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The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of DIAC’s management of the student visa program. Three key areas were examined in the audit: the processing of student visa applications; ensuring compliance with student visa conditions; and cooperation between DIAC and DEEWR.
The audit examined the effectiveness of DEEWR's: administrative framework for the program; management of the application, assessment and funding processes; and monitoring of and reporting on the program's performance.
In order to form an opinion against the audit objective, the ANAO primarily conducted fieldwork and documentation reviews at DEEWR's central office. A stratified random sample (in order to provide for representation from states, territories and school sectors) of 74 applications from Rounds 1 and 2 was also selected for detailed examination. Through this sample, the ANAO sought to determine whether funding applications had been assessed in accordance with the established assessment criteria and that quality assurance mechanisms for the assessment process were effective.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether, in relation to appeals to the SSAT and the AAT, Centrelink undertakes its role effectively, so as to support the timely implementation of the Tribunals' decisions about customers' entitlements. In assessing Centrelink's performance, the ANAO examined whether:
the information provided by Centrelink, in relation to appeals to the SSAT and the AAT, effectively supported customers' and Tribunals' decision-making;
the relationships and administrative arrangements between Centrelink, DEEWR and FaHCSIA supported the effective management of the appeal process and the capture of issues that may have broader implications for legislation, policy and service delivery; and
Centrelink implemented SSAT and AAT decisions in an effective and timely manner.
The audit focused on the external review and appeal mechanisms and completes the cycle of audits on Centrelink's review and appeal system. The audit examined those appeals where an implementation action was required and did not consider SSAT and AAT appeals that were dismissed, withdrawn or were not within the Tribunals' jurisdiction.