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The audit reviewed the High Wealth Individuals Taskforce, a comprehensive compliance program with the Australian Taxation Office. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the management and operations of the taskforce. In doing so, the audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's own evaluation of the taskforce and assessed whether, and to what extent, the taskforce delivered the outcomes specified by the Government.
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 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the Commonwealth's principal revenue collection agency. In 1998-99, the ATO accounted for total tax revenue of $135.3 billion. The objective of this audit was to review the ATO's administration of penalties, with particular emphasis on its corporate governance framework and issues relating to consistency, effectiveness and accountability of penalty administration. In particular, the audit examined the administration of two penalty types, Late Lodgement and Tax Shortfall, as case studies.
The objective of this performance audit was to assess the effectiveness and consistency of risk management processes undertaken by the Australian Taxation Office in administering individual taxpayer refunds.
The objectives of this audit were to improve: the accountability of the Australian Taxation Office to Parliament and the Government by the provision of advice that follows up on the ATO's implementation of the previous ANAO Report; and on the recommendations of the then Joint Committee of Public Accounts arising from its consideration of that Report and the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of debt collection by the ATO.
Special Benefit is a social security income support payment for people who are unable to support themselves or their dependents, and who are not otherwise entitled to any other income support payment. Its objective is to ensure that such people have adequate levels of income. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which new claims for Special Benefit had been determined in compliance with the Social Security Act, the Guide to the Act and other relevant guidelines, and whether Centrelink and FaCS had appropriate procedures to help ensure such compliance.
The audit reviewed the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement (CSHA). CSHA is a joint arrangement between the Commonwealth and the States under which both the Commonwealth and the States contribute funding in the form of grants, which are used by State Housing Authorities to provide a variety of housing assistance programs to households on low incomes and those with special needs. The overall objective of the audit was to assess and report to Parliament on how effectively the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS - formerly the Department of Social Security) administered the CSHA and to identify any areas where improvements could be made.
The Superannuation Guarantee, which came into effect on 1 July 1992, was introduced to reduce reliance on the age pension as a means of funding retirement for individuals. The objective of the performance audit was to review the ATO's administration of the Superannuation Guarantee and to identify appropriate opportunities for improvement.
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 ANAO conducted a project audit of Competitive Employment, Training and Placement services, part of the Disability Services Program administered by the then Department of Human Services and Health, primarily because of parliamentary concerns relating to these services. Under the Administrative Arrangements Order of 11 March 1996, the Disability Services Program is now administered by the Department of Health and Family Services.
whether the planning and implementation of the DSS Teleservice project has been adequate to ensure successful operations;
the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Teleservice Centre management practices;
whether Teleservice Centres have been successful in delivering the anticipated improvements to client service; and
what opportunities might be available for improvement in the operation of the Centres.
An important aim of the audit was to ascertain with DSS what value could be added by identifying more administratively effective and efficient means of managing and operating their Teleservice Centre network. In addition, the ANAO considered that the experience gained and lessons learned from the introduction of Teleservice operations by DSS could improve the planning and implementation of major technology-based operational and client service initiatives in the future, both in DSS and the Australian Public Service (APS) generally.
In carrying out the audit, the ANAO undertook an extensive examination of the Teleservice environment including:
examining the experience and practices of private sector call centre operations;
reviewing the DSS Teleservice network, involving detailed discussions with departmental officers, examining files and data and observing Teleservice Centre operations; as well as
consulting a range of community groups and government agencies familiar with DSS's Teleservice Centre services.
the methods used by the Department of Social Security (DSS) to determine and allocate staff numbers to Regional Offices. It sought to ascertain whether the allocations resulting from these methods met the demands placed on Regional Offices and the scope for improvement to these methods; and
the scope for improvements to the benefit delivery process and other aspects of Regional Office operations that could lead to significant productivity gains or client service benefits.
This is a report of an audit by the ANAO of the Australian Taxation Office's Income Matching System (IMS). The IMS is a computer-based system which identifies discrepancies between information in tax returns and external data. The main income types covered are dividends, interest, wages and salaries, pensions and benefits and prescribed payments. It also generates unmatched data and cases where assessments have not yet been issued.