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An assurance review may be initiated on the basis of information obtained in the course of performing an Auditor-General function or in response to requests from stakeholders, including parliamentarians, parliamentary committees, a resolution agreed to by the Senate, community groups and members of the public.
Assurance reviews are conducted under section 19A(1) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 (the Act) and in accordance with the Australian Standard on Assurance Engagements (ASAE) 3000 Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, which forms part of the ANAO Auditing Standards.
Once relevant inquiries have been concluded by the ANAO, the findings from an assurance review may be handled through the issuing of correspondence, with the relevant correspondence published under requests for audit, or the review report may be presented to the Parliament for tabling under section 25 of the Act. Following their tabling, assurance review reports are published here.
The Auditor-General undertook a limited assurance review of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ assessment of the performance of New South Wales under the National Partnership Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin relevant to the protection and use of environmental water for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 financial years.
The Auditor-General undertook a limited assurance engagement of the Department of Finance’s management of the lease between the Commonwealth of Australia and the New South Wales Rifle Association over the Malabar Headland. The limited assurance engagement examined whether the management was, in all material respects, in accordance with the Commonwealth Property Management Framework.
This review would examine the Department of Employment’s reporting of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery program’s performance.
Under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery program, the department provides funding to liquidators to pursue recovery efforts (including court proceedings) against insolvent companies. The program commenced, as a pilot, on 1 July 2015. The Government subsequently announced that, from 1 January 2017, the program would continue and be expanded. In 2017–18, the program has a budget of $47 million over four years. The Government has estimated that the recovery program will achieve additional Fair Entitlements Guarantee recoveries of $165.7 million over four years.
This review would examine the arrangements to support development of Regional Australia Impact Statements (RAIS) as part of the Cabinet submission process. This review would provide assurance that Government is receiving complete and accurate assessments of the effects of policy proposals on regional Australia.
Australian Government policy proposals that have the potential to impact regional Australia, either positively or negatively, must include a RAIS. The intent of the RAIS is to ensure regional impacts are made visible to ministers as part of the decision-making process. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is responsible for supporting entities to analyse the regional impacts of their policy proposals and to develop these statements.
This review would examine the extent to which the recommendations made in ANAO Audit Report No. 22 of 2011–12, Administration of the Gateway Review Process, have been implemented, and the timeliness of implementation action.
The Gateway Review Process aims to improve delivery and implementation of large and complex policies, projects and services, while building the Australian Public Service’s capability to deliver and implement government programs and projects. It involves a series of short, intensive reviews at critical points across a proposal’s implementation life cycle.
ANAO Audit Report No. 22 of 2011–12 concluded that, overall, the Gateway Review Process has been effectively implemented within the Australian Government. The audit report made five recommendations to improve the administration of, and benefits gained from, the Gateway Review Process. All recommendations were agreed to by the responding entities.