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This is the first of two audit reports concerning the Tax Office's administration of SMSFs pursuant to the provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. This audit report examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Tax Office's approach to regulating and registering self managed superannuation funds. Specifically the ANAO examined the:
Environment in which SMSFs operate, including the Tax Office's regulatory roles and responsibilities;
Tax Office's governance of its SMSF regulatory role; and
Systems, processes and controls the Tax Office uses to register SMSFs, and enforce the lodgement of fund income tax and regulatory returns.
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of procedures and processes used by DEST and the ATO to record HECS–HELP student loans. To achieve this, the ANAO assessed the performance of DEST and the ATO against three criteria as follows:
DEST monitored student contributions set by higher education providers for consistency with Australian Government policy;
DEST paid HECS–HELP advance payments to higher education providers based on sound estimates, and recorded, reconciled and reported these payments; and
the ATO has established procedures and processes to correctly record HECS–HELP loans against student tax records.
The objective of the audit was to assess the management practices undertaken by APS agencies to achieve value for money and transparency in dealing with contracts for non-APS workers. The focus of the audit was on circumstances where agencies had a significant reliance on a non-APS workforce to assist in achieving their core functions. Regular reporting by agencies of expenditure on non-APS workers was outside the scope of this audit.
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.
The objective of this audit was to evaluate whether selected Australian Government agencies were effectively managing security risks arising from the use of contractors. To address this objective, the audit evaluated relevant policies and practices in the audited agencies against a series of minimum requirements in the management of security issues in procurement and contracting activity. These minimum requirements were developed from the guidance and standards contained in the PSM and also from the ANAO's previous protective security audits.
The audit focused on two broad types of contracting arrangements: contracting of security functions; and contracting of any service or business function that requires, or which has the potential to require, contractors to access sensitive or security classified information.
The following Australian Government agencies were involved in this audit:
Department of Finance and Administration (Finance); and
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
In addition, the Attorney-General's Department, which is responsible for the maintenance of the PSM and for providing advice on contemporary protective security policies and practices, was consulted during the audit.
The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO's administration of debt collection. Micro-business debt is a particular focus of attention. The three key areas examined are:
strategies–especially the ATO's initiatives trialled in 2006;
infrastructure–the IT systems, people, policy and processes and risk management framework supporting the collection of debt; and
management and governance–planning, monitoring and reporting mechanisms and liaison with stakeholders.
The ANAO focused on the work of the campaigns area within the Debt Line, which has collection responsibility for 90 per cent of collectable debt cases and responsibility for other key, centralised functions such as reporting, quality assurance review, consistency and best practice, and the debt collection initiatives.
The previous audit made ten recommendations to improve Centrelink's review and appeals system. Centrelink agreed to all recommendations. The objective of this follow-up audit was to review Centrelink's progress in implementing the recommendations of Audit Report No.35, Centrelink's Review and Appeals System 2004-05.
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the management by Defence and the DMO of the procurement of the modernised High Frequency communication capability for the ADF. The audit focussed on Phase 3A of the Project which commenced in the mid 1990's and involved the selection of the Prime Contractor; negotiation of the Prime Contract and the Network Operation and Support Contract; and the development and implementation of the Communication System.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to review Centrelink's progress in implementing the findings and recommendation relating to Centrelink's Customer Charter from Audit Report No.32 2004–05, Centrelink's Customer Charter and Community Consultation Program. This audit covers Centrelink's Customer Charter only and does not follow-up on the findings and recommendation on the Community Consultation Program aspect of the 2004–05 audit report.
examine the ATO's implementation of the ten recommendations in The Australian Taxation Office's Management of its Relationshipwith Tax Practitioners (Audit Report No.19, 2002–03), having regard to any changed circumstances, or new administrative issues, affecting implementation of those recommendations; and
identify scope for improvement in the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners.
Follow up audits are recognised as an important element of the accountability processes of Commonwealth administration. Parliament looks to the Auditor General to report, from time to time, on the extent to which Commonwealth agencies have implemented recommendations of previous audit reports. Follow up audits keep Parliament informed of progressive improvements and current challenges in areas of Commonwealth administration that have previously been subject to scrutiny through performance audits.