Our staff add value to public sector effectiveness and the independent assurance of public sector administration and accountability, applying our professional and technical leadership to have a real impact on real issues.
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 the audit was to assess the management practices undertaken by APS agencies to achieve value for money and transparency in dealing with contracts for non-APS workers. The focus of the audit was on circumstances where agencies had a significant reliance on a non-APS workforce to assist in achieving their core functions. Regular reporting by agencies of expenditure on non-APS workers was outside the scope of this audit.
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.
whether FaCSIA has effectively administered the distribution of funding for the Local Answers, VSEG, Reconnect and Minor Capital Upgrade programmes, including promoting the relevant schemes to potential applicants, developing application forms, handling and appraising applications, selecting recipients and making grant announcements;
the pattern of approvals of grants to States/Territories and to electorates held by the Government and Opposition parties under the Local Answers and VSEG programmes; and
whether FaCSIA administered eight one-off grants to community organisations provided as a result of Government commitments during the 2004 Federal Election campaign in line with relevant legislation and guidelines.
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);
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 audit examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the FAO's management of overpayments, within the FTB Programme. In particular, the ANAO considered the FAO's activities in relation to FTB debt prevention, identification, raising and recovery. The audit also compared the FAO's policy documentation and guidance material for staff, against relevant sections of Family Assistance legislation.
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 whether FaCSIA administers grants effectively, according to better practice guidelines, and consistently across geographic areas and the range of programmes included in the scope of the audit. The scope of the audit included grants administered by FaCSIA between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2005, relating to programmes falling within four of the five groups of programmes providing funding for families and communities namely: Community Support; Family Assistance; Childcare Support; and Youth and Student Support. In total, these groups involved total expenditure of some $533 million in 2004–05.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to review FaCSIA's progress in implementing the recommendations of Audit Report No.17 1999–2000. The focus was whether FaCSIA had maintained or improved its oversight, coordination and administration of the CSHA for both the 1999 CSHA and the 2003 CSHA, in line with the recommendations and findings identified in the previous ANAO audit.
The overall objective of the audit was to assess whether the RSS Programme is effective and efficient in providing assurance on the levels of payment error and the resultant risks to the integrity of Australian Government outlays for payments administered by Centrelink. Specifically, the audit assessed whether: the RSS Programme meets the objectives outlined for it in the Portfolio Budget Statements under which funding was provided; there is an adequate methodology underpinning the RSS reviews; the RSS reviews are conducted effectively and efficiently, and adequate quality assurance mechanisms exist to assure the results obtained from the RSS reviews; and reporting by the agencies of the results of the RSS Programme is adequate and takes into consideration the issues identified in Audit Report No. 44 2002–03 Review of the Parenting Payment Single Program, and Audit Report No. 17 2002–03 Age Pension Entitlements.
The follow-up audit assessed the extent to which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Health and Ageing (Health), and Medicare Australia had implemented the six recommendations from Audit Report No.47 2001–02, Administration of the 30 Per Cent Private Health Insurance Rebate. The audit also looked at: the implementation of some of the major suggestions for improvement in the original audit; and the current validity of some of the positive major findings from that audit. The audit found that the ATO, Health and Medicare Australia have acted upon the recommendations contained in Audit Report No.47 2001–02 and, overall, the administration of the Rebate is currently being undertaken effectively.
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.
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 audit assessed whether FaCS effectively undertakes its coordination, monitoring and other roles according to the CSTDA. The audit examined all disability services provided for under the CSTDA, except for disability employment services. The ANAO met relevant officers from FaCS' national office and State and Territory offices, and with 22 stakeholder organisations including: advocacy groups; peak national and State bodies representing the interests of disability service providers and people with disabilities; members of national and State Disability Advisory Bodies funded by FaCS; State and Territory governments; relevant Australian Government agencies; In particular, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. and local government bodies. Fieldwork for the audit was primarily undertaken during the period September 2004 to February 2005.
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 objectives of the audit were to assess agency performance in relation to compiling their Internet listings as required by the Senate Order and the appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Commonwealth contracts. The audit involved a detailed examination in seven agencies of the processes used to compile their Internet listings and the use of confidentiality provisions in contracts.
The objectives of the audit were to assess the Commonwealth's management of contractual rights and obligations under the Sale Agreements. In particular the audit sought to: assess the Commonwealth's management of contractual warranties and indemnities; assess DoTARS' management of each purchaser's compliance with contractual commitments to capital expenditure; and examine the effectiveness of the development and management of contractual arrangements for concessional rail passenger travel provided by the Commonwealth.
A performance audit of the management of the Detention Centre Contracts was listed in the 2003-04 Audit Work Program as a potential audit. The audit work program proposed that the audit would be conducted in two parts. The first part would focus on DIMIA's management of the detention centre contracts with the then detention service provider, GEO Australia. The second part would concentrate on how well any lessons learned from the first contract, were translated into improvements with the new contract. The original objective of this second ANAO audit was to assess DIMIA's management of detention services through the Contract, including the tender process, transition period and implementation of lessons learned from the previous contract.