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.
Aviation traffic data plays an important role in informing decisions about the safety of the airways system, including such matters as the need for navigation facilities, communication links, air traffic control towers and rescue/fire fighting services. The objective of the limited scope audit was to examine the accuracy of the data on air traffic movements collected by Airservices Australia.
The audit reviewed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's administration of consular services. It focussed on DFAT's travel advice to alert Australians to potential travel risks; case management systems to record and monitor action on more complex consular cases; performance information for the management of consular services; and contingency planning for major consular incidents. The audit also reviewed action taken by DFAT and other agencies to implement the recommendations of a 1997 Senate Committee report on consular services.
ANAO found that the actions taken by the Department during the course of the audit to update and improve the Notes on Administration and administrative processes, by commissioning various specialist studies and reviewing governance issues, has established a sound basis for ongoing effective management of the National Highway System. The Department advised ANAO that changes to the Notes on Administration reflect joint work done with the ANAO to identify where improvements could be made and incorporate not only suggestions and recommendations that the ANAO has made in the final report but also during the audit. ANAO considers that the comprehensive revision of the Notes on Administration undertaken by the Department should foster marked improvements in the management of the National Highway System.
The objectives of the audit were to: assess compliance with the Stevedoring Levy (Collection) Act 1998 and Stevedoring Levy (Imposition) Act 1998 and other relevant legislation; assess the effectiveness of the administrative and financial controls regarding the collection of the Stevedoring Levy by DoTRS and the provision of redundancy payments to eligible employees of stevedoring companies and the management of the funding of those payments by way of borrowings by MIFCo; and review the administrative efficiency of the redundancy payment and Stevedoring Levy collection aspects of the waterfront redundancy scheme.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.
The Commonwealth has significant foreign exchange risk exposures including $A8.4 billion of foreign currency transactions with the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1998-99. Under the Financial Management and Accountability Act and its associated Regulations, all agencies are required to assess and, where possible, manage, foreign exchange risk. The audit reviewed four agencies that have substantial foreign currency payment exposures namely:
the Department of Defence;
the Australian Agency for International Development;
the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and
the Department of Finance and Administration.
The objective of the audit was to identify and assess the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the management of foreign exchange risk across the selected agencies, also to identify opportunities to improve the management of foreign exchange risk, including any associated potential financial savings that could accrue to the Commonwealth.
The audit reviewed the operations of the Civil Aviation Authority (CASA), which has prime responsibility for regulating aviation safety in Australia. The audit objectives were to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management systems and procedures used by CASA to ensure compliance with regulatory controls by Air Operator's Certificate holders operating passenger-carrying aircraft within High Capacity Regular Public Transport; Low Capacity Regular Public Transport and charter industry sectors; and Certificate of Approval holders. Aviation safety compliance includes entry control, surveillance and enforcement.
The audit reviewed Australian Development Scholarships (ADS). ADS's are the principal mechanism by which Australia provides scholarship assistance for individuals from developing countries to undertake studies at Australian education institutions. The scholarships help to meet the human resource development needs of developing countries and contribute to their development across various sectors. Scholarships also have an important role in fostering and sustaining Australia's relations with developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The objective of the audit was to evaluate AusAID's management of the ADS scheme.
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.
Consistent with the ANAO's practices, and in response to a request from AusAID, a follow-up audit was conducted in the period May to November 1998 to assess the extent of implementation of the recommendations of a 1996 audit into the Management of Funding to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)and whether the implementation of recommendations has effectively improved the management of funding to NGOs. The ANAO examined AusAID's key funding accountability documentation, tested the revised accountability arrangements and consulted a number of key stakeholders, including NGO representatives.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of DoTRD's implementation of Annex 17 in the Australian aviation environment. The ANAO concluded that DoTRD has established a regulatory regime which ensures Australia's compliance with the standards embodied in Annex 17. However, there are areas where Australia's aviation security regime can be strengthened even further including; developing a more robust approach to risk management, developing a longer-term perspective to DoTRD's planning structure, development of proactive alliances with aviation regulators in neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region, further improvement of the airport audit process, development and implementation of an evaluation strategy, development of a formal transparent approach to enforcement.
The Australian Diplomatic Communications Network was developed to provide a secure communication and automation capability for domestic offices and overseas posts. The audit focussed on project management of the ADCNET project, and in particular:
how effectively the ADCNET project was managed;
how effectively project risks were managed; and
the extent to which project management processes have established whether ADCNET meets the specifications set by, and the expectations held by, DFAT, as well as any lessons to be learnt for this and other future projects.
The objectives in auditing the sale were to assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; review the efficiency of the management of the sale process; assess whether the sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved arrangements for future trade sales, particularly the later phases of airport sales.
assess the extent to which major program objectives were achieved;
identify major strengths and weaknesses related to the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of the program administration; and
identify areas of improvements and risks which should be addressed in arrangements with a private sector project manager.
Audit criteria were developed to address the areas of program planning and implementation, performance measurement and monitoring, responsiveness to emerging issues, dispute resolution mechanisms, risk management and program improvement measures.
The ANAO's audit aims were to: examine the efficiency and effectiveness of DFAT's human resource management; and identify good practice, which could position the Department, and other APS agencies, to maximise opportunities afforded by the Government's emerging public sector reform agenda. The audit addressed a range of issues including the effectiveness of HR planning and forecasting, staff selection and deployment, performance management, and the fostering of relevant skills and knowledge.
The audit examined the Commonwealth's management of the Building Better Cities Program to identify areas where improvement was needed and where lessons learned from BCP could be useful in other programs.
The objective of the audit was to review AusAID's management of funding to Non-Government Organisations, to assess whether:
the objectives of overseas development programs to be delivered by NGOs were clearly established;
funding mechanisms for the delivery of aid programs by NGOs were clearly defined, consistently applied, and in compliance with the law; and
whether AusAID could provide assurances that NGOs delivering development projects using Commonwealth monies are accountable for: proper expenditure of Commonwealth monies; the achievement of stated objectives; and the achievement of value for money.
The ANAO examined AusAID documentation on overseas development programs delivered by NGOs, looking particularly for clear objectives, performance measures, and evaluation mechanisms. Three levels of documentation were examined:
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