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The audit reviewed management of the Commonwealth's role in preparing for, and managing, pest and disease emergencies requiring a rapid response. The audit focused on the role of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -Australia (AFFA), which is the Commonwealth Department with primary portfolio responsibility for coordinating the national and international response to an emergency. The audit did not address preventative measures such as quarantine and border controls; controlled release of exotic diseases or pests; or emergencies associated with previously known endemic diseases, food safety or chemical residue issues.
The audit evaluated the effectiveness of the accountability and oversight arrangements for statutory bodies within the former Primary Industries and Energy portfolio (most of which are now part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio). The audit focused on accountability of the statutory bodies to the Minister and through the Minister to Parliament; it did not directly address accountability to industry stakeholders and levy papers.
The audit assessed the effectiveness of the governance framework for the management of the transition from the existing red meat industry structures to new structures which increased industry's role in self determination and self regulation and minimised the involvement of Government. Matters considered included the effectiveness of:
planning for the implementation of the new arrangements;
management of the risks associated with the implementation of the new arrangements;
management structures used in the transition arrangements; and
accountability arrangements for ongoing Commonwealth involvement.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Registration Authority's strategic and operational management, particularly the assessment and registration activities. The audit criteria took into account the scope for the application of risk management principles which are integral to strategic and operational management.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Commonwealth's interests were adequately protected in terms of both the contractor selection process that led to Australian Construction Services being awarded the contract for the overall management of the project and the actual commercial arrangements between the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and ACS. As part of the audit, criteria were developed which considered whether the Commonwealth procurement guidelines were adhered to, as well as whether the commercial arrangements clearly detailed the goods and services to be provided, their cost and timing of delivery.
This performance audit was conducted to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Commonwealth fisheries management, with particular emphasis on AFMA's systems and procedures for planning and operations. In addition, the audit sought to determine whether AFMA is gathering and reporting to the Parliament appropriate accountability information on its performance.
The ANAO selected the Fututech project for audit as it is one of the largest R&D projects conducted by any of the rural R&D corporations to date. The ANAO planned to identify possible improvements in management practices which would assist not only MRC but also other R&D corporations.