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The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s administration of the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy. The ANAO examined whether the department had established effective:
administrative and governance arrangements to support NAQS;
processes for identifying biosecurity risks and conducting scientific activities to address identified risks;
arrangements for managing the quarantine aspects of Torres Strait border movements; and
public awareness activities that reflect identified biosecurity risks and support the program’s objectives.
The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of DEEWR’s and FaHCSIA’s administration of the Australian Government’s responsibilities under Element 1 of the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation (including the NT Jobs Package).
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.