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The report summarises performance audit, financial statement audit and other related activities for the ANAO for the period July to December 2003. The key issues arising from performance audits tabled in this period are summarised against the ANAO themes. The report also summarises financial audits and other financial audit activities conducted by the ANAO during the period July to December 2003. It discusses significant issues such as the: consolidated financial statements and the final budget outcome; harmonisation of Australian Generally accepted accounting practices and Government Finance Statistics; adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards; timing for Financial Statements Preparation; and the audit of the CFS 2002-03.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess FaCS' management of the Internet portals for which it had responsibility as lead agency, www.youth.gov.au, www.community.gov.au, and www.families.gov.au. The ANAO also included in the audit a website directed towards youth. The source which provided many of the services expected of a portal. The audit considered governance structures for the portals; measurement of efficiency and effectiveness; and control factors, such as change management,security, and legal issues.
The audit examined aspects of financial management in the Health Insurance Commission (HIC). The audit objective was to examine the effectiveness of the HIC's internal control structures, as well as its financial management framework and processes, in order to form an opinion on their ability to support HIC Commissioners and managers to make informed decisions on the efficient and effective use of Commonwealth resources.
The audit examined agency approaches to the management of intellectual property under its control, and identified themes common to the management of all types of intellectual property. The audit objective was to:
(i) form an opinion on whether Commonwealth agencies have systems in place to efficiently, effectively and ethically manage their intellectual property assets; and
(ii) identify areas for better practice in intellectual property management by those agencies.
A Special Account is a mechanism used to record amounts in the Consolidated Revenue Fund that are set aside for specified purposes. A total of $3.40 billion was reported as held in Special Accounts as of 30 June 2003, with $10.33 billion reported as credited to Special Accounts in 2002-03 and $10.06 billion in reported payments (debits) from these Accounts. The audit examined the establishment, management and abolition of Special Accounts by Commonwealth agencies, as well as compliance with legal requirements
The audit sought to assess how well the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages aggressive tax planning. We did this by exploring the nature of aggressive tax planning and the ATO's approach to its management. In the latter context, we looked at:
the ATO's previous experience with aggressive tax planning and action on previous significant external reviews, particularly dealing with mass marketed investment schemes;
strategy and operations, intelligence gathering and use; and the identification and management of promoters given their significant role in aggressive tax planning.
Directly after the collapse of Ansett in September 2001, most of its estimated 15 000 employees faced the possibility of retrenchment The Government immediately announced the introduction of the Special Employee Entitlements Scheme for Ansett group employees (SEESA) to address two risks facing the employees:
the risk-to a certain limit - of a shortfall in their payments of accrued employee entitlements from Ansett and,
the risk of delay in their being paid.
The objective of the audit was to determine how efficiently and effectively the two key elements of SEESA were managed: DEWR's management of the mechanism for making SEESA payments and DOTARS' management of the associated Air Passenger Ticket Levy.
The objective of the audit was to assess the Australian Agency for International Development's (AusAid) planning for, and management of, the delivery of aid to East Timor. The audit examined Australia's emergency and humanitarian response following the crisis in East Timor in 1999; AusAID's post-crisis strategy for assisting East Timor; coordination with overseas donors; and financial contributions to multilateral reconstruction assistance. Australia's bilateral assistance, comprising shorter-term transitional assistance and medium-term development assistance, was also examined.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether the property management function, including the management of leases, was being performed efficiently and was providing an effective level of support for the delivery of the organisation's services (outputs). The audit evaluated property management policies and practices across the following dimensions:
planning and control;
business processes and practices; and
information and performance management.
Within each of these areas, a series of desirable proceses and controls (described as the evaluation criteria) were developed to assist in the assessment of each organisation's performance.
Australian Communications Authority; Australian Film, Television and Radio School; Civil Aviation Safety Authority; Department of Employment and Workplace Relations; National Library of Australia; Department of Finance and Administration
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) completed a performance audit of the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data in August 2000, titled The AustralianTaxation Office's Use of AUSTRAC Data, Audit Report No. 7 2000-2001. It found that the ATO had used AUSTRAC data to achieve a significant improvement in the collection of taxation revenue. The ANAO considered that the ATO could build on this success by using AUSTRAC data more effectively at both the strategic and operational levels. The audit made six recommendations. The ATO agreed with all recommendations. The objective of this follow-up performance audit was to assess the ATO's progress in implementing the recommendations of Audit Report No 7 2000-2001, The Australian Taxation Office's Use of AUSTRAC Data.
An ANAO audit of AQIS' cost-recovery systems was conducted in 2000-01 (Audit Report No 10, 2000-01), following a request from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). That audit aimed to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of AQIS' cost-recovery systems, and provide assurance to Parliament that cost-recoverable programs were identifying and recovering the full costs of services provided, without cross-subsidisation. The ANAO made six recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of AQIS cost-recovery systems. The JCPAA, at a subsequent hearing, made a further three recommendations. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AQIS' implementation of the ANAO and the JCPAA recommendations. The audit also aimed to determine whether implementation of these recommendations, or alternative actions taken to address the issues leading to the recommendations, had improved AQIS' management of its cost-recovery processes.
The objectives of the follow-up audit were to assess DFAT's implementation of the six recommendations made by the ANAO in the previous audit. It also sought to determine whether implementation of these recommendations, or alternative action, had improved DFAT's administration of consular services. The audit focused on management processes and supporting systems for the delivery of consular services. It also reviewed DFAT's implementation of recommendations of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee that were outstanding from the previous audit.
On 2 November 2000, the Senate agreed to a resolution that the Auditor-General be requested to review all expenditures and entitlements accruing to Parliamentarians and Ministers in 1999-2000. The resolution requested that the Auditor-General consider a number of specific matters, and report by 30 June 2001. In the course of that audit, examination of issues relating to Parliamentarians' staff was deferred in order to give the Auditor-General a reasonable chance of reporting reasonably close to the Senate's requested reporting timeframe. ANAO Audit Report No.5 2001-02, Parliamentarians' Entitlements: 1999-2000, was tabled in the Parliament in August 2001. A proposed audit of the administration by Finance of the entitlements of staff engaged under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act was included in the ANAO Audit Work Program for 2001-02. The objectives of this performance audit were to: review the effectiveness of the internal control structures in the Department of Finance and Administration (Finance) concerning the administration of entitlements for MOP(S) Act staff; review the effectiveness and efficiency of the procurement and support services Finance provides in relation to MOP(S) Act staff: and identify principles of sound administrative practices to facilitate improved administrative arrangements for the future. The audit covered Finance's administration of payments and services to MOP(S) Act staff during the period 1998-99 to 2001-02. Sub-section 15(c) of the Auditor General Act 1997 precludes an audit of persons who are engaged under the MOP(S) Act. Accordingly, the audit scope did not include examination of the responsibilities of MOP(S) Act staff.
The Survey of Fraud Control Arrangements in APS agencies was conducted to identify improvements made by agencies since the 1999 survey, and in response to the revised Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines released in May 2002. Its objective was to assess the key aspects of fraud control arrangements in place across the APS against the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002.
The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on ATSIS' management of the Law and Justice Program, having particular regard to the relative needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The audit focused primarily on how effectively ATSIS manages and delivers the provision of legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The audit was desgined to compelement but not to reproduce previous audit and other evaluation activity relevant to the Program.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess whether the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) and the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) were administering a number of grant programs that are designed to enhance telecommunications infrastructure and services in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia according to better practice. The audit was also aimed at determining whether DCITA had implemented the recommendations of an earlier audit of Networking the Nation.
Annual Performance Reporting, No 11 2003-04 The audit reviewed the 2001-02 annual reports of the departments of : Communications, Technology and the Arts; Education, Science and Training; Employment and Workplace Relations; Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and the Australian Customs Service. The objectives of this audit were to determine whether agencies had: established a sound annual reporting performance information framework; developed arrangements to ensure performance information is accurate and coherent; and appropriately analysed performance information in their annual reports.
As part of its 2001 inquiry into the recruitment and retention of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee reviewed Defence's contract with Manpower Services (Australia) Pty Ltd for trialling the outsourcing of recruiting services to the ADF. In its subsequent report, the Committee commented that the original contractual arrangements deserved further scrutiny by the ANAO. The objective of the audit was to examine Defence's management of the contractual arrangements for the provision of recruiting services to the ADF. In examining the management of the contract, the ANAO looked at the evaluations conducted at the end of each contractual phase, roles and responsibilities associated with ADF recruiting, and Defence's monitoring of contractual performance and management of risks associated with ADF recruiting.
The audit assessed whether Centrelink has effective Business Continuity Management and/or associated risk management procedures and plans in place that: minimise the likelihood of a significant business outage; and in the event of such an outage, minimise disruption of critical services to customers. The audit also assessed whether Centrelink services satisfy special community demands in times of emergency.
The audit is a follow-up of ANAO Audit Report No.33 of 1997-98, which assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commonwealth's management of the Great Barrier Reef and made seven recommendations for improvement. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is responsible for advising the Commonwealth on the care and developement of the Marine Park, has implemented the recommendations of the earlier audit.
The audit reviewed the recordkeeping frameworks of four large Commonwealth organisations. The objective of the audit was to assess whether recordkeeping policies, systems and procedures were in accordance with relevant Government policies, legislation, accepted standards and recordkeeping principles, and applicable organisational controls.
The audit reviewed APRA's regulation of approved Trustees and superannuation funds registered under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. The audit evaluated APRA's superannuation supervisory activities: and assessed the effectiveness of its supervision of superannuation entities. Particular attention was paid to the supervisory framework and the risk-based supervisory methodologies of APRA's frontline supervisory divisions.
This report relates to the fourth audit of Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies' compliance with the Order of the Senate for Departmental and Agency Contracts, (the Senate Order) to list, on the Internet, contract details for the reporting period 4 February 2002 to 3 February 2003. The audit was conducted in accordance with the Senate Order request for the Auditor-General to undertake twice-yearly examinations of agency contracts listed on the Internet, and to report whether there had been any inappropriate use of confidentiality provisions. The objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling the Internet listings required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Commonwealth contracts.
Australian Federal Police (AFP);; Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO);; Department of Defence (Defence);; Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR);; Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS);1 and; National Capital Authority (NCA)
The audit reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Health and Ageing's (Health's) planning and conduct of the review undertaken to determine the recommendation to the Government on whether or not to exercise the extension option available to the Commonwealth under the Plasma Fractionation Agreement with CSL Limited. The audit was undertaken in response to a recommendation of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.
The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the administrative systems and frameworks in Commonwealth organisations used in the management of risk and insurance. Specifically, the audit evaluated the adequacy and effectiveness of: the development and application of risk management and insurance frameworks and plans within organisations; organisations' records for the determination of risk treatments, including insurance cover; and procedures, and their application, for actively managing risk exposures and insurance experience.
The Audit Activity Report: January to June 2003 summarises the activity and outputs of the Australian National Audit Office for the second half of the 2002-03 reporting year. The Report outlines the key findings of performance and financial control audits, and summarises audits tabled and better practice guides published during January to June 2003.
The audit objective was to assess the adequacy of the Commonwealth's administration of three key components of the Agriculture - Advancing Australia package: the FarmBis II program, the Farm Help program and the Farm Management Deposits scheme. Broadly, the audit examined the areas of strategic management, managing compliance, program promotion, performance monitoring and evaluation, and performance results.