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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 audit covered major program elements within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and Environment Australia that are managed:
directly by DPIE or Environment Australia;
through the One-Stop-Shop project assessment process administered by the States/Territories; or
by non-government organisations.
The purpose of the audit was to examine and benchmark the administrative processes established for these programs. The primary focus of the audit was to draw on the best elements of past practice (particularly in relation to programs involving the One-Stop-Shop) and highlight any shortcomings so that the risks to program effectiveness and accountability could be addressed in the implementation of the Natural Heritage Trust.