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As part of the Government's Taxation Reform Initiatives, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was given responsibility for implementing the Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Business Register (ABR) initiatives. The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ABN registration process and the ATO's implementation and management of the ABR.
This was a follow-up of Audit Report No. 29 2000-01, Review of Veterans' Appeals Against Disability Compensation Entitlement Decisions. That audit examined the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA's) and the Veterans' Review Board's (VRB's) management of the review of decisions for disability compensation. The objective of this audit was to assess the extent to which DVA and the VRB had implemented the four recommendations of Report No.29 2000-01, taking into account any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of these recommendations.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the progress Defence has made since June 2001 in implementing appropriate strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel. The audit focused on management of specialist information system skills and did not examine skills needed by users of information systems, although the latter is of obvious importance for overall performance. In June 2001, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA), after reviewing the ANAO's Audit Report No. 11 Knowledge System Equipment Acquisition Projects in Defence, commented that its major concern about Defence's ability to develop a knowledge edge with adequate coherence, centred on Defence's ability to recruit, develop and retain skilled individuals needed in all parts of the DIE. The JCPAA recommended that the ANAO conduct an audit of Defence's strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's fraud prevention and contol arrangements in relation to the Goods and Services Tax. The audit objective was to assess whether the ATO has implemented administratively effective GST fraud control arrangements, consistent with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
Defence has long provided housing assistance for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families. In 1988, this function passed to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), which was established to provide suitable housing to meet Defence's operational needs. In 2000, Defence and DHA signed a Services Agreement valued at $3.5 billion over 10 years. The objective of the audit was to assess whether Defence's management of its housing and relocation services provided for ADF members meets specified requirements; and to make practical recommendations for more efficient, effective and economical use of public resources provided for this purpose.
Australian Industry Involvement Program. Department of Defence The audit examined the management by Defence of its Australian Industry Involvement (AII) Program. AII is the major program through which Defence gives effect to government policy on Australian industry. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which the AII Program has achieved its two policy objectives, which are to :
develop and sustain strategically important capabilities in Australian industry to support Australian Defence Force operations and Defence capability development; and
maximise Australian industry involvement in Defence's procurement of goods and services, consistent with the government procurement policy objective of achieving best value for money to the Commonwealth.
The audit assessed DITR's and the ATO's administration of the R&D Tax Concession including review processes for registration and subsequent expenditure claims, by eligible companies. In particular, the audit focussed on measuring performance, risk management, and information systems including security and data integrity.
The Navy Operational Readiness audit examined the systems that Navy uses to manage readiness and concludes coverage of Navy: readiness organisation and management structures (as well as the interface between these systems and Defence enabling operations); management and maintenance of operational readiness (covering personnel, collective training and other components of operational readiness); and readiness performance information processes. The objective of the audit was to provide assurance to Parliament concerning the progress that Navy has made in the development of operational readiness management and evaluation systems and to identify areas for improvement in these systems.
The audit reviewed the Australian Customs Service (Customs) fraud control arrangements. The audit objective was to assess whether Customs has implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements consistent with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Guidelines and the administrative effectiveness of these arrangements.
This audit followed up the ANAO's 2000 performance audit report on retention of military personnel (Audit Report No.35 1999-2000 Retention of Military Personnel), which focused on examining whether ADF personnel management practices to retain personnel were commensurate with the cost of recruiting and training new personnel, or whether more cost- effective steps could be taken to reduce the separation rates of desirable personnel. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess Defence's implementation of recommendations made in the original audit report and their effectiveness in helping Defence control the flow of trained personnel from the Services.
The Service Chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force are accountable to the Chief of the Defence Force for the way that equipment is used by their Service. They are also accountable for the safety, fitness for service and environmental compliance of the equipment. The audit report deals with the way that the Service Chiefs are assured of the safety and suitability for service of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) ordnance systems. Ordnance systems include munitions such as missiles, shells and mines, and the auxiliary material necessary to aim, launch and guide munitions.
The audit examined the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners (tax agents and the wider group of professionals working on taxation matters for clients). However, our main focus was the ATO's management of its relationship with tax agents because they are the core element of the tax practitioner grouping and their role is fundamental to the effective operation of the tax system. The objective of the audit was to assess how well the ATO manages its relationship with tax practitioners, focussing on selected ATO relationships with tax practitioners, in particular its regulatory relationship with tax agents, its service support relationship with tax agents and its relationship with tax agents and members of the wider tax practitioner group in the professional bodies as key stakeholders in tax administration.
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.
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 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 audit reviewed the High Wealth Individuals Taskforce, a comprehensive compliance program with the Australian Taxation Office. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the management and operations of the taskforce. In doing so, the audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's own evaluation of the taskforce and assessed whether, and to what extent, the taskforce delivered the outcomes specified by the Government.
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 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the Commonwealth's principal revenue collection agency. In 1998-99, the ATO accounted for total tax revenue of $135.3 billion. The objective of this audit was to review the ATO's administration of penalties, with particular emphasis on its corporate governance framework and issues relating to consistency, effectiveness and accountability of penalty administration. In particular, the audit examined the administration of two penalty types, Late Lodgement and Tax Shortfall, as case studies.
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.
The objective of this performance audit was to assess the effectiveness and consistency of risk management processes undertaken by the Australian Taxation Office in administering individual taxpayer refunds.
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 objectives of this audit were to improve: the accountability of the Australian Taxation Office to Parliament and the Government by the provision of advice that follows up on the ATO's implementation of the previous ANAO Report; and on the recommendations of the then Joint Committee of Public Accounts arising from its consideration of that Report and the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of debt collection by the ATO.
The Superannuation Guarantee, which came into effect on 1 July 1992, was introduced to reduce reliance on the age pension as a means of funding retirement for individuals. The objective of the performance audit was to review the ATO's administration of the Superannuation Guarantee and to identify appropriate opportunities for improvement.
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.