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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.