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The Attorney-General’s portfolio covers a range of functions and policy areas, including privacy; family law and marriage; evidence; international law; administrative law; freedom of information; personal property securities; and native title. It also includes international crime cooperation; drugs; firearms; anti-money laundering; whole-of-government integrity, including corruption; cybercrime; cyber security; counterterrorism; and protective security.
Read an overview of the Attorney-General's portfolio including details of key activities, expenses and staffing levels. The audit focus section outlines the influences on the ANAO’s allocation of financial audit resources and the selection of performance audit topics and other activities. Also included is a list of material and non-material entities within the portfolio with their corresponding risk profile and key risks. Any risks that are considered key audit matters (KAMs) by the ANAO are separately identified.
This audit would examine the Australian Taxation Office’s compliance with model litigant obligations (MLOs), and the assistance provided to Commonwealth entities by the Attorney-General’s Department in maintaining compliance with the MLOs.
Pursuant to a Legal Services Direction issued by the Attorney-General under the Judiciary Act 1903, Commonwealth entities have an obligation to act honestly and fairly in handling claims and litigation. This includes responsibilities to reduce costs and delays in the handling of litigation, and requires that entities do not commence legal proceedings unless satisfied that litigation is the most suitable method of dispute resolution.
The Office of Legal Services Coordination within the Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for assisting Commonwealth entities in complying with the MLOs.
The Australian Taxation Office is one of the largest litigants in the civil justice system. It has litigation advantage over the vast majority of companies and individuals given its access to resources, expertise and experience as a repeat litigant.
The audit would examine compliance with the arrangements established by the Department of Human Services to balance the collection, storage and sharing of customer data, including how the department facilitates access to its data to support research and analysis, with the appropriate protection of customer privacy.
As a result of the department’s responsibility for delivering Medicare, Centrelink, pension payments and other services, it holds data relating to most Australians. Maintaining confidence in the department’s ability to protect the private information of customers is a key reputational risk that requires active and ongoing management.
The Department of Human Services’ Customer Management Framework 2015–2019 establishes how customer information held by the department or exchanged with third parties is to be managed. In addition, the department engages with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on how to handle, use and manage personal information under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988. The audit would focus on whether the department’s practices, procedures and systems are robust and effective.
The objective of this audit is to examine the extent to which Commonwealth entities have implemented the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy, and how effectively the National Archives of Australia is monitoring, assisting and encouraging entities to meet the specified targets.