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The Commonwealth has significant foreign exchange risk exposures including $A8.4 billion of foreign currency transactions with the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1998-99. Under the Financial Management and Accountability Act and its associated Regulations, all agencies are required to assess and, where possible, manage, foreign exchange risk. The audit reviewed four agencies that have substantial foreign currency payment exposures namely:
the Department of Defence;
the Australian Agency for International Development;
the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and
the Department of Finance and Administration.
The objective of the audit was to identify and assess the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the management of foreign exchange risk across the selected agencies, also to identify opportunities to improve the management of foreign exchange risk, including any associated potential financial savings that could accrue to the Commonwealth.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether Centrelink's planning, monitoring and costing arrangements provide a sound basis to underpin its delivery of quality, cost effective customer services.
The objective of the performance audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of DIMA's business entry program against the background of the Business and Temporary Entry program objective, with particular regard to whether:
the existing performance management mechanisms and compliance monitoring strategies support the achievement of program outcomes and outputs;
the quality of decision-making;
business processes facilitate prompt visa decision-making consistent with program objectives; and
decision-making support mechanisms promote robust and timely decision-making.
The objective of this audit was to form an opinion on the adequacy of, and to identify best practice in, Commonwealth agencies' electricity procurement systems and procedures. In doing so, the ANAO also formed an opinion on the level and results of participation by Commonwealth agencies in the National Electricity Market. The audit concentrated on adherence by agencies to the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines: Core Policies and Principles (March 1998), emphasising the importance of Commonwealth agencies achieving value-for-money (VFM) in their purchasing. VFM is one of the six principles on which the Guidelines are based.
The objective of this audit was to assess the systems put in place by Centrelink to protect data privacy. The audit reviewed the adequacy of the policies, procedures and the administrative framework associated with data privacy, and the computer systems that are used to store and disseminate data. The ANAO also examined compliance with legislative requirements.
All persons, other than Australian nationals, are required to hold a visa to enter and stay in Australia. This audit's focus is on the entry component of the visa process and specifically the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an electronically-stored authority for travel, which facilitates the entry of tourists and short-term business travellers from countries where the risk of non-compliance with visa conditions is low, that is, in countries classified as ‘low risk'. The objective of the performance audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ETA.
The objective of the preliminary study was to form a view regarding the quality of, and controls over, the Budget estimates and to inform the decision whether to proceed to a full performance audit at this time. On the basis of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the budget process undertaken during the study, the ANAO concluded that there are no apparent systemic problems in the cash-based estimating processes in the agencies reviewed that would, in themselves, lead to material statistical inaccuracies in the Budget's projected outcomes. The ANAO decided not to proceed with a full performance audit at this time.
The audit reviewed the sale of DAS Interiors Australia, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided a range of services covering strategic advice and accommodation planning, design and documentation, and supervision of office fit-outs. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sale of Works Australia, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided project, architectural and engineering design and documentation services to the Commonwealth and State Governments and private enterprise. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sale of DASFLEET, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided passenger and general commercial vehicle leasing, rental and fleet management and maintenance services. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sales of DASFLEET, Works Australia and DAS Interiors Australia. Separate audit reports have been produced for each of the sales. This report focuses on the management of the overall sale processes for all business units.
The audit reviewed six budget-funded agencies (Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Department of Defence, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and two off-budget entities (Airservices Australia and Reserve Bank of Australia). The ANAO also examined the Office for Government Online's (OGO, formerly the Office of Government Information Technology, or OGIT) whole-of-government coordination of the Commonwealth's Year 2000 efforts.
The issues examined by the ANAO were considered on two levels. First, legal and ethical processes that focus on whether there are any impediments to the Government and public service implementing the CEIP in the way they have. The public interest issues turn largely on the question of whether the CEIP was for Government or party-political purposes. The other level on which these issues were considered is that of public accountability and the way in which decisions to spend public money are made. In turn, these issues raise questions about the relationship between, and authority of, the Government and Parliament. They may also involve consideration of what might be regarded as proper or responsible conduct by governments and the public service.
Fedlink was to comprise two elements: a high capacity telecommunications infrastructure (phase 1) and information technology applications which support Internet and Intranet communication, and transactions in a secure environment (phase 2) [which never went ahead]. OGIT sought the services of the ANAO to provide an opinion on the probity of the methodology and procedures applied in the evaluation process for phase 1. Therefore the objectives of this audit were to assist OGIT in the timely identification of any deficiencies in the evaluation of responses from suppliers and options for addressing the deficiencies.