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The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of procedures and processes used by DEST and the ATO to record HECS–HELP student loans. To achieve this, the ANAO assessed the performance of DEST and the ATO against three criteria as follows:
DEST monitored student contributions set by higher education providers for consistency with Australian Government policy;
DEST paid HECS–HELP advance payments to higher education providers based on sound estimates, and recorded, reconciled and reported these payments; and
the ATO has established procedures and processes to correctly record HECS–HELP loans against student tax records.
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.