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The objectives of the audit were to assist the Department in the timely identification of any deficiencies in the evaluation of responses from suppliers and options for addressing the deficiencies. The objectives were to:
test the Department's adherence to Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines for open and effective competition and to legislative and other Government specified requirements; and
provide a report to the Parliament, the Government and other interested parties on the probity of the evaluation process.
The scope of the audit was restricted to considering the processes employed by the Department in the selection of hearing devices for use under the voucher scheme.
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, effectiveness and accountability of data management by government agencies. The audit focused mainly on data collected by departments and agencies from non-departmental organisations and institutions.
provide assurance to the Parliament on the effectiveness of internal audit operations; and
determine whether internal audit generally operates at, or near, recognised better practice.
The criteria used to measure internal audit effectiveness were based on four principles developed as part of the audit. These principles and criteria deal with the level of management support and authority; the use of a risk-focus to address client needs; the appropriate balance of skills and knowledge; and the use made of continuous improvement processes and measurement of performance effectiveness.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Department of Health and Family Services had managed its coordinating role and implemented its responsibilities under the National Rural Health Strategy efficiently and effectively.
The Australian Diplomatic Communications Network was developed to provide a secure communication and automation capability for domestic offices and overseas posts. The audit focussed on project management of the ADCNET project, and in particular:
how effectively the ADCNET project was managed;
how effectively project risks were managed; and
the extent to which project management processes have established whether ADCNET meets the specifications set by, and the expectations held by, DFAT, as well as any lessons to be learnt for this and other future projects.
The objective of the audit was to report on whether Defence applies Life-cycle Costing appropriately in support of decisions throughout the acquisition and management of its capital assets, and to make recommendations for any improvement. Criteria were established against each of the issues considered by the audit, namely LCC policy and coordination, use of LCC in investment decisions, use of LCC to support budgeting, data to support LCC and LCC training and education.
In the light of the concerns raised by the Leader of the Opposition and some other Members of Parliament about the allocation of financial assistance approved under the NHT, it was decided to undertake preliminary inquiries. The inquiries focussed on the transparency and rigour of the decision-making process for projects approved for NHT funding.
The ANAO first examined asset management in the general government sector in 1995. The outcome of that review was presented in Audit Report No. 27, 1995-96, Asset Management. The primary objectives of the current review were to:
ascertain the degree of acceptance of the previous audit recommendations;
establish the extent to which organisations were managing their assets in accordance with the asset management principles espoused in the Asset Management Handbook; and
examine any central coordination initiatives in asset management.
Meeting these objectives permits the ANAO to express an updated opinion on the state of asset management in the general government sector other than for specialised military equipment.
The objective of the audit was to assess the performance of the Child Support Agency in the administration of key aspects of the Child Support Scheme. The ANAO previously audited the CSA in 1993-94 and identified scope for improvement in the management and administration of the Child Support Scheme. Particular areas of audit concern included client service, staff training and debt management. The current audit has reviewed the CSA's progress in improving Agency performance since that time. The audit focused initially on the areas identified in the previous audit, but also sought to identify further opportunities for improvement where appropriate.
The objectives in auditing the sale were to assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; review the efficiency of the management of the sale process; assess whether the sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests, including minimising ongoing Commonwealth risk; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved arrangements for future trade sales, particularly the later phases of airport sales.
The audit reviewed the Defence's $5.05 billion New Submarine Project which commenced in 1982 and involves design and construction of six Collins class submarines and associated supplies and services. The objectives of the audit were to assess project management by the Department's Project Office in the light of accepted better-practice project management techniques. It also aimed to derive lessons learnt and recommendations that could be applied to the Project and to similar Defence projects now and in the future. The audit follows a 1992 audit of the Project by the ANAO and a review by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts in 1995.
The purpose of this follow-up audit was to report on action taken by the Department of Social Security and Centrelink in addressing the recommendations of Audit Report No.23 1993-94 Protection of Confidential Client Information from Unauthorised Disclosure. The objectives were to:
ascertain the extent to which the recommendations of the original audit have been implemented;
identify other changes made in relation to data confidentiality within the Social Security portfolio since 1993;
The objective of the audit was to examine the operations of DEETYA International Services with a view to identifying the administrative issues and difficulties experienced by DEETYA in establishing a commercial entity and its subsequent operation within the framework of the Australian Public Service.
The objective of this audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth's management of the Great Barrier Reef as implemented by the Authority. This audit was undertaken because of the environmental significance of the Great Barrier Reef Region; its growing economic importance; recent changes to the Authority's budget arrangements; and because the Authority had not been subject to a performance audit since its establishment approximately 20 years ago.
The objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including accountability, of the management of boat people by the Department and the providers of major related services to DIMA such as: the Coastwatch Service within the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Protective Service within the Attorney-General's portfolio. The audit examined key issues in the management of boat people largely from a risk management perspective. The audit conclusions are presented in terms of: the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including the accountability, of operations; and the administrative functions which support the management of boat people, such as detection, reception of boats and costs.
The objectives of the audit were to assess the cost-effectiveness of the management and administration of the accounts receivable function in the ‘general government' sector and to identify, develop and report better practice to promote overall improvements in the management of accounts receivable. The audit was limited in scope to agencies whose accounts receivable consist of trade debtors (normally for goods and services), levies, other charges and recoveries from staff.
This audit was undertaken in response to a request from the Prime Minister concerning matters primarily relating to travel allowance claims made by a former minister. The focus of the audit was on the administration of travel claims under the current policy arrangements and did not examine alternative models, which may involve policy issues, which are clearly matters for Government.
The audit surveyed a wide range of Commonwealth agencies' Year 2000 preparedness, their management of the problem and their application of core corporate governance principles, including risk management disciplines. The scope of the audit reflected the wide ranging ramifications of the Year 2000 problem for agencies' overall functions (whole-of-business) internally as well as in terms of external interactions. The audit objectives were to:
assess the adequacy of agencies' planning in relation to achieving Year 2000 compliance;
review and assess agencies' implementation, management and monitoring of Year 2000 compliance strategies;
review agencies' strategic risk assessments in relation to the Year 2000 changeover; and
raise surveyed agencies' and other Commonwealth agencies' awareness of the various aspects of the Year 2000 problem.
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 review the efficiency, economy and administrative effectiveness of departmental activities leading to the letting of the contract with SPCL and its subsequent administration. This included, among other things, an examination of action taken to protect the Commonwealth's interests and the adequacy of relevant departmental guidelines and processes. A primary aim of the audit was to identify the facts of the particular case, including any administrative inadequacies that led to unnecessary financial exposure for the Commonwealth and less than satisfactory outcomes. In particular, the audit aimed to identify elements of better practice that could be followed under similar circumstances or programs in the future.
The main objectives of the audit were to assess the management and administration of protective security across Commonwealth agencies and to identify, recommend and report better practice in security management. Particular attention was paid to:
compliance with Government policy, standards and guidelines;
the role of management in protective security; and
the operation of security systems and practices.
The audit criteria and procedures to assess the management and administration of the individual organisations examined were largely based on the overall control framework of an organisation and the guidance provided in the current Commonwealth Protective Security Manual.
The objective of the audit was to ascertain how efficiently and effectively the ATO administers sales tax collections. The audit excluded an examination of the Australian Customs Service's sales tax administration, although it did examine coordination and liaison arrangements between the ATO and ACS. The audit approach involved analysing the ATO's performance against the five elements of the ATO's established compliance improvement process, namely:
interpreting and clarifying sales tax law;
identifying and understanding clients and markets (enabling tax officers to identify and analyse risks of non-compliance);
providing education and information to clients regarding sales tax obligations, based on identified compliance risks;
implementing administrative arrangements which ensure and/or assist taxpayers to meet their obligations; and
detecting non-compliance and taking action to remedy instances of non-compliance.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the risk management process in the Small Business Income business line. It follows Audit Report No.37 1996-97 and entitled Risk Management - Australian Taxation Office. That audit focused on broad strategic issues relevant to risk management in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a whole. This audit follows the issues identified in that report into the day-to-day management of the Small Business Income as an example of how risk management operates in a significant element of the ATO.
The objective of the audit was to determine the extent to which the new Commonwealth services delivery arrangements were implemented efficiently and effectively. The audit focussed on the establishment of Centrelink to deliver services on behalf of purchaser departments and the development of associated purchaser/provider arrangements.
The objective of this audit was to form an opinion on the effectiveness of Internet security measures within the Commonwealth public sector. The second objective was to provide better practice guidance for managing an Internet connection. The audit covered a range of Commonwealth agencies which had established an Internet facility. It specifically addressed the following matters : Internet security policies; site management - including change control processes, virus prevention and detection strategies, and incident response plans; controls over access to the Internet site and to data sources connected to the site; and user education and training.
assess the extent to which major program objectives were achieved;
identify major strengths and weaknesses related to the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of the program administration; and
identify areas of improvements and risks which should be addressed in arrangements with a private sector project manager.
Audit criteria were developed to address the areas of program planning and implementation, performance measurement and monitoring, responsiveness to emerging issues, dispute resolution mechanisms, risk management and program improvement measures.
The primary objective of this audit was to review the management and administration of travel undertaken by public sector employees to determine whether, and to what extent, it complied with approved policies and procedures. The other objective of this audit, as with all across-the-board FCA audits, is to identify, develop and report better practices. The audit dealt with short-term travel by Commonwealth public sector employees on official business.
The objective of the audit was to evaluate the Department's performance in pursuit of selected PBS program objectives and outcomes, including to investigate and evaluate the economy, efficiency, administrative effectiveness and accountability of the management of the listing process as a significant element of the program. This involved a review of the developments in the listing process over recent years including: the establishment of a comprehensive database of major applications for PBS listing between 1991 and 1996, which facilitated a detailed analysis of the time taken to list drugs on the PBS schedule; a technical consultancy into the DHFS' Guidelines to industry for preparation of applications for PBS listing, and into the use of the economic analysis in assessing proposals for PBS listing; and a review of the selection process including the operations of the PBS advisory committees.
The audit objectives were to review the extent to which the Government's sale objectives have been achieved; the effectiveness of the management of the share offer and share buy-back processes; the management and reporting arrangements associated with on-going Commonwealth exposures; and the consideration of improved administrative practices for future asset sales. The audit criteria addressed the performance of the Task Force in managing the sale in relation to the results of the sale against the stated objectives; the management of the preparation for the sale including the selection of the selling syndicate, its fees and selling commissions; the offer structure including the nature of the sale, the bids and allocation procedures; post sale financial management; and the exposures of the Commonwealth as a result of sale by instalment, contracts, guarantees and indemnities.
The objectives of the audit were to determine the administrative changes made by the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) to implement the recommendations of recent administrative reviews and to identify how well the ATC is meeting its statutory objectives. The criteria used in conducting the audit included administrative improvements resulting from the ATC's response to recent reviews and the extent to which strategies and performance information address its statutory objectives.
The objectives of the audit were to examine the benefits of diversity management in the APS and review the progress made towards equity in employment in the APS, including the EEO Program. It included:
an assessment of the progress towards achieving equity across the APS and by individual agencies;
an assessment of the quality of agency EEO programs;
an assessment of the role of the PSMPC in approving agency EEO programs and monitoring trends across the service;
a consideration of legal obligations and agencies compliance with these; and
the possible risks to, and opportunities for, equity under the WRA.
The audit concentrated on evidence of overall progress, the relative performance of individual agencies, and the examination of observed and underlying trends.
The audit objectives were to report on the efficiency and effectiveness of selected agencies' management of telecommunications services. The specific purpose was to:
identify the potential for more effective management of telecommunications services;
consider the appropriateness of Commonwealth agencies' management of telecommunications services to take advantage of technological opportunities; and
identify the elements of sound administration in the management of telecommunications services.
The audit criteria addressed agencies' performance against benchmarks of sound administrative practice in relation to procurement; planning; business process re-engineering; financial management; and performance management. The audit focussed primarily on telecommunications services, as distinct from capital items and equipment.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether the department had taken appropriate action in response to the recommendations in Audit Report No.35 1993-94, titled The Compliance Function, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. The recommendations of the 1993-94 report, which formed the criteria for the audit, were primarily concerned with compliance after entry to Australia had been gained.
The audit objectives were to establish whether Comcare took an effective leadership role in helping to manage the cost of occupational stress to the Commonwealth; and whether agency management of occupational stress was efficient and effective. The ANAO criteria for the audit focused on how well Comcare understood the impact of occupational stress across APS employment, and supported agencies in their management of the disability. They also dealt with how well agencies understood and measured the impact of stress, and planned for its prevention or minimisation.
The objective of the audit was to review the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the Commercial Compliance Branch's risk management processes and to establish whether the approach provided a sound foundation for the development and application of risk management across the Australian Customs Service. The ANAO also examined the wider risk management context across ACS in order to appreciate how risk management processes in the Branch related to the agency as a whole.
The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether Defence performance management strategies and practices contribute to the effective and efficient management of the supply chain. In particular, it focussed on examining the extent to which the latter demonstrate identified world-class practices.
The objective of the audit was to review AUSTEL and the Spectrum Management Agency's approaches to service delivery against recognised good practice and to identify opportunities for the new Australian Communications Authority to adopt the relevant features of these approaches in its service delivery.
This summary audit report brings together the results of the audits of the financial statements of all Commonwealth organisations (that is, agencies and statutory authorities), and is provided to the Parliament to assist in its scrutiny of annual reports and in the consideration of each organisation's financial statements.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of the management and control of program evaluation in the Australian Public Service. The ANAO made an assessment against criteria which were designed to test whether agencies were undertaking evaluations in a way which would enhance their overall effectiveness. The main issues examined were:
The audit reviewed the application by the Department of Finance and the portfolio departments of the 1993 Accountability and Ministerial Oversight Arrangements for Government Business Enterprises and any statutory monitoring and reporting requirements applying to the selected GBEs provided under their own establishing legislation. The objectives of the audit were to examine:
the effectiveness of the GBE monitoring arrangements in providing appropriate performance information to the Government;
the extent to which agencies and the selected GBEs comply with the monitoring arrangements and legislative requirements; and
whether the GBE monitoring system provides an effective level of accountability to Ministers and to the Parliament.
Mr P.J. Barrett (AM) - Auditor-General for Australia, presented at a Joint Seminar by IPAA and ASCPAs as part of a Panel Discussion on 'Governance and the Role of the Senior Public Executive', Canberra
Mr P.J. Barrett (AM) - Auditor-General for Australia, presented a speech on the occasion of the release by the Minister for Finance of the Second Trial Unaudited Financial Statements for the Commonwealth of Australia for the year ended 30 June 1996.