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The audit objective was to assess whether agreements between Australian Government (Commonwealth) agencies reflect sound administrative practices. To meet this objective, the audit reviewed current government policy and a range of better practice guidelines, conducted interviews with agencies and examined cross-agency agreements, to formulate suitable audit criteria and subsequently develop better practice principles.
In two letters dated 19 and 22 June 2009, the Prime Minister requested a performance audit of a range of matters relating to representations to the Treasury regarding automotive finance arrangements for car dealers. In response to these requests, the Auditor-General decided that ANAO would undertake a performance audit under section 18 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 (Auditor-General Act). The audit objective, based on the matters raised in the Prime Minister's correspondence and in the Parliament, was to examine and report on:
any representations to the Treasury since October 2008 from all sources regarding automotive finance arrangements for car dealers, including any made in relation to John Grant Motors;
the nature of these representations;
the manner in which the representations were responded to by officials, having regard to any relevant standards and procedures; and
any related administrative matters that came to attention.
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.