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Recent performance audit priority for the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio has been directed at the administration of funding for land transport. Accordingly, this audit is one of a series ANAO is undertaking of land transport funding programs. Four audits have already been completed, namely:
ANAO Audit Report No. 31 2005–06, Roads to Recovery;
ANAO Audit Report No. 45 2006–07, The National Black Spot Program;
ANAO Audit Report No. 22 2007–08, Administration of Grants to the Australian Rail Track Corporation; and
ANAO Audit Report No. 29 2008–09, Delivery of Projects on the AusLink National Network.
The objective of this performance audit was to assess the effectiveness of the administration of grants made to the ARTC. The audit involved an examination of DOTARS' administration of the grant funding approved for, and paid to, the ARTC (in respect of both the grants paid for projects approved under legislation and the three special grants). It also involved consideration of the role of Finance and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in advising on the special grant funding and (in respect of Finance) the payment and reporting arrangements for the grants. The audit was conducted under Section 18 of the Auditor-General Act 1997.
The audit scope covered the management of the AusLink R2R Standard Program and the AusLink R2R Supplementary Program. The scope did not include management of the Nation Building Roads to Recovery Program, which has only recently commenced. The audit objectives were to:
assess the effectiveness of the management of the AusLink Roads to Recovery Program;
assess the delivery of the program and management of the funding, including the extent to which the program has provided additional (rather than substitute) funding for land transport infrastructure; and
identify opportunities for improvements to the management of the program.
The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess the extent to which Airservices Australia, and where relevant, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (DITRDLG), have implemented the four ANAO recommendations contained in the previous audit report.
The audit objective was to assess whether agreements between Australian Government (Commonwealth) agencies reflect sound administrative practices. To meet this objective, the audit reviewed current government policy and a range of better practice guidelines, conducted interviews with agencies and examined cross-agency agreements, to formulate suitable audit criteria and subsequently develop better practice principles.