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The audit objectives were to assess: the appropriateness of agencies' policies for dealing with requests for information in accordance with the FOI Act; and assess agencies' compliance with the provisions of the FOI Act, in relation to selected requests for information.
Australian Federal Police; Attorney-General’s Department; Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; Department of Veterans’ Affairs; Australian Customs Service; Civil Aviation Safety Authority
The objective of the audit was to assess whether protective security functions in selected organisations were being effectively managed. In considering effectiveness, the audit assessed whether protective security arrangements: - were designed within the context of the business framework and the related security risks identified by the organisation; and - provided an appropriate level of support for the organisation's operations and the delivery of its services.
The audit examined ATSIS' implementation of recommendations from Audit Report No.39, 1998-1999 National Aboriginal Health Strategy - Delivery of Housing and Infrastructure to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (the previous audit). In addition to assessing ATSIS' progress in implementing the recommendations of the previous audit, this follow-up audit examined ATSIS' performance reporting of the NAHS program, and concluded that the current level of aggregation of performance reporting makes it difficult to identify the particular contribution that the NAHS Program makes in improving services to Indigenous communities.
In April 2002, the ANAO tabled Audit Report No.40 2001-02 Corporate Governance in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( the 2002 audit). In August 2003, the ABC submitted a report to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) on its progress in implementing the recommendations from the 2002 audit and the JCPAA report. This follow-up audit examined the ABC's implementation of recommendations from both reports, using the ABC's progress report as its base.
This report covers a number of the discretionary compensation and debt relief mechanisms that are available to Commonwealth agencies, where individuals or entities have been disadvantaged by legislation, or actions by agencies or staff, or some other negative circumstances. It deals mainly with two legislative mechanisms, namely, act of grace payments and waivers of debt, and one administrative mechanism, the Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA) scheme. This report also briefly covers two other mechanisms, namely ex gratia payments and payments in special circumstances relating to Australian Public Service (APS) employment. The main objective of the audit was to assess whether the management of claims for compensation and debt relief in special circumstances was in accordance with relevant legislative requirements and Commonwealth guidelines, and whether the current administrative policies and procedures were adequate.
This report relates to the fifth audit of Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies' compliance with the Senate Order for Departmental and Agency Contracts, (the Senate Order) to list, on the Internet, contract details for the Financial Year 2002-2003 reporting period. 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 of provisions in Commonwealth contracts.
Australian Industrial Registry; Australian Taxation Office; Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts; Department of the Environment and Heritage; Federal Court of Australia; National Office for the Information Economy
The objective of this audit was: to form an opinion on the adequacy of selected agencies' approaches to monitoring and evaluation of government programs and services delivered on the Internet; and to identify better practices and opportunities for improvement. In order to achieve this objective, the audit examined the websites and Internet-delivered services of five agencies.
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.
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 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 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.
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 objective of the audit was to determine whether the controls and measures employed by FaCS and Centrelink to deliver Parenting Payment Single (PPS) payments were effective and efficient. To achieve this, the audit focused on four key areas. These were:
the quality of performance measures used by FaCS and Centrelink;
the effectiveness of FaCS' methodology for estimating the levels of risk of incorrect payment to PPS customers and the impact of these incorrect payments on the integrity of program outlays;
the correctness of Centrelink's processing of reassessments; and
the improvements to preventive controls such as training, guidance material, and the Quality On-Line system.
The objective of the performance audit was to review the progress in the delivery of contractual commitments for Industry Development (ID) for the five contracts awarded under the IT Outsourcing Initiative. In particular, the audit examined the effectiveness of the monitoring by DCITA of achievement against contractual commitments for ID; assessed the impact of changes to the IT outsourcing environment on the management and monitoring of ongoing ID obligations; and identified practices that have improved administrative arrangements.
The audit assessed the operations of the four Northern Territory Land Councils which provide a range of services to Aboriginal people under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The audit also assessed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commision's (ATSIC) administration of the Aboriginals Benefit Account, which provides funding to the Land Councils under the same Act. The objectives of the audit were to assess:
whether the governance arrangements used by ATSIC and the Land Councils are appropriate;
whether ATSIC meets its legislative requirements concerning the Aboriginals Benefit Account in an effective and efficient way; and
whether the Land Councils are effective and efficient in managing their recourses to meet the objectives of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether the controls employed by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and Centrelink to ensure the correctness of payments made under the Age Pension program were effective and efficient. The ANAO focused on:
business arrangements between FACS and Centrelink and the Business Assurance Framework;
whether the source of error was correctly attributed in customer records assessed by FACS and Centrelink as containing an error in the 2000-01 Age Pension Random Sample Survey:
the correctness of Centrelink's processing of reassessments, including Pensioner Entitlements Reviews, Customer Initiated Reassessments and automated reassessments: and
progress in implementing the recommendations of previous ANAO audits concerning the preventive quality controls that underpin correct payments.
In 1997-98, the ANAO audited the Child Support Agency (CSA), making 12 recommendations to improve its operational performance. A related report by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit supported the general findings of the ANAO audit and reinforced three ANAO recommendations in its own report. The audit examined client service in the CSA by following-up the CSA's implementation of the recommendations contained in these two previous reports and more broadly assessing whether the CSA had improved the management and delivery of its client service sine the previous ANAO audit.
The audit examined the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission's (ATSIC's) grant management practices. The audit sought to determine if ATSIC provides fair and equal access to funding, what the risks to the grants program are, if decision-makers receive the key information they need to make informed funding decisions, and if ATSIC staff complying with grants procedures. The ANAO did not examine the appropriateness of the funding decisions made by regional councils.
The audit was undertaken following advice from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) to the Auditor-General that assurance that ABC programming adequately reflects the ABC's Charter was an audit priority of Parliament. The objective of the audit is to provide Parliament with this assurance. The focus of the audit was on the governance arrangements of the ABC Board and management that enable the ABC to demonstrate the extent to which it is achieving its' Charter obligations, and other related statutory requirements, efficiently and effectively. The scope of the audit was as follows:
Review the ABC's corporate governance framework against better practice models. The ANAO had regard to the ABC's unique role as a national public broadcaster established as a budget funded Commonwealth statutory authority subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.
Examine the ABC Board's approach to the interpretation of the Charter requirements of the ABC and the setting of strategic directions, and management's administrative arrangements for implementing the strategic directions established by the Board.
Examine the ABC's performance information framework, the development, documentation and use of performance measures in relation to targets and/or objectives, the monitoring and reporting of performance and its' inter-relationship with the corporate planning and budgetary processes, particularly in relation to the strategic directions set by the Board.
The audit did not examine the overall management of the ABC. In keeping with the audit scope, the audit examined ways in which the ABC aligns its' strategic directions with its' Charter requirements for programs broadcast on radio, television and on-line and assures itself, and Parliament, about the achievement of its' Charter obligations. Further, the audit did not examine the operations of ABC Enterprises or symphony orchestras that operate as ABC-owned subsidiary companies.
The audit reviewed the broadcasting planning and licensing operations of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, which is responsible for planning the availability of segments of the broadcasting services bands used by radio and television for analogue and digital broadcasting. The objective was to assess the ABA's management of licence area planning and the subsequent issue of broadcasting licences, focussing on analogue radio planning and identifying improved administrative practices, where possible, together with the main factors that have contributed to the delays to date in achieving the planning timetable.
The audit reviewed the policy advising functions of the Departments of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, and Family and Community Services. The objective of the audit was to determine whether departmental quality management systems for policy advising were appropriate and the advice provided met expected standards for policy outputs.
The audit reviewed the fraud control arrangements in the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS), a policy formulation, and advising body and major purchaser of social welfare services from Centrelink. The objective was to assess whether FaCS had:
implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and that these arrangements operated effectively in practice; and
fulfilled its responsibilities as a purchaser of services in relation to fraud control.
This audit is one in a series of fraud control audit and is complemented by a similar audit of Centrelink, a major provider of services on behalf of FaCS.
The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on ATSIC's management of the Municipal Services component of the Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP). The audit examined how effectively ATSIC specifies and implements its role, the adequacy with which it identifies relative needs for support from the program among Indigenous communities, and how it leverages improved outcomes from other potential funding sources.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether FaCS had established effective business arrangements with Centrelink to help ensure that new claims for Age Pension were properly assessed in accordance with the Social Security Law and the Guide to the Social Security Law. In the context of the audit objective, the primary issues examined were whether FaCS had:
established an appropriate business framework;
adopted an appropriate risk management approach;
appropriately monitored and evaluated performance; and
In late 1996, the Government announced its commitment to establish new facilities for the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies on Acton Peninsula in Canberra. The objectives of the audit were to examine the project's compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines for the procurement of public works and effectiveness of the project's management.
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.
In November 1998, the Minister for Communications wrote to the Auditor-General requesting an assessment of the actual costs of Phase 1 digital conversion for the ABC and SBS, the sources of funds applied and the efficiency with which the funds had been used before the government considered further funding. The purpose of this limited scope performance audit was to assess a range of financial issues associated with the ABC and SBS conversion to digital broadcasting.
Networking the Nation was established with effect from 1 July 1997 to support activities and projects designed to meet a range of telecommunications needs in regional, rural and remote Australia. Funding is provided by the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. The program provides total support of $250 million, of which $50 million was to be allocated annually for the five year period from 1997-98. Funding decisions for grants are the responsibility of an independent Board appointed by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. The objectives of the audit were to examine the administration of the program with a view to ascertaining the scope for improving administration and to provide assurance on the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the management and administrative processes applied in the administration of grants under the program.
The audit reviewed the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (NAHS) component of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission's (ATSIC) Community Housing Infrastructure Program (CHIP). A major NAHS objective is to improve environmental health in indigenous communities through the construction and housing and the provision of water, sewerage and related systems. The objective of the performance audit was to form an opinion on ATSIC's management of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy program in providing housing and related infrastructure to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to identify areas where program administration could be improved.
The objective of the preliminary study was to form a view regarding the quality of, and controls over, the Budget estimates and to inform the decision whether to proceed to a full performance audit at this time. On the basis of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the budget process undertaken during the study, the ANAO concluded that there are no apparent systemic problems in the cash-based estimating processes in the agencies reviewed that would, in themselves, lead to material statistical inaccuracies in the Budget's projected outcomes. The ANAO decided not to proceed with a full performance audit at this time.
The purpose of the audit was to assess whether management of parliamentary workflow by the agencies reviewed was efficient and effective and to identify elements of good practice. In assessing agency effectiveness and efficiency, the audit focussed on issues of client service such as timeliness, quality and cost. It considered also the governance framework and accountability arrangements relevant to parliamentary workflow, as well as more operational considerations including the use of information technology, development of relevant management information and suitable benchmarking processes.
The audit reviewed the use and operation of performance information in service level agreements between Centrelink and three agencies; the Department of Social Security, the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. The objective of the audit was to establish whether the performance assessment framework specified in the agreements enabled the adequate assessment of achievements under purchaser/provider arrangements entered into by DSS, DEETYA and Centrelink.
The audit reviewed the accountability framework and performance information of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASC: accountability arrangements, focussing on key stakeholders such as the Minister and the Parliament; and management information systems, focussing on performance information, in particular key performance indicators; and its use in resource allocation decision-making.
The audit reviewed collection management practices and management information systems of the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management processes employed in safeguarding national collections.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Department of Health and Family Services had managed its coordinating role and implemented its responsibilities under the National Rural Health Strategy efficiently and effectively.
The purpose of this follow-up audit was to report on action taken by the Department of Social Security and Centrelink in addressing the recommendations of Audit Report No.23 1993-94 Protection of Confidential Client Information from Unauthorised Disclosure. The objectives were to:
ascertain the extent to which the recommendations of the original audit have been implemented;
identify other changes made in relation to data confidentiality within the Social Security portfolio since 1993;
The audit objectives were to report on the efficiency and effectiveness of selected agencies' management of telecommunications services. The specific purpose was to:
identify the potential for more effective management of telecommunications services;
consider the appropriateness of Commonwealth agencies' management of telecommunications services to take advantage of technological opportunities; and
identify the elements of sound administration in the management of telecommunications services.
The audit criteria addressed agencies' performance against benchmarks of sound administrative practice in relation to procurement; planning; business process re-engineering; financial management; and performance management. The audit focussed primarily on telecommunications services, as distinct from capital items and equipment.
The objective of the audit was to review AUSTEL and the Spectrum Management Agency's approaches to service delivery against recognised good practice and to identify opportunities for the new Australian Communications Authority to adopt the relevant features of these approaches in its service delivery.
The objective of Phase Two of the audit was to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of ATSIC Central, State and Regional Offices in relation to the administration of the Community Development Employment Projects Scheme. The ANAO established key criteria to assess progress against the implementation of the Phase One recommendations and further assess the efficiency and effectiveness of CDEP administration. The main areas examined were: planning, including reports of progress against plans and the development and use of performance information; monitoring, including client feedback and the review process at the Regional Office level; the implementation and effectiveness of management information systems in relation to CDEP; and the development and implementation of quality assuranced processes at State/Regional level.
The purpose of this audit was to assess the Department of Social Security's approach to customer service against a recognised good practice methodology, and to identify opportunities for DSS to improve the quality of its customer service, its administrative effectiveness and its overall performance. The ANAO's intention was to identify opportunities to improve customer focus, particularly for those aspects of DSS's administration impacting on customer service. The audit criteria included: customer service environment; human resource management practices; communication with customers; customer-friendly approaches; and systematic approaches to continuous improvement.
Following an initial selection through a process of inviting expressions of interest, OGIT issued a restricted Request for Proposal for Human Resource Management Systems and Financial Management Information Systems. OGIT sought the services of the ANAO to provide an opinion on the probity of the methodology and procedures applied in the process of evaluation of tenders for acceptance to the Shared Systems Suite. The ANAO also agreed to review the formal procedures developed by OGIT and to test their operation to enable the ANAO to form an opinion, with a reasonable degree of assurance, on whether the evaluation process accords with the Commonwealth Purchasing Guidelines for open and effective competition and consideration for the development of Australian and New Zealand industry.
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No.7, 1993-94 titled Department of Social Security: Data-matching. It reports upon the effectiveness of the DSS actions in response to the recommendations of the original 1993-94 audit. In noting the considerable progress made by the Department against the original audit recommendations, the ANAO considers that several recommendations have yet to be fully addressed. These are covered in this report and include reducing the variability in review results across offices, enhancing the TFN registration process, and validating savings assumptions.
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
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.