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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.
A performance audit of the management of the Detention Centre Contracts was listed in the 2003-04 Audit Work Program as a potential audit. The audit work program proposed that the audit would be conducted in two parts. The first part would focus on DIMIA's management of the detention centre contracts with the then detention service provider, GEO Australia. The second part would concentrate on how well any lessons learned from the first contract, were translated into improvements with the new contract. The original objective of this second ANAO audit was to assess DIMIA's management of detention services through the Contract, including the tender process, transition period and implementation of lessons learned from the previous contract.