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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 the appropriateness of the use and reporting of confidentiality provisions in Australian Government contracts. This included assessing compliance with the Order and following up on the implementation of recommendations made in previous Senate Order audits.
The audit involved three components:
an examination of a stratified random sample of 150 contracts listed as containing confidentiality provisions from material and small agencies across the Australian Government to determine whether confidentiality provisions were used and reported appropriately;
an examination of all FMA Act agencies' calendar year 2009 contract listings, and ministers' letters of advice, to assess compliance with the requirements of the Order, and check reported instances of excluded contracts; and
a follow-up of the implementation of previous audit recommendations relating to the administration of the Senate Order in four agencies. The selected agencies were the: Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID); Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA); Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF); and the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court). The selected agencies were audited in one of the ANAO's previous five audits of Senate Order compliance.
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 scope of the audit covered Centrelink's emergency management framework and community recovery assistance operations in general, with a specific focus on the 2009 North Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires. FaHCSIA's role during those disaster events was also considered as it played a key role in establishing the policy parameters of the services Centrelink delivered and addressing issues arising from policy implementation.
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.
The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of administrative arrangements for YA, including service delivery. The ANAO assessed DEEWR's and Centrelink's performance against three main criteria:
objectives and strategies for the ongoing management and performance measures for YA provide a firm basis for measurement against outcomes (Chapters 2 and 3);
YA services delivered are consistent with legislative and policy requirements, (Chapter 4); and
monitoring arrangements provide appropriate information for assessing service delivery performance (Chapter 5).