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This audit followed up the ANAO's 1999 performance audit report on the Commonwealth's planning and response mechanisms to deal with exotic and new endemic pest and emergencies in the animal and plant sectors (Audit Report No 9 1999-2000 Managing Pest and Disease Emergencies). The previous audit made nine recommendations to improve planning and response strategies for emergencies; better coordination; diagnostic support; and appropriate monitoring and surveillance. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AFFA's implementation of the recommendations, and whether implementation of these recommendations, or appropriate alternative measures, has improved the Commonwealth's planning and response strategies for pest and disease emergencies. The ANAO also observed and assessed relevant parts of the September 2002 foot and mouth disease simulation, Exercise Minotaur.
The audit covered major program elements within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and Environment Australia that are managed:
directly by DPIE or Environment Australia;
through the One-Stop-Shop project assessment process administered by the States/Territories; or
by non-government organisations.
The purpose of the audit was to examine and benchmark the administrative processes established for these programs. The primary focus of the audit was to draw on the best elements of past practice (particularly in relation to programs involving the One-Stop-Shop) and highlight any shortcomings so that the risks to program effectiveness and accountability could be addressed in the implementation of the Natural Heritage Trust.