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The objective of the audit was to assess the Commonwealth's administration of the Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme (ACIS) . The audit reviewed program governance, scheme promotion and registration, management of credit allocations, and compliance processes.
The objectives of the audit was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of DIMIA's decision-making processes and management systems for delivering the parent and partner aspects of the family stream of the Migration Program.
The family stream of Australia's Migration Program enables the reunion of immediate family members of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens. It consists of four main categories;
Closing the books processes sometimes referred to as 'month-end or year-end processing' are those processes undertaken by organisations in order to generate periodic financial information. This audit focused on the monthly closing the books processes undertaken at six of the material Commonwealth organisations, in order to provide some generic conclusions on the operation and effectiveness of these periodic processes in the Commonwealth and to identify opportunities for improvement.
As part of the Government's Taxation Reform Initiatives, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was given responsibility for implementing the Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Business Register (ABR) initiatives. The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ABN registration process and the ATO's implementation and management of the ABR.
This was a follow-up of Audit Report No. 29 2000-01, Review of Veterans' Appeals Against Disability Compensation Entitlement Decisions. That audit examined the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA's) and the Veterans' Review Board's (VRB's) management of the review of decisions for disability compensation. The objective of this audit was to assess the extent to which DVA and the VRB had implemented the four recommendations of Report No.29 2000-01, taking into account any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of these recommendations.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the progress Defence has made since June 2001 in implementing appropriate strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel. The audit focused on management of specialist information system skills and did not examine skills needed by users of information systems, although the latter is of obvious importance for overall performance. In June 2001, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA), after reviewing the ANAO's Audit Report No. 11 Knowledge System Equipment Acquisition Projects in Defence, commented that its major concern about Defence's ability to develop a knowledge edge with adequate coherence, centred on Defence's ability to recruit, develop and retain skilled individuals needed in all parts of the DIE. The JCPAA recommended that the ANAO conduct an audit of Defence's strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's fraud prevention and contol arrangements in relation to the Goods and Services Tax. The audit objective was to assess whether the ATO has implemented administratively effective GST fraud control arrangements, consistent with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
The audit examined the management of computer software assets at four Commonwealth bodies. It focused on the capitalisation of software for the purposes of annual financial reporting. The specific objectives were to: determine whether the selected bodies had established effective internal control frameworks for the capitalisation of externally acquired and internally developed software; and assess whether software costs were capitalised in accordance with organisational policy, accounting standards and relevant legislation.
In January 2000, the ANAO published a Better Practice Guide (BPG) Business Continuity Management, Keeping the wheels in motion (the Guide). The Guide established that the objective of Business Continuity Management (BCM) is to ensure the uninterrupted availability of all key business resources required to support essential (or critical) business activities. This is achieved by organisations building resilience (controls and redundancy) into business operations to prevent, or minimise, the likelihood of business continuity risks occuring and, also, developing plans that minimise the impact should they occur. The primary objective of this audit was to examine BCM arrangements across four Commonwealth organisations, to assess whether their existing BCM frameworks ( or frameworks under development) exhibit the principles espoused in the Guide. At the Commonwealth - wide level, the ANAO considered the continuing relevance of the principles presented in the Guide.
The audit reviewed the management of unscheduled absence in 74 APS agencies. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent and cost of unscheduled absence in the APS; to examine whether unscheduled absence in the APS was being managed efficiently and effectively; and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Defence has long provided housing assistance for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families. In 1988, this function passed to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), which was established to provide suitable housing to meet Defence's operational needs. In 2000, Defence and DHA signed a Services Agreement valued at $3.5 billion over 10 years. The objective of the audit was to assess whether Defence's management of its housing and relocation services provided for ADF members meets specified requirements; and to make practical recommendations for more efficient, effective and economical use of public resources provided for this purpose.
This is the second year of what may be a three-year longitudinal study of the effectiveness and efficiency of all aspects of people management in 13 agencies, covering some 36% of APS employees. The study assessed each people management practice area against four criteria: quality, HR integration, effectiveness & efficiency and business contribution.
The audit reviewed the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's management of the navigation aids network, which is an important factor in shipping safety. The objectives of the audit were to determine whether AMSA's management of the network provides for the strategic needs of marine navigation in Australian waters, and whether AMSA's management was efficient and effective. The audit focused on AMSA's strategic planning, the management of revenue and expenditure to support the network, its contract management practices, and its accountability and performance reporting arrangements.
In 2000, the ANAO tabled Audit Report No 49 1999-2000, Indigenous Land Corporation operations and performance. The 2000 audit made nine recommendations for improvement. This follow-up audit examined the Indigenous Land Corporation's implementation of the recommendations of the 2000 audit.
The audit examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations' implementation and subsequent management of the Indigenous Employment Policy. The audit sought to determine whether, in relation to the Indigenous Employment Policy, the department had:
developed appropriate planning processes and performance measures;
monitored and reported performance results;
implemented appropriate evaluation and review mechanisms;
conducted effective marketing and promotion; and
identified enhancements and addressed performance issues.
Australian Industry Involvement Program. Department of Defence The audit examined the management by Defence of its Australian Industry Involvement (AII) Program. AII is the major program through which Defence gives effect to government policy on Australian industry. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which the AII Program has achieved its two policy objectives, which are to :
develop and sustain strategically important capabilities in Australian industry to support Australian Defence Force operations and Defence capability development; and
maximise Australian industry involvement in Defence's procurement of goods and services, consistent with the government procurement policy objective of achieving best value for money to the Commonwealth.
This report examined the publication of financial statements and audit reports in the hardcopy and website forms of the annual reports of 117 Commonwealth reporting entities. The audit objective was to determine whether the published financial statements and audit reports agreed in all respects with those that had been certified by the chief-executive or governing body (as appropriate) and the Auditor-General or his delegate. In all but two instances, the reporting period covered was the year ended 30 June 2002.
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.
evaluate the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved, with a focus on those objectives relating to the optimisation of sale proceeds and minimisation of risk to the Commonwealth;
examine the effectiveness of the management of the sale process to ensure the Commonwealth received fair value; and
within the context of broader Commonwealth debt management considerations, assess the application of the sale proceeds to repaying Commonwealth debt and the extent to which public debt interest payments may be reduced.
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.
Since 2000, there has been a requirement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for Commonwealth agencies to report annually on their environmental performance as well as their contribution to Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). The audit objective was to examine and report on the quality of Commonwealth agencies' annual reports on ESD and environment performance. The audit reviewed current practice in light of legal requirements, and provided examples of better practice.
The audit assessed DITR's and the ATO's administration of the R&D Tax Concession including review processes for registration and subsequent expenditure claims, by eligible companies. In particular, the audit focussed on measuring performance, risk management, and information systems including security and data integrity.
The Navy Operational Readiness audit examined the systems that Navy uses to manage readiness and concludes coverage of Navy: readiness organisation and management structures (as well as the interface between these systems and Defence enabling operations); management and maintenance of operational readiness (covering personnel, collective training and other components of operational readiness); and readiness performance information processes. The objective of the audit was to provide assurance to Parliament concerning the progress that Navy has made in the development of operational readiness management and evaluation systems and to identify areas for improvement in these systems.
The audit reviewed the administration of referrals, assessments and approvals processes under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the quality and timeliness of environmental assessments and approvals under the Act, as well as on Environment Australia's activities to ensure compliance with the Act.
The objective of this audit was to assess whether DFAT had effective processes for issuing passports in Australia. In particular, the audit focussed on whether DFAT had effective strategies for managing passport services; provided quality client service; and had effective and secure processes for passport issue to entitled persons.
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 reviewed the Australian Customs Service (Customs) fraud control arrangements. The audit objective was to assess whether Customs has implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements consistent with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Guidelines and the administrative effectiveness of these arrangements.
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 objective of the audit was to determine whether DEST has effective governance practices for its IT and e- Business; has adequate systems in place to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of its IT and e-Business; implements and maintains appropriate quality standards within its IT and e-Business systems; and implements proper controls, including risk management, to achieve maximum benefits from its IT and e- Business. The audit examined education and training services provided, or managed, by DEST via IT or the Internet.
This is the third audit report undertaken by the ANAO in response to a request made by the Senate in the Senate Order for Departmental and Agency Contracts, which requires all Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies to place on the Internet, lists of contracts of $100 000 and more by the tenth day of the Spring and Autumn sittings of Parliament. It relates to the audit of the contract information to be listed on the Internet by the tenth day of the Autumn 2002 sitting. The audit involved a desktop review of all FMA Act agencies' Internet listings; and a detailed review in six selected agencies, of the process for making the Internet listings, and the policies and practices for determining and identifying whether contracts contained either confidential provisions and other requirements of confidentiality.
This audit followed up the ANAO's 2000 performance audit report on retention of military personnel (Audit Report No.35 1999-2000 Retention of Military Personnel), which focused on examining whether ADF personnel management practices to retain personnel were commensurate with the cost of recruiting and training new personnel, or whether more cost- effective steps could be taken to reduce the separation rates of desirable personnel. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess Defence's implementation of recommendations made in the original audit report and their effectiveness in helping Defence control the flow of trained personnel from the Services.
The Service Chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force are accountable to the Chief of the Defence Force for the way that equipment is used by their Service. They are also accountable for the safety, fitness for service and environmental compliance of the equipment. The audit report deals with the way that the Service Chiefs are assured of the safety and suitability for service of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) ordnance systems. Ordnance systems include munitions such as missiles, shells and mines, and the auxiliary material necessary to aim, launch and guide munitions.
The Audit Activity Report: July-December 2002 summarises performance audit, financial audit and other related activities for the ANAO for the period. The key issues arising from the performance audits are summarised against the ANAO themes. The appendices in the report provide a short summary of each of the audits tabled for this period, the audits in progress as at 1 January 2003 and a list of the presentations and papers given by the Auditor-General and ANAO staff.
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 audit reviewed the management and recording of guarentees, warranties, indemnities and letters of comfort issued by the Commonwealth and also assessed action taken in the relation to the recommendations from ANAO Audit Report No. 47 1997-98. The objectives of the audit were to assess the extent of:
improvement in agencies' management and monitoring of the Commonwealth's exposure to these instruments;
changes in the size and nature of the exposure since 30 June 1997; and
the approach of agencies to effective risk management and control of Commonwealth exposures to these instruments.
The main objectives of the audit were to examine DOTARS' response to the heightened threat environment following the events of 11 September 2001, and to determine the extent to which DOTARS' monitoring and compliance regime ensures that the aviation industry complies with its security obligations. The scope of the audit included:
the respective roles and responsibilities of the organisations involved in aviation security;
the setting of security settings; DOTARS' monitoring of airport, airline and cargo security;
the action DOTARS takes in response to security breaches; and
The ANAO assessed agencies' progress in implementing the seven recommendations of Audit Report No.47 of 1998-99, Energy Efficiency in Commonwealth Operations. The Objectives of the follow-up audit were to
(i) asses the extent to which selected Commonwealth agencies have implemented the recommendations of Report No. 47 of 1998-1999, taking account of any changed circumstances or new administrative issues identified as impacting upon implementation of these recommendations; and
(ii) offer continued assurance to the Parliament on the management of Commonwealth agencies' compliance with the Commonwealth energy efficiency requirements, and to identify areas of better practice in energy management by those agencies.
Physical Security Arrangements in Commonwealth Agencies, No.23 2002-2003 Protective security involves the total concept of information, personnel, physical, information technology and telecommunications security. The Commonwealth's Protective Security policy is outlined in the Protective Security Manual (PSM). It provides specific guidance to agencies on the protection of the Commonwealth's assets, personnel and clients from potential security threats. This audit evaluated the protective security policies and practices of seven Commonwealth agencies to determine whether they had established an appropriate physical security control framework based on the principles outlined in Part E of the Commonwealth's Protective Security Manual. The ANAO also examined whether agencies had considered the risks of, and developed an appropriate policy statement on, the physical security arrangements for employees who work from home.
The audit theme was financial management and accountability. The audit concluded that six of the eight organisations had satisfactory payment of accounts processes and that GST administration control frameworks had been implemented. Payment of accounts processes could be improved by greater use of information technology whereas using risk management; formalising the BAS preparation procedures; and increasing monitoring and review procedures could improve GST administration.
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 whether DEWR is efficiently and effectively managing the provision of entitlements to eligible former employees under the Employee Entitlements Support Scheme (EESS) and its replacement, the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS). The audit sought to determine whether DEWR had a mechanism to ensure that claims were properly assessed, taking into account the prevailing risks, whether performance information was adequate, whether relationships with claimants and insolvency practitioners were managed appropriately and whether a cost-effective recovery strategy was in place.
The audit examined the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners (tax agents and the wider group of professionals working on taxation matters for clients). However, our main focus was the ATO's management of its relationship with tax agents because they are the core element of the tax practitioner grouping and their role is fundamental to the effective operation of the tax system. The objective of the audit was to assess how well the ATO manages its relationship with tax practitioners, focussing on selected ATO relationships with tax practitioners, in particular its regulatory relationship with tax agents, its service support relationship with tax agents and its relationship with tax agents and members of the wider tax practitioner group in the professional bodies as key stakeholders in tax administration.
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.
A Business Support Process audit of the administration of grants in small to medium organisations was undertaken across six Commonwealth organisations to assess whether agencies had implemented appropriate risk management strategies for grant programs; evaluate whether grants had been administered in accordance with the appropriate legislation, Commonwealth guidance, and other accepted internal controls; and to recommend improvements in the controls and practices relating to grants administration.
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.
Pursuant to a request from the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee and the Auditor - General's response to the Committee, the objective of this performance audit was to examine and report on the selection of the preferred tenderer in the Health Group IT outsourcing process. In particular, the audit examined the circumstances surrounding OASITO's administration of the: - disclosure to a tenderer of information provided by other tenderers; - subsequent acceptance of a late re-pricing offer from a tenderer: and - advice to the decision- maker leading to the selection of the preferred tenderer. The audit focused particularly on assessing the administrative processes undertaken in the selection of the preferred tenderer for the Health Group. Audit emphasis was placed on the management of the probity aspects of the tender process, particularly in regard to events that occurred between June 1999, when the tenderers provided their penultimate pricing, and the selection of the preferred tenderer in September 1999.
This benchmarking study was a follow on from ANAO Report No. 14 of 2000-01, Benchmarking the Internal Audit Function, which was published in October 2000. The objective of the study was to obtain and report qualitative and quantitative data on aspects of the internal audit function and compare the public sector internal audit results with equivalent international data to identify better practices and highlight areas for improvement.
The IIF program is designed to redress the low level of provision in Australia of high risk venture capital for small new technology - based companies commercialising research and development. The objective of the audit was to determine whether the IIF program was being effectively managed by the Industry Research and Development (IR&D) Board and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources to achieve the program objectives. The audit focused on corporate governance arrangements for program administration, the selection process to award licences, the safeguards to protect the Commonwealth's financial interests, management of licence agreements, and program performance management. The audit also examined program results to date from available data.
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 Department of the Treasury (Treasury) manages Australia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various development banks, including those belonging to the World Bank Group. The audit examined Treasury's management of these obligations. In view of the size of Australia's investments and obligations, the audit focussed on financial management issues.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether Centrelink's Balanced Scorecard (BSC) was based on key elements of better practice principles and its use assisted Centrelink to understand and communicate its performance against its strategic goals. The audit examined:
the use of the BSC in setting Centrelink's vision and goals;
the role of the BSC in planning;
alignment of the BSC from the top down through the organisation and the interdependencies of scoreboards used by various support units, the definition and use of measures, including target setting and links to goals within the BSC framework; and
This is the second audit report under the Senate Order, which requires all Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies to place on the Internet, lists of contracts of $100 000 and more by the tenth day of the Spring and Autumn sittings of Parliament. It relates to the audit of the contract information to be listed on the Internet by the tenth day of the Autumn 2002 sitting. The audit involved a desktop review of all FMA Act agencies' Internet listings; and a detailed review at six selected agencies, of the process for making the Internet listings, and the policies and practices for determining confidentiality provisions in contracts.
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 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 departments' fraud policy. The objective of the audit was to assess whether DVA has implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and whether these arrangements operate effectively in practice.
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 report summarises the audit and other related activities of the ANAO in the period January to June 2002. Key issues arising from performance audits tabled in this period are summarised. Appendix 1 of the Activity Report provides a short summary of each of the audits tabled between 1 January 2002 and 30 June 2002.
HMAS Cerberus is a Navy base situated south-east of Melbourne, Victoria. As a major Navy training establishment, it conducts initial recruit training, and specialist category training in areas such as communications and engineering. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Schools of Catering and Physical Training are situated there, as is a major health centre for operational and training needs. The health centre and other facilities at HMAS Cerberus were re-developed several years ago. In August 2001, the then Minister for Defence announced that, in response to continuing concern over facilities management at HMAS Cerberus, he had asked the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to conduct an independent investigation. The ANAO agreed to review these matters. The objective of the audit was to examine facilities management issues at HMAS Cerberus with a view to clarifying those of concern and ensuring that lessons would be learned from them to assist Defence facilities management generally.
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.