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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 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 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.