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The objective of the audit was to assess the completeness and reliability of the estimates reported in Tax Expenditures Statement 2006 (TES 2006). That is, the audit examined the development and publication of the detailed statement of actual tax expenditures required by Division 2 of Part 5 of the CBH Act. The development and publication of aggregated information on projected tax expenditures included in the Budget Papers pursuant to Division 1 of Part 5 of the CBH Act was not examined.
The objective of the audit was to evaluate the Tax Office's corporate management of data matching, including analytics.
The ANAO examined the Tax Office's strategic goals and governance arrangements for data matching and analytics, its compliance with privacy requirements and whether the Tax Office is achieving intended results, which include revenue collection, optimised compliance and provision of improved services to taxpayers.
Tax Office executives have been increasingly drawing on the interrelationships and conceptual commonalities of Tax Office data matching and analytics activity. Accordingly, the audit included these relationships and conceptual commonalities within the scope of the audit. The audit was guided, therefore, by a broader definition of ‘data matching': meaning ‘finding relationships and patterns in large volumes of data'. This includes the more traditional idea of data matching as ‘bringing together data from different sources and comparing it'.
The objective of this audit was to assess and report on the administration of the regional delivery of NHT 2 and the NAP.
The scope of the audit encompassed both Environment and DAFF, including the Joint Team of staff from both departments working together under a common management structure for the delivery of both programs. The audit focused on:
the implementation of the regional delivery arrangements;
governance and financial management for regional delivery; and
monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the programs' performance.
The objective of this follow-up audit is to assess the Tax Office's progress in implementing the recommendations of Audit Report No.59 2002–03, Administration of Australian Business Number Registrations, having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting the implementation of those recommendations.
This second audit report relating to SMSFs examines the effectiveness of the Tax Office's approach to managing SMSF compliance risks. Specifically the ANAO examined the processes the Tax Office uses to:
identify the risks relevant to SMSFs not complying with their obligations under the SISA, including members accessing their superannuation early;
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Tax Office's compliance approach for high risk income tax refunds in the individuals and micro enterprises market segments. The audit examined three key areas:
management and organisational arrangements relating to high risk income tax refund processes;
processes and procedures for identifying high risk income tax refunds, and the processes and tools used to evaluate and verify taxpayers' entitlements to income tax refunds; and
information technology systems, processes and controls supporting the processing of income tax returns and refunds.
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);
examine the effectiveness of ASIC's processes for receiving reports of suspected breaches of the Corporations Act; and
assess the efficiency with which statutory reports are referred and investigated by ASIC.
The audit commenced in February 2006. ANAO undertook an assessment of ASIC's processes for receiving and referring for investigation statutory reports. ANAO also undertook a detailed examination of a random sample of 416 statutory reports received by ASIC in the period 2002–03 to 2004–05.
The audit scope did not extend to the role of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in prosecuting offences referred to it by ASIC.
The Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) manages Australia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various development banks. As of 30 June 2006, the Treasury's administered assets in the IMF and other international financial institutions totalled A$7.1 billion. Liabilities totalled A$4.8 billion. In addition to the liabilities of A$4.8 billion, there were contingent liabilities of A$7.3 billion, comprising uncalled share capital subscriptions.
In October 2002 a performance audit of the Treasury's management of international financial commitments (ANAO Audit Report No.10 of 2002–03 Treasury's Management of International Financial Commitments) was tabled in the Parliament. This audit is a follow-up to that audit. The objective was to assess the progress made by the Treasury in addressing the four major audit findings and two recommendations of the 2002 audit report.
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 objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling their Internet contract listings as required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Commonwealth contracts. The audit involved a review in seven agencies of the processes used to compile their Internet contract listings and the use of confidentiality provisions in contracts.
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 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.
The ANAO conducted fieldwork in each of the audited agencies to identify the processes they used to design and review forms. The ANAO also identified the extent to which the agencies' forms are available online and their approaches to placing forms online.
The audit objective was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of ASIC's implementation of Australian financial services licences. In particular, the audit examined ASIC's planning for the introduction of financial services licences; the roles of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and ASIC in defining the effective scope of licensing; ASIC's assessment and processing of licence applications; and ASIC's supervision of licensees.
This audit is a part of the ANAO's protective security audit coverage. The objective of this audit was to determine whether agencies audited had developed and implemented sound IT security management principles and practices supported by an IT security control framework, in accordance with Australian Government policies and guidelines. The audit at each agency examined the framework for the effective management and control of IT security, including the management of IT operational security controls and, where applicable, was based on the Australian Government protective security and information and communications technology (ICT) security guidelines that were current at that time.
The objective of the audit was to assess and report on the progress being made by agencies subject to the Financial Management & Accountability Act 1997 and entities subject to the Commonwealth Authorities & Companies Act 1997: in realising value for money from the procurement process, with a specific focus on buildings, services and products using whole of life cycle assessments; and in the consideration and management of environmental impacts in specifications and contracts. The emphasis of the audit was on green office procurement and sustainable business practices and the value for money within this context. As such, the audit report provides a status report on the implementation of ESD within the office environment of the Australian Government. The audit used a survey approach in conjunction with selected audit investigations to obtain information across 71 agencies and entities selected on the basis of materiality in procurement and coverage across large, medium and small organisations. The agencies selected represented approximately 35 per cent of all government bodies and over 95 per cent of all procurement spending noted on the Department of Finance and Administration (Finance) database on contracts.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of the LMR. Specifically, the audit sought to: examine and report on aspects of LMR governance; assess the systems, processes and controls used by the ATO to capture and process LMR data reported by providers; examine the mechanisms and strategies the ATO uses to gain assurance that providers are complying with LMR legislation; and assess the mechanisms and strategies the ATO uses to promote awareness of, and enable access to, the LMR.
The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ATO's management of GST compliance in the large business market segment. In conducting the audit the ANAO examined three key areas: governance - ILEC's corporate planning and reporting arrangements relevant to the management of GST compliance in the large business market segment; assessing and identifying compliance risks- how ILEC collects information relating to the large business market segment and how it uses this information to support risk identification and assessment; and managing compliance- compliance planning and the products and processes used by ILEC to manage GST compliance in the large business market segment and evaluating compliance outcomes to support future compliance planning and the targeting of GST compliance risks. In undertaking the audit, the ANAO took account of the findings of previous reviews, in particular the LCCP Review.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which APRA has implemented recommendations regarding the supervisory framework and cross-border banking made in ANAO's 2001 audit of bank prudential supervision.
The objective of the audit was to consider the status of workforce planning by APS agencies against the background of the ANAO's 2001 Better Practice Guide Planning for the Workforce of the Future, in light of there commendations made in the MAC Organisational Renewal 2001 and the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee report Recruitmentand Training in the Australian Public Service 2003. Workforce planning was defined as a continuous process of shaping the workforce to ensure it is capable of delivering organisational objectives now and in the future.
The objectives of the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) performance audit were to: examine the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies' procurement and management of legal services arrangements; determine adherence to Australian Government policy requirements; examine the effectiveness of the OLSC's monitoring of agencies' compliance with Government policy requirements; examine the OLSC's role in assisting agencies to comply with Government policy.
The objectives of the audit were to:determine whether entities had established effective internal control frameworks and processes to mitigate the risks associated with FBT obligations and transactions;assess whether the internal control frameworks and processes supported the payment of FBT and the reporting of reportable fringe benefit amounts (RFBAs) on employee payment summaries in accordance with the legislation;identify sound and better practices in the administration, management and operation of systems for collecting, collating, calculating, reporting and remitting FBT; and as necessary, recommend improvements in the controls and practices relating to the administration of FBT in the audited entities.
The objective of this audit was to the examine action taken by the ATO to improve TFN integrity, particularly through the implementation of the recommendations made in:Report No.37, taking into account any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting the implementation of those recommendations; and Numbers on the Run, taking into account that the Government has not formally responded to the report at this time.The audit also aimed to identify further opportunities for the ATO to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the TFN system. The report of this audit is necessarily detailed as it considers each of the recommendations and the extent to which they have been implemented.
The objective of this audit was to assess the extent to which the recommendations and major findings of the ANAO's 1999 audit of Commonwealth Debt Management have been addressed, and the impact of any changes.
The objective of the audit was to assess the ATO's administration of the Surcharge. Specifically, the audit sought to: report on the environment into which the Surcharge was introduced, including the legislative intent behind the Surcharge, and the current Surcharge environment; examine and report on aspects of Surcharge governance; assess the systems, processes and controls the ATO uses to: match Member Contributions Statements (MCS) data with income tax return data using Tax File Numbers (TFNs); process Surcharge information; and issue Surcharge liability assessments. assess the mechanisms the ATO uses to assess, classify, manage and rectify existing Surcharge exceptions, and prevent future exceptions from occurring; and examine the mechanisms and strategies the ATO uses to provide assurance that members and holders of contributions are complying with their Surcharge obligations.
In view of the large amount of public money being paid to the states in GST revenue, the objective of the audit was to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of processes and procedures used by Treasury in making payments of GST revenues and associated amounts to the States.
The objective of the audit was to examine the investment of public funds by selected entities, including: compliance with relevant legislation, delegations and instructions; the value for money of investment strategies; and reporting of investment activities. Six entities were selected for audit, comprising three FMA Act agencies and three Commonwealth authorities. The six entities had aggregrate investments of $1.64 billion as at 30 June 2004 and realised investment earnings of some $80.4 million during 2003/04.
The audit concluded that the ATO has an administratively effective framework for managing the Energy Grants (Credits) Scheme (EGCS), introduced in mid-2003. The planning, monitoring and reporting framework is structured and appropriate, the risk and compliance management framework is generally well-developed and the processes and controls framework is comprehensive. Changes in the Scheme, as foreshadowed in Government's Energy White Paper, Securing Australia's Energy Future, present the opportunity to enhance the transparency of Scheme objectives and develop ways to evaluate performance against these objectives
The objective of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) was to examine how the ATO manages its responsibilities under the Taxpayers' Charter as an important element of its performance. This involved an examination of the ATO's: systems and processes used to develop, maintain and update the Charter; strategic commitment to implementing the principles of the Charter; integration of Charter principles with its business processes; and monitoring and reporting of its performance against commitments in the Charter.
The objective of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) was to examine and report on the planning and corporate governance for the new regional delivery model of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) program, jointly administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the Environment and Heritage (the Agencies)
The audit examined the financial management of all Special Appropriations in the period 1998-99 to 2002-03, with the exception of those related to Special Accounts and those administered by Government Business Enterprises. The audit objectives were to: identity all Special Appropriations and ascertain which entities are responsible for their financial management and reporting; and assess entities' financial management and reporting of Special Appropriations against the Commonwealth's financial management and reporting frameworks.
This audit is the first time that the ANAO has looked at superannuation payments to independent contractors. The audit examined whether Commonwealth organisations were identifying contracts that were wholly or principally for the labour of the contractor and meeting statutory superannuation obligations under the Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988.
The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess how well the ATO has implemented the recommendations of Audit Report No.3 of 2001-2002, The Australian Taxation Ofiice's Administration of Taxation Rulings. As part of the audit we also considered the ATO's progress in addressing the JCPAA's suggestions resulting from its review of Report No.3 of 2001-2002.
The objectives of this performance audit were to: - review the governance and accountability framework for the Scheme, and - assess the efficiency and effectiveness of Treasury's implementation and management of that framework.
The audit objective was to provide independent assurance to the Parliament on the effectiveness of Australian Public Service organisations in the use and management of the HRIS to satisfy mandatory reporting requirements, as well as provide meaningful information to management. The audit also considered the use of employee self service facilities offered by the HRIS, which has the capacity to provide staff with access to their personal information, reduce manual processing and streamline processing.
The objective of the performance audit was to report to Parliament our assessment as to how well the ATO manages and uses the AIIR data in taxation administration. The ANAO considered the following four key areas in addressing the audit objective. 1. Governance arrangements within the ATO, focussing on whole of ATO and whole-of-government aspects of the AIIR data, as distinct from solely business line applications. 2. Receipt of AIIR data and how well the ATO facilitates the collection of complete and valid AIIR data from investment bodies 3. Management of AIIR data through the construction by the ATO of valid entity records by using the AIIR data in conjunction with existing ATO client identification master files. 4: Use of the AIIR data on a systematic basis to inform active compliance activities.
The objectives of the audit were to: assess whether financial delegations associated with the expenditure of public monies were determined, applied and managed in accordance with applicable legislation, Government policy and applicable internal controls; and identify better practices and recommend improvements as necessary to current practices.
This report covers a number of the discretionary compensation and debt relief mechanisms that are available to Commonwealth agencies, where individuals or entities have been disadvantaged by legislation, or actions by agencies or staff, or some other negative circumstances. It deals mainly with two legislative mechanisms, namely, act of grace payments and waivers of debt, and one administrative mechanism, the Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA) scheme. This report also briefly covers two other mechanisms, namely ex gratia payments and payments in special circumstances relating to Australian Public Service (APS) employment. The main objective of the audit was to assess whether the management of claims for compensation and debt relief in special circumstances was in accordance with relevant legislative requirements and Commonwealth guidelines, and whether the current administrative policies and procedures were adequate.
In 1997, and subsequently in 1999, the Australian Government introduced two major spending packages with a total value of almost $1 billion. These spending packages were designed to address the challenges posed by the issue of climate change and to meet Australia's domestic and international commitments. Since its inception in 1998, the Australian Greenhouse Office has been responsible for the implementation of greenhouse related programs from these two major spending packages. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of seven major programs administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office.
This report relates to the fifth audit of Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies' compliance with the Senate Order for Departmental and Agency Contracts, (the Senate Order) to list, on the Internet, contract details for the Financial Year 2002-2003 reporting period. The audit was conducted in accordance with the Senate Order request for the Auditor - General to undertake twice - yearly examinations of agency contracts listed on the Internet, and to report whether there had been any inappropriate use of confidentiality provisions. The objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling the Internet listings required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality of provisions in Commonwealth contracts.
Australian Industrial Registry; Australian Taxation Office; Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts; Department of the Environment and Heritage; Federal Court of Australia; National Office for the Information Economy
The objective of this audit was: to form an opinion on the adequacy of selected agencies' approaches to monitoring and evaluation of government programs and services delivered on the Internet; and to identify better practices and opportunities for improvement. In order to achieve this objective, the audit examined the websites and Internet-delivered services of five agencies.
A Special Account is a mechanism used to record amounts in the Consolidated Revenue Fund that are set aside for specified purposes. A total of $3.40 billion was reported as held in Special Accounts as of 30 June 2003, with $10.33 billion reported as credited to Special Accounts in 2002-03 and $10.06 billion in reported payments (debits) from these Accounts. The audit examined the establishment, management and abolition of Special Accounts by Commonwealth agencies, as well as compliance with legal requirements
The audit sought to assess how well the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages aggressive tax planning. We did this by exploring the nature of aggressive tax planning and the ATO's approach to its management. In the latter context, we looked at:
the ATO's previous experience with aggressive tax planning and action on previous significant external reviews, particularly dealing with mass marketed investment schemes;
strategy and operations, intelligence gathering and use; and the identification and management of promoters given their significant role in aggressive tax planning.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) completed a performance audit of the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data in August 2000, titled The AustralianTaxation Office's Use of AUSTRAC Data, Audit Report No. 7 2000-2001. It found that the ATO had used AUSTRAC data to achieve a significant improvement in the collection of taxation revenue. The ANAO considered that the ATO could build on this success by using AUSTRAC data more effectively at both the strategic and operational levels. The audit made six recommendations. The ATO agreed with all recommendations. The objective of this follow-up performance audit was to assess the ATO's progress in implementing the recommendations of Audit Report No 7 2000-2001, The Australian Taxation Office's Use of AUSTRAC Data.
The audit is a follow-up of ANAO Audit Report No.33 of 1997-98, which assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commonwealth's management of the Great Barrier Reef and made seven recommendations for improvement. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is responsible for advising the Commonwealth on the care and developement of the Marine Park, has implemented the recommendations of the earlier audit.
The audit reviewed APRA's regulation of approved Trustees and superannuation funds registered under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. The audit evaluated APRA's superannuation supervisory activities: and assessed the effectiveness of its supervision of superannuation entities. Particular attention was paid to the supervisory framework and the risk-based supervisory methodologies of APRA's frontline supervisory divisions.
This report relates to the fourth audit of Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies' compliance with the Order of the Senate for Departmental and Agency Contracts, (the Senate Order) to list, on the Internet, contract details for the reporting period 4 February 2002 to 3 February 2003. The audit was conducted in accordance with the Senate Order request for the Auditor-General to undertake twice-yearly examinations of agency contracts listed on the Internet, and to report whether there had been any inappropriate use of confidentiality provisions. The objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling the Internet listings required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Commonwealth contracts.
Australian Federal Police (AFP);; Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO);; Department of Defence (Defence);; Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR);; Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS);1 and; National Capital Authority (NCA)
As part of the Government's Taxation Reform Initiatives, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was given responsibility for implementing the Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Business Register (ABR) initiatives. The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ABN registration process and the ATO's implementation and management of the ABR.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's fraud prevention and contol arrangements in relation to the Goods and Services Tax. The audit objective was to assess whether the ATO has implemented administratively effective GST fraud control arrangements, consistent with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
The audit assessed DITR's and the ATO's administration of the R&D Tax Concession including review processes for registration and subsequent expenditure claims, by eligible companies. In particular, the audit focussed on measuring performance, risk management, and information systems including security and data integrity.
The audit examined the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners (tax agents and the wider group of professionals working on taxation matters for clients). However, our main focus was the ATO's management of its relationship with tax agents because they are the core element of the tax practitioner grouping and their role is fundamental to the effective operation of the tax system. The objective of the audit was to assess how well the ATO manages its relationship with tax practitioners, focussing on selected ATO relationships with tax practitioners, in particular its regulatory relationship with tax agents, its service support relationship with tax agents and its relationship with tax agents and members of the wider tax practitioner group in the professional bodies as key stakeholders in tax administration.
The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) manages Australia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various development banks, including those belonging to the World Bank Group. The audit examined Treasury's management of these obligations. In view of the size of Australia's investments and obligations, the audit focussed on financial management issues.
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 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 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'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.
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.
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 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 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was established on 1 July 1998 as the prudential regulator of banks and other authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), life insurance companies (including friendly societies), general insurance companies, superannuation funds and retirement savings accounts. ANAO's objectives for this audit were to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of APRA's prudential supervision of banks. Prudential supervision aims to protect depositors by ensuring that financial institutions adopt prudent risk management practices designed to ensure their continuing solvency and liquidity. APRA is a relatively new organisation, established in July 1998 and becoming responsible for prudential supervision of all ADIs from July 1999. ANAO concluded that there are steps APRA can take in a number of areas to improve its supervisory practices, including improving the administration of the ADI supervisory levy; strengthening its risk management approach; and maintaining closer adherence to international standards for prudential supervision issued by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision. ANAO made five recommendations concerning administration of levies, risk-based supervision and supervision of cross-border banking. APRA agreed, or agreed with qualifications, to all recommendations, as well as agreeing with the overall audit conclusions.
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 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 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.
The audit reviewed the High Wealth Individuals Taskforce, a comprehensive compliance program with the Australian Taxation Office. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the management and operations of the taskforce. In doing so, the audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's own evaluation of the taskforce and assessed whether, and to what extent, the taskforce delivered the outcomes specified by the Government.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the Commonwealth's principal revenue collection agency. In 1998-99, the ATO accounted for total tax revenue of $135.3 billion. The objective of this audit was to review the ATO's administration of penalties, with particular emphasis on its corporate governance framework and issues relating to consistency, effectiveness and accountability of penalty administration. In particular, the audit examined the administration of two penalty types, Late Lodgement and Tax Shortfall, as case studies.
The objective of this performance audit was to assess the effectiveness and consistency of risk management processes undertaken by the Australian Taxation Office in administering individual taxpayer refunds.
The objective of this audit was to form an opinion on the adequacy of, and to identify best practice in, Commonwealth agencies' electricity procurement systems and procedures. In doing so, the ANAO also formed an opinion on the level and results of participation by Commonwealth agencies in the National Electricity Market. The audit concentrated on adherence by agencies to the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines: Core Policies and Principles (March 1998), emphasising the importance of Commonwealth agencies achieving value-for-money (VFM) in their purchasing. VFM is one of the six principles on which the Guidelines are based.
The audit reviewed the operations of the Bureau of Meteorology. The Bureau's functions include the taking and recording of meteorological observations and other observations required for the purposes of meteorology; the forecasting of weather and of the state of the atmosphere; the issue of warnings of weather conditions likely to endanger life or property; the supply, publication and promotion of meteorological information; and cooperation with international meteorological agencies in relation to the functions just listed. The objectives of the audit were to:
use national and international benchmarks to evaluate the Bureau's performance in terms of timeliness, cost and quality of weather services to meet the needs of clients; and
assess how well the Bureau is placed in measuring its outputs/outcomes within the context of the Accrual Budgeting Framework.
The objectives of this audit were to improve: the accountability of the Australian Taxation Office to Parliament and the Government by the provision of advice that follows up on the ATO's implementation of the previous ANAO Report; and on the recommendations of the then Joint Committee of Public Accounts arising from its consideration of that Report and the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of debt collection by the ATO.
The Superannuation Guarantee, which came into effect on 1 July 1992, was introduced to reduce reliance on the age pension as a means of funding retirement for individuals. The objective of the performance audit was to review the ATO's administration of the Superannuation Guarantee and to identify appropriate opportunities for improvement.
The objective of the preliminary study was to form a view regarding the quality of, and controls over, the Budget estimates and to inform the decision whether to proceed to a full performance audit at this time. On the basis of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the budget process undertaken during the study, the ANAO concluded that there are no apparent systemic problems in the cash-based estimating processes in the agencies reviewed that would, in themselves, lead to material statistical inaccuracies in the Budget's projected outcomes. The ANAO decided not to proceed with a full performance audit at this time.
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 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 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.
The issues examined by the ANAO were considered on two levels. First, legal and ethical processes that focus on whether there are any impediments to the Government and public service implementing the CEIP in the way they have. The public interest issues turn largely on the question of whether the CEIP was for Government or party-political purposes. The other level on which these issues were considered is that of public accountability and the way in which decisions to spend public money are made. In turn, these issues raise questions about the relationship between, and authority of, the Government and Parliament. They may also involve consideration of what might be regarded as proper or responsible conduct by governments and the public service.
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.
The objective of the audit was to assess the performance of the Child Support Agency in the administration of key aspects of the Child Support Scheme. The ANAO previously audited the CSA in 1993-94 and identified scope for improvement in the management and administration of the Child Support Scheme. Particular areas of audit concern included client service, staff training and debt management. The current audit has reviewed the CSA's progress in improving Agency performance since that time. The audit focused initially on the areas identified in the previous audit, but also sought to identify further opportunities for improvement where appropriate.
The purpose of this follow-up audit was to report on action taken by the Department of Social Security and Centrelink in addressing the recommendations of Audit Report No.23 1993-94 Protection of Confidential Client Information from Unauthorised Disclosure. The objectives were to:
ascertain the extent to which the recommendations of the original audit have been implemented;
identify other changes made in relation to data confidentiality within the Social Security portfolio since 1993;
The objective of this audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth's management of the Great Barrier Reef as implemented by the Authority. This audit was undertaken because of the environmental significance of the Great Barrier Reef Region; its growing economic importance; recent changes to the Authority's budget arrangements; and because the Authority had not been subject to a performance audit since its establishment approximately 20 years ago.
The objective of the audit was to ascertain how efficiently and effectively the ATO administers sales tax collections. The audit excluded an examination of the Australian Customs Service's sales tax administration, although it did examine coordination and liaison arrangements between the ATO and ACS. The audit approach involved analysing the ATO's performance against the five elements of the ATO's established compliance improvement process, namely:
interpreting and clarifying sales tax law;
identifying and understanding clients and markets (enabling tax officers to identify and analyse risks of non-compliance);
providing education and information to clients regarding sales tax obligations, based on identified compliance risks;
implementing administrative arrangements which ensure and/or assist taxpayers to meet their obligations; and
detecting non-compliance and taking action to remedy instances of non-compliance.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the risk management process in the Small Business Income business line. It follows Audit Report No.37 1996-97 and entitled Risk Management - Australian Taxation Office. That audit focused on broad strategic issues relevant to risk management in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a whole. This audit follows the issues identified in that report into the day-to-day management of the Small Business Income as an example of how risk management operates in a significant element of the ATO.
The objective of the audit was to provide assurance about the Australian Taxation Office's risk management approach and to add value to its administration by analysing the economy, efficiency, administrative effectiveness, equity and accountability of the related processes employed within the organisation. The ANAO reviewed the formal risk management process that the ATO uses to deal with all sources of risk for the organisation.
The audit covered major program elements within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and Environment Australia that are managed:
directly by DPIE or Environment Australia;
through the One-Stop-Shop project assessment process administered by the States/Territories; or
by non-government organisations.
The purpose of the audit was to examine and benchmark the administrative processes established for these programs. The primary focus of the audit was to draw on the best elements of past practice (particularly in relation to programs involving the One-Stop-Shop) and highlight any shortcomings so that the risks to program effectiveness and accountability could be addressed in the implementation of the Natural Heritage Trust.
The objectives of the audit were to examine the Australian Bureau of Statistics' management of the procedures and processes associated with the planning and operational aspects of the 1996 Census to ascertain: whether the results of the 1991 Census evaluations were used to improve the 1996 Census; whether the Census could be undertaken more efficiently while still yielding data of the required quality; and how privacy concerns were being satisfied by the processes employed. The scope of the audit was limited to reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of the management by the ABS of the development, collection and initiation of the processing phases of the 1996 Census. The ANAO conducted an assessment of the procedures and processes used in the 1996 Census against the ABS performance indicators and by an examination of ABS documentation. The audit did not seek to review the ABS statistical methodology.
The objective of the audit was to assess the Australian Taxation Office's approach to client service and the provision of particular client services to Individuals Non-Business clients. The INB business line deals primarily with the tax affairs of individual taxpayers. Audit criteria were developed which examined the ATO's:
commitment to client service and understanding of client needs and expectations;
client service strategy and delivery of client services and products; and
measurement and achievement of service quality and client satisfaction.
The purpose of the audit was to examine how efficiently and effectively the ATO managed its collection of outstanding tax debt. A framework for analysing the ATO's approach to collecting outstanding debt was established by the ANAO. This framework reflected five key criteria in the collection process as they apply to managing outstanding debt, namely:
initiatives to promote timely payment;
identification of outstanding debt;
setting priorities for collecting outstanding debt;
The purpose of the audit was to examine the environmental management mechanisms in place across some of the major Commonwealth land management and oversighting entities. In particular, the audit examined Commonwealth environmental management practices to identify current strengths and weaknesses, and provide a framework and direction for the adoption of better practice and continuous improvement. The audit has not been designed to judge past Commonwealth performance using current environmental standards and practices. Rather, the audit focused on encouraging the development of better practice by illustrating the implications and lessons learned from past and present practices.
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; Department of Defence; Department of Transport and Regional Development; Department of Administrative Services; Department of Environment, Sport and Territories
This is a report of an audit by the ANAO of the Australian Taxation Office's Income Matching System (IMS). The IMS is a computer-based system which identifies discrepancies between information in tax returns and external data. The main income types covered are dividends, interest, wages and salaries, pensions and benefits and prescribed payments. It also generates unmatched data and cases where assessments have not yet been issued.