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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 ANAO conducted fieldwork in each of the audited agencies to identify the processes they used to design and review forms. The ANAO also identified the extent to which the agencies' forms are available online and their approaches to placing forms online.
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 objective of this audit was to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken by AQIS and BA to strengthen the administration of quarantine. The audit focussed on progress in implementing the recommendations from the previous ANAO audit, and recommendations made in the JCPAA's inquiry. (The audit did not address four JCPAA recommendations that were either not supported by the Government, or were policy matters for the Government to consider. See Appendix 1.)
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.
A Health Care Card (HCC) is one of three types of concession cards issued by Centrelink for the Australian Government. The objectives of the audit were to assess: the effectiveness of whole of government approaches to administering HCCs by FaCS, Centrelink, Health and HIC; the adequacy ofperformance information relating to HCCs, including monitoring the use of the card and its budgetary impact, as well as the cost of administering HCCs; and the effectiveness of controls relating to the issue, maintenance and cancellation of the HCC; and to limit its incorrect or fraudulent use.
The objectives of the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) performance audit were to: examine the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies' procurement and management of legal services arrangements; determine adherence to Australian Government policy requirements; examine the effectiveness of the OLSC's monitoring of agencies' compliance with Government policy requirements; examine the OLSC's role in assisting agencies to comply with Government policy.
The objective of this audit was to assess the administration and implementation of the drought assistance measures. The audit focussed on EC, including prima facie EC, and key aspects of the additional drought assistance measures.
This audit was designed to identify the methods used by selected agencies to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their delivery of services through the Internet, and to evaluate the adequacy of these methods. ANAO also identified better practices, lessons learned and opportunities for improvements.
Medicare is Australia's universal health insurance scheme. Underpinning Medicare is one of Australia's largest and more complex computer databases the Medicare enrolment database. At the end of 2004 the Medicare enrolment database contained information on over 24 million individuals. This audit examines the quality of data stored on that database and how the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) manages the data.
The objective of the audit was to examine the investment of public funds by selected entities, including: compliance with relevant legislation, delegations and instructions; the value for money of investment strategies; and reporting of investment activities. Six entities were selected for audit, comprising three FMA Act agencies and three Commonwealth authorities. The six entities had aggregrate investments of $1.64 billion as at 30 June 2004 and realised investment earnings of some $80.4 million during 2003/04.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a division of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, is responsible for the regulation of the manufacture and supply of therapeutic goods. The objective of the audit was to assess the TGA's regulation of non-prescription medicinal products. In particular, it reviewed the TGA's systems, procedures and resource management processes used to approve new manufacturers, monitor ongoing manufacturer and product compliance with mandated requirements, and manage non-compliance. The audit made 26 recommendations designed to improve the transparency, quality and reliability of regulatory decisions taken by the TGA and improve its accountability mechanisms by enhancing its management information systems.
The objective of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) was to examine and report on the planning and corporate governance for the new regional delivery model of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) program, jointly administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the Environment and Heritage (the Agencies)
The audit examined the financial management of all Special Appropriations in the period 1998-99 to 2002-03, with the exception of those related to Special Accounts and those administered by Government Business Enterprises. The audit objectives were to: identity all Special Appropriations and ascertain which entities are responsible for their financial management and reporting; and assess entities' financial management and reporting of Special Appropriations against the Commonwealth's financial management and reporting frameworks.
This audit is the first time that the ANAO has looked at superannuation payments to independent contractors. The audit examined whether Commonwealth organisations were identifying contracts that were wholly or principally for the labour of the contractor and meeting statutory superannuation obligations under the Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988.
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 objective was to provide independent assurance to the Parliament on the effectiveness of Australian Public Service organisations in the use and management of the HRIS to satisfy mandatory reporting requirements, as well as provide meaningful information to management. The audit also considered the use of employee self service facilities offered by the HRIS, which has the capacity to provide staff with access to their personal information, reduce manual processing and streamline processing.
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of Health's management of the MPSP and the RHSP. To achieve the audit's objective, the ANAO examined whether Health; had an effective approach to planning the programs; had an effective approach to delivering the programs; effectively used performance information to manage the programs; and effectively managed its relationship with all stakeholders of the programs.
The audit assessed the Commonwealth's administration of the two major elements of the Dairy Industry Adjustment Package; the Dairy Structural Adjustment Program (DSAP) and the supplementary Dairy Assitance Program (SDA). The audit addressed the implementation and delivery of the programs, governance arrangements and the management of the Dairy Structural Adjustment Fund.
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 audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the National Health and Medical Research Council's governance and administrative systems. In order to achieve this objective, the audit addressed three criteria to determine whether the Council had: identified its legislated responsibilities and monitored its legislative compliance; a sound corporate governance framework to support the performance of its legislated functions; and established robust administrative systems to support the performance of its legislated functions.
The audit examined aspects of financial management in the Health Insurance Commission (HIC). The audit objective was to examine the effectiveness of the HIC's internal control structures, as well as its financial management framework and processes, in order to form an opinion on their ability to support HIC Commissioners and managers to make informed decisions on the efficient and effective use of Commonwealth resources.
The audit examined agency approaches to the management of intellectual property under its control, and identified themes common to the management of all types of intellectual property. The audit objective was to:
(i) form an opinion on whether Commonwealth agencies have systems in place to efficiently, effectively and ethically manage their intellectual property assets; and
(ii) identify areas for better practice in intellectual property management by those agencies.
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
An ANAO audit of AQIS' cost-recovery systems was conducted in 2000-01 (Audit Report No 10, 2000-01), following a request from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). That audit aimed to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of AQIS' cost-recovery systems, and provide assurance to Parliament that cost-recoverable programs were identifying and recovering the full costs of services provided, without cross-subsidisation. The ANAO made six recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of AQIS cost-recovery systems. The JCPAA, at a subsequent hearing, made a further three recommendations. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AQIS' implementation of the ANAO and the JCPAA recommendations. The audit also aimed to determine whether implementation of these recommendations, or alternative actions taken to address the issues leading to the recommendations, had improved AQIS' management of its cost-recovery processes.
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 audit reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Health and Ageing's (Health's) planning and conduct of the review undertaken to determine the recommendation to the Government on whether or not to exercise the extension option available to the Commonwealth under the Plasma Fractionation Agreement with CSL Limited. The audit was undertaken in response to a recommendation of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.
The audit objective was to assess the adequacy of the Commonwealth's administration of three key components of the Agriculture - Advancing Australia package: the FarmBis II program, the Farm Help program and the Farm Management Deposits scheme. Broadly, the audit examined the areas of strategic management, managing compliance, program promotion, performance monitoring and evaluation, and performance results.
The audit examined the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd's management of the residential aged care accreditation process. The audit focused on the Agency's implementation of a process to meet its legislative responsibilities, its business operations, people management, budgeting practices, use of information, and its quality assurance processes.
This audit followed up the ANAO's 1999 performance audit report on the Commonwealth's planning and response mechanisms to deal with exotic and new endemic pest and emergencies in the animal and plant sectors (Audit Report No 9 1999-2000 Managing Pest and Disease Emergencies). The previous audit made nine recommendations to improve planning and response strategies for emergencies; better coordination; diagnostic support; and appropriate monitoring and surveillance. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AFFA's implementation of the recommendations, and whether implementation of these recommendations, or appropriate alternative measures, has improved the Commonwealth's planning and response strategies for pest and disease emergencies. The ANAO also observed and assessed relevant parts of the September 2002 foot and mouth disease simulation, Exercise Minotaur.
The audit examined whether the Department of Health and Ageing had the performance information necessary to administer the Australian Health Care Agreements. A strong focus of the audit was accountability for performance given the significant size of Commonwealth financial assistance, more than $29.6 billion over 5 years, provided to the States and Territories for the provision of health care services.
The audit reviewed the extent to which the Department of Health and Ageing (Health) had implemented the recommendations of Audit Report No. 13 of 1998-1999, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program, taking account of any changed circumstances or new administrative issues identified as impacting the implementation of these recommendations.
The audit reviewed the effectiveness of HIC's approach to customer service delivery to the Australian public as customers of Medicare. The primary issues examined were whether: . HIC manages its customer service delivery performance effectively;
HIC's approach to people management adequately supports customer service delivery;
HIC obtains adequate information from customers on their needs, expectations, and perceptions of HIC's service delivery; and
HIC provides adequate information to customers on its services and on the service standards that customers should expect.
The audit examined the administrative effectiveness of arrangements between Health and HIC, in relation to the management and administration of the Medicare Benefits Scheme and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Health predominantly exercises a policy and leadership role within the health portfolio - HIC delivers a range of health services directly to the public and members of the health industry. Both agencies have stated that they recognise the importance of working together, as partners in their respective roles, to maximise their performance in the achievement of health portfolio outcomes and to discharge their respective responsibilities. This joint commitment is embodied in a written agreement - called the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).
The overall objective of the audit was to determine whether Health's management and operation of selected IT systems:
met industry better practice;
met quality and service delivery parameters set by Health and, if applicable, by the Government; and
operate effectively, efficiently and economically.
The audit applied selected processes from CobiT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) to assist with the assessment of key aspects of Health's management and operation of IT. The audit builds on ANAO's earlier IT audits using CobiT.
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.
The ANAO reviewed arrangements for the development of the department's fraud policy, fraud risk assessment and fraud control plan within the core functional areas of the department that are responsible for these activities. The audit also examined the operational procedures and guidelines that were in place to implement the department's fraud policy. The objective of the audit was to assess whether AFFA has implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and whether these arrangements operate effectively in practice.
This follow-up audit reviewed the operations of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) which is responsible for ensuring the sustainable use and efficient management of Commonwealth fisheries resources. The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which AFMA addressed the issues that gave rise to the recommendations of ANAO Report No.32 1995-96, and the related recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee Report 1997, that were supported by the Government.
The follow-up audit focussed on the key issues identified in the recommendations and grouped these in the themes of:
strategic and performance management;
management of the advisory process;
implementation of fisheries management methods;
managing AFMA's environmental responsibilities as they relate to Commonwealth fisheries management;
compliance, monitoring and enforcement responsibilities; and
The ANAO concluded that DHAC's administration of the National Cervical Screening Program is generally sound. The ANAO found that the department has a key role in the Program by providing secretariat services and other support to the NAC, which provides policy advice to AHMAC, and by supporting initiatives to further develop the Program. Some areas of DHAC's administration of the Program provide examples of good practice. Related examples are the early identification of the need to monitor the Program, the early identification of possible data sources for monitoring, and the use of an independent body to provide advice, through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on performance indicators and data sources. A further example is DHAC's administration of the provision of cervical screening funding assistance to the States and Territories through Public Health Outcome Funding Agreements, which complies with the principles for sound Specific Purpose Payments program administration advocated by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in their Report 362. On the other hand, the ANAO has identified areas for improvement in quality assurance for the analysis of Pap smears by pathology laboratories.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of HIC's IT systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether HIC could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of balances for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether HIC's IT systems' outputs met quality and service delivery targets.
Quarantine policies and operations are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia (AFFA). The objective of this audit was to assess AFFA's management of plant and animal quarantine services, and the implementation and impact of the Government Response (1997) to the Quarantine Review Committee Report. The audit in particular assessed the setting of quarantine priorities through assessing and managing risk; management of the continuum of quarantine operations; and management of Import Risk Analyses to deliver and review quarantine policies. Stakeholder consultation and advisory processes were also assessed in addressing these issues. A key issue examined was the effectiveness of AFFA quarantine operations in international mail and airports preventing the entry of quarantinable material. The ANAO made eight recommendations aimed at improving operational risk based resource allocation; pre-border management of quarantine risk; the effectiveness of quarantine operations at the Australian border; and priority setting and transparency of the IRA process. AFFA agreed to all eight ANAO recommendations.
The audit examined the design, management and reporting of performance information for the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) which is administered by the Commonwealth Departments of Environment and Heritage, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the performance information used to support the administration of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth financial assistance; and compliance with legislative requirements for performance monitoring and reporting.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of AQIS cost-recovery systems and provide assurance to the Parliament that the cost-recoverable programs are identifying and recovering the full costs of services provided, without cross-subsidisation.
The objective of the audit was to assess the framework and systems that DHAC has in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The ANAO concluded that DHAC had taken appropriate steps to protect Commonwealth resources under its administration from fraudulent misappropriation by developing a sound fraud control framework, the effectiveness of which is illustrated by the relatively low incidence of reported fraud in the department over the last few years. The framework also includes key elements for preventing and dealing with fraud in line with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Policy.
The follow-up audit, Drug Evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA], reviewed the extent to which TGA had implemented recommendations made by the ANAO in 1996 on the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of TGA's evaluation and approval of prescription drugs for public use. This follow-up audit was conducted because of the importance of effective drug evaluation processes to public health.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.
The audit reviewed the Commonwealth funding provided under the Home and Community Care Act 1985, for a range of personal, health and domestic services to frail aged and other people with disabilities and their carers. The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the Department of Health and Aged Care's administration of the Home and Community Care program in particular to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the services.
The audit reviewed the Commonwealth management and regulation of plasma fractionation. The audit objectives were to:
assess the administrative and financial effectiveness of the Department of Health and Aged Care's contract management of the PFA;
assess whether the TGA's implementation of post sale regulatory arrangements adequately protects the community's interests; and
assess the extent to which agencies have implemented the recommendations made in Audit Report No.14 1995-96 concerning funding of plasma products and regulation of plasma products manufactured under the PFA.
The audit reviewed management of the Commonwealth's role in preparing for, and managing, pest and disease emergencies requiring a rapid response. The audit focused on the role of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -Australia (AFFA), which is the Commonwealth Department with primary portfolio responsibility for coordinating the national and international response to an emergency. The audit did not address preventative measures such as quarantine and border controls; controlled release of exotic diseases or pests; or emergencies associated with previously known endemic diseases, food safety or chemical residue issues.
The audit reviewed the implementation of the purchaser/provider arrangements between the Department of Health and Aged Care and Centrelink. The objective of the audit was to determine the administrative effectiveness of the implementation of the service delivery arrangements between Centrelink and the Department by examining project planning for, and management of, the implementation, and the establishment of on-going purchaser/provider arrangements.
The audit is a follow-up to Audit Report 12, 1995-96 Risk Management by Commonwealth Consumer Product Safety Regulators. The objectives of this follow-up audit were to determine the extent to which ANZFA had implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the 1995 Audit Report, and to determine the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving food safety regulation.
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 evaluated the effectiveness of the accountability and oversight arrangements for statutory bodies within the former Primary Industries and Energy portfolio (most of which are now part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio). The audit focused on accountability of the statutory bodies to the Minister and through the Minister to Parliament; it did not directly address accountability to industry stakeholders and levy papers.