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The audit objective was to form an opinion on the adequacy of a select group of Australian Government agencies' management of Internet security, including following-up on agencies' implementation of recommendations from the ANAO's 2001 audit. The agencies audited were Australian Customs Service (ACS), Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR) and Medicare Australia. Factors considered in selecting agencies were agency size based on funding levels, whether the agency was included in ANAO's 2001 audit (ACS, ARPANSA, and DEWR), whether the agency's ICT was managed in-house or outsourced, and the nature of the agency's website (that is, general or restricted access).
The objective of the audit was to examine how effectively Health manages the risk of PBS drugs not being used according to PBS subsidy conditions. The audit examined two areas: during listing, how Health identified and implemented measures to decrease the risks of PBS drugs being used outside subsidy conditions; and following listing, how Health confirmed that usage and expenditure on PBS drugs was consistent with estimates. The report examines selected approaches used by Health, which have evolved in recent years, to manage the risk of PBS drugs being used outside subsidy conditions. The report also acknowledges and describes the role of the expert committees. The scope of the audit was limited to PBS drugs for which Health pays a subsidy. The audit did not examine Health's role in educating consumers, prescribers, and other health professionals, or the implications of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement for the PBS. Additionally, the ANAO did not form an opinion on the success of Medicare Australia's compliance role. To form an opinion against the audit objective, the ANAO interviewed Health personnel, committee members and stakeholders, examined relevant documents and files, analysed drug usage and expenditure data, and attended a number of committee meetings. To assist the audit process, the ANAO selected a sample of eight drugs. The drugs were selected due to their high cost to the PBS and/or high usage, or because the drug has had a particularly interesting PBS history. The sample is not representative of all drugs on the PBS. In 2004–05, 15.3 million prescriptions were written for these eight drugs, with the Government subsidy totalling $1.05 billion.
The overall objective of the audit was to assess whether the RSS Programme is effective and efficient in providing assurance on the levels of payment error and the resultant risks to the integrity of Australian Government outlays for payments administered by Centrelink. Specifically, the audit assessed whether: the RSS Programme meets the objectives outlined for it in the Portfolio Budget Statements under which funding was provided; there is an adequate methodology underpinning the RSS reviews; the RSS reviews are conducted effectively and efficiently, and adequate quality assurance mechanisms exist to assure the results obtained from the RSS reviews; and reporting by the agencies of the results of the RSS Programme is adequate and takes into consideration the issues identified in Audit Report No. 44 2002–03 Review of the Parenting Payment Single Program, and Audit Report No. 17 2002–03 Age Pension Entitlements.
The follow-up audit assessed the extent to which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Health and Ageing (Health), and Medicare Australia had implemented the six recommendations from Audit Report No.47 2001–02, Administration of the 30 Per Cent Private Health Insurance Rebate. The audit also looked at: the implementation of some of the major suggestions for improvement in the original audit; and the current validity of some of the positive major findings from that audit. The audit found that the ATO, Health and Medicare Australia have acted upon the recommendations contained in Audit Report No.47 2001–02 and, overall, the administration of the Rebate is currently being undertaken effectively.
The audit objective was to assess Health's administration of primary care funding, with a focus on the administrative practices of the Primary Care Division and Health's State and Territory Offices. In forming an opinion on the audit objective, the ANAO reviewed 41 agreements, with a combined value of $252 million. The ANAO also reviewed relevant documentation and files, interviewed programme officers and met with a number of stakeholders. The audit comments on a range of issues, including the utility of funding agreements, monitoring, payments, and support for administrators.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of activity statement HRRs. Specifically the audit sought to: examine aspects of ATO governance relevant to its administration of activity statement HRRs. This includes: ATO planning, the integration between Lines to administer HRRs; corporate risk management processes; and performance management; assess the ATO's methodology and practice to identify and, if necessary, correct activity statement HRRs; and identify and assess the Information Technology (IT) and manual systems, processes and controls used by the ATO to process HRRs resulting from the lodgement of activity statements.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to examine the ATO's implementation of the 20 recommendations in: The Administration of Petroleum Excise Collections (Audit Report No.17, 2001(02); and The Administration of Tobacco Excise (Audit Report No. 55, 2001(02), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations. The audit also aimed to identify scope for improvement in the ATO's administration of petroleum and tobacco excise. Follow-up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. The 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 the 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 ATO's strategies to address tax evasion in the cash economy, with emphasis on: the ATO's strategic focus; aspects of governance, management processes and compliance activities; and responses to the ANAO Report No.35 2001–02 ATO Progress in Addressing the Cash Economy.
Parliamentary Committees, particularly Senate Estimates Committees, have for many years taken an interest in the use of consultants by Australian government agencies. In this context, and having regard to the extent of expenditure by FMA Act agencies on consultants, the objective of this audit was to assess the accuracy and completeness of Australian government agencies' reporting of expenditure on consultants.