015, the Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation (the Belcher review) identified the PSPF as an opportunity for reform and red tape reduction. The review recommended a shift from the existing compliance framework underpinned by risk management principles, to a principles-based approach. The new PSPF policy aims to reduce the administrative burden of compliance and to support entities to better engage with risks relevant to their functions. Entities are required to review their policies, procedures and templates and consider whether any changes are necessary to implement core requirements.
This audit would assess the management of interests, information, gifts, regulatory activities, internal controls and credit cards at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, including direction and oversight by accountable authorities.
This audit would assess the effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission’s regulatory functions.
The commission was established in 2018 and is responsible for implementing the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The framework is designed to provide a nationally consistent approach to help empower and support NDIS participants to exercise choice and control, while ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place and establishing expectations for providers and their staff to deliver high-quality support. From July 2019, the commission has been responsible for NDIS provider registration, complaints, serious incident notification, oversight of restrictive practices, and investigation and enforcement.
This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA’s) operations. ASQA is the national regulator for the vocational education and training sector in all states and territories except Western Australia and Victoria, where its remit is limited to courses taught nationally from registered training organisations in these jurisdictions. In 2019–20, ASQA had a budget of $55 million.
Recent reviews of ASQA have identified scope for the authority to improve its use of regulatory powers. The audit would assess how effectively ASQA manages its functions and operations to achieve its aim of ensuring that the sector’s quality is maintained through effective regulation.
This follow-on audit would examine the effectiveness of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA’s) regulation of permits and approvals within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, including the implementation of recommendations of Auditor-General Report No. 3 2015–16Regulation of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Permits and Approvals.
The 2015–16 audit noted that ‘identified shortcomings in GBRMPA’s regulatory processes, and more particularly, its regulatory practices, have undermined the effectiveness of the permitting system as a means of managing risks to the Marine Park.’ GBRMPA agreed to the report’s five recommendations ‘to strengthen the: processing of permit applications; rigour of the permit application assessment and decision-making processes; effectiveness of permit conditions; effectiveness of permit compliance monitoring; and response to instances of non-compliance.’
This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) activities in addressing superannuation guarantee noncompliance, including the extent to which the ATO has implemented the recommendations made by the ANAO in Auditor-General Report No. 39 2014–15Promoting Compliance with Superannuation Guarantee Obligations, and the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry report Superbad — Wage theft and non-compliance of the Superannuation Guarantee, tabled in May 2017.
In December 2017, the Australian Government announced that it will provide the ATO with $20.9 million over four years from 2017–18 to establish a Superannuation Guarantee Compliance Taskforce to address noncompliance and safeguard employees’ superannuation guarantee entitlements. The taskforce aims to improve the ATO’s capacity to proactively monitor and take action to improve employer compliance with superannuation guarantee obligations.