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The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Mr Stephen Smith, wrote to the Auditor-General on 11 March 2002 formally requesting an investigation into certain matters in relation to the 'Co-Location of National General Practice Organisations', a message detailed in the Health Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2001-02. The Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Limited wrote to the Auditor-General on 11 March 2002, requesting a comprehensive audit of funding decisions by the Minister for Health and Ageing. The Australian National Audit Office has undertaken a preliminary examination of relevant papers relating to the 'GP House' matter. The preliminary examination focussed on whether or not due process was followed in making the decision to transfer funds between Outcomes. The preliminary examination also considered the procedures adopted by the Department of Health and Aged Care in developing the funding proposal, the advisory role played by the Department of Finance and Administration and specific advice provided by both departments to their Ministers. The examination further considered the disclosure of the related budget measure.
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 audit was undertaken following advice from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) to the Auditor-General that assurance that ABC programming adequately reflects the ABC's Charter was an audit priority of Parliament. The objective of the audit is to provide Parliament with this assurance. The focus of the audit was on the governance arrangements of the ABC Board and management that enable the ABC to demonstrate the extent to which it is achieving its' Charter obligations, and other related statutory requirements, efficiently and effectively. The scope of the audit was as follows:
Review the ABC's corporate governance framework against better practice models. The ANAO had regard to the ABC's unique role as a national public broadcaster established as a budget funded Commonwealth statutory authority subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.
Examine the ABC Board's approach to the interpretation of the Charter requirements of the ABC and the setting of strategic directions, and management's administrative arrangements for implementing the strategic directions established by the Board.
Examine the ABC's performance information framework, the development, documentation and use of performance measures in relation to targets and/or objectives, the monitoring and reporting of performance and its' inter-relationship with the corporate planning and budgetary processes, particularly in relation to the strategic directions set by the Board.
The audit did not examine the overall management of the ABC. In keeping with the audit scope, the audit examined ways in which the ABC aligns its' strategic directions with its' Charter requirements for programs broadcast on radio, television and on-line and assures itself, and Parliament, about the achievement of its' Charter obligations. Further, the audit did not examine the operations of ABC Enterprises or symphony orchestras that operate as ABC-owned subsidiary companies.
This follow-up Audit reviewed the Department of Health and Ageing's implementation of the recommendations of Audit Report No. 36, 1999-2000, Home and Community Care. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which the Department had implemented the nine recommendations of Audit Report No. 36, 1999-2000. The audit examined areas relating to funding, guidance, fees, coordination with other aged and disability care programs, acquittals, accountability and data requirements, and records management.
The audit reviewed the broadcasting planning and licensing operations of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, which is responsible for planning the availability of segments of the broadcasting services bands used by radio and television for analogue and digital broadcasting. The objective was to assess the ABA's management of licence area planning and the subsequent issue of broadcasting licences, focussing on analogue radio planning and identifying improved administrative practices, where possible, together with the main factors that have contributed to the delays to date in achieving the planning timetable.
The ANAO reviewed arrangements for the development of the department's fraud policy, fraud risk assessment and fraud control plan within the core functional areas of the department that are responsible for these activities. The audit also examined the operational procedures and guidelines that were in place to implement the department's fraud policy. The objective of the audit was to assess whether AFFA has implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and whether these arrangements operate effectively in practice.
This follow-up audit reviewed the operations of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) which is responsible for ensuring the sustainable use and efficient management of Commonwealth fisheries resources. The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which AFMA addressed the issues that gave rise to the recommendations of ANAO Report No.32 1995-96, and the related recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee Report 1997, that were supported by the Government.
The follow-up audit focussed on the key issues identified in the recommendations and grouped these in the themes of:
strategic and performance management;
management of the advisory process;
implementation of fisheries management methods;
managing AFMA's environmental responsibilities as they relate to Commonwealth fisheries management;
compliance, monitoring and enforcement responsibilities; and