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The audit was conducted in response to a November 2000 resolution of the Senate that the Auditor-General examine all expenditures and entitlements accruing to Parliamentarians in 1999-2000. The objectives of the audit were to:
provide assurance to the Parliament regarding the administration by Finance, the chamber departments and the portfolio departments of all expenditures and entitlements accruing to Parliamentarians, including Ministers, in 1999-2000;
assess the administrative and control structures governing expenditures and entitlements accruing to Parliamentarians and Ministers in 1999-2000; and
identify opportunities to improve the current framework.
The audit focused on the sale of properties from that portion of the domestic property estate managed by the Department of Finance and Administration and identified for sale via a three year divestment strategy of the Commercial Office Estate by Government in April 1997. The audit sought to assess the effectiveness of the management of the sales process for selected property sales, including the extent to which the Government's sale objectives have been achieved; review the long-term sale and leaseback arrangements for selected divested properties and whether they adequately protect the Commonwealth's interests; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved administrative arrangements for future property sales.
Taxation rulings are a key mechanism used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to disseminate the Commissioner of Taxation's interpretative advice on Australian taxation law. The objective of the audit was to:
report to Parliament on the operation of the ATO's administration of taxation rulings (public, private and oral rulings); and where appropriate, make recommendations for improvements, having regard to considerations of: efficiency and effectiveness of the ATO's administration of the rulings system, particularly in relation to the achievement of the objectives set by Parliament for the rulings system; the ATO's systems' capacity to deliver consistency and fairness for taxpayers; and good corporate governance, including the control framework.
Allegations were made to the Senate Economics References Committee that the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Customs Service (Customs) had failed to pursue several cases of detected sales tax fraud. The Committee believed that this alleged failure may have stemmed from coordination problems between the two agencies. The Committee requested the Auditor-General to investigate this matter and report his findings to the Parliament.
The objective was to assess the extent to which staff reductions have been managed in a sound strategic and cost-effective manner consistent with the Government's guidelines and the ANAO's 1996 better practice guide Managing APS Staff Reductions. The audit focussed on 3 agencies - the Australian Taxation Office, the former Department of Primary Industry and Energy, and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development. The ANAO found that the majority of staff reductions were achieved through retrenchment rather than natural attrition; and that decisions on the number of retrenchments were not always supported by an assessment of the impact of the reductions on the agencies' abilities to conduct their business.
The sale of leases for the 14 Phase 2 Federal airports was completed by 30 June 1998, in accordance with the Government's timetable. This represented a significant achievement given that it constituted the largest completed airport trade sales program in the world to that date and achieved the Government's sales objectives.
The objectives of the audit were to form an opinion on the management of Commonwealth agencies' compliance with the Commonwealth's energy efficiency requirements and to identify areas for better practice in energy management. The audit focussed on:
the implementation of the Energy Policy by Commonwealth Agencies; promulgation and coordination of energy use targets;
energy and associated reporting by Commonwealth agencies;
identification, examination and analysis of systemic and procedural impediments to achieving the Energy Policy; and
development and discussion of ways to address these impediments.
Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have informal and formal complaint mechanisms available to them to address grievances. Initially, members are advised to seek resolution of their complaint at the lowest possible level, through the normal command channels and administrative arrangements. A member who is not satisfied that a complaint has been resolved in this manner may use the Redress of Grievance (ROG) system to submit a formal complaint to the commanding officer of the member's unit. The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether the ROG system could be refined to improve the efficiency and timeliness of processing of complaints while preserving the equity and transparency the current system provides.The Redress of Grievance system is clearly time-consuming and resource intensive. Some grievances have taken as long as four years to resolve. Some could be resolved by administrative means rather than through recourse to grievance processes. The system contains various inefficiencies that detract from its cost-effectiveness from the viewpoint of the ADF and individual members. In addition many members are unaware of the system or do not have a high level of confidence in its effectiveness.
The audit is a follow-up to Audit Report 12, 1995-96 Risk Management by Commonwealth Consumer Product Safety Regulators. The objectives of this follow-up audit were to determine the extent to which ANZFA had implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the 1995 Audit Report, and to determine the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving food safety regulation.
The audit reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence's management of Naval Aviation Force (NAF) in achieving its required capability within budgeted resources. The objectives of the audit were to assess whether planning, management and resource allocation mechanisms and practices for NAF were conducive to achieving the latter's objectives in a cost-effective manner.