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The audit reviewed the process of engaging consultants in four Commonwealth agencies. The objective of the audit was to provide assurance to Parliament that Commonwealth agencies comply with relevant procurement policies and procedures that have been developed to ensure value for money in government procurement.
This performance audit is the first property management audit that the ANAO has conducted since the FMA Act came into effect in 1997, with the associated devolution of responsibility to agency heads. The audit included coverage of office accommodation currently leased in Australia from the private sector. This office accommodation was housing the functions and activities of clerical, technical or professional staff, including conference and meeting rooms and ministerial suites but excluding basements, car parks, theatrettes, and cafeterias.
The audit reviewed the operation of the payment of accounts function in 8 Commonwealth organisations against their internal control framework. The main objectives of the audit were to determine whether organisations had implemented appropriate risk management strategies for the processing of accounts and whether payment for goods ans services had been properly authorised. The audit also reviewed progress since the payment of accounts audit undertaken in 1996 ( Audit Report No. 16, 1996-97, Financial Control and Administration Audit, Payment of Accounts).
This audit followed up the ANAO's 1997 performance audit report on ADF health services (Audit Report No.34 1996-97 Australian Defence Force Health Services), which focused on the delivery of non-operational health services to entitled members. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess Defence's implementation of recommendations made in the original audit report and their effectiveness in improving ADF health services.
The ANAO concluded that DHAC's administration of the National Cervical Screening Program is generally sound. The ANAO found that the department has a key role in the Program by providing secretariat services and other support to the NAC, which provides policy advice to AHMAC, and by supporting initiatives to further develop the Program. Some areas of DHAC's administration of the Program provide examples of good practice. Related examples are the early identification of the need to monitor the Program, the early identification of possible data sources for monitoring, and the use of an independent body to provide advice, through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on performance indicators and data sources. A further example is DHAC's administration of the provision of cervical screening funding assistance to the States and Territories through Public Health Outcome Funding Agreements, which complies with the principles for sound Specific Purpose Payments program administration advocated by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in their Report 362. On the other hand, the ANAO has identified areas for improvement in quality assurance for the analysis of Pap smears by pathology laboratories.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of HIC's IT systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether HIC could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of balances for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether HIC's IT systems' outputs met quality and service delivery targets.
Aviation traffic data plays an important role in informing decisions about the safety of the airways system, including such matters as the need for navigation facilities, communication links, air traffic control towers and rescue/fire fighting services. The objective of the limited scope audit was to examine the accuracy of the data on air traffic movements collected by Airservices Australia.
Quarantine policies and operations are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia (AFFA). The objective of this audit was to assess AFFA's management of plant and animal quarantine services, and the implementation and impact of the Government Response (1997) to the Quarantine Review Committee Report. The audit in particular assessed the setting of quarantine priorities through assessing and managing risk; management of the continuum of quarantine operations; and management of Import Risk Analyses to deliver and review quarantine policies. Stakeholder consultation and advisory processes were also assessed in addressing these issues. A key issue examined was the effectiveness of AFFA quarantine operations in international mail and airports preventing the entry of quarantinable material. The ANAO made eight recommendations aimed at improving operational risk based resource allocation; pre-border management of quarantine risk; the effectiveness of quarantine operations at the Australian border; and priority setting and transparency of the IRA process. AFFA agreed to all eight ANAO recommendations.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the ATO's management of its performance reporting within the outcomes and outputs framework and to identify potential areas for improvement in specifying, measuring, administering and reporting under that framework.
The audit reviewed the fraud control arrangements in the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS), a policy formulation, and advising body and major purchaser of social welfare services from Centrelink. The objective was to assess whether FaCS had:
implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and that these arrangements operated effectively in practice; and
fulfilled its responsibilities as a purchaser of services in relation to fraud control.
This audit is one in a series of fraud control audit and is complemented by a similar audit of Centrelink, a major provider of services on behalf of FaCS.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of DVA's Information Technology (IT) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether DVA could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether DVA's IT systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The audit examined the design, management and reporting of performance information for the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) which is administered by the Commonwealth Departments of Environment and Heritage, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the performance information used to support the administration of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth financial assistance; and compliance with legislative requirements for performance monitoring and reporting.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was established on 1 July 1998 as the prudential regulator of banks and other authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), life insurance companies (including friendly societies), general insurance companies, superannuation funds and retirement savings accounts. ANAO's objectives for this audit were to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of APRA's prudential supervision of banks. Prudential supervision aims to protect depositors by ensuring that financial institutions adopt prudent risk management practices designed to ensure their continuing solvency and liquidity. APRA is a relatively new organisation, established in July 1998 and becoming responsible for prudential supervision of all ADIs from July 1999. ANAO concluded that there are steps APRA can take in a number of areas to improve its supervisory practices, including improving the administration of the ADI supervisory levy; strengthening its risk management approach; and maintaining closer adherence to international standards for prudential supervision issued by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision. ANAO made five recommendations concerning administration of levies, risk-based supervision and supervision of cross-border banking. APRA agreed, or agreed with qualifications, to all recommendations, as well as agreeing with the overall audit conclusions.
Causes and Consequences of Personnel Postings in the Australian Defence Force The audit arose from a Defence Efficiency Review (1997) recommendation that Defence could make savings on the large volume of postings it made every year. The audit examined the posting process and sought to provide assurance that Defence had identified and examined salient postings issues and was addressing them effectively.
The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), administers the Commonwealth's settlement programs, which seek to assist migrants and refugees to participate in Australian society. Provision of English language training to newly arrived migrants and refugees has been a long standing and significant part of this settlement support, with some 1.5 million new arrivals assisted in this way since 1948. The objective of the audit was to examine DIMA's management of the Adult Migrant English Program Contracts, focusing on performance outcomes; strategic contract management and coordination; program expenditure, with emphasis on contract funding arrangements; and whether contract monitoring and performance information adequately support effective program management. The ANAO made six audit recommendations aimed at improving program performance management and reporting; strategic management and coordination; management of financial risks; and monitoring of contractor performance, which were all accepted by DIMA.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of Centrelink's Information and Technology (I&T) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether Centrelink could rely on its I&T systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether Centrelink's I&T systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's use of audit of individual taxpayers as part of its approach to encouraging taxpayer compliance. The objective of the audit was to examine the use of audit as an element of the compliance management function within the Individuals Non-Business line of the ATO.
The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on ATSIC's management of the Municipal Services component of the Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP). The audit examined how effectively ATSIC specifies and implements its role, the adequacy with which it identifies relative needs for support from the program among Indigenous communities, and how it leverages improved outcomes from other potential funding sources.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether FaCS had established effective business arrangements with Centrelink to help ensure that new claims for Age Pension were properly assessed in accordance with the Social Security Law and the Guide to the Social Security Law. In the context of the audit objective, the primary issues examined were whether FaCS had:
established an appropriate business framework;
adopted an appropriate risk management approach;
appropriately monitored and evaluated performance; and
The Age Pension is a social security income support payment available to Australian residents and eligible Australians residing overseas who have reached Age Pension age and whose income and assets are under certain limits. In 1999-2000, approximately $14 billion was paid to approximately 1.7 million Age Pension recipients. Payment of Age Pension is made under the Social Security Law and in accordance with the Guide to the Social Security Law prepared by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). FaCS has contracted Centrelink under a Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) to administer the payment of Age Pension to eligible customers. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which new claims for Age Pension had been assessed in compliance with the legislation and other relevant guidelines developed by Centrelink, and whether Centrelink employed appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance. In particular, the ANAO sought evidence with respect to: payment at the right rate, from the right date, to the right person with the right product, for new claims assessed during the audit sample period (that is, in accordance with the working definition of accuracy within Centrelink); the accuracy of Centrelink?s own reporting on compliance, as reported to FaCS under the BPA; and the application of appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance.
The objective of the ANAO audit was to identify possible areas for improvement in the Australian Defence Force's management of its Reserve forces. The audit focused on major aspects of the Reserves including roles and tasks, force structure, capability, training, individual readiness, equipment, facilities, recruitment, retention, conditions of service and administration. The audit covered the Australian Naval Reserve, the Australian Army Reserve and the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve. However, due to its size and cost, the Army Reserve was a major focus of the audit activity.
The audit reviewed the Defence Department's management of the Defence Cooperation (DC) Program, through which Australia interacts with and provides assistance to security forces in South East Asia and the South Pacific. The primary aim of the program is to support Australia's defence relationships. Activities conducted through the program include training, study visits, personnel exchanges and combined exercises with elements of the various regional armed forces. The Pacific Patrol Boat Project is part of the program. The objectives of the audit were to:
1) consider how Defence assesses performance in meeting DC objectives;
2) review Defence's development of DC objectives; and
3) identify areas for improvement in managing DC resources.
The audit reviewed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's administration of consular services. It focussed on DFAT's travel advice to alert Australians to potential travel risks; case management systems to record and monitor action on more complex consular cases; performance information for the management of consular services; and contingency planning for major consular incidents. The audit also reviewed action taken by DFAT and other agencies to implement the recommendations of a 1997 Senate Committee report on consular services.
The audit examined the efficiency and effectiveness of DEWRSBs administrative arrangements for the Work for the Dole Programme. The audit focused on the Community Work Coordinator tender assessment process, selection of projects, contract management arrangements and the mechanisms used for measuring the performance of the Programme against its objectives.
The audit examined the review of decisions on veterans' disability compensation. The audit objective was to examine the management of internal review by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and external review by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) of decisions by the Repatriation Commission on veterans' claims for disability compensation.
ANAO found that the actions taken by the Department during the course of the audit to update and improve the Notes on Administration and administrative processes, by commissioning various specialist studies and reviewing governance issues, has established a sound basis for ongoing effective management of the National Highway System. The Department advised ANAO that changes to the Notes on Administration reflect joint work done with the ANAO to identify where improvements could be made and incorporate not only suggestions and recommendations that the ANAO has made in the final report but also during the audit. ANAO considers that the comprehensive revision of the Notes on Administration undertaken by the Department should foster marked improvements in the management of the National Highway System.
The report summarises the audit and other related activities of the ANAO in the period June to December 2000. It provides a consolidated report of the ANAO's integrated audit products tabled during the period. Key issues examined in the ANAO's performance audit activity in the period were:
risk management in a corporate governance framework;
outsourcing and asset sales;
data management/management information systems; and
The report also summarised the results of a report summarising the final results of the audits of the financial statements of Commonwealth entities; and dealt with issues regarding financial management issues, controls and processes arising from the financial audit activities conducted during the period.
The audit was undertaken in the Training and Youth Division TYD) of the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. The objective of the audit was to determine whether the application of Business Processing Reengineering(BPR) principles would identify improvements to the business processes of the TYD. The TYD was used in this audit to illustrate the application of BPR as a tool for agencies to identify efficiencies and enhance program effectiveness.
The Defence Estate comprises the land, buildings and other facilities that Defence uses across Australia. These facilities are vital to achieving the Defence mission - to prevent or defeat the use of armed force against Australia and its interests. The Estate has a gross replacement value of $14.8 billion. Defence Estate Organisation's (DEO's) Facilities Operations (FACOPS) Program delivers general maintenance and minor new works to Defence facilities on a regional basis across the country. DEO's Estate Operations and Planning Branch and its nine Regional Estate Centres are responsible for the FACOPS Program. Resources available for the Program have been reduced in recent years. The total DEO budget for 2000-01, which includes funds for capital works, facilities operations and property management, is $2.6 billion. Of this total, the FACOPS Program has a cash allocation of $213 million and an additional $15.6 million for employee expenses associated with the Program's 283 staff. The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of selected Defence facilities operations, including tendering and contracting, with a view to adding value with practical recommendations for enhancing operations.
The study examined aggregated benchmarking measures of cost, efficiency quality and better practice for nineteen Commonwealth organisations and compared the results with that of an international group. The objective of the study was to obtain and report on over time quantitative and qualitative data relating to finance function activities as they operate in Commonwealth organisations.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of the Family Relationships Services Program (FRSP) by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) subsequent to that department becoming responsible for the administration of the Program in December 1998. The audit focussed on issues related to Program risk management, the development and management of contractual agreements and whether the performance management and reporting framework enabled an assessment of service provider performance and overall program outcomes.
This report summarises the final results of the audits of the financial statements of Commonwealth entities, forming the second report this year on financial statement audits for the period ended 30 June 2000. It complements Audit Report No.52 1999-2000 Control Structures as Part of the Audits of Financial Statements of Major Commonwealth Agencies for the Period Ended 30 June 2000. The report is in three parts:
Part One of the report is a commentary on the structure and status of the new financial framework, focusing on the quality and timeliness of the preparation of the annual financial statements;
Part Two discusses the summary final results of the audits of the financial statements, providing details regarding qualifications and any matters emphasised in audit reports; and
Part Three provides the results of the individual financial statement audits and any additional significant control issues identified since Audit Report No.52.
The objective of this audit was to establish whether Defence has developed sound fraud control arrangements that are consistent with better practice and fulfil its responsibilities for the protection of public property, revenue, expenditure, and rights and privileges from fraudulent exploitation.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to provide assurance to the Parliament on the cost-effectiveness of public sector travel by:
ascertaining the degree of acceptance, and the extent of implementation, of the previous audit recommendations and better practice principles; and
establishing whether organisations were managing travel effectively, taking into consideration recommendations and findings detailed in the above Audit Reports and the Better Practice Guide Public Sector Travel.
The objectives of the audit were to: assess compliance with the Stevedoring Levy (Collection) Act 1998 and Stevedoring Levy (Imposition) Act 1998 and other relevant legislation; assess the effectiveness of the administrative and financial controls regarding the collection of the Stevedoring Levy by DoTRS and the provision of redundancy payments to eligible employees of stevedoring companies and the management of the funding of those payments by way of borrowings by MIFCo; and review the administrative efficiency of the redundancy payment and Stevedoring Levy collection aspects of the waterfront redundancy scheme.
The objectives of the audit were to: assess the extent to which the Government's sale objectives were achieved; assess the effectiveness of the management of the public share offer; and identify principles of sound administrative practice to facilitate improved administrative arrangements for future Commonwealth public share offers.
The audit assessed the management by ISR and, in particular, by AusIndustry of the implementation of the changes arising from the Government's December 1997 policy statement in Investing for Growth. This statement required ISR to separate administration of policy from the delivery of products and to improve its service to customers through a ‘one stop shop' approach and by streamlining its processes. The audit focussed in particular on the overall strategic management of the change process by AusIndustry; the detailed implementation of the new service delivery arrangements, notably the separation of policy and product delivery; and the implementation of the enhanced customer focus.
The objective of this audit was to assess the administration of internal fraud control arrangements in the ATO and to identify areas with potential for improvement as well as identified better practice. To achieve this objective the ANAO focussed on five key areas. These were:
the application of the ATO's corporate governance processes to the internal fraud control activities;
the prevention of internal fraud within the ATO;
the related use of information technology to minimise fraud risks;
the detection of internal fraud within the ATO; and
The audit examined a range of issues in relation to the development of certified agreements in the APS with particular emphasis on the link between improved pay and conditions and increased productivity, and the funding of agreements. The objectives of the audit were to:
provide an overview of the range of wage outcomes included in the first round of APS certified agreements;
identify the administrative arrangements agencies have in place to measure any improvements in productivity that were linked to pay increases;
determine how agencies funded their certified agreements;
review the reporting and accountability arrangements agencies have in place to monitor progress and to evaluate the outcomes of their certified agreements;
determine the extent to which agencies complied with the employment terms and conditions outlined in their certified agreements that contributed to paying for their agreement or measuring and/or assessing improvements in productivity; and
examine the role of central coordinating agencies in reviewing agencies' certified agreements.
The objective of the follow-up audit was to report on the action taken by the Australian Customs Service to address the recommendations of the 1996 Audit Report. The audit also reviewed key areas of the Passenger Movement Charge administration identified in the 1996 audit, including the appropriateness of formal arrangements between the ACS and Regular Public Transport airlines and assessed the proposed arrangements being developed by the ACS. The arrangements with RPT airlines were a particular focus in the follow-up report (as they were in the 1996 Audit Report), because of the significance of that category of carrier in revenue terms
The audit reviewed Defence's higher-level management of its knowledge system equipment acquisition projects. These amount to $8.5b. The focus of the audit was on the opportunities for Defence to adopt a much more coherent and integrated approach to knowledge systems management prospectively rather than on emphasising current system compatibility issues.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of AQIS cost-recovery systems and provide assurance to the Parliament that the cost-recoverable programs are identifying and recovering the full costs of services provided, without cross-subsidisation.
The audit reviewed the Amphibious Transport Ship Project, involving the acquisition and modification of two second-hand US Navy ships . The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence's management of the project, focusing on the capability development process, costs and schedule issues, contract issues, the management of project risks and project review processes.
The audit reviewed the implementation of the Whole-of-Government Information Technology Infrastructure Consolidation and Outsourcing Initiative (IT Initiative). The objectives of the audit were to examine the administrative and financial effectiveness of the implementation of the IT Initiative, with the focus being on the first four tenders conducted. Accordingly, the audit assessed:
the effectiveness of the overall planning and implementation of the IT Initiative, taking into account the tendering, contracting and monitoring processes undertaken in respect of Cluster 3, DEETYA/EN, ATO and Group 5;
the extent to which those latter processes have contributed to the achievement of the objectives of the IT Initiative; and
the extent to which the Commonwealth's interests have been adequately protected within this context.
This is the second edition of an ANAO publication which provides information to Commonwealth organisations on the full range of ANAO auditing services. Opinions replaces the previous ANAO publication Financial Reporting Bulletins. In addition to providing audit clients with information on developments in financial reporting and disclosure, Opinions provides details of recently completed performance audits and Better Practice Guides as well as outlining those audits scheduled for completion in the immediate future.
The audit objective was to examine the administrative effectiveness of the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data. The audit reviewed the use of AUSTRAC data across three of the ATO Business Service Lines (BSLs) namely, Large Business and International (LB&I), Small Business (SB) and Individuals Non Business (INB). These are the most significant BSLs in terms of revenue collection. The audit focussed on the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data at the strategic and operational levels and its management of AUSTRAC data. Aspects examined include the ATO's relationship with AUSTRAC as well as training, data quality, data privacy and security issues.
The objective of the audit was to assess the framework and systems that DHAC has in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The ANAO concluded that DHAC had taken appropriate steps to protect Commonwealth resources under its administration from fraudulent misappropriation by developing a sound fraud control framework, the effectiveness of which is illustrated by the relatively low incidence of reported fraud in the department over the last few years. The framework also includes key elements for preventing and dealing with fraud in line with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Policy.
The ANAO undertook an audit of the framework and systems that Industry, Science and Resources had in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of these arrangements in relation to departmental administrative functions and program operations.
This audit is a follow-up to ANAO Audit Report No.31 1995-96 Environmental Management of Commonwealth Land: Site Contamination and Pollution Prevention (‘the original audit'). The objectives of the follow-up audit were to determine: the extent to which Defence has implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the original audit (relating to its environmental management and the management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on non-Commonwealth land) and; the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving the environmental management of Commonwealth land.
The follow-up audit, Drug Evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA], reviewed the extent to which TGA had implemented recommendations made by the ANAO in 1996 on the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of TGA's evaluation and approval of prescription drugs for public use. This follow-up audit was conducted because of the importance of effective drug evaluation processes to public health.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.