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The purpose of this audit was to assess the Department of Social Security's approach to customer service against a recognised good practice methodology, and to identify opportunities for DSS to improve the quality of its customer service, its administrative effectiveness and its overall performance. The ANAO's intention was to identify opportunities to improve customer focus, particularly for those aspects of DSS's administration impacting on customer service. The audit criteria included: customer service environment; human resource management practices; communication with customers; customer-friendly approaches; and systematic approaches to continuous improvement.
The objective of the audit was to form an opinion and report on the efficiency, economy and administrative effectiveness of the management of the investigation and recovery of the proceeds of crime. The audit examined a sample of cases of serious crime investigated by the NCA and the AFP and prosecuted by the DPP.
The objective of the audit was to assess the Australian Taxation Office's approach to client service and the provision of particular client services to Individuals Non-Business clients. The INB business line deals primarily with the tax affairs of individual taxpayers. Audit criteria were developed which examined the ATO's:
commitment to client service and understanding of client needs and expectations;
client service strategy and delivery of client services and products; and
measurement and achievement of service quality and client satisfaction.
The objective of the audit was to review the Department of Veterans' Affairs' management of the outsourcing of its data centre in Sydney from February 1992, specifically with respect to the management of its contractual arrangements. The audit sought to identify the extent to which DVA achieved its objectives of outsourcing and the effectiveness of its management of the arrangement with the supplier.
The focus of the audit was to examine recent selected property sales within the portfolios owning the majority of Commonwealth property, ie. those of Defence, Administrative Services and Veterans' Affairs. The approach taken in the audit was to select property sales from each of the three agencies and review the files and transactions related to those sales. The sales were evaluated against criteria which included establishment of sales timetables, sales methods, and completion processes such as the criteria for the selection of tenders and accountability. The objectives of the audit were to assess departments' management of the sale process associated with selected property sales with regard to:
the extent to which the individual property sale objectives were achieved;
how departments managed the sales to ensure that the Commonwealth received fair value;
whether the departments' sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and
identifying principles of better practice employed by agencies in connection with these sales.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Commonwealth's interests were adequately protected in terms of both the contractor selection process that led to Australian Construction Services being awarded the contract for the overall management of the project and the actual commercial arrangements between the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and ACS. As part of the audit, criteria were developed which considered whether the Commonwealth procurement guidelines were adhered to, as well as whether the commercial arrangements clearly detailed the goods and services to be provided, their cost and timing of delivery.
The objective of the audit was to assess the workforce planning systems used by the Australian Defence Force with a view to identifying better practice and making recommendations where appropriate to promote overall effectiveness of planning systems. The main issues were the management of the workforce planning function and determination of workforce requirements. The audit concentrated on the full-time military workforce, but also included the issue of the flexibility for military units to employ reserves or civilians where appropriate.
The main objectives of the audit were to assess the management and administration of the payment of accounts function in the Commonwealth and to identify, develop and report better practice to promote overall improvements in public administration.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative arrangements for the provision of food to the Australian Defence Force and identify possible areas for improvement. The audit criteria addressed the adequacy of policy guidance, planning, performance information and risk management in all areas of ADF food provisioning.
Following an initial selection through a process of inviting expressions of interest, OGIT issued a restricted Request for Proposal for Human Resource Management Systems and Financial Management Information Systems. OGIT sought the services of the ANAO to provide an opinion on the probity of the methodology and procedures applied in the process of evaluation of tenders for acceptance to the Shared Systems Suite. The ANAO also agreed to review the formal procedures developed by OGIT and to test their operation to enable the ANAO to form an opinion, with a reasonable degree of assurance, on whether the evaluation process accords with the Commonwealth Purchasing Guidelines for open and effective competition and consideration for the development of Australian and New Zealand industry.
The purpose of the audit was to examine how efficiently and effectively the ATO managed its collection of outstanding tax debt. A framework for analysing the ATO's approach to collecting outstanding debt was established by the ANAO. This framework reflected five key criteria in the collection process as they apply to managing outstanding debt, namely:
initiatives to promote timely payment;
identification of outstanding debt;
setting priorities for collecting outstanding debt;
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No.7, 1993-94 titled Department of Social Security: Data-matching. It reports upon the effectiveness of the DSS actions in response to the recommendations of the original 1993-94 audit. In noting the considerable progress made by the Department against the original audit recommendations, the ANAO considers that several recommendations have yet to be fully addressed. These are covered in this report and include reducing the variability in review results across offices, enhancing the TFN registration process, and validating savings assumptions.
This audit considered the action taken in relation to the recommendations of Audit Report No.47, 1991-92, Energy Management of Commonwealth Buildings. The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether the Department of Primary Industries and Energy, the Department of Administrative Services, and the Department of Finance had taken appropriate action in relation to the recommendations. The audit criteria were the extent to which the original recommendations agreed by the agencies had been implemented and what had been achieved.
The audit examined the Commonwealth's management of the Building Better Cities Program to identify areas where improvement was needed and where lessons learned from BCP could be useful in other programs.
The purpose of the audit was to examine the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the Therapeutic Goods Administration's performance in evaluating and approving prescription drugs for public use. In particular the audit focused on analysing elements of the regulatory process associated with the evaluation of prescription drugs. In this context the audit reviewed the administrative operations performed within the Department's Drug Safety and Evaluation Branch, the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee and the Business and Services Branch of the TGA, rather than any processes preceding or succeeding those activities.
The objective of the audit was to review AusAID's management of funding to Non-Government Organisations, to assess whether:
the objectives of overseas development programs to be delivered by NGOs were clearly established;
funding mechanisms for the delivery of aid programs by NGOs were clearly defined, consistently applied, and in compliance with the law; and
whether AusAID could provide assurances that NGOs delivering development projects using Commonwealth monies are accountable for: proper expenditure of Commonwealth monies; the achievement of stated objectives; and the achievement of value for money.
The ANAO examined AusAID documentation on overseas development programs delivered by NGOs, looking particularly for clear objectives, performance measures, and evaluation mechanisms. Three levels of documentation were examined:
The focus of this audit was to ascertain how the Family Court had spent Justice Statement monies and to form an opinion on the current and projected financial position of the Court. The ANAO undertook the review of the Family Court in a two-stage process. The first stage, the findings of which appear in this report, to allow consideration in the Budget context, was undertaken as a project audit and had the objective of addressing the issues of immediate concern to the Attorney-General.
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No.8 1992-93, Compensation Pensions to Veterans and War Widows and Audit Report No. 15 1994-95, Follow-up of an Efficiency Audit on Compensation Pensions to Veterans and War Widows. This audit examined the performance of the Compensation sub-program operations in order to ascertain the impact of previous audit reports and to recommend areas that could be further improved.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of the management and control framework established by the Australian National Training Authority to assist its administration and achievement of its objectives. The ANAO's investigation was limited to an analysis of ANTA's internal administrative framework. The audit work focused on key components of the framework: planning, monitoring, and financial and control frameworks.
The objective of the audit was to examine how efficiently and effectively the Australian Customs Service administers the Passenger Movement Charge, including the interim arrangements with airlines. The audit was intended to provide guidance to ACS on key issues and areas of risk it should address in developing the system supporting the collection of PMC. Audit criteria were determined to consider how well revenue was protected and how well the administrative arrangements were operating. The audit sought to identify areas for improvement in the formulation of longer-term arrangements.
A Preliminary Study into Joint Commercial Arrangements between Commonwealth Budget-funded entities and private sector companies has indicated that an efficiency audit is not warranted at this time. On the basis of a survey, the study has indicated that, whilst there are some 60 joint commercial arrangements in existence, most are relatively small in financial terms.
This performance audit was conducted to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Commonwealth fisheries management, with particular emphasis on AFMA's systems and procedures for planning and operations. In addition, the audit sought to determine whether AFMA is gathering and reporting to the Parliament appropriate accountability information on its performance.
The purpose of the audit was to examine the environmental management mechanisms in place across some of the major Commonwealth land management and oversighting entities. In particular, the audit examined Commonwealth environmental management practices to identify current strengths and weaknesses, and provide a framework and direction for the adoption of better practice and continuous improvement. The audit has not been designed to judge past Commonwealth performance using current environmental standards and practices. Rather, the audit focused on encouraging the development of better practice by illustrating the implications and lessons learned from past and present practices.
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; Department of Defence; Department of Transport and Regional Development; Department of Administrative Services; Department of Environment, Sport and Territories
The objectives of the audit were to examine and report on the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of AEM's management and administration of the Commonwealth-owned commercial office estate. The ANAO addressed 22 recommendations to AEM, which will remain relevant in the context of the major administrative changes that the Commonwealth's property management function is currently undertaking.
The objective of the audit was to assess the performance of the Department's management of the project in the light of accepted project management techniques, including risk management. An important part of the audit was to derive lessons to be learnt and recommendations that could be applied to the remainder of the project and to other large Defence projects.
The Department of Defence is responsible for administering the Defence export facilitation program which is aimed at promoting Australian defence-relevant exports. The Department administers the program in cooperation with AUSTRADE. Defence is also responsible for administering export controls on defence and related goods and dual-use goods. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for controls on chemical and biological weapons precursors. The Department of Primary Industries and Energy is responsible for controls on nuclear-specific technology and source/fissionable material. The Australian Customs Service implements barrier controls at ports and airports. In September 1993 the then Minister for Trade referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) an inquiry into the implications of Australian defence exports. The JSCFADT's Report on the Implications of Australian Defence Exports (September 1994) recommended, inter alia, that the Auditor-General conduct a performance audit of the operations of the guidelines concerning the controls on the export of defence and related goods, the export control process, and all export facilitation activities. The Auditor-General agreed to undertake an audit, which commenced in May 1995 as a preliminary study and was designated as a performance audit on 30 August 1995.
The audit examined how well performance information for programs administered by the (now) Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) facilitates good decision-making and provides a suitable framework for control and accountability for performance.
The audit examined the role of Comcare, employers and other key stakeholders in effecting an early and permanent return to work for injured employees. Case management practices in Comcare and selected agencies were reviewed to form an opinion on the efficiency, economy and administrative effectiveness of those practices and management of the rehabilitation function. The audit did not examine the administration of injured workers' compensation claims nor the effectiveness of the policy which requires employers to comply with the Comcare Return to Work (RTW) model.
The ANAO selected the Fututech project for audit as it is one of the largest R&D projects conducted by any of the rural R&D corporations to date. The ANAO planned to identify possible improvements in management practices which would assist not only MRC but also other R&D corporations.
The objective of the audit was to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the scheme in light of rapidly increasing expenditure and a history of administrative difficulties and deficiencies.
The management of Australia's overseas posts has not previously been scrutinised by the ANAO from a performance perspective. This audit is the first in a series planned to examine different aspects of the administration of Australian representation abroad, focusing particularly on DFAT and Austrade, as the agencies responsible for managing almost all overseas posts.
The diversity and complexity of issues at overseas missions of different sizes mean that posts generally cannot be treated as if they were all the same. This audit concentrated on small and medium-sized posts. The findings and conclusions should, therefore, not be regarded as automatically applicable to large posts.
The ANAO conducted a project audit of Competitive Employment, Training and Placement services, part of the Disability Services Program administered by the then Department of Human Services and Health, primarily because of parliamentary concerns relating to these services. Under the Administrative Arrangements Order of 11 March 1996, the Disability Services Program is now administered by the Department of Health and Family Services.
The primary objectives of the ANAO preliminary study were to gain an understanding of the concepts and associated processes used in the management of preparedness. This included the methodology for translating the Government's strategic guidance into military capability; the processes by which the Services translate preparedness directives into operational requirements; and how Headquarters ADF (HQADF) and the three Service Offices assure themselves that units can satisfy the requirements of preparedness directives.
Within the scope of this preliminary study the ANAO did not attempt to form a conclusion regarding the current ability of the ADF to satisfy the roles set by Government in strategic guidance; that is, its actual state of preparedness. It was important first to obtain a good understanding of the concepts and associated methodology used by Defence in managing preparedness.
The audit examined how well the Commonwealth's regulators of consumer product safety have used a 'whole of agency' approach to risk management to protect consumers. The audit also looked at the health costs associated with consumer product related injuries and deaths and the extent to which the legal remedies available under the Trade Practices Act are used.
The objectives of this audit were to assess planning, management, conduct and staffing of internal audit in the Department of Defence, with a view to providing assurance as to the standard of its work. Opportunities were taken to identify specific policies and practices that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of MAB audit. Fieldwork for the ANAO audit was performed between May and August 1995.
whether the planning and implementation of the DSS Teleservice project has been adequate to ensure successful operations;
the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Teleservice Centre management practices;
whether Teleservice Centres have been successful in delivering the anticipated improvements to client service; and
what opportunities might be available for improvement in the operation of the Centres.
An important aim of the audit was to ascertain with DSS what value could be added by identifying more administratively effective and efficient means of managing and operating their Teleservice Centre network. In addition, the ANAO considered that the experience gained and lessons learned from the introduction of Teleservice operations by DSS could improve the planning and implementation of major technology-based operational and client service initiatives in the future, both in DSS and the Australian Public Service (APS) generally.
In carrying out the audit, the ANAO undertook an extensive examination of the Teleservice environment including:
examining the experience and practices of private sector call centre operations;
reviewing the DSS Teleservice network, involving detailed discussions with departmental officers, examining files and data and observing Teleservice Centre operations; as well as
consulting a range of community groups and government agencies familiar with DSS's Teleservice Centre services.
Audit Report No.5 1993-94, Explosive Ordnance, Department of Defence, was tabled in the Parliament in September 1993. The report was structured in three parts. The first part covered explosive ordnance (EO) issues common to all three Services; the second part focused on the management of explosive ordnance by the Navy; and the third part was a follow-up of the 1987 audit report on Air Force explosive ordnance. The report made 39 recommendations. Defence agreed to implement most of them.
It was considered timely to undertake a follow-up audit into key issues of the recommendations contained in the audit report, given the elapsed time since the report was tabled and the issues associated with public safety.
The purpose of the audit was to ascertain the extent to which financial management arrangements helped the department to achieve its objectives and the way that these could be improved in the light of the department's management reforms generally.
Elements of the Financial Management Improvement Program, and the accrual reporting framework, were at an evolutionary stage in the department. The audit therefore focused on quite fundamental financial management issues, including:
the ability of financial management systems to provide information that was timely, accurate and relevant to the needs of management and other users; and
the extent of coordination and control of financial management across departmental programs and between National and State Offices.
The purpose of this audit was to determine whether Australian Hearing Services has in place procedures to monitor the quality of services provided at both its own hearing centres and contractors' sites.
the methods used by the Department of Social Security (DSS) to determine and allocate staff numbers to Regional Offices. It sought to ascertain whether the allocations resulting from these methods met the demands placed on Regional Offices and the scope for improvement to these methods; and
the scope for improvements to the benefit delivery process and other aspects of Regional Office operations that could lead to significant productivity gains or client service benefits.
This audit reviewed the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of case management in the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) to identify good practices and any areas in need of improvement.
This report has been prepared in response to a resolution of the Senate on 8 December 1994 which referred certain matters relating to the possible sale of ANL Ltd to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee. The resolution directed the Committee to consider a report from the Auditor-General and drew the Auditor-General's attention to a range of specific issues and questions.
This is a report of an audit by the ANAO of the Australian Taxation Office's Income Matching System (IMS). The IMS is a computer-based system which identifies discrepancies between information in tax returns and external data. The main income types covered are dividends, interest, wages and salaries, pensions and benefits and prescribed payments. It also generates unmatched data and cases where assessments have not yet been issued.