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The report summarises the audit and other related activities of the ANAO in the period January to June 2002. Key issues arising from performance audits tabled in this period are summarised. Appendix 1 of the Activity Report provides a short summary of each of the audits tabled between 1 January 2002 and 30 June 2002.
The Audit Activity Report: July-December 2002 summarises performance audit, financial audit and other related activities for the ANAO for the period. The key issues arising from the performance audits are summarised against the ANAO themes. The appendices in the report provide a short summary of each of the audits tabled for this period, the audits in progress as at 1 January 2003 and a list of the presentations and papers given by the Auditor-General and ANAO staff.
In January 2000, the ANAO published a Better Practice Guide (BPG) Business Continuity Management, Keeping the wheels in motion (the Guide). The Guide established that the objective of Business Continuity Management (BCM) is to ensure the uninterrupted availability of all key business resources required to support essential (or critical) business activities. This is achieved by organisations building resilience (controls and redundancy) into business operations to prevent, or minimise, the likelihood of business continuity risks occuring and, also, developing plans that minimise the impact should they occur. The primary objective of this audit was to examine BCM arrangements across four Commonwealth organisations, to assess whether their existing BCM frameworks ( or frameworks under development) exhibit the principles espoused in the Guide. At the Commonwealth - wide level, the ANAO considered the continuing relevance of the principles presented in the Guide.
The objective of the performance audit was to review the progress in the delivery of contractual commitments for Industry Development (ID) for the five contracts awarded under the IT Outsourcing Initiative. In particular, the audit examined the effectiveness of the monitoring by DCITA of achievement against contractual commitments for ID; assessed the impact of changes to the IT outsourcing environment on the management and monitoring of ongoing ID obligations; and identified practices that have improved administrative arrangements.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the progress Defence has made since June 2001 in implementing appropriate strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel. The audit focused on management of specialist information system skills and did not examine skills needed by users of information systems, although the latter is of obvious importance for overall performance. In June 2001, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA), after reviewing the ANAO's Audit Report No. 11 Knowledge System Equipment Acquisition Projects in Defence, commented that its major concern about Defence's ability to develop a knowledge edge with adequate coherence, centred on Defence's ability to recruit, develop and retain skilled individuals needed in all parts of the DIE. The JCPAA recommended that the ANAO conduct an audit of Defence's strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel.
The audit reviewed the management and recording of guarentees, warranties, indemnities and letters of comfort issued by the Commonwealth and also assessed action taken in the relation to the recommendations from ANAO Audit Report No. 47 1997-98. The objectives of the audit were to assess the extent of:
improvement in agencies' management and monitoring of the Commonwealth's exposure to these instruments;
changes in the size and nature of the exposure since 30 June 1997; and
the approach of agencies to effective risk management and control of Commonwealth exposures to these instruments.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether DEST has effective governance practices for its IT and e- Business; has adequate systems in place to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of its IT and e-Business; implements and maintains appropriate quality standards within its IT and e-Business systems; and implements proper controls, including risk management, to achieve maximum benefits from its IT and e- Business. The audit examined education and training services provided, or managed, by DEST via IT or the Internet.
The audit examined the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners (tax agents and the wider group of professionals working on taxation matters for clients). However, our main focus was the ATO's management of its relationship with tax agents because they are the core element of the tax practitioner grouping and their role is fundamental to the effective operation of the tax system. The objective of the audit was to assess how well the ATO manages its relationship with tax practitioners, focussing on selected ATO relationships with tax practitioners, in particular its regulatory relationship with tax agents, its service support relationship with tax agents and its relationship with tax agents and members of the wider tax practitioner group in the professional bodies as key stakeholders in tax administration.
Pursuant to a request from the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee and the Auditor - General's response to the Committee, the objective of this performance audit was to examine and report on the selection of the preferred tenderer in the Health Group IT outsourcing process. In particular, the audit examined the circumstances surrounding OASITO's administration of the: - disclosure to a tenderer of information provided by other tenderers; - subsequent acceptance of a late re-pricing offer from a tenderer: and - advice to the decision- maker leading to the selection of the preferred tenderer. The audit focused particularly on assessing the administrative processes undertaken in the selection of the preferred tenderer for the Health Group. Audit emphasis was placed on the management of the probity aspects of the tender process, particularly in regard to events that occurred between June 1999, when the tenderers provided their penultimate pricing, and the selection of the preferred tenderer in September 1999.