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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 Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), administers the Commonwealth's settlement programs, which seek to assist migrants and refugees to participate in Australian society. Provision of English language training to newly arrived migrants and refugees has been a long standing and significant part of this settlement support, with some 1.5 million new arrivals assisted in this way since 1948. The objective of the audit was to examine DIMA's management of the Adult Migrant English Program Contracts, focusing on performance outcomes; strategic contract management and coordination; program expenditure, with emphasis on contract funding arrangements; and whether contract monitoring and performance information adequately support effective program management. The ANAO made six audit recommendations aimed at improving program performance management and reporting; strategic management and coordination; management of financial risks; and monitoring of contractor performance, which were all accepted by DIMA.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of AQIS cost-recovery systems and provide assurance to the Parliament that the cost-recoverable programs are identifying and recovering the full costs of services provided, without cross-subsidisation.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.
The objective of the performance audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of DIMA's business entry program against the background of the Business and Temporary Entry program objective, with particular regard to whether:
the existing performance management mechanisms and compliance monitoring strategies support the achievement of program outcomes and outputs;
the quality of decision-making;
business processes facilitate prompt visa decision-making consistent with program objectives; and
decision-making support mechanisms promote robust and timely decision-making.
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 audit reviewed management of the Commonwealth's role in preparing for, and managing, pest and disease emergencies requiring a rapid response. The audit focused on the role of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -Australia (AFFA), which is the Commonwealth Department with primary portfolio responsibility for coordinating the national and international response to an emergency. The audit did not address preventative measures such as quarantine and border controls; controlled release of exotic diseases or pests; or emergencies associated with previously known endemic diseases, food safety or chemical residue issues.
All persons, other than Australian nationals, are required to hold a visa to enter and stay in Australia. This audit's focus is on the entry component of the visa process and specifically the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an electronically-stored authority for travel, which facilitates the entry of tourists and short-term business travellers from countries where the risk of non-compliance with visa conditions is low, that is, in countries classified as ‘low risk'. The objective of the performance audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ETA.
The audit evaluated the effectiveness of the accountability and oversight arrangements for statutory bodies within the former Primary Industries and Energy portfolio (most of which are now part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio). The audit focused on accountability of the statutory bodies to the Minister and through the Minister to Parliament; it did not directly address accountability to industry stakeholders and levy papers.
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 audit assessed the effectiveness of the governance framework for the management of the transition from the existing red meat industry structures to new structures which increased industry's role in self determination and self regulation and minimised the involvement of Government. Matters considered included the effectiveness of:
planning for the implementation of the new arrangements;
management of the risks associated with the implementation of the new arrangements;
management structures used in the transition arrangements; and
accountability arrangements for ongoing Commonwealth involvement.
The objectives in auditing the sale were to assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; review the efficiency of the management of the sale process; assess whether the sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved arrangements for future trade sales, particularly the later phases of airport sales.
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 assess the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including accountability, of the management of boat people by the Department and the providers of major related services to DIMA such as: the Coastwatch Service within the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Protective Service within the Attorney-General's portfolio. The audit examined key issues in the management of boat people largely from a risk management perspective. The audit conclusions are presented in terms of: the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including the accountability, of operations; and the administrative functions which support the management of boat people, such as detection, reception of boats and costs.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Registration Authority's strategic and operational management, particularly the assessment and registration activities. The audit criteria took into account the scope for the application of risk management principles which are integral to strategic and operational management.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether the department had taken appropriate action in response to the recommendations in Audit Report No.35 1993-94, titled The Compliance Function, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. The recommendations of the 1993-94 report, which formed the criteria for the audit, were primarily concerned with compliance after entry to Australia had been gained.
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 objective of the audit was to determine whether the Commonwealth's interests were adequately protected in terms of both the contractor selection process that led to Australian Construction Services being awarded the contract for the overall management of the project and the actual commercial arrangements between the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and ACS. As part of the audit, criteria were developed which considered whether the Commonwealth procurement guidelines were adhered to, as well as whether the commercial arrangements clearly detailed the goods and services to be provided, their cost and timing of delivery.
This performance audit was conducted to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Commonwealth fisheries management, with particular emphasis on AFMA's systems and procedures for planning and operations. In addition, the audit sought to determine whether AFMA is gathering and reporting to the Parliament appropriate accountability information on its performance.
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
The ANAO selected the Fututech project for audit as it is one of the largest R&D projects conducted by any of the rural R&D corporations to date. The ANAO planned to identify possible improvements in management practices which would assist not only MRC but also other R&D corporations.