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The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether Defence had taken appropriate action on recommendations made in the ANAO's 1995 audit report on Management Audit Branch (MAB), which is responsible for internal audit in Defence, and to assess whether the internal audit function in Defence could be improved.
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.
Tactical fighter operations (TFOs) form the basis of Australia's current military capability to ensure air superiority. Air superiority over the Australian territory and maritime approaches is an essential element in Australia's defence strategy. The audit objectives were to:
assess whether the resources used to provide the F/A-18 tactical fighter force operational capability are managed cost-effectively; and
identify areas for improvement in the coordination, planning and practices employed in administration of tactical fighter operations.
The audit reviewed the construction of facilities for the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Defence by the Defence Estate Organisation. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the Organisation's project delivery function, highlighting effective practice and, where appropriate, making practical recommendations to enhance facilities project management. The main projects examined were the facilities required for the Army Presence in the North and the Russell Hill Redevelopment.
The audit reviewed the retention of military personnel that are managed by the Australian Defence Force which comprises the three Services. The objective of the audit was to review the management of personnel retention within the ADF with a view to evaluating the measures Defence has in place to monitor and control the flow of trained personnel from the Services
The audit objective was to form an opinion on the Department of Veterans' Affairs administration of its activities to maintain and enhance the health and independence of veterans and war widows in their homes and in the community.
In a military context, individual readiness refers to the ability of an individual member to be deployed, within a specified notice period, on operations, potentially in a combat environment, to perform the specific skills in which he or she has been trained. Individual readiness is the foundation on which military preparedness is built. Maintenance of a specified level of individual readiness in peacetime (along with other factors such as equipment readiness and collective training) influences the speed with which personnel can deploy on operations. The objective of this audit is to ensure that members can be deployed on operations, potentially in a combat environment, to perform their specific skills within a notice period of 30 days.
The objective of this audit was to form an opinion on the adequacy of, and to identify best practice in, Commonwealth agencies' electricity procurement systems and procedures. In doing so, the ANAO also formed an opinion on the level and results of participation by Commonwealth agencies in the National Electricity Market. The audit concentrated on adherence by agencies to the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines: Core Policies and Principles (March 1998), emphasising the importance of Commonwealth agencies achieving value-for-money (VFM) in their purchasing. VFM is one of the six principles on which the Guidelines are based.
The Department of Defence spends some $2.4 billion a year on major equipment acquisition projects. The audit objective was to assess Defence's arrangements for higher-level management of major equipment acquisition projects. The principal aim was to formulate practical recommendations that would both enhance Defence's management of major acquisition projects and provide a degree of assurance about its ongoing apparent capacity to do so efficiently and effectively.
The audit reviewed the productivity and client service of IP Australia, a division of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, which provides intellectual property rights in respect of patents, trade marks and designs. The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of IP Australia's management of productivity and client service.
The objective was to assess the extent to which staff reductions have been managed in a sound strategic and cost-effective manner consistent with the Government's guidelines and the ANAO's 1996 better practice guide Managing APS Staff Reductions. The audit focussed on 3 agencies - the Australian Taxation Office, the former Department of Primary Industry and Energy, and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development. The ANAO found that the majority of staff reductions were achieved through retrenchment rather than natural attrition; and that decisions on the number of retrenchments were not always supported by an assessment of the impact of the reductions on the agencies' abilities to conduct their business.
The objectives of the audit were to form an opinion on the management of Commonwealth agencies' compliance with the Commonwealth's energy efficiency requirements and to identify areas for better practice in energy management. The audit focussed on:
the implementation of the Energy Policy by Commonwealth Agencies; promulgation and coordination of energy use targets;
energy and associated reporting by Commonwealth agencies;
identification, examination and analysis of systemic and procedural impediments to achieving the Energy Policy; and
development and discussion of ways to address these impediments.
Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have informal and formal complaint mechanisms available to them to address grievances. Initially, members are advised to seek resolution of their complaint at the lowest possible level, through the normal command channels and administrative arrangements. A member who is not satisfied that a complaint has been resolved in this manner may use the Redress of Grievance (ROG) system to submit a formal complaint to the commanding officer of the member's unit. The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether the ROG system could be refined to improve the efficiency and timeliness of processing of complaints while preserving the equity and transparency the current system provides.The Redress of Grievance system is clearly time-consuming and resource intensive. Some grievances have taken as long as four years to resolve. Some could be resolved by administrative means rather than through recourse to grievance processes. The system contains various inefficiencies that detract from its cost-effectiveness from the viewpoint of the ADF and individual members. In addition many members are unaware of the system or do not have a high level of confidence in its effectiveness.
The audit reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence's management of Naval Aviation Force (NAF) in achieving its required capability within budgeted resources. The objectives of the audit were to assess whether planning, management and resource allocation mechanisms and practices for NAF were conducive to achieving the latter's objectives in a cost-effective manner.
The Pharmaceutical Industry Investment Program (PIIP) is a scheme that was introduced to compensate the pharmaceutical industry, in part, for the impact of the Government exercising its monopsony power under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The ANAO undertook an audit of the probity of the methodology and procedures applied by the Department in assessment of applicants for PIIP funding. The objectives of the audit were to assist the Department, at its request, in the timely identification of deficiencies in assessing responses from applicants and options for addressing any such deficiencies.
The audit objective was to determine the DVA's performance in the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the delivery of income support payments to veterans and war widows. It was found that overall, DVA is paying the correct pension to the correct people in a timely fashion within the required accuracy levels.
The purpose of the audit was to assess whether management of parliamentary workflow by the agencies reviewed was efficient and effective and to identify elements of good practice. In assessing agency effectiveness and efficiency, the audit focussed on issues of client service such as timeliness, quality and cost. It considered also the governance framework and accountability arrangements relevant to parliamentary workflow, as well as more operational considerations including the use of information technology, development of relevant management information and suitable benchmarking processes.
The audit reviewed six budget-funded agencies (Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Department of Defence, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and two off-budget entities (Airservices Australia and Reserve Bank of Australia). The ANAO also examined the Office for Government Online's (OGO, formerly the Office of Government Information Technology, or OGIT) whole-of-government coordination of the Commonwealth's Year 2000 efforts.
Simulators are devices that provide personnel with training and practice by reproducing the behaviour of operational equipment. Defence records indicate that since 1960 the Defence Organisation has spent about $1 billion on acquiring simulators for training purposes. Over the next five years Defence proposes to spend a further $1.1 billion on simulation. The objective of the audit was to assess whether Defence had developed appropriate policies to provide guidance to personnel in the acquisition and use of aerospace simulators and the effectiveness of its procedures in achieving best value for the Commonwealth in relation to aerospace simulators.
The objective of this audit was to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of processes the Australian Customs Service uses to screen incoming and outgoing mail. It also considers the involvement of other stakeholders such as Australia Post and Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of DoTRD's implementation of Annex 17 in the Australian aviation environment. The ANAO concluded that DoTRD has established a regulatory regime which ensures Australia's compliance with the standards embodied in Annex 17. However, there are areas where Australia's aviation security regime can be strengthened even further including; developing a more robust approach to risk management, developing a longer-term perspective to DoTRD's planning structure, development of proactive alliances with aviation regulators in neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region, further improvement of the airport audit process, development and implementation of an evaluation strategy, development of a formal transparent approach to enforcement.
The audit reviewed collection management practices and management information systems of the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management processes employed in safeguarding national collections.
The Audit reviewed the Commercial Support Program (CSP) within the Department of Defence. The CSP was introduced in 1991 following a review of the report, The Defence Force and the Community. Its objective is to achieve best value for money in the acquisition of support services for the Department of Defence and to give the private sector an opportunity to participate in the provision of those support services. The objective of this audit was to assess whether CSP was meeting its objectives and to identify any areas where it may be possible to improve the timeliness, and therefore cost-effectiveness, with which CSP is implemented and the quality of the process itself to produce better outcomes.