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The audit examined the design, management and reporting of performance information for the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) which is administered by the Commonwealth Departments of Environment and Heritage, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the performance information used to support the administration of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth financial assistance; and compliance with legislative requirements for performance monitoring and reporting.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of Centrelink's Information and Technology (I&T) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether Centrelink could rely on its I&T systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether Centrelink's I&T systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The Age Pension is a social security income support payment available to Australian residents and eligible Australians residing overseas who have reached Age Pension age and whose income and assets are under certain limits. In 1999-2000, approximately $14 billion was paid to approximately 1.7 million Age Pension recipients. Payment of Age Pension is made under the Social Security Law and in accordance with the Guide to the Social Security Law prepared by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). FaCS has contracted Centrelink under a Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) to administer the payment of Age Pension to eligible customers. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which new claims for Age Pension had been assessed in compliance with the legislation and other relevant guidelines developed by Centrelink, and whether Centrelink employed appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance. In particular, the ANAO sought evidence with respect to: payment at the right rate, from the right date, to the right person with the right product, for new claims assessed during the audit sample period (that is, in accordance with the working definition of accuracy within Centrelink); the accuracy of Centrelink?s own reporting on compliance, as reported to FaCS under the BPA; and the application of appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance.
Networking the Nation was established with effect from 1 July 1997 to support activities and projects designed to meet a range of telecommunications needs in regional, rural and remote Australia. Funding is provided by the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. The program provides total support of $250 million, of which $50 million was to be allocated annually for the five year period from 1997-98. Funding decisions for grants are the responsibility of an independent Board appointed by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. The objectives of the audit were to examine the administration of the program with a view to ascertaining the scope for improving administration and to provide assurance on the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the management and administrative processes applied in the administration of grants under the program.
The purpose of the audit was to assess whether management of parliamentary workflow by the agencies reviewed was efficient and effective and to identify elements of good practice. In assessing agency effectiveness and efficiency, the audit focussed on issues of client service such as timeliness, quality and cost. It considered also the governance framework and accountability arrangements relevant to parliamentary workflow, as well as more operational considerations including the use of information technology, development of relevant management information and suitable benchmarking processes.
The audit reviewed the use and operation of performance information in service level agreements between Centrelink and three agencies; the Department of Social Security, the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. The objective of the audit was to establish whether the performance assessment framework specified in the agreements enabled the adequate assessment of achievements under purchaser/provider arrangements entered into by DSS, DEETYA and Centrelink.
The audit evaluated the effectiveness of the accountability and oversight arrangements for statutory bodies within the former Primary Industries and Energy portfolio (most of which are now part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio). The audit focused on accountability of the statutory bodies to the Minister and through the Minister to Parliament; it did not directly address accountability to industry stakeholders and levy papers.
The audit reviewed six budget-funded agencies (Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Department of Defence, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and two off-budget entities (Airservices Australia and Reserve Bank of Australia). The ANAO also examined the Office for Government Online's (OGO, formerly the Office of Government Information Technology, or OGIT) whole-of-government coordination of the Commonwealth's Year 2000 efforts.
The audit reviewed the accountability framework and performance information of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASC: accountability arrangements, focussing on key stakeholders such as the Minister and the Parliament; and management information systems, focussing on performance information, in particular key performance indicators; and its use in resource allocation decision-making.
The audit reviewed collection management practices and management information systems of the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management processes employed in safeguarding national collections.