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On 3 February 2010, Senator Christine Milne wrote to the Auditor General raising concerns about DEWHA's administration of the Green Loans program and requesting a performance audit of the program. Issues raised included: uncapped assessor numbers; problems with the delivery of the program; the quality of assessor training and assessments provided to households; the lack of an audit facility within the program; and equitable access to work under the program.
In light of Senator Milne's request and other concerns in relation to the administration of the program, the Auditor-General agreed on 25 February 2010 to conduct a performance audit of the program. The objective of the audit was to examine key aspects of the establishment and administration of the Green Loans program by DEWHA and the program's transition to DCCEE. Particular emphasis was given to the program's three main elements:
training, registration and contracting of assessors;
scheduling, conduct, and reporting of home sustainability assessments, and the associated payments to assessors; and
provision of green loans to householders, and the associated payments to participating financial institutions.
The audit also examined the extent to which steps had been taken by DEWHA and DCCEE to assess whether the Green Loans program was achieving its objectives.
The audit objective was to assess whether agreements between Australian Government (Commonwealth) agencies reflect sound administrative practices. To meet this objective, the audit reviewed current government policy and a range of better practice guidelines, conducted interviews with agencies and examined cross-agency agreements, to formulate suitable audit criteria and subsequently develop better practice principles.
The objective of this audit was to assess the coordination of Australian, State and Territory Government climate change programs and the integrity of measuring and reporting of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and abatement. Particular emphasis was given to the:
coordination of Australian Government and State/Territory climate change programs;
integrity of the national inventory to measure Australia's greenhouse gas emissions; and
integrity of measuring and reporting government abatement measures.
The objective of this audit was to assess the effectiveness of the administration of specific climate change programs by the departments of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and Resources, Energy and Tourism. In undertaking this audit, particular emphasis was given to the implementation of good administrative practice and the extent to which the program objectives were being met. The audit followed four lines of inquiry:
development of program objectives and assessment of program risks;
assessment and approval of competitive grant applications;
assessment and approval of rebate applications; and
The objective of this audit was to assess whether the WSA program has been administered effectively by the NWC/DEWHA, as relevant, and is achieving its stated program objective. Specifically, the ANAO examined whether:
funding proposals have been assessed and approved in a fair, consistent manner and in accordance with applicable criteria, program guidelines and better practice;
appropriate funding arrangements have been established with proponents, having regard to the size of the grant, the type of entity involved and the nature of the project; and
DEWHA (and previously the NWC) is actively monitoring whether proponents are complying with their obligations, and grant payments are made only in accordance with funding agreements.
More broadly, the audit examined DEWHA's strategy for evaluating and reporting on the long-term benefits of the program.
As an element of the arrangements implemented to support the role of the ANAO in reviewing campaigns' compliance with the Guidelines announced on 2 July 2008, the ANAO advised the chair of the JCPAA that the ANAO will provide regular summary reports to Parliament. Section 25 of the Auditor-General's Act 1997 provides for the tabling of such reports.
The objective of this audit was to assess and report on the progress being made by Government agencies in achieving better practice in green office procurement and sustainable office management. The scope of the audit included agencies incorporated under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 as well as a sample of bodies incorporated under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. Sixty-three agencies were included in an audit survey. Detailed validation was carried out in nine of these agencies.
The objective of this audit was to assess and report on the administration of the regional delivery of NHT 2 and the NAP.
The scope of the audit encompassed both Environment and DAFF, including the Joint Team of staff from both departments working together under a common management structure for the delivery of both programs. The audit focused on:
the implementation of the regional delivery arrangements;
governance and financial management for regional delivery; and
monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the programs' performance.
The objective of the audit was to assess and report on the administration of the Act by the department in terms of protecting and conserving threatened species and threatened ecological communities in Australia.
The objective of the audit was to assess the application of the outcomes and outputs framework in Australian Government agencies. The audit included a review of:
the outcomes and outputs of agencies and the integration of the outcomes and outputs framework into agencies' operations;
the extent to which agencies' performance indicators incorporated better practice characteristics to enable agencies to meet their performance reporting obligations;
agencies' processes for capturing, monitoring and reporting financial and performance information and the extent to which outcomes and outputs information was used in agency decision-making; and
the extent that agencies met their external reporting and accountability obligations.
The audit consisted of a survey of 44 agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) undertaken in October 2005 and detailed audit testing in three of those agencies. The purpose of the survey was to provide cross-agency data in relation to agencies' implementation of the framework during the period 2002–03 to 2005–06. The ANAO received responses from all 44 agencies, although not all agencies responded to all questions. The ANAO did not audit the information provided by survey participants and the reported results are based on agencies' responses to the survey.
The agencies at which detailed audit testing was undertaken were:
Department of Education Science and Training;
the then Department of the Environment and Heritage; and