Our staff add value to public sector effectiveness and the independent assurance of public sector administration and accountability, applying our professional and technical leadership to have a real impact on real issues.
The audit examined the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd's management of the residential aged care accreditation process. The audit focused on the Agency's implementation of a process to meet its legislative responsibilities, its business operations, people management, budgeting practices, use of information, and its quality assurance processes.
The audit examined whether the Department of Health and Ageing had the performance information necessary to administer the Australian Health Care Agreements. A strong focus of the audit was accountability for performance given the significant size of Commonwealth financial assistance, more than $29.6 billion over 5 years, provided to the States and Territories for the provision of health care services.
The audit reviewed the extent to which the Department of Health and Ageing (Health) had implemented the recommendations of Audit Report No. 13 of 1998-1999, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program, taking account of any changed circumstances or new administrative issues identified as impacting the implementation of these recommendations.
The audit reviewed the effectiveness of HIC's approach to customer service delivery to the Australian public as customers of Medicare. The primary issues examined were whether: . HIC manages its customer service delivery performance effectively;
HIC's approach to people management adequately supports customer service delivery;
HIC obtains adequate information from customers on their needs, expectations, and perceptions of HIC's service delivery; and
HIC provides adequate information to customers on its services and on the service standards that customers should expect.
The audit examined the administrative effectiveness of arrangements between Health and HIC, in relation to the management and administration of the Medicare Benefits Scheme and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Health predominantly exercises a policy and leadership role within the health portfolio - HIC delivers a range of health services directly to the public and members of the health industry. Both agencies have stated that they recognise the importance of working together, as partners in their respective roles, to maximise their performance in the achievement of health portfolio outcomes and to discharge their respective responsibilities. This joint commitment is embodied in a written agreement - called the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).
The overall objective of the audit was to determine whether Health's management and operation of selected IT systems:
met industry better practice;
met quality and service delivery parameters set by Health and, if applicable, by the Government; and
operate effectively, efficiently and economically.
The audit applied selected processes from CobiT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) to assist with the assessment of key aspects of Health's management and operation of IT. The audit builds on ANAO's earlier IT audits using CobiT.
The ANAO concluded that DHAC's administration of the National Cervical Screening Program is generally sound. The ANAO found that the department has a key role in the Program by providing secretariat services and other support to the NAC, which provides policy advice to AHMAC, and by supporting initiatives to further develop the Program. Some areas of DHAC's administration of the Program provide examples of good practice. Related examples are the early identification of the need to monitor the Program, the early identification of possible data sources for monitoring, and the use of an independent body to provide advice, through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on performance indicators and data sources. A further example is DHAC's administration of the provision of cervical screening funding assistance to the States and Territories through Public Health Outcome Funding Agreements, which complies with the principles for sound Specific Purpose Payments program administration advocated by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in their Report 362. On the other hand, the ANAO has identified areas for improvement in quality assurance for the analysis of Pap smears by pathology laboratories.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of HIC's IT systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether HIC could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of balances for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether HIC's IT systems' outputs met quality and service delivery targets.
The objective of the audit was to assess the framework and systems that DHAC has in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The ANAO concluded that DHAC had taken appropriate steps to protect Commonwealth resources under its administration from fraudulent misappropriation by developing a sound fraud control framework, the effectiveness of which is illustrated by the relatively low incidence of reported fraud in the department over the last few years. The framework also includes key elements for preventing and dealing with fraud in line with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Policy.
The follow-up audit, Drug Evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA], reviewed the extent to which TGA had implemented recommendations made by the ANAO in 1996 on the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of TGA's evaluation and approval of prescription drugs for public use. This follow-up audit was conducted because of the importance of effective drug evaluation processes to public health.