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The audit objective was to assess whether agreements between Australian Government (Commonwealth) agencies reflect sound administrative practices. To meet this objective, the audit reviewed current government policy and a range of better practice guidelines, conducted interviews with agencies and examined cross-agency agreements, to formulate suitable audit criteria and subsequently develop better practice principles.
The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of agencies' contract management by determining if they had sound practices and systematic approaches to this activity. Particular attention was given to each agency's:
day-to-day management of individual contracts; and
As an element of the arrangements implemented to support the role of the ANAO in reviewing campaigns' compliance with the Guidelines announced on 2 July 2008, the ANAO advised the chair of the JCPAA that the ANAO will provide regular summary reports to Parliament. Section 25 of the Auditor-General's Act 1997 provides for the tabling of such reports.
The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), administers the Commonwealth's settlement programs, which seek to assist migrants and refugees to participate in Australian society. Provision of English language training to newly arrived migrants and refugees has been a long standing and significant part of this settlement support, with some 1.5 million new arrivals assisted in this way since 1948. The objective of the audit was to examine DIMA's management of the Adult Migrant English Program Contracts, focusing on performance outcomes; strategic contract management and coordination; program expenditure, with emphasis on contract funding arrangements; and whether contract monitoring and performance information adequately support effective program management. The ANAO made six audit recommendations aimed at improving program performance management and reporting; strategic management and coordination; management of financial risks; and monitoring of contractor performance, which were all accepted by DIMA.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.