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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.
The objective of the audit was to review AusAID's management of funding to Non-Government Organisations, to assess whether:
the objectives of overseas development programs to be delivered by NGOs were clearly established;
funding mechanisms for the delivery of aid programs by NGOs were clearly defined, consistently applied, and in compliance with the law; and
whether AusAID could provide assurances that NGOs delivering development projects using Commonwealth monies are accountable for: proper expenditure of Commonwealth monies; the achievement of stated objectives; and the achievement of value for money.
The ANAO examined AusAID documentation on overseas development programs delivered by NGOs, looking particularly for clear objectives, performance measures, and evaluation mechanisms. Three levels of documentation were examined:
The objective of the audit was to assess the workforce planning systems used by the Australian Defence Force with a view to identifying better practice and making recommendations where appropriate to promote overall effectiveness of planning systems. The main issues were the management of the workforce planning function and determination of workforce requirements. The audit concentrated on the full-time military workforce, but also included the issue of the flexibility for military units to employ reserves or civilians where appropriate.
The objective of the audit was to examine how efficiently and effectively the Australian Customs Service administers the Passenger Movement Charge, including the interim arrangements with airlines. The audit was intended to provide guidance to ACS on key issues and areas of risk it should address in developing the system supporting the collection of PMC. Audit criteria were determined to consider how well revenue was protected and how well the administrative arrangements were operating. The audit sought to identify areas for improvement in the formulation of longer-term arrangements.
The overall objective of the preliminary study was to determine whether a performance audit of the management of corporate sponsorship was warranted. Specifically, the areas canvassed during the preliminary study were:
policies and guidelines for the management of corporate sponsorship;
integration of corporate sponsorship into agency planning;
evaluation of corporate sponsorship within the agency;
valuation and reporting of corporate sponsorship; and
costs and benefits associated with corporate sponsorship.
The preliminary study findings did not warrant proceeding to a full performance audit. However, because corporate sponsorship is likely to be a growing area of importance for the Commonwealth, the ANAO concluded that there was value in producing a better practice guide in addition to the audit report.
The main objectives of the audit were to assess the management and administration of the payment of accounts function in the Commonwealth and to identify, develop and report better practice to promote overall improvements in public administration.
The purpose of the audit was to examine the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the Therapeutic Goods Administration's performance in evaluating and approving prescription drugs for public use. In particular the audit focused on analysing elements of the regulatory process associated with the evaluation of prescription drugs. In this context the audit reviewed the administrative operations performed within the Department's Drug Safety and Evaluation Branch, the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee and the Business and Services Branch of the TGA, rather than any processes preceding or succeeding those activities.
The purpose of this audit was to assess the Department of Social Security's approach to customer service against a recognised good practice methodology, and to identify opportunities for DSS to improve the quality of its customer service, its administrative effectiveness and its overall performance. The ANAO's intention was to identify opportunities to improve customer focus, particularly for those aspects of DSS's administration impacting on customer service. The audit criteria included: customer service environment; human resource management practices; communication with customers; customer-friendly approaches; and systematic approaches to continuous improvement.
The audit examined the Commonwealth's management of the Building Better Cities Program to identify areas where improvement was needed and where lessons learned from BCP could be useful in other programs.