The management of Australia's overseas posts has not previously been scrutinised by the ANAO from a performance perspective. This audit is the first in a series planned to examine different aspects of the administration of Australian representation abroad, focusing particularly on DFAT and Austrade, as the agencies responsible for managing almost all overseas posts.

The diversity and complexity of issues at overseas missions of different sizes mean that posts generally cannot be treated as if they were all the same. This audit concentrated on small and medium-sized posts. The findings and conclusions should, therefore, not be regarded as automatically applicable to large posts.