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 Attorney-General’s Portfolio covers a diverse range of functions and policy areas, including: privacy; family law and marriage; evidence; private international law; administrative law; freedom of information; personal property securities; native title; international crime cooperation; drugs; firearms; anti-money laundering; corruption; cybercrime; cyber security; and protective security.
The Attorney-General’s portfolio covers a diverse range of functions and policy areas, including privacy; family law and marriage; evidence; private international law; administrative law; freedom of information; personal property securities; native title; international crime cooperation; drugs; firearms; anti-money laundering; corruption; cybercrime; cyber security; counter-terrorism; and protective security.
This audit would examine the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) and the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) regulation of illegal phoenix activity.
Phoenix activity refers to the evasion of tax and other liabilities, such as employee entitlements, through the deliberate, systematic and sometimes cyclical liquidation of related corporate trading entities. This generally occurs through an indebted company transferring its assets into a new company to avoid paying creditors, tax or employee entitlements. Those assets are then used by the new company to continue the business activities of the indebted company. In 2012, a Fair Work Ombudsman report noted that there is a significant lack of data collection in relation to phoenix activity, and estimated the total impact of phoenix activity to be between $1.78 billion and $3.19 billion each year.
ASIC and the ATO collaborate with other entities (including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman) through the Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum to share intelligence and identify, design and implement cross-entity strategies to reduce and deter phoenix activity.
This audit would examine the Department of Human Services’ management and delivery of programs, services and payments on behalf of other Australian Government entities, as well as the department’s performance against its respective obligations and service standards.
Human Services provides a range of programs, services and payments for, and on behalf of, a number of Australian Government entities, such as income support payments for the Department of Social Services, and aged care payments and the maintenance of various health-related registers for the Department of Health. Arrangements for these services and payments are outlined in various memorandums of understanding and business partnership agreements. In the 2017–18 Budget, Human Services estimated that it would process around $175 billion in payments on behalf of other government entities.
The proposed audit would provide assurance that business agreements support Human Services in meeting the expectations of entities on behalf of whom it delivers payments; and that roles, responsibilities and performance reporting arrangements are clearly defined.
This audit would examine the coordination and targeting of Australian Government funding for priority areas under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. The audit would focus on a selection of the five national priority areas developed under the plan, drawing on results from reviews conducted to measure achievements from the first and second action plans.
In 2011, the Australian Government launched a 12-year strategy designed to reduce violence against women and their children—the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. The priority areas under the plan are set out in three-yearly action plans. The first action plan (2010–13) focused on building an evidence base and establishing frameworks to achieve attitudinal and behavioural change. The second action plan (2013–16) focused on consolidating the evidence base and strengthening existing strategies.
An evaluation plan sets out activities to be completed throughout the duration of the national plan. At the Australian Government level, these activities include reviews of three-yearly action plans, annual progress reporting, data analysis and evaluations of key national initiatives.
This audit may be conducted as part of a concurrent audit strategy with other audit offices.
The audit objective is to assess the effectiveness of the Attorney-General’s Department’s design of the Data Retention Industry Grants program, including performance monitoring, reporting, evaluation and assurance arrangements.