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This is the first of two audit reports concerning the Tax Office's administration of SMSFs pursuant to the provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. This audit report examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Tax Office's approach to regulating and registering self managed superannuation funds. Specifically the ANAO examined the:
Environment in which SMSFs operate, including the Tax Office's regulatory roles and responsibilities;
Tax Office's governance of its SMSF regulatory role; and
Systems, processes and controls the Tax Office uses to register SMSFs, and enforce the lodgement of fund income tax and regulatory returns.
The objective of the audit was to assess the management practices undertaken by APS agencies to achieve value for money and transparency in dealing with contracts for non-APS workers. The focus of the audit was on circumstances where agencies had a significant reliance on a non-APS workforce to assist in achieving their core functions. Regular reporting by agencies of expenditure on non-APS workers was outside the scope of this audit.
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.
The objective of the audit was to assess the coordination of Australian Government assistance to Solomon Islands through RAMSI, including the establishment of objectives and an outcomes monitoring framework. In particular, the audit examined arrangements for: coordination between Australian Government agencies; strategic planning and risk management; measuring the effectiveness of RAMSI; and reporting to RAMSI's Australian stakeholders.
The objective of this audit was to evaluate whether selected Australian Government agencies were effectively managing security risks arising from the use of contractors. To address this objective, the audit evaluated relevant policies and practices in the audited agencies against a series of minimum requirements in the management of security issues in procurement and contracting activity. These minimum requirements were developed from the guidance and standards contained in the PSM and also from the ANAO's previous protective security audits.
The audit focused on two broad types of contracting arrangements: contracting of security functions; and contracting of any service or business function that requires, or which has the potential to require, contractors to access sensitive or security classified information.
The following Australian Government agencies were involved in this audit:
Department of Finance and Administration (Finance); and
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
In addition, the Attorney-General's Department, which is responsible for the maintenance of the PSM and for providing advice on contemporary protective security policies and practices, was consulted during the audit.
The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO's administration of debt collection. Micro-business debt is a particular focus of attention. The three key areas examined are:
strategies–especially the ATO's initiatives trialled in 2006;
infrastructure–the IT systems, people, policy and processes and risk management framework supporting the collection of debt; and
management and governance–planning, monitoring and reporting mechanisms and liaison with stakeholders.
The ANAO focused on the work of the campaigns area within the Debt Line, which has collection responsibility for 90 per cent of collectable debt cases and responsibility for other key, centralised functions such as reporting, quality assurance review, consistency and best practice, and the debt collection initiatives.
examine the ATO's implementation of the ten recommendations in The Australian Taxation Office's Management of its Relationshipwith Tax Practitioners (Audit Report No.19, 2002–03), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations; and
identify scope for improvement in the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners.
Follow up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. Parliament looks to the Auditor General to report, from time to time, on the extent to which Commonwealth agencies have implemented recommendations of previous audit reports. Follow up audits keep Parliament informed of progressive improvements and current challenges in areas of Commonwealth administration that have previously been subject to scrutiny through performance audits.
examine the effectiveness of ASIC's processes for receiving reports of suspected breaches of the Corporations Act; and
assess the efficiency with which statutory reports are referred and investigated by ASIC.
The audit commenced in February 2006. ANAO undertook an assessment of ASIC's processes for receiving and referring for investigation statutory reports. ANAO also undertook a detailed examination of a random sample of 416 statutory reports received by ASIC in the period 2002–03 to 2004–05.
The audit scope did not extend to the role of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in prosecuting offences referred to it by ASIC.
The Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) manages Australia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various development banks. As of 30 June 2006, the Treasury's administered assets in the IMF and other international financial institutions totalled A$7.1 billion. Liabilities totalled A$4.8 billion. In addition to the liabilities of A$4.8 billion, there were contingent liabilities of A$7.3 billion, comprising uncalled share capital subscriptions.
In October 2002 a performance audit of the Treasury's management of international financial commitments (ANAO Audit Report No.10 of 2002–03 Treasury's Management of International Financial Commitments) was tabled in the Parliament. This audit is a follow-up to that audit. The objective was to assess the progress made by the Treasury in addressing the four major audit findings and two recommendations of the 2002 audit report.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment. The focus of the audit was the ATO's administration of compliance by individuals with respect to the two most common CGT events: real property and share disposals. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) identified three key areas for review:
governance – the corporate planning and reporting arrangements relevant to the administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment, including how these are integrated with the ATO's overall approach to managing CGT;
identifying and assessing compliance risks – the mechanisms and strategies used to identify and assess CGT compliance risks in the individuals market segment; and
compliance activities – the products and processes used to manage CGT compliance in the individuals market segment.
The objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling their Internet contract listings as required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Commonwealth contracts. The audit involved a review in seven agencies of the processes used to compile their Internet contract listings and the use of confidentiality provisions in contracts.
The objective of the audit was to review the operation of the ATO's Tax Agent and Business Portals. In conducting the audit the ANAO examined three key areas: governance – the governance arrangements supporting ongoing management of the Portals; portals development, user satisfaction and realisation of expected benefits – the ATO's processes for involving users in developing the Tax Agent and Business Portals, assessing user satisfaction, and evaluating business benefits arising from uptake of the Portals; and information technology (IT) security and user access controls – the ATO's IT security environment and user access controls supporting the operation of the Tax Agent and Business Portals.
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.
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.
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.