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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 audit objective was to assess the extent to which Australian Government agencies ensure that service providers are made aware of the core Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct and these arrangements are monitored.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Department of Health and Ageing; Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
The audit objective was to examine the effectiveness of the department's establishment of the P21 element of the BER program. The focus of the audit was on: the establishment of administrative arrangements for BER P21 in accordance with government policy; the assessment and approval of funding allocations; and the arrangements to monitor and report BER P21 progress and achievement of broader program outcomes. An examination of individual BER P21 projects was outside the scope of the audit.
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).
The Senate Order for Departmental and Agency Contracts (the Senate Order/the Order) was introduced in June 2001. The Order is one of several measures that the Senate introduced in recent years, to improve public knowledge of information on procurement and the expenditure of public funds. The main principle that underpins the Senate Order is that the Parliament's and public's access to this information should not be restricted by the inclusion of confidential information in contracts unless there is a sound basis for doing so. Public knowledge of information on contracted goods and services delivered to the government, can lead to better results for the Australian Government and the public. The Senate Order requirements have been amended over time to improve agency reporting, for example, on grants.