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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.
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.
The audit reviewed the operations of the Civil Aviation Authority (CASA), which has prime responsibility for regulating aviation safety in Australia. The audit objectives were to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management systems and procedures used by CASA to ensure compliance with regulatory controls by Air Operator's Certificate holders operating passenger-carrying aircraft within High Capacity Regular Public Transport; Low Capacity Regular Public Transport and charter industry sectors; and Certificate of Approval holders. Aviation safety compliance includes entry control, surveillance and enforcement.
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.
The audit reviewed the productivity and client service of IP Australia, a division of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, which provides intellectual property rights in respect of patents, trade marks and designs. The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of IP Australia's management of productivity and client service.
The Australian Diplomatic Communications Network was developed to provide a secure communication and automation capability for domestic offices and overseas posts. The audit focussed on project management of the ADCNET project, and in particular:
how effectively the ADCNET project was managed;
how effectively project risks were managed; and
the extent to which project management processes have established whether ADCNET meets the specifications set by, and the expectations held by, DFAT, as well as any lessons to be learnt for this and other future projects.
The objectives in auditing the sale were to assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; review the efficiency of the management of the sale process; assess whether the sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved arrangements for future trade sales, particularly the later phases of airport sales.
assess the extent to which major program objectives were achieved;
identify major strengths and weaknesses related to the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of the program administration; and
identify areas of improvements and risks which should be addressed in arrangements with a private sector project manager.
Audit criteria were developed to address the areas of program planning and implementation, performance measurement and monitoring, responsiveness to emerging issues, dispute resolution mechanisms, risk management and program improvement measures.
The objectives of the audit were to determine the administrative changes made by the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) to implement the recommendations of recent administrative reviews and to identify how well the ATC is meeting its statutory objectives. The criteria used in conducting the audit included administrative improvements resulting from the ATC's response to recent reviews and the extent to which strategies and performance information address its statutory objectives.
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.