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The objective of the audit was to examine how effectively Health manages the risk of PBS drugs not being used according to PBS subsidy conditions. The audit examined two areas: during listing, how Health identified and implemented measures to decrease the risks of PBS drugs being used outside subsidy conditions; and following listing, how Health confirmed that usage and expenditure on PBS drugs was consistent with estimates. The report examines selected approaches used by Health, which have evolved in recent years, to manage the risk of PBS drugs being used outside subsidy conditions. The report also acknowledges and describes the role of the expert committees. The scope of the audit was limited to PBS drugs for which Health pays a subsidy. The audit did not examine Health's role in educating consumers, prescribers, and other health professionals, or the implications of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement for the PBS. Additionally, the ANAO did not form an opinion on the success of Medicare Australia's compliance role. To form an opinion against the audit objective, the ANAO interviewed Health personnel, committee members and stakeholders, examined relevant documents and files, analysed drug usage and expenditure data, and attended a number of committee meetings. To assist the audit process, the ANAO selected a sample of eight drugs. The drugs were selected due to their high cost to the PBS and/or high usage, or because the drug has had a particularly interesting PBS history. The sample is not representative of all drugs on the PBS. In 2004–05, 15.3 million prescriptions were written for these eight drugs, with the Government subsidy totalling $1.05 billion.
The follow-up audit assessed the extent to which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Health and Ageing (Health), and Medicare Australia had implemented the six recommendations from Audit Report No.47 2001–02, Administration of the 30 Per Cent Private Health Insurance Rebate. The audit also looked at: the implementation of some of the major suggestions for improvement in the original audit; and the current validity of some of the positive major findings from that audit. The audit found that the ATO, Health and Medicare Australia have acted upon the recommendations contained in Audit Report No.47 2001–02 and, overall, the administration of the Rebate is currently being undertaken effectively.
The audit objective was to assess Health's administration of primary care funding, with a focus on the administrative practices of the Primary Care Division and Health's State and Territory Offices. In forming an opinion on the audit objective, the ANAO reviewed 41 agreements, with a combined value of $252 million. The ANAO also reviewed relevant documentation and files, interviewed programme officers and met with a number of stakeholders. The audit comments on a range of issues, including the utility of funding agreements, monitoring, payments, and support for administrators.
Parliamentary Committees, particularly Senate Estimates Committees, have for many years taken an interest in the use of consultants by Australian government agencies. In this context, and having regard to the extent of expenditure by FMA Act agencies on consultants, the objective of this audit was to assess the accuracy and completeness of Australian government agencies' reporting of expenditure on consultants.
The objective of the audit was to assess and report on the progress being made by agencies subject to the Financial Management & Accountability Act 1997 and entities subject to the Commonwealth Authorities & Companies Act 1997: in realising value for money from the procurement process, with a specific focus on buildings, services and products using whole of life cycle assessments; and in the consideration and management of environmental impacts in specifications and contracts. The emphasis of the audit was on green office procurement and sustainable business practices and the value for money within this context. As such, the audit report provides a status report on the implementation of ESD within the office environment of the Australian Government. The audit used a survey approach in conjunction with selected audit investigations to obtain information across 71 agencies and entities selected on the basis of materiality in procurement and coverage across large, medium and small organisations. The agencies selected represented approximately 35 per cent of all government bodies and over 95 per cent of all procurement spending noted on the Department of Finance and Administration (Finance) database on contracts.
The objective of this audit was to assess the Private Health Insurance Administration Council's (PHIAC's) administrative effectiveness as a regulator of private health insurance. In making this assessment, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) addressed the following criteria: whether PHIAC monitored compliance with its legislative requirements and analysed related data; whether PHIAC addressed and managed non-compliance with its legislative requirements; and whether PHIAC's governance and organisation supported the performance of its legislative functions. Although the Department of Health and Ageing (Health) also has a role in the regulation of the private health insurance industry under the National Health Act 1953 (Health Act), Health's regulatory activities were outside the scope of this audit.
The audit focussed on the systems and processes OGTR has established for both receiving and assessing applications under the Act, and also for ensuring compliance with the statutory requirements through monitoring and inspection. The audit objective was to form an opinion on the discharge by OGTR of selected functions entrusted to it under the Act. The audit assessed the practices of OGTR against the following principal criteria: Assessment of applications under the Act: Whether OGTR has established systems and procedures for the management and assessment of applications under the Act. Ensuring compliance—monitoring, inspection and enforcement activities: Whether OGTR has established systems and procedures for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Act. Performance management: Whether OGTR manages selected aspects of its work efficiently and effectively. The audit did not seek to form an opinion on the appropriateness of the chosen structure of the regime for regulating gene technology or the merit of the scientific judgments involved. The audit methodology included discussions with representatives from agencies that co-ordinate aspects of the co-operative regulatory regime for gene technology across Australian jurisdictions, with various other stakeholders and users of the regime, as well as with officers of OGTR, along with examination of OGTR documents and files.
The audit objective was to examine whether Health's financial management framework and processes adequately support Health's Secretary, Executive and managers to make informed decisions on the use of Commonwealth resources.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Mr Stephen Smith, wrote to the Auditor-General on 11 March 2002 formally requesting an investigation into certain matters in relation to the 'Co-Location of National General Practice Organisations', a message detailed in the Health Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2001-02. The Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Limited wrote to the Auditor-General on 11 March 2002, requesting a comprehensive audit of funding decisions by the Minister for Health and Ageing. The Australian National Audit Office has undertaken a preliminary examination of relevant papers relating to the 'GP House' matter. The preliminary examination focussed on whether or not due process was followed in making the decision to transfer funds between Outcomes. The preliminary examination also considered the procedures adopted by the Department of Health and Aged Care in developing the funding proposal, the advisory role played by the Department of Finance and Administration and specific advice provided by both departments to their Ministers. The examination further considered the disclosure of the related budget measure.
The 30 per cent Private Health Insurance Rebate is a financial incentive for individuals to purchase health insurance cover. The rebate provides for a reimbursement or discount of 30 per cent of the cost of private health insurance. It is available to all Australians who are eligible for Medicare and have private health insurance. The objective of the audit was to determine the effectiveness of Commonwealth Government agencies administration of the rebate.
This follow-up Audit reviewed the Department of Health and Ageing's implementation of the recommendations of Audit Report No. 36, 1999-2000, Home and Community Care. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which the Department had implemented the nine recommendations of Audit Report No. 36, 1999-2000. The audit examined areas relating to funding, guidance, fees, coordination with other aged and disability care programs, acquittals, accountability and data requirements, and records management.