This audit would assess the effectiveness of the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s (NIAA’s) implementation of food security initiatives for remote Indigenous communities and the NIAA’s role in the coordination of state, territory and Commonwealth food security initiatives.

Food security falls within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, and is critical to improve the nutrition of people worldwide. The Australian Government contributes to food security in remote communities through a number of measures. These include the Community Stores Licensing Scheme, legislated through the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 and administered by the NIAA, which receives around $1 million to $2 million a year in Commonwealth funding ($13.4 million over 2012–13 to 2021–22).

Outback Stores, a Commonwealth-owned company within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, provides $1.5 million to $2 million a year for retail services to 39 remote communities across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

The audit would follow on from Auditor-General Report No. 2 2014–15 Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities, which found that administration of the food security initiatives had been mixed. The report included four recommendations, including improving the effectiveness of the administration of the Community Stores Licensing Scheme, making better use of performance information available for assessing program outcomes, and ensuring departmental grant assessment processes are consistent with guidelines.