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The audit sought to assess the efficiency of Defence property management; provide assurance that probity and compliance requirements are being met; and make practical recommendations for enhancing property operations. It focused on Infrastructure Division's property management, with recognition that other areas manage certain property service contracts, such as those for electricity supply and cleaning.
Although the audit examined broader aspects of the ATO's administration (such as, tobacco excise governance arrangements, intelligence capability and compliance and investigations activities), we placed particular emphasis on the strategies used by the ATO to address the proliferation of chop-chop (Australian grown tobacco sold illicitly in a chopped up form for $80 to $100 per kilogram. In comparison, 50 grams of legal roll-you-own tobacco costs around $16 i.e. $320 per kilogram) in the Australian markets, as it is an area of major risk to tobacco excise revenue.
The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of Australian Customs Services (Customs) drug detection strategies for air and containerised sea cargo and small craft activity. Within the scope of the audit, the following areas were examined :
intelligence and law enforcement cooperation;
air and containerised sea cargo;
cargo examinations and technology;
small craft activities;
Customs funding arrangements (including funding for NIDS initiatives): and
The audit reviewed Commonwealth National Parks involving total assets of $105 million with net operating costs of $41.77 million. Nineteen Commonwealth reserves are declared comprising six terrestrial national parks, one botanic garden and twelve marine parks and reserves totalling some 23 million hectares across Australia, its external territories and Commonwealth marine areas. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the adequacy of the planning, management and reporting systems which support the Director of National Parks in the achievement of required functions under relevant legislation and agreed outputs and outcomes.
The 30 per cent Private Health Insurance Rebate is a financial incentive for individuals to purchase health insurance cover. The rebate provides for a reimbursement or discount of 30 per cent of the cost of private health insurance. It is available to all Australians who are eligible for Medicare and have private health insurance. The objective of the audit was to determine the effectiveness of Commonwealth Government agencies administration of the rebate.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) uses information technology (IT) extensively in providing services to Australia's veteran and defence force communities. The audit reviewed DVA's management of its IT outsourcing contract. The audit considered DVA's planning to meet its strategic IT needs through the IT outsourcing contract, the provisions of the contract, contract administration, management of the impacts of the outsourced services on DVA's business and the outcomes of DVA's approach to the contract.
The audit sought to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the ADF's management of fuel and lubricants and to identify possible areas for improvement. The audit focused on major aspects of the fuel supply chain, in particular the strategic management of fuel (eg. the coordination of fuel requirements and stockholding policy). The audit also reviewed fuel procurement practices, storage and handling issues. The audit coverage addressed the fuel supply aspects of these matters rather than transport, distribution and equipment issues. Although directed principally towards operational fuels, the audit took into consideration issues associated with ADF's requirement for oils and lubricants.
The audit reviewed the planning and management of the Australian Defence Force deployments to East Timor, including the support of those deployments. The audit focused on planning for the deployments and the role of Australia as the lead nation in the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET); and financial, personnel, logistic and other systems used to deploy and sustain Australia's military presence in East Timor.
This was a follow-up of Audit Report No. 40 of 1997-98, Purchase of Hospital Services from State Governments. That audit examined the administration by the Department of Veterans' Affairs of the Purchase of Hospital Services from State Governments. The objective of this audit was to assess the extent to which the Department had implemented the nine recommendations of Report No. 40, taking account of any changed circumstances or administrative issues that the Department identified as affecting their implementation; and to offer continued assurance to the Parliament on the management of the purchase of hospital services.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) established a task force in 1996 to develop a greater understanding of the factors involved and to devise a coordinated approach in dealing with the cash economy. The objective of the performance audit was to report to Parliament on the ATO's progress in addressing the cash economy, including its monitoring and reporting of outcomes. The audit focused on the ATO's implementation of its Cash Economy Task Force recommendations in the light of the tax reform that has taken place over the last two years.
The audit reviewed Defence's management of the Test and Evaluation (T&E) aspects of its capital equipment acquisition program. The audit sought to identify, from Defence T&E practice, any barriers that might limit the efficiency and effectiveness of its T&E activities.
Major capital equipment contributes importantly to the capabilities of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to achieve the Defence mission, that is, the defence of Australia and its national interests. The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is the relatively new Defence organisation responsible for the acquisition and through-life support of Defence equipment and systems. DMO's stated purpose is to equip and sustain the ADF. In 2001-02, it will spend $2.9 billion on progressing some 270 major capital equipment acquisition projects. This preliminary study for the audit focused on DMO reporting on the status of major equipment acquisition projects.
The audit's objective was to assess, and report to Parliament on, the ATO's administration of petroleum excise collections. The audit examined whether the ATO had implemented effectively administrative arrangements for the collection of petroleum excise since the transfer of the function from Customs in 1999. Areas that were examined relating to administration of petroleum excise were:
The audit also reviewed the role of Customs in performing functions directly related to petroleum excise collections and key elements of the management relationship between the ATO and Customs in this area.
The Government introduced the Defence Reform Program (DRP) in 1997 to enable Defence's resources to be focused more efficiently and effectively on its core functions. The objective of the audit was to assess Defence's management and implementation of DRP and the extent to which it achieved savings for reinvestment in the operational capabilities of the ADF.
Taxation rulings are a key mechanism used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to disseminate the Commissioner of Taxation's interpretative advice on Australian taxation law. The objective of the audit was to:
report to Parliament on the operation of the ATO's administration of taxation rulings (public, private and oral rulings); and where appropriate, make recommendations for improvements, having regard to considerations of: efficiency and effectiveness of the ATO's administration of the rulings system, particularly in relation to the achievement of the objectives set by Parliament for the rulings system; the ATO's systems' capacity to deliver consistency and fairness for taxpayers; and good corporate governance, including the control framework.
Allegations were made to the Senate Economics References Committee that the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Customs Service (Customs) had failed to pursue several cases of detected sales tax fraud. The Committee believed that this alleged failure may have stemmed from coordination problems between the two agencies. The Committee requested the Auditor-General to investigate this matter and report his findings to the Parliament.
This audit followed up the ANAO's 1997 performance audit report on ADF health services (Audit Report No.34 1996-97 Australian Defence Force Health Services), which focused on the delivery of non-operational health services to entitled members. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess Defence's implementation of recommendations made in the original audit report and their effectiveness in improving ADF health services.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the ATO's management of its performance reporting within the outcomes and outputs framework and to identify potential areas for improvement in specifying, measuring, administering and reporting under that framework.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of DVA's Information Technology (IT) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether DVA could rely on its IT 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 DVA's IT systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
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.
Causes and Consequences of Personnel Postings in the Australian Defence Force The audit arose from a Defence Efficiency Review (1997) recommendation that Defence could make savings on the large volume of postings it made every year. The audit examined the posting process and sought to provide assurance that Defence had identified and examined salient postings issues and was addressing them effectively.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's use of audit of individual taxpayers as part of its approach to encouraging taxpayer compliance. The objective of the audit was to examine the use of audit as an element of the compliance management function within the Individuals Non-Business line of the ATO.
The objective of the ANAO audit was to identify possible areas for improvement in the Australian Defence Force's management of its Reserve forces. The audit focused on major aspects of the Reserves including roles and tasks, force structure, capability, training, individual readiness, equipment, facilities, recruitment, retention, conditions of service and administration. The audit covered the Australian Naval Reserve, the Australian Army Reserve and the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve. However, due to its size and cost, the Army Reserve was a major focus of the audit activity.
The audit reviewed the Defence Department's management of the Defence Cooperation (DC) Program, through which Australia interacts with and provides assistance to security forces in South East Asia and the South Pacific. The primary aim of the program is to support Australia's defence relationships. Activities conducted through the program include training, study visits, personnel exchanges and combined exercises with elements of the various regional armed forces. The Pacific Patrol Boat Project is part of the program. The objectives of the audit were to:
1) consider how Defence assesses performance in meeting DC objectives;
2) review Defence's development of DC objectives; and
3) identify areas for improvement in managing DC resources.
The audit examined the review of decisions on veterans' disability compensation. The audit objective was to examine the management of internal review by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and external review by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) of decisions by the Repatriation Commission on veterans' claims for disability compensation.
The Defence Estate comprises the land, buildings and other facilities that Defence uses across Australia. These facilities are vital to achieving the Defence mission - to prevent or defeat the use of armed force against Australia and its interests. The Estate has a gross replacement value of $14.8 billion. Defence Estate Organisation's (DEO's) Facilities Operations (FACOPS) Program delivers general maintenance and minor new works to Defence facilities on a regional basis across the country. DEO's Estate Operations and Planning Branch and its nine Regional Estate Centres are responsible for the FACOPS Program. Resources available for the Program have been reduced in recent years. The total DEO budget for 2000-01, which includes funds for capital works, facilities operations and property management, is $2.6 billion. Of this total, the FACOPS Program has a cash allocation of $213 million and an additional $15.6 million for employee expenses associated with the Program's 283 staff. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of selected Defence facilities operations, including tendering and contracting, with a view to adding value with practical recommendations for enhancing operations.
The objective of this audit was to establish whether Defence has developed sound fraud control arrangements that are consistent with better practice and fulfil its responsibilities for the protection of public property, revenue, expenditure, and rights and privileges from fraudulent exploitation.
The objective of this audit was to assess the administration of internal fraud control arrangements in the ATO and to identify areas with potential for improvement as well as identified better practice. To achieve this objective the ANAO focussed on five key areas. These were:
the application of the ATO's corporate governance processes to the internal fraud control activities;
the prevention of internal fraud within the ATO;
the related use of information technology to minimise fraud risks;
the detection of internal fraud within the ATO; and
The objective of the follow-up audit was to report on the action taken by the Australian Customs Service to address the recommendations of the 1996 Audit Report. The audit also reviewed key areas of the Passenger Movement Charge administration identified in the 1996 audit, including the appropriateness of formal arrangements between the ACS and Regular Public Transport airlines and assessed the proposed arrangements being developed by the ACS. The arrangements with RPT airlines were a particular focus in the follow-up report (as they were in the 1996 Audit Report), because of the significance of that category of carrier in revenue terms
The audit reviewed Defence's higher-level management of its knowledge system equipment acquisition projects. These amount to $8.5b. The focus of the audit was on the opportunities for Defence to adopt a much more coherent and integrated approach to knowledge systems management prospectively rather than on emphasising current system compatibility issues.
The audit reviewed the Amphibious Transport Ship Project, involving the acquisition and modification of two second-hand US Navy ships . The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence's management of the project, focusing on the capability development process, costs and schedule issues, contract issues, the management of project risks and project review processes.
The audit objective was to examine the administrative effectiveness of the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data. The audit reviewed the use of AUSTRAC data across three of the ATO Business Service Lines (BSLs) namely, Large Business and International (LB&I), Small Business (SB) and Individuals Non Business (INB). These are the most significant BSLs in terms of revenue collection. The audit focussed on the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data at the strategic and operational levels and its management of AUSTRAC data. Aspects examined include the ATO's relationship with AUSTRAC as well as training, data quality, data privacy and security issues.
This audit is a follow-up to ANAO Audit Report No.31 1995-96 Environmental Management of Commonwealth Land: Site Contamination and Pollution Prevention (‘the original audit'). The objectives of the follow-up audit were to determine: the extent to which Defence has implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the original audit (relating to its environmental management and the management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on non-Commonwealth land) and; the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving the environmental management of Commonwealth land.