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The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the department's administration of general recurrent grants paid to the States and Territories for government schools. To achieve this, the ANAO assessed whether the department:
paid the correct amount of general recurrent grants to the States and Territories;
effectively managed the agreements with the States and Territories; and
monitored progress towards achieving the National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century.
The objective of this follow-up audit is to examine DEEWR's implementation of the six recommendations made in the ANAO's 2003 report. This audit has had regard to the issues underlying the recommendations, and new administrative issues affecting their implementation.
The objective of the audit was to review the effectiveness of the department's administration of the PSPI. To achieve this, the ANAO considered the department's program planning and design, service delivery arrangements and monitoring, review and reporting activities. The decision which resulted in the replacement of ASSPA with PSPI was a policy decision of the Government and, thus, was beyond the scope of this audit.
The audit objective was to assess how four key departments: Education, Science and Training (DEST); Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR); Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA); and Health and Ageing (DoHA) are implementing the Government's policy objective for Indigenous service delivery.
The audit objective was to form an opinion on the effectiveness of DEST's planning, assessment, and Funding Agreements management for the Australian Technical Colleges programme. At the time of the audit fieldwork (prior to the 2007–08 Budget) the Government had announced the establishment of 21 of the then target of 25 colleges. After fieldwork was completed the Government announced its intention to fund an additional three colleges in three new regions.
The criteria for this audit were designed to test whether DEST's management of the programme complied with its plans, procedures and guidelines, with the Act, and better practices for grants administration. For these purposes, the ANAO focused on DEST's:
planning for the implementation of the programme;
assessment of proposals to establish and operate the colleges; and
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of procedures and processes used by DEST and the ATO to record HECS–HELP student loans. To achieve this, the ANAO assessed the performance of DEST and the ATO against three criteria as follows:
DEST monitored student contributions set by higher education providers for consistency with Australian Government policy;
DEST paid HECS–HELP advance payments to higher education providers based on sound estimates, and recorded, reconciled and reported these payments; and
the ATO has established procedures and processes to correctly record HECS–HELP loans against student tax records.
whether FaCSIA has effectively administered the distribution of funding for the Local Answers, VSEG, Reconnect and Minor Capital Upgrade programmes, including promoting the relevant schemes to potential applicants, developing application forms, handling and appraising applications, selecting recipients and making grant announcements;
the pattern of approvals of grants to States/Territories and to electorates held by the Government and Opposition parties under the Local Answers and VSEG programmes; and
whether FaCSIA administered eight one-off grants to community organisations provided as a result of Government commitments during the 2004 Federal Election campaign in line with relevant legislation and guidelines.
The objective of the audit was to assess the application of the outcomes and outputs framework in Australian Government agencies. The audit included a review of:
the outcomes and outputs of agencies and the integration of the outcomes and outputs framework into agencies' operations;
the extent to which agencies' performance indicators incorporated better practice characteristics to enable agencies to meet their performance reporting obligations;
agencies' processes for capturing, monitoring and reporting financial and performance information and the extent to which outcomes and outputs information was used in agency decision-making; and
the extent that agencies met their external reporting and accountability obligations.
The audit consisted of a survey of 44 agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) undertaken in October 2005 and detailed audit testing in three of those agencies. The purpose of the survey was to provide cross-agency data in relation to agencies' implementation of the framework during the period 2002–03 to 2005–06. The ANAO received responses from all 44 agencies, although not all agencies responded to all questions. The ANAO did not audit the information provided by survey participants and the reported results are based on agencies' responses to the survey.
The agencies at which detailed audit testing was undertaken were:
Department of Education Science and Training;
the then Department of the Environment and Heritage; and