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The objective of the audit was to determine whether the controls and measures employed by FaCS and Centrelink to deliver Parenting Payment Single (PPS) payments were effective and efficient. To achieve this, the audit focused on four key areas. These were:
the quality of performance measures used by FaCS and Centrelink;
the effectiveness of FaCS' methodology for estimating the levels of risk of incorrect payment to PPS customers and the impact of these incorrect payments on the integrity of program outlays;
the correctness of Centrelink's processing of reassessments; and
the improvements to preventive controls such as training, guidance material, and the Quality On-Line system.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether the controls employed by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and Centrelink to ensure the correctness of payments made under the Age Pension program were effective and efficient. The ANAO focused on:
business arrangements between FACS and Centrelink and the Business Assurance Framework;
whether the source of error was correctly attributed in customer records assessed by FACS and Centrelink as containing an error in the 2000-01 Age Pension Random Sample Survey:
the correctness of Centrelink's processing of reassessments, including Pensioner Entitlements Reviews, Customer Initiated Reassessments and automated reassessments: and
progress in implementing the recommendations of previous ANAO audits concerning the preventive quality controls that underpin correct payments.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether Centrelink's Balanced Scorecard (BSC) was based on key elements of better practice principles and its use assisted Centrelink to understand and communicate its performance against its strategic goals. The audit examined:
the use of the BSC in setting Centrelink's vision and goals;
the role of the BSC in planning;
alignment of the BSC from the top down through the organisation and the interdependencies of scoreboards used by various support units, the definition and use of measures, including target setting and links to goals within the BSC framework; and
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 audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of Centrelink's Information and Technology (I&T) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether Centrelink could rely on its I&T systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether Centrelink's I&T systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The Age Pension is a social security income support payment available to Australian residents and eligible Australians residing overseas who have reached Age Pension age and whose income and assets are under certain limits. In 1999-2000, approximately $14 billion was paid to approximately 1.7 million Age Pension recipients. Payment of Age Pension is made under the Social Security Law and in accordance with the Guide to the Social Security Law prepared by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). FaCS has contracted Centrelink under a Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) to administer the payment of Age Pension to eligible customers. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which new claims for Age Pension had been assessed in compliance with the legislation and other relevant guidelines developed by Centrelink, and whether Centrelink employed appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance. In particular, the ANAO sought evidence with respect to: payment at the right rate, from the right date, to the right person with the right product, for new claims assessed during the audit sample period (that is, in accordance with the working definition of accuracy within Centrelink); the accuracy of Centrelink?s own reporting on compliance, as reported to FaCS under the BPA; and the application of appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance.