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The Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio is responsible for providing support and policy advice to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and ministers on public and government administration matters, including policy development and whole-of-government coordination.
Read an overview of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 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.
The audit would examine the effectiveness of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C’s) administration of the crime prevention, diversion and rehabilitation component of the Safety and Wellbeing Program (one of five streams of Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding).
The Safety and Wellbeing Program aims to reduce the rates of crime, violence and substance abuse and to ensure that Australian laws are followed throughout all Indigenous communities. In 2017–18, PM&C allocated $58 million to Indigenous crime prevention, diversion and rehabilitation initiatives.
An audit of the Safety and Wellbeing Program initiatives would include the department’s approach to co-designing initiatives with stakeholders, managing the delivery of projects, and monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of its investment.
This audit would examine the effectiveness of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C’s) administration of the schooling component of the Children and Schooling Program (one of the five streams of Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding).
PM&C allocated $143 million in 2017–18 to Indigenous schooling, through initiatives such as the Remote School Attendance Strategy, Children and Parenting Support program and Communities for Children Facilitating Partners program.
An audit of the Indigenous schooling initiatives would include the administration of this funding, focusing on whether it has been effective in achieving the objective of supporting families and increasing school attendance.
The audit would examine the effectiveness of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C’s) management of performance reporting by grant recipients under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).
The Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 specify that entities should apply the proportionality principle when determining reporting requirements for grants to minimise the reporting burden on recipients. The guidelines also recommend that entities utilise existing sources of information, where available, and consider aligning reporting requirements to grant recipients’ internal reporting cycles or other substantive reporting requirements.
The ANAO’s audit of the IAS (Auditor-General Report No. 35 of 2016–17, Indigenous Advancement Strategy) found that PM&C’s performance reporting framework required improvement. An audit of IAS performance reporting arrangements would provide assurance on whether PM&C’s approach is proportionate and drives program effectiveness.
The audit would examine whether the target to increase the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) share of government’s annual information and communications technology (ICT) expenditure by 10 per cent was being measured and monitored on a sound basis.
The ICT Procurement Taskforce had two objectives: to make it easier and less expensive for businesses to contract with the Australian Government; and to deliver more and better government services at a lower cost. The taskforce released its report in May 2017, with 10 recommendations to improve ICT procurement. The Government accepted the recommendations, and made specific mention of increasing the access of small companies to the ICT spend. As part of the reforms, the Government set a target to increase the SME share of government’s annual ICT expenditure by 10 per cent.
An audit would examine the effectiveness of the delivery and operation of the Work for the Dole activities.
As part of the Government’s changing of mutual obligations for income support recipients, Work for the Dole was expanded in 2015 to include all income support recipients assessed as being eligible to find employment. Work for the Dole is an activity in the Department of Jobs and Small Business’ jobactive program (with annual funding of $160 million) and the Community Development Program (annual funding of approximately $70 million), a remote employment service managed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In January 2018, the Department of Jobs and Small Business planned to redesign the delivery arrangements for Work for the Dole activities, with contracts for Work for the Dole coordinators terminated. Under the new model, jobactive employment service providers will be solely responsible for sourcing, managing and negotiating activity costs with host organisations. This approach is similar to the model used in the Community Development Program.
The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of the administration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment targets in government procurement contracts and intergovernmental funding agreements in achieving policy objectives.