Our staff add value to public sector effectiveness and the independent assurance of public sector administration and accountability, applying our professional and technical leadership to have a real impact on real issues.
The objective was to assess the extent to which staff reductions have been managed in a sound strategic and cost-effective manner consistent with the Government's guidelines and the ANAO's 1996 better practice guide Managing APS Staff Reductions. The audit focussed on 3 agencies - the Australian Taxation Office, the former Department of Primary Industry and Energy, and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development. The ANAO found that the majority of staff reductions were achieved through retrenchment rather than natural attrition; and that decisions on the number of retrenchments were not always supported by an assessment of the impact of the reductions on the agencies' abilities to conduct their business.
The sale of leases for the 14 Phase 2 Federal airports was completed by 30 June 1998, in accordance with the Government's timetable. This represented a significant achievement given that it constituted the largest completed airport trade sales program in the world to that date and achieved the Government's sales objectives.
The objectives of the audit were to form an opinion on the management of Commonwealth agencies' compliance with the Commonwealth's energy efficiency requirements and to identify areas for better practice in energy management. The audit focussed on:
the implementation of the Energy Policy by Commonwealth Agencies; promulgation and coordination of energy use targets;
energy and associated reporting by Commonwealth agencies;
identification, examination and analysis of systemic and procedural impediments to achieving the Energy Policy; and
development and discussion of ways to address these impediments.
Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have informal and formal complaint mechanisms available to them to address grievances. Initially, members are advised to seek resolution of their complaint at the lowest possible level, through the normal command channels and administrative arrangements. A member who is not satisfied that a complaint has been resolved in this manner may use the Redress of Grievance (ROG) system to submit a formal complaint to the commanding officer of the member's unit. The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether the ROG system could be refined to improve the efficiency and timeliness of processing of complaints while preserving the equity and transparency the current system provides.The Redress of Grievance system is clearly time-consuming and resource intensive. Some grievances have taken as long as four years to resolve. Some could be resolved by administrative means rather than through recourse to grievance processes. The system contains various inefficiencies that detract from its cost-effectiveness from the viewpoint of the ADF and individual members. In addition many members are unaware of the system or do not have a high level of confidence in its effectiveness.
The audit is a follow-up to Audit Report 12, 1995-96 Risk Management by Commonwealth Consumer Product Safety Regulators. The objectives of this follow-up audit were to determine the extent to which ANZFA had implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the 1995 Audit Report, and to determine the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving food safety regulation.
Networking the Nation was established with effect from 1 July 1997 to support activities and projects designed to meet a range of telecommunications needs in regional, rural and remote Australia. Funding is provided by the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. The program provides total support of $250 million, of which $50 million was to be allocated annually for the five year period from 1997-98. Funding decisions for grants are the responsibility of an independent Board appointed by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. The objectives of the audit were to examine the administration of the program with a view to ascertaining the scope for improving administration and to provide assurance on the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the management and administrative processes applied in the administration of grants under the program.
The audit reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence's management of Naval Aviation Force (NAF) in achieving its required capability within budgeted resources. The objectives of the audit were to assess whether planning, management and resource allocation mechanisms and practices for NAF were conducive to achieving the latter's objectives in a cost-effective manner.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the administrative arrangements for the establishment and operation of the Green Corps program. Green Corps is a voluntary program for young Australians between 17 and 20 years old to receive accredited training in a range of skills such as bush regeneration and habitat protection. The program is delivered through a contractual arrangement. It was introduced in 1996 with a program allocation of $41.7 million over three years. The focus of the audit was on the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affair's administration of the program, including the management of the contract.
The Pharmaceutical Industry Investment Program (PIIP) is a scheme that was introduced to compensate the pharmaceutical industry, in part, for the impact of the Government exercising its monopsony power under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The ANAO undertook an audit of the probity of the methodology and procedures applied by the Department in assessment of applicants for PIIP funding. The objectives of the audit were to assist the Department, at its request, in the timely identification of deficiencies in assessing responses from applicants and options for addressing any such deficiencies.
Mr P.J. Barrett (AM) - Auditor-General for Australia, presented at the Public Seminar Series, Graduate Program in Public Policy, 'Democratic Governance: Improving the Institutions of Accountability', The Australian National University
The audit reviewed the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (NAHS) component of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission's (ATSIC) Community Housing Infrastructure Program (CHIP). A major NAHS objective is to improve environmental health in indigenous communities through the construction and housing and the provision of water, sewerage and related systems. The objective of the performance audit was to form an opinion on ATSIC's management of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy program in providing housing and related infrastructure to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to identify areas where program administration could be improved.
The objective of the preliminary study was to form a view regarding the quality of, and controls over, the Budget estimates and to inform the decision whether to proceed to a full performance audit at this time. On the basis of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the budget process undertaken during the study, the ANAO concluded that there are no apparent systemic problems in the cash-based estimating processes in the agencies reviewed that would, in themselves, lead to material statistical inaccuracies in the Budget's projected outcomes. The ANAO decided not to proceed with a full performance audit at this time.
The purpose of the report was to report to the Parliament on how effectively and efficiently the Australian Taxation Office administers the Tax File Number System, and to identify opportunities for improvement of that system. The ANAO developed a methodological framework for the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of the ATO's administration of the TFN system. The framework examined the TFN system; individuals and their TFNs; TFN withholding tax arrangements; and TFN information matching.
The objective of the audit was to assess key aspects of the Australian Taxation Office's administration of the PAYE system in relation to employers' remittances and to identify opportunities for improvement. The audit focussed on four areas:
remittance monitoring, especially managing late remittances;
follow-up action for end of year reconciliation, including discrepancies;
handling compliance intelligence gained from the public; and
The audit objective was to determine the DVA's performance in the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the delivery of income support payments to veterans and war widows. It was found that overall, DVA is paying the correct pension to the correct people in a timely fashion within the required accuracy levels.
The objective of the audit was to ascertain and report to Parliament on the Australian Taxation Office's administration of the Fringe Benefits Tax and to identify opportunities for improvement. The ANAO identified five key issues relevant to the effective administration of FBT:
knowledge of the taxpayer base;
education of taxpayers;
client service - advice handling;
other enforcement activities - audits and reviews; and
the systems required to support the administration of FBT, including staff skills and training information systems.
The purpose of the audit was to assess whether management of parliamentary workflow by the agencies reviewed was efficient and effective and to identify elements of good practice. In assessing agency effectiveness and efficiency, the audit focussed on issues of client service such as timeliness, quality and cost. It considered also the governance framework and accountability arrangements relevant to parliamentary workflow, as well as more operational considerations including the use of information technology, development of relevant management information and suitable benchmarking processes.
While recognising the diversity of administrative requirements for different special payments, the audit provides a basis for comparison of performance across 14 different agencies in 1997-98 and progress made since the then Joint Committee of Public Accounts report 342 The administration of specific purpose payments. The objectives of the audit were to:
identify and benchmark current practices in the management of performance information within SPP agreements;
document the lessons learned including better practice from different agencies;
provide a longitudinal analysis of progress since 1995; and
provide practical guidance for the development and implementation of appropriate performance information systems and accountability.
The audit reviewed the use and operation of performance information in service level agreements between Centrelink and three agencies; the Department of Social Security, the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. The objective of the audit was to establish whether the performance assessment framework specified in the agreements enabled the adequate assessment of achievements under purchaser/provider arrangements entered into by DSS, DEETYA and Centrelink.
The sale raised gross proceeds of $95.4 million, which was at the upper end of the Business Advisor's estimate for the mid-1997 sale. In addition, it should be noted that the principal financial effect for the Commonwealth was not in the proceeds of the sale but in the termination of ongoing revenue supplements and financial losses. The Commonwealth's direct costs of selling the businesses are estimated to be $9.3 million, or 9.7% of gross proceeds. In addition, the Australian National's financial liabilities totalling $1393 million have been or are being repaid or assumed by the Commonwealth.
The audit reviewed the sale of DAS Interiors Australia, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided a range of services covering strategic advice and accommodation planning, design and documentation, and supervision of office fit-outs. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sale of Works Australia, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided project, architectural and engineering design and documentation services to the Commonwealth and State Governments and private enterprise. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sale of DASFLEET, a business unit of the Department of Administrative Services, which provided passenger and general commercial vehicle leasing, rental and fleet management and maintenance services. The objectives of the audit were to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the sale.
The audit reviewed the sales of DASFLEET, Works Australia and DAS Interiors Australia. Separate audit reports have been produced for each of the sales. This report focuses on the management of the overall sale processes for all business units.
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 reviewed six budget-funded agencies (Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Department of Defence, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and two off-budget entities (Airservices Australia and Reserve Bank of Australia). The ANAO also examined the Office for Government Online's (OGO, formerly the Office of Government Information Technology, or OGIT) whole-of-government coordination of the Commonwealth's Year 2000 efforts.
The audit considered the way organisations in the APS process and use cost information. The specific objective was to form an opinion on whether costing processes and uses were: valid, cost effective, and in accordance with the principles of better practice.
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 form an opinion on the administrative effectiveness and efficiency of DHAC's processes for planning the Commonwealth's Aged and Community Care program, in particular, on the questions of how well the planning process has contributed to realising the program objectives of achieving an equitable distribution of places between regions, and selecting suitable service providers.
Consistent with the ANAO's practices, and in response to a request from AusAID, a follow-up audit was conducted in the period May to November 1998 to assess the extent of implementation of the recommendations of a 1996 audit into the Management of Funding to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)and whether the implementation of recommendations has effectively improved the management of funding to NGOs. The ANAO examined AusAID's key funding accountability documentation, tested the revised accountability arrangements and consulted a number of key stakeholders, including NGO representatives.
Simulators are devices that provide personnel with training and practice by reproducing the behaviour of operational equipment. Defence records indicate that since 1960 the Defence Organisation has spent about $1 billion on acquiring simulators for training purposes. Over the next five years Defence proposes to spend a further $1.1 billion on simulation. The objective of the audit was to assess whether Defence had developed appropriate policies to provide guidance to personnel in the acquisition and use of aerospace simulators and the effectiveness of its procedures in achieving best value for the Commonwealth in relation to aerospace simulators.
The objective of this audit was to examine the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of processes the Australian Customs Service uses to screen incoming and outgoing mail. It also considers the involvement of other stakeholders such as Australia Post and Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of DoTRD's implementation of Annex 17 in the Australian aviation environment. The ANAO concluded that DoTRD has established a regulatory regime which ensures Australia's compliance with the standards embodied in Annex 17. However, there are areas where Australia's aviation security regime can be strengthened even further including; developing a more robust approach to risk management, developing a longer-term perspective to DoTRD's planning structure, development of proactive alliances with aviation regulators in neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region, further improvement of the airport audit process, development and implementation of an evaluation strategy, development of a formal transparent approach to enforcement.
The objective of the audit was to ascertain and report to the Parliament on the ATO's administration of PPS and to identify opportunities for improvement. Four key compliance issues were identified: reporting PPS income, claiming PPS credits, remitting PPS income, claiming PPS credits, remitting PPS deductions, and managing PPS exemptions and variations. In addition, the following key aspects were considered: PPS risk assessments, coordination of PPS administration between the Small Business Income and Withholding & Indirect Taxes business lines, and PPS compliance project performance information.
The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the administrative effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of the Department of Health and Aged Care's delivery of health services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
The issues examined by the ANAO were considered on two levels. First, legal and ethical processes that focus on whether there are any impediments to the Government and public service implementing the CEIP in the way they have. The public interest issues turn largely on the question of whether the CEIP was for Government or party-political purposes. The other level on which these issues were considered is that of public accountability and the way in which decisions to spend public money are made. In turn, these issues raise questions about the relationship between, and authority of, the Government and Parliament. They may also involve consideration of what might be regarded as proper or responsible conduct by governments and the public service.
Fedlink was to comprise two elements: a high capacity telecommunications infrastructure (phase 1) and information technology applications which support Internet and Intranet communication, and transactions in a secure environment (phase 2) [which never went ahead]. OGIT sought the services of the ANAO to provide an opinion on the probity of the methodology and procedures applied in the evaluation process for phase 1. Therefore the objectives of this audit were to assist OGIT in the timely identification of any deficiencies in the evaluation of responses from suppliers and options for addressing the deficiencies.
The audit reviewed the processes involved in the sale of one-third of Telstra. The objectives in auditing the sale were to assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; assess the effectiveness of the management of the share offer; assess whether the sale arrangements adequately protected the Commonwealth's interests; and facilitate improved administrative arrangements for future share offers.
The audit reviewed the accountability framework and performance information of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASC: accountability arrangements, focussing on key stakeholders such as the Minister and the Parliament; and management information systems, focussing on performance information, in particular key performance indicators; and its use in resource allocation decision-making.
The audit reviewed collection management practices and management information systems of the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management processes employed in safeguarding national collections.
The objective of the audit was to determine the extent to which the new employment services market had been implemented effectively and efficiently in accordance with announced Government policy and timeframe.
The objectives of the audit were to provide assurance to Parliament concerning the adequacy of Commonwealth security planning and preparations for the Games and to identify areas for improvement early enough for any corrective action to be taken.
This is a follow-up audit to Audit Report No. 16, 1995-1996, Assessable Government Industry Assistance. This audit examined whether the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had implemented the appropriate balance of compliance strategies to ensure that Australian Government Industry Assistance (AGIA) is adequately identified, disclosed to the ATO, and the revenue collected in an efficient and administratively effective manner. The objective of this audit was to report on the action taken by the Australian Taxation Office in addressing the recommendations of the 1996 Audit Report.
The Audit reviewed the Commercial Support Program (CSP) within the Department of Defence. The CSP was introduced in 1991 following a review of the report, The Defence Force and the Community. Its objective is to achieve best value for money in the acquisition of support services for the Department of Defence and to give the private sector an opportunity to participate in the provision of those support services. The objective of this audit was to assess whether CSP was meeting its objectives and to identify any areas where it may be possible to improve the timeliness, and therefore cost-effectiveness, with which CSP is implemented and the quality of the process itself to produce better outcomes.