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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.
The audit reviewed the management of the first round of Job Network contracts, which focused on Job Matching, Job Search Training and Intensive Assistance. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business's management of the first round of employment services contracts. A key part of this examination was to assess the Department's level of confidence that the program was meeting government objectives based on performance and management information.
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 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.