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This is the first of two audit reports concerning the Tax Office's administration of SMSFs pursuant to the provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. This audit report examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Tax Office's approach to regulating and registering self managed superannuation funds. Specifically the ANAO examined the:
Environment in which SMSFs operate, including the Tax Office's regulatory roles and responsibilities;
Tax Office's governance of its SMSF regulatory role; and
Systems, processes and controls the Tax Office uses to register SMSFs, and enforce the lodgement of fund income tax and regulatory returns.
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.
The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO's administration of debt collection. Micro-business debt is a particular focus of attention. The three key areas examined are:
strategies–especially the ATO's initiatives trialled in 2006;
infrastructure–the IT systems, people, policy and processes and risk management framework supporting the collection of debt; and
management and governance–planning, monitoring and reporting mechanisms and liaison with stakeholders.
The ANAO focused on the work of the campaigns area within the Debt Line, which has collection responsibility for 90 per cent of collectable debt cases and responsibility for other key, centralised functions such as reporting, quality assurance review, consistency and best practice, and the debt collection initiatives.
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.
examine the ATO's implementation of the ten recommendations in The Australian Taxation Office's Management of its Relationshipwith Tax Practitioners (Audit Report No.19, 2002–03), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations; and
identify scope for improvement in the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners.
Follow up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. Parliament looks to the Auditor General to report, from time to time, on the extent to which Commonwealth agencies have implemented recommendations of previous audit reports. Follow up audits keep Parliament informed of progressive improvements and current challenges in areas of Commonwealth administration that have previously been subject to scrutiny through performance audits.
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
assess, in a selection of FMA Act and CAC Act agencies, how well the revised Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines had been implemented; and
identify any better practice or common problem areas to assist other agencies in their future procurement activities.
The audit focused on procurement requirements that had changed as a result of the revised CPGs, rather than being a more general audit of compliance with all procurement requirements. The audit was conducted in the following entities:
Australian Federal Police;
Bureau of Meteorology;
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment. The focus of the audit was the ATO's administration of compliance by individuals with respect to the two most common CGT events: real property and share disposals. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) identified three key areas for review:
governance – the corporate planning and reporting arrangements relevant to the administration of CGT compliance in the individuals market segment, including how these are integrated with the ATO's overall approach to managing CGT;
identifying and assessing compliance risks – the mechanisms and strategies used to identify and assess CGT compliance risks in the individuals market segment; and
compliance activities – the products and processes used to manage CGT compliance in the individuals market segment.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which DVA had implemented the recommendations from the original audit during the period 2002–06, including in its preparation of the IT outsourcing contract which will operate from 2007.
The audit examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the FAO's management of overpayments, within the FTB Programme. In particular, the ANAO considered the FAO's activities in relation to FTB debt prevention, identification, raising and recovery. The audit also compared the FAO's policy documentation and guidance material for staff, against relevant sections of Family Assistance legislation.
The objective of the audit was to review the operation of the ATO's Tax Agent and Business Portals. In conducting the audit the ANAO examined three key areas: governance – the governance arrangements supporting ongoing management of the Portals; portals development, user satisfaction and realisation of expected benefits – the ATO's processes for involving users in developing the Tax Agent and Business Portals, assessing user satisfaction, and evaluating business benefits arising from uptake of the Portals; and information technology (IT) security and user access controls – the ATO's IT security environment and user access controls supporting the operation of the Tax Agent and Business Portals.
The objective was to assess the extent to which staff reductions have been managed in a sound strategic and cost-effective manner consistent with the Government's guidelines and the ANAO's 1996 better practice guide Managing APS Staff Reductions. The audit focussed on 3 agencies - the Australian Taxation Office, the former Department of Primary Industry and Energy, and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development. The ANAO found that the majority of staff reductions were achieved through retrenchment rather than natural attrition; and that decisions on the number of retrenchments were not always supported by an assessment of the impact of the reductions on the agencies' abilities to conduct their business.
The purpose of the report was to report to the Parliament on how effectively and efficiently the Australian Taxation Office administers the Tax File Number System, and to identify opportunities for improvement of that system. The ANAO developed a methodological framework for the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of the ATO's administration of the TFN system. The framework examined the TFN system; individuals and their TFNs; TFN withholding tax arrangements; and TFN information matching.
The objective of the audit was to assess key aspects of the Australian Taxation Office's administration of the PAYE system in relation to employers' remittances and to identify opportunities for improvement. The audit focussed on four areas:
remittance monitoring, especially managing late remittances;
follow-up action for end of year reconciliation, including discrepancies;
handling compliance intelligence gained from the public; and
The audit objective was to determine the DVA's performance in the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the delivery of income support payments to veterans and war widows. It was found that overall, DVA is paying the correct pension to the correct people in a timely fashion within the required accuracy levels.
The objective of the audit was to ascertain and report to Parliament on the Australian Taxation Office's administration of the Fringe Benefits Tax and to identify opportunities for improvement. The ANAO identified five key issues relevant to the effective administration of FBT:
knowledge of the taxpayer base;
education of taxpayers;
client service - advice handling;
other enforcement activities - audits and reviews; and
the systems required to support the administration of FBT, including staff skills and training information systems.
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 objective of the audit was to ascertain and report to the Parliament on the ATO's administration of PPS and to identify opportunities for improvement. Four key compliance issues were identified: reporting PPS income, claiming PPS credits, remitting PPS income, claiming PPS credits, remitting PPS deductions, and managing PPS exemptions and variations. In addition, the following key aspects were considered: PPS risk assessments, coordination of PPS administration between the Small Business Income and Withholding & Indirect Taxes business lines, and PPS compliance project performance information.
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No. 16, 1995-1996, Assessable Government Industry Assistance. This audit examined whether the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had implemented the appropriate balance of compliance strategies to ensure that Australian Government Industry Assistance (AGIA) is adequately identified, disclosed to the ATO, and the revenue collected in an efficient and administratively effective manner. The objective of this audit was to report on the action taken by the Australian Taxation Office in addressing the recommendations of the 1996 Audit Report.