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The focus of the audit was to examine recent selected property sales within the portfolios owning the majority of Commonwealth property, ie. those of Defence, Administrative Services and Veterans' Affairs. The approach taken in the audit was to select property sales from each of the three agencies and review the files and transactions related to those sales. The sales were evaluated against criteria which included establishment of sales timetables, sales methods, and completion processes such as the criteria for the selection of tenders and accountability. The objectives of the audit were to assess departments' management of the sale process associated with selected property sales with regard to:
the extent to which the individual property sale objectives were achieved;
how departments managed the sales to ensure that the Commonwealth received fair value;
whether the departments' sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and
identifying principles of better practice employed by agencies in connection with these sales.
The objective of the audit was to assess the workforce planning systems used by the Australian Defence Force with a view to identifying better practice and making recommendations where appropriate to promote overall effectiveness of planning systems. The main issues were the management of the workforce planning function and determination of workforce requirements. The audit concentrated on the full-time military workforce, but also included the issue of the flexibility for military units to employ reserves or civilians where appropriate.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative arrangements for the provision of food to the Australian Defence Force and identify possible areas for improvement. The audit criteria addressed the adequacy of policy guidance, planning, performance information and risk management in all areas of ADF food provisioning.
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No.8 1992-93, Compensation Pensions to Veterans and War Widows and Audit Report No. 15 1994-95, Follow-up of an Efficiency Audit on Compensation Pensions to Veterans and War Widows. This audit examined the performance of the Compensation sub-program operations in order to ascertain the impact of previous audit reports and to recommend areas that could be further improved.
The purpose of the audit was to examine the environmental management mechanisms in place across some of the major Commonwealth land management and oversighting entities. In particular, the audit examined Commonwealth environmental management practices to identify current strengths and weaknesses, and provide a framework and direction for the adoption of better practice and continuous improvement. The audit has not been designed to judge past Commonwealth performance using current environmental standards and practices. Rather, the audit focused on encouraging the development of better practice by illustrating the implications and lessons learned from past and present practices.
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; Department of Defence; Department of Transport and Regional Development; Department of Administrative Services; Department of Environment, Sport and Territories
The objective of the audit was to assess the performance of the Department's management of the project in the light of accepted project management techniques, including risk management. An important part of the audit was to derive lessons to be learnt and recommendations that could be applied to the remainder of the project and to other large Defence projects.
The Department of Defence is responsible for administering the Defence export facilitation program which is aimed at promoting Australian defence-relevant exports. The Department administers the program in cooperation with AUSTRADE. Defence is also responsible for administering export controls on defence and related goods and dual-use goods. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for controls on chemical and biological weapons precursors. The Department of Primary Industries and Energy is responsible for controls on nuclear-specific technology and source/fissionable material. The Australian Customs Service implements barrier controls at ports and airports. In September 1993 the then Minister for Trade referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) an inquiry into the implications of Australian defence exports. The JSCFADT's Report on the Implications of Australian Defence Exports (September 1994) recommended, inter alia, that the Auditor-General conduct a performance audit of the operations of the guidelines concerning the controls on the export of defence and related goods, the export control process, and all export facilitation activities. The Auditor-General agreed to undertake an audit, which commenced in May 1995 as a preliminary study and was designated as a performance audit on 30 August 1995.
The primary objectives of the ANAO preliminary study were to gain an understanding of the concepts and associated processes used in the management of preparedness. This included the methodology for translating the Government's strategic guidance into military capability; the processes by which the Services translate preparedness directives into operational requirements; and how Headquarters ADF (HQADF) and the three Service Offices assure themselves that units can satisfy the requirements of preparedness directives.
Within the scope of this preliminary study the ANAO did not attempt to form a conclusion regarding the current ability of the ADF to satisfy the roles set by Government in strategic guidance; that is, its actual state of preparedness. It was important first to obtain a good understanding of the concepts and associated methodology used by Defence in managing preparedness.
The objectives of this audit were to assess planning, management, conduct and staffing of internal audit in the Department of Defence, with a view to providing assurance as to the standard of its work. Opportunities were taken to identify specific policies and practices that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of MAB audit. Fieldwork for the ANAO audit was performed between May and August 1995.
Audit Report No.5 1993-94, Explosive Ordnance, Department of Defence, was tabled in the Parliament in September 1993. The report was structured in three parts. The first part covered explosive ordnance (EO) issues common to all three Services; the second part focused on the management of explosive ordnance by the Navy; and the third part was a follow-up of the 1987 audit report on Air Force explosive ordnance. The report made 39 recommendations. Defence agreed to implement most of them.
It was considered timely to undertake a follow-up audit into key issues of the recommendations contained in the audit report, given the elapsed time since the report was tabled and the issues associated with public safety.
The purpose of the audit was to ascertain the extent to which financial management arrangements helped the department to achieve its objectives and the way that these could be improved in the light of the department's management reforms generally.
Elements of the Financial Management Improvement Program, and the accrual reporting framework, were at an evolutionary stage in the department. The audit therefore focused on quite fundamental financial management issues, including:
the ability of financial management systems to provide information that was timely, accurate and relevant to the needs of management and other users; and
the extent of coordination and control of financial management across departmental programs and between National and State Offices.