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
- IP Australia.