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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.
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 Commonwealth's administration of the grants component of the R&D Start program. Lessons for the new Commercial Ready program have been identified in the audit. Accordingly, recommendations arising from this audit are directed, when appropriate, to the Commercial Ready program. As most financial assistance is in the form of grants, the loans component of the program was excluded from the audit.
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 assessed the management by ISR and, in particular, by AusIndustry of the implementation of the changes arising from the Government's December 1997 policy statement in Investing for Growth. This statement required ISR to separate administration of policy from the delivery of products and to improve its service to customers through a ‘one stop shop' approach and by streamlining its processes. The audit focussed in particular on the overall strategic management of the change process by AusIndustry; the detailed implementation of the new service delivery arrangements, notably the separation of policy and product delivery; and the implementation of the enhanced customer focus.
The ANAO undertook an audit of the framework and systems that Industry, Science and Resources had in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of these arrangements in relation to departmental administrative functions and program operations.