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This audit followed up the ANAO's 1999 performance audit report on the Commonwealth's planning and response mechanisms to deal with exotic and new endemic pest and emergencies in the animal and plant sectors (Audit Report No 9 1999-2000 Managing Pest and Disease Emergencies). The previous audit made nine recommendations to improve planning and response strategies for emergencies; better coordination; diagnostic support; and appropriate monitoring and surveillance. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AFFA's implementation of the recommendations, and whether implementation of these recommendations, or appropriate alternative measures, has improved the Commonwealth's planning and response strategies for pest and disease emergencies. The ANAO also observed and assessed relevant parts of the September 2002 foot and mouth disease simulation, Exercise Minotaur.
Quarantine policies and operations are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia (AFFA). The objective of this audit was to assess AFFA's management of plant and animal quarantine services, and the implementation and impact of the Government Response (1997) to the Quarantine Review Committee Report. The audit in particular assessed the setting of quarantine priorities through assessing and managing risk; management of the continuum of quarantine operations; and management of Import Risk Analyses to deliver and review quarantine policies. Stakeholder consultation and advisory processes were also assessed in addressing these issues. A key issue examined was the effectiveness of AFFA quarantine operations in international mail and airports preventing the entry of quarantinable material. The ANAO made eight recommendations aimed at improving operational risk based resource allocation; pre-border management of quarantine risk; the effectiveness of quarantine operations at the Australian border; and priority setting and transparency of the IRA process. AFFA agreed to all eight ANAO recommendations.
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 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.