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The audit sought to assess the efficiency of Defence property management; provide assurance that probity and compliance requirements are being met; and make practical recommendations for enhancing property operations. It focused on Infrastructure Division's property management, with recognition that other areas manage certain property service contracts, such as those for electricity supply and cleaning.
The audit reviewed Commonwealth National Parks involving total assets of $105 million with net operating costs of $41.77 million. Nineteen Commonwealth reserves are declared comprising six terrestrial national parks, one botanic garden and twelve marine parks and reserves totalling some 23 million hectares across Australia, its external territories and Commonwealth marine areas. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the adequacy of the planning, management and reporting systems which support the Director of National Parks in the achievement of required functions under relevant legislation and agreed outputs and outcomes.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) uses information technology (IT) extensively in providing services to Australia's veteran and defence force communities. The audit reviewed DVA's management of its IT outsourcing contract. The audit considered DVA's planning to meet its strategic IT needs through the IT outsourcing contract, the provisions of the contract, contract administration, management of the impacts of the outsourced services on DVA's business and the outcomes of DVA's approach to the contract.
The audit sought to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the ADF's management of fuel and lubricants and to identify possible areas for improvement. The audit focused on major aspects of the fuel supply chain, in particular the strategic management of fuel (eg. the coordination of fuel requirements and stockholding policy). The audit also reviewed fuel procurement practices, storage and handling issues. The audit coverage addressed the fuel supply aspects of these matters rather than transport, distribution and equipment issues. Although directed principally towards operational fuels, the audit took into consideration issues associated with ADF's requirement for oils and lubricants.
The audit reviewed the planning and management of the Australian Defence Force deployments to East Timor, including the support of those deployments. The audit focused on planning for the deployments and the role of Australia as the lead nation in the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET); and financial, personnel, logistic and other systems used to deploy and sustain Australia's military presence in East Timor.
This was a follow-up of Audit Report No. 40 of 1997-98, Purchase of Hospital Services from State Governments. That audit examined the administration by the Department of Veterans' Affairs of the Purchase of Hospital Services from State Governments. The objective of this audit was to assess the extent to which the Department had implemented the nine recommendations of Report No. 40, taking account of any changed circumstances or administrative issues that the Department identified as affecting their implementation; and to offer continued assurance to the Parliament on the management of the purchase of hospital services.
The audit reviewed Defence's management of the Test and Evaluation (T&E) aspects of its capital equipment acquisition program. The audit sought to identify, from Defence T&E practice, any barriers that might limit the efficiency and effectiveness of its T&E activities.
Major capital equipment contributes importantly to the capabilities of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to achieve the Defence mission, that is, the defence of Australia and its national interests. The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is the relatively new Defence organisation responsible for the acquisition and through-life support of Defence equipment and systems. DMO's stated purpose is to equip and sustain the ADF. In 2001-02, it will spend $2.9 billion on progressing some 270 major capital equipment acquisition projects. This preliminary study for the audit focused on DMO reporting on the status of major equipment acquisition projects.
The Government introduced the Defence Reform Program (DRP) in 1997 to enable Defence's resources to be focused more efficiently and effectively on its core functions. The objective of the audit was to assess Defence's management and implementation of DRP and the extent to which it achieved savings for reinvestment in the operational capabilities of the ADF.