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The objective was to assess the extent to which staff reductions have been managed in a sound strategic and cost-effective manner consistent with the Government's guidelines and the ANAO's 1996 better practice guide Managing APS Staff Reductions. The audit focussed on 3 agencies - the Australian Taxation Office, the former Department of Primary Industry and Energy, and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development. The ANAO found that the majority of staff reductions were achieved through retrenchment rather than natural attrition; and that decisions on the number of retrenchments were not always supported by an assessment of the impact of the reductions on the agencies' abilities to conduct their business.
Mr P.J. Barrett (AM) - Auditor-General for Australia, presented at the Public Seminar Series, Graduate Program in Public Policy, 'Democratic Governance: Improving the Institutions of Accountability', The Australian National University
The objective of the audit was to determine the extent to which the new employment services market had been implemented effectively and efficiently in accordance with announced Government policy and timeframe.
The audit is a follow-up to Audit Report 12, 1995-96 Risk Management by Commonwealth Consumer Product Safety Regulators. The objectives of this follow-up audit were to determine the extent to which ANZFA had implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the 1995 Audit Report, and to determine the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving food safety regulation.
Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have informal and formal complaint mechanisms available to them to address grievances. Initially, members are advised to seek resolution of their complaint at the lowest possible level, through the normal command channels and administrative arrangements. A member who is not satisfied that a complaint has been resolved in this manner may use the Redress of Grievance (ROG) system to submit a formal complaint to the commanding officer of the member's unit. The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether the ROG system could be refined to improve the efficiency and timeliness of processing of complaints while preserving the equity and transparency the current system provides.The Redress of Grievance system is clearly time-consuming and resource intensive. Some grievances have taken as long as four years to resolve. Some could be resolved by administrative means rather than through recourse to grievance processes. The system contains various inefficiencies that detract from its cost-effectiveness from the viewpoint of the ADF and individual members. In addition many members are unaware of the system or do not have a high level of confidence in its effectiveness.
Consistent with the ANAO's practices, and in response to a request from AusAID, a follow-up audit was conducted in the period May to November 1998 to assess the extent of implementation of the recommendations of a 1996 audit into the Management of Funding to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)and whether the implementation of recommendations has effectively improved the management of funding to NGOs. The ANAO examined AusAID's key funding accountability documentation, tested the revised accountability arrangements and consulted a number of key stakeholders, including NGO representatives.
The audit reviewed the use and operation of performance information in service level agreements between Centrelink and three agencies; the Department of Social Security, the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. The objective of the audit was to establish whether the performance assessment framework specified in the agreements enabled the adequate assessment of achievements under purchaser/provider arrangements entered into by DSS, DEETYA and Centrelink.