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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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.