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The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of the management and control of program evaluation in the Australian Public Service. The ANAO made an assessment against criteria which were designed to test whether agencies were undertaking evaluations in a way which would enhance their overall effectiveness. The main issues examined were:
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.
The audit examined a range of issues in relation to the development of certified agreements in the APS with particular emphasis on the link between improved pay and conditions and increased productivity, and the funding of agreements. The objectives of the audit were to:
provide an overview of the range of wage outcomes included in the first round of APS certified agreements;
identify the administrative arrangements agencies have in place to measure any improvements in productivity that were linked to pay increases;
determine how agencies funded their certified agreements;
review the reporting and accountability arrangements agencies have in place to monitor progress and to evaluate the outcomes of their certified agreements;
determine the extent to which agencies complied with the employment terms and conditions outlined in their certified agreements that contributed to paying for their agreement or measuring and/or assessing improvements in productivity; and
examine the role of central coordinating agencies in reviewing agencies' certified agreements.
The objectives of the audit were to examine the benefits of diversity management in the APS and review the progress made towards equity in employment in the APS, including the EEO Program. It included:
an assessment of the progress towards achieving equity across the APS and by individual agencies;
an assessment of the quality of agency EEO programs;
an assessment of the role of the PSMPC in approving agency EEO programs and monitoring trends across the service;
a consideration of legal obligations and agencies compliance with these; and
the possible risks to, and opportunities for, equity under the WRA.
The audit concentrated on evidence of overall progress, the relative performance of individual agencies, and the examination of observed and underlying trends.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to provide assurance to the Parliament on the cost-effectiveness of public sector travel by:
ascertaining the degree of acceptance, and the extent of implementation, of the previous audit recommendations and better practice principles; and
establishing whether organisations were managing travel effectively, taking into consideration recommendations and findings detailed in the above Audit Reports and the Better Practice Guide Public Sector Travel.
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
Mr P.J. Barrett (AM) - Auditor-General for Australia, presented to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (Canberra Chapter) in conjunction with the Institute of Internal Auditors (Canberra Branch)
This audit followed up the ANAO's 1997 performance audit report on ADF health services (Audit Report No.34 1996-97 Australian Defence Force Health Services), which focused on the delivery of non-operational health services to entitled members. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess Defence's implementation of recommendations made in the original audit report and their effectiveness in improving ADF health services.
The objective of the audit was to review AUSTEL and the Spectrum Management Agency's approaches to service delivery against recognised good practice and to identify opportunities for the new Australian Communications Authority to adopt the relevant features of these approaches in its service delivery.
The audit objectives were to report on the efficiency and effectiveness of selected agencies' management of telecommunications services. The specific purpose was to:
identify the potential for more effective management of telecommunications services;
consider the appropriateness of Commonwealth agencies' management of telecommunications services to take advantage of technological opportunities; and
identify the elements of sound administration in the management of telecommunications services.
The audit criteria addressed agencies' performance against benchmarks of sound administrative practice in relation to procurement; planning; business process re-engineering; financial management; and performance management. The audit focussed primarily on telecommunications services, as distinct from capital items and equipment.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's use of audit of individual taxpayers as part of its approach to encouraging taxpayer compliance. The objective of the audit was to examine the use of audit as an element of the compliance management function within the Individuals Non-Business line of the ATO.
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative arrangements for the provision of food to the Australian Defence Force and identify possible areas for improvement. The audit criteria addressed the adequacy of policy guidance, planning, performance information and risk management in all areas of ADF food provisioning.
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 report summarises the audit and other related activities of the ANAO in the period June to December 2000. It provides a consolidated report of the ANAO's integrated audit products tabled during the period. Key issues examined in the ANAO's performance audit activity in the period were:
risk management in a corporate governance framework;
outsourcing and asset sales;
data management/management information systems; and
The report also summarised the results of a report summarising the final results of the audits of the financial statements of Commonwealth entities; and dealt with issues regarding financial management issues, controls and processes arising from the financial audit activities conducted during the period.
The objective of the audit was to review the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the Commercial Compliance Branch's risk management processes and to establish whether the approach provided a sound foundation for the development and application of risk management across the Australian Customs Service. The ANAO also examined the wider risk management context across ACS in order to appreciate how risk management processes in the Branch related to the agency as a whole.
The objective of the follow-up audit was to report on the action taken by the Australian Customs Service to address the recommendations of the 1996 Audit Report. The audit also reviewed key areas of the Passenger Movement Charge administration identified in the 1996 audit, including the appropriateness of formal arrangements between the ACS and Regular Public Transport airlines and assessed the proposed arrangements being developed by the ACS. The arrangements with RPT airlines were a particular focus in the follow-up report (as they were in the 1996 Audit Report), because of the significance of that category of carrier in revenue terms
The objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of data management by government agencies. The audit focused mainly on data collected by departments and agencies from non-departmental organisations and institutions.
The objectives of this audit were to assess planning, management, conduct and staffing of internal audit in the Department of Defence, with a view to providing assurance as to the standard of its work. Opportunities were taken to identify specific policies and practices that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of MAB audit. Fieldwork for the ANAO audit was performed between May and August 1995.
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.
The objective of the audit was to examine the operations of DEETYA International Services with a view to identifying the administrative issues and difficulties experienced by DEETYA in establishing a commercial entity and its subsequent operation within the framework of the Australian Public Service.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the risk management process in the Small Business Income business line. It follows Audit Report No.37 1996-97 and entitled Risk Management - Australian Taxation Office. That audit focused on broad strategic issues relevant to risk management in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a whole. This audit follows the issues identified in that report into the day-to-day management of the Small Business Income as an example of how risk management operates in a significant element of the ATO.
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.
The Australian Diplomatic Communications Network was developed to provide a secure communication and automation capability for domestic offices and overseas posts. The audit focussed on project management of the ADCNET project, and in particular:
how effectively the ADCNET project was managed;
how effectively project risks were managed; and
the extent to which project management processes have established whether ADCNET meets the specifications set by, and the expectations held by, DFAT, as well as any lessons to be learnt for this and other future projects.
The follow-up audit, Drug Evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA], reviewed the extent to which TGA had implemented recommendations made by the ANAO in 1996 on the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of TGA's evaluation and approval of prescription drugs for public use. This follow-up audit was conducted because of the importance of effective drug evaluation processes to public health.
The objective of the audit was to report to Parliament on the ATO's management of its performance reporting within the outcomes and outputs framework and to identify potential areas for improvement in specifying, measuring, administering and reporting under that framework.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of the Family Relationships Services Program (FRSP) by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) subsequent to that department becoming responsible for the administration of the Program in December 1998. The audit focussed on issues related to Program risk management, the development and management of contractual agreements and whether the performance management and reporting framework enabled an assessment of service provider performance and overall program outcomes.
This audit is a follow-up to ANAO Audit Report No.31 1995-96 Environmental Management of Commonwealth Land: Site Contamination and Pollution Prevention (‘the original audit'). The objectives of the follow-up audit were to determine: the extent to which Defence has implemented the agreed recommendations contained in the original audit (relating to its environmental management and the management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on non-Commonwealth land) and; the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations in improving the environmental management of Commonwealth land.
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.
The audit objectives were to establish whether Comcare took an effective leadership role in helping to manage the cost of occupational stress to the Commonwealth; and whether agency management of occupational stress was efficient and effective. The ANAO criteria for the audit focused on how well Comcare understood the impact of occupational stress across APS employment, and supported agencies in their management of the disability. They also dealt with how well agencies understood and measured the impact of stress, and planned for its prevention or minimisation.
Causes and Consequences of Personnel Postings in the Australian Defence Force The audit arose from a Defence Efficiency Review (1997) recommendation that Defence could make savings on the large volume of postings it made every year. The audit examined the posting process and sought to provide assurance that Defence had identified and examined salient postings issues and was addressing them effectively.
The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of key elements of the management and control frameworks established by ANU to support administration and the achievement of the ANU's objectives. The audit focused on an analysis of the administrative framework and, in particular, aspects of corporate governance that were identified as being central to good management; such as effective controls, transparent planning, regular reporting, and performance assessment.
The objective of the ANAO audit was to identify possible areas for improvement in the Australian Defence Force's management of its Reserve forces. The audit focused on major aspects of the Reserves including roles and tasks, force structure, capability, training, individual readiness, equipment, facilities, recruitment, retention, conditions of service and administration. The audit covered the Australian Naval Reserve, the Australian Army Reserve and the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve. However, due to its size and cost, the Army Reserve was a major focus of the audit activity.
The audit objective was to determine the DVA's performance in the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness of the delivery of income support payments to veterans and war widows. It was found that overall, DVA is paying the correct pension to the correct people in a timely fashion within the required accuracy levels.
The objective of this audit was to establish whether Defence has developed sound fraud control arrangements that are consistent with better practice and fulfil its responsibilities for the protection of public property, revenue, expenditure, and rights and privileges from fraudulent exploitation.
The audit objective was to examine the administrative effectiveness of the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data. The audit reviewed the use of AUSTRAC data across three of the ATO Business Service Lines (BSLs) namely, Large Business and International (LB&I), Small Business (SB) and Individuals Non Business (INB). These are the most significant BSLs in terms of revenue collection. The audit focussed on the ATO's use of AUSTRAC data at the strategic and operational levels and its management of AUSTRAC data. Aspects examined include the ATO's relationship with AUSTRAC as well as training, data quality, data privacy and security issues.
ANAO found that the actions taken by the Department during the course of the audit to update and improve the Notes on Administration and administrative processes, by commissioning various specialist studies and reviewing governance issues, has established a sound basis for ongoing effective management of the National Highway System. The Department advised ANAO that changes to the Notes on Administration reflect joint work done with the ANAO to identify where improvements could be made and incorporate not only suggestions and recommendations that the ANAO has made in the final report but also during the audit. ANAO considers that the comprehensive revision of the Notes on Administration undertaken by the Department should foster marked improvements in the management of the National Highway System.
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Army's management of the move of 1st Brigade to Darwin. The audit criteria directly related to implementation of the project. These criteria addressed planning as well as identification and management of longer-term risks to the success of the project.
The objective of the audit was to assess the performance of the Child Support Agency in the administration of key aspects of the Child Support Scheme. The ANAO previously audited the CSA in 1993-94 and identified scope for improvement in the management and administration of the Child Support Scheme. Particular areas of audit concern included client service, staff training and debt management. The current audit has reviewed the CSA's progress in improving Agency performance since that time. The audit focused initially on the areas identified in the previous audit, but also sought to identify further opportunities for improvement where appropriate.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of HIC's IT systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether HIC could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of balances for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether HIC's IT systems' outputs met quality and service delivery targets.
The objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including accountability, of the management of boat people by the Department and the providers of major related services to DIMA such as: the Coastwatch Service within the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Protective Service within the Attorney-General's portfolio. The audit examined key issues in the management of boat people largely from a risk management perspective. The audit conclusions are presented in terms of: the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including the accountability, of operations; and the administrative functions which support the management of boat people, such as detection, reception of boats and costs.
The primary objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of DoTRD's implementation of Annex 17 in the Australian aviation environment. The ANAO concluded that DoTRD has established a regulatory regime which ensures Australia's compliance with the standards embodied in Annex 17. However, there are areas where Australia's aviation security regime can be strengthened even further including; developing a more robust approach to risk management, developing a longer-term perspective to DoTRD's planning structure, development of proactive alliances with aviation regulators in neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region, further improvement of the airport audit process, development and implementation of an evaluation strategy, development of a formal transparent approach to enforcement.
The audit considered the way organisations in the APS process and use cost information. The specific objective was to form an opinion on whether costing processes and uses were: valid, cost effective, and in accordance with the principles of better practice.
While recognising the diversity of administrative requirements for different special payments, the audit provides a basis for comparison of performance across 14 different agencies in 1997-98 and progress made since the then Joint Committee of Public Accounts report 342 The administration of specific purpose payments. The objectives of the audit were to:
identify and benchmark current practices in the management of performance information within SPP agreements;
document the lessons learned including better practice from different agencies;
provide a longitudinal analysis of progress since 1995; and
provide practical guidance for the development and implementation of appropriate performance information systems and accountability.
The objectives of the audit were to form an opinion on the management of Commonwealth agencies' compliance with the Commonwealth's energy efficiency requirements and to identify areas for better practice in energy management. The audit focussed on:
the implementation of the Energy Policy by Commonwealth Agencies; promulgation and coordination of energy use targets;
energy and associated reporting by Commonwealth agencies;
identification, examination and analysis of systemic and procedural impediments to achieving the Energy Policy; and
development and discussion of ways to address these impediments.
The objective of the audit was to report on whether Defence applies Life-cycle Costing appropriately in support of decisions throughout the acquisition and management of its capital assets, and to make recommendations for any improvement. Criteria were established against each of the issues considered by the audit, namely LCC policy and coordination, use of LCC in investment decisions, use of LCC to support budgeting, data to support LCC and LCC training and education.
The audit reviewed the fraud control arrangements in the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS), a policy formulation, and advising body and major purchaser of social welfare services from Centrelink. The objective was to assess whether FaCS had:
implemented appropriate fraud control arrangements in line with the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth and that these arrangements operated effectively in practice; and
fulfilled its responsibilities as a purchaser of services in relation to fraud control.
This audit is one in a series of fraud control audit and is complemented by a similar audit of Centrelink, a major provider of services on behalf of FaCS.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of DVA's Information Technology (IT) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether DVA could rely on its IT systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether DVA's IT systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The objectives of the audit were to assess the cost-effectiveness of the management and administration of the accounts receivable function in the ‘general government' sector and to identify, develop and report better practice to promote overall improvements in the management of accounts receivable. The audit was limited in scope to agencies whose accounts receivable consist of trade debtors (normally for goods and services), levies, other charges and recoveries from staff.
Quarantine policies and operations are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia (AFFA). The objective of this audit was to assess AFFA's management of plant and animal quarantine services, and the implementation and impact of the Government Response (1997) to the Quarantine Review Committee Report. The audit in particular assessed the setting of quarantine priorities through assessing and managing risk; management of the continuum of quarantine operations; and management of Import Risk Analyses to deliver and review quarantine policies. Stakeholder consultation and advisory processes were also assessed in addressing these issues. A key issue examined was the effectiveness of AFFA quarantine operations in international mail and airports preventing the entry of quarantinable material. The ANAO made eight recommendations aimed at improving operational risk based resource allocation; pre-border management of quarantine risk; the effectiveness of quarantine operations at the Australian border; and priority setting and transparency of the IRA process. AFFA agreed to all eight ANAO recommendations.
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 issues examined by the ANAO were considered on two levels. First, legal and ethical processes that focus on whether there are any impediments to the Government and public service implementing the CEIP in the way they have. The public interest issues turn largely on the question of whether the CEIP was for Government or party-political purposes. The other level on which these issues were considered is that of public accountability and the way in which decisions to spend public money are made. In turn, these issues raise questions about the relationship between, and authority of, the Government and Parliament. They may also involve consideration of what might be regarded as proper or responsible conduct by governments and the public service.
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 Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), administers the Commonwealth's settlement programs, which seek to assist migrants and refugees to participate in Australian society. Provision of English language training to newly arrived migrants and refugees has been a long standing and significant part of this settlement support, with some 1.5 million new arrivals assisted in this way since 1948. The objective of the audit was to examine DIMA's management of the Adult Migrant English Program Contracts, focusing on performance outcomes; strategic contract management and coordination; program expenditure, with emphasis on contract funding arrangements; and whether contract monitoring and performance information adequately support effective program management. The ANAO made six audit recommendations aimed at improving program performance management and reporting; strategic management and coordination; management of financial risks; and monitoring of contractor performance, which were all accepted by DIMA.
The objective of Phase Two of the audit was to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of ATSIC Central, State and Regional Offices in relation to the administration of the Community Development Employment Projects Scheme. The ANAO established key criteria to assess progress against the implementation of the Phase One recommendations and further assess the efficiency and effectiveness of CDEP administration. The main areas examined were: planning, including reports of progress against plans and the development and use of performance information; monitoring, including client feedback and the review process at the Regional Office level; the implementation and effectiveness of management information systems in relation to CDEP; and the development and implementation of quality assuranced processes at State/Regional level.
The audit assessed the management by ISR and, in particular, by AusIndustry of the implementation of the changes arising from the Government's December 1997 policy statement in Investing for Growth. This statement required ISR to separate administration of policy from the delivery of products and to improve its service to customers through a ‘one stop shop' approach and by streamlining its processes. The audit focussed in particular on the overall strategic management of the change process by AusIndustry; the detailed implementation of the new service delivery arrangements, notably the separation of policy and product delivery; and the implementation of the enhanced customer focus.
The audit was conducted as a joint financial statement and performance audit of Centrelink's Information and Technology (I&T) systems. The objective of the financial statement component of the audit was to express an opinion on whether Centrelink could rely on its I&T systems to support production of a reliable set of financial information for the financial statements. The objective of the performance audit component was to determine whether Centrelink's I&T systems outputs adequately met quality and service delivery targets.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether FaCS had established effective business arrangements with Centrelink to help ensure that new claims for Age Pension were properly assessed in accordance with the Social Security Law and the Guide to the Social Security Law. In the context of the audit objective, the primary issues examined were whether FaCS had:
established an appropriate business framework;
adopted an appropriate risk management approach;
appropriately monitored and evaluated performance; and
The objective of this audit was to assess the administration of internal fraud control arrangements in the ATO and to identify areas with potential for improvement as well as identified better practice. To achieve this objective the ANAO focussed on five key areas. These were:
the application of the ATO's corporate governance processes to the internal fraud control activities;
the prevention of internal fraud within the ATO;
the related use of information technology to minimise fraud risks;
the detection of internal fraud within the ATO; and
The objective of the preliminary study was to form a view regarding the quality of, and controls over, the Budget estimates and to inform the decision whether to proceed to a full performance audit at this time. On the basis of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the budget process undertaken during the study, the ANAO concluded that there are no apparent systemic problems in the cash-based estimating processes in the agencies reviewed that would, in themselves, lead to material statistical inaccuracies in the Budget's projected outcomes. The ANAO decided not to proceed with a full performance audit at this time.
This audit considered the action taken in relation to the recommendations of Audit Report No.47, 1991-92, Energy Management of Commonwealth Buildings. The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether the Department of Primary Industries and Energy, the Department of Administrative Services, and the Department of Finance had taken appropriate action in relation to the recommendations. The audit criteria were the extent to which the original recommendations agreed by the agencies had been implemented and what had been achieved.
This is the second edition of an ANAO publication which provides information to Commonwealth organisations on the full range of ANAO auditing services. Opinions replaces the previous ANAO publication Financial Reporting Bulletins. In addition to providing audit clients with information on developments in financial reporting and disclosure, Opinions provides details of recently completed performance audits and Better Practice Guides as well as outlining those audits scheduled for completion in the immediate future.
The ANAO first examined asset management in the general government sector in 1995. The outcome of that review was presented in Audit Report No. 27, 1995-96, Asset Management. The primary objectives of the current review were to:
ascertain the degree of acceptance of the previous audit recommendations;
establish the extent to which organisations were managing their assets in accordance with the asset management principles espoused in the Asset Management Handbook; and
examine any central coordination initiatives in asset management.
Meeting these objectives permits the ANAO to express an updated opinion on the state of asset management in the general government sector other than for specialised military equipment.
The purpose of the audit was to assess whether management of parliamentary workflow by the agencies reviewed was efficient and effective and to identify elements of good practice. In assessing agency effectiveness and efficiency, the audit focussed on issues of client service such as timeliness, quality and cost. It considered also the governance framework and accountability arrangements relevant to parliamentary workflow, as well as more operational considerations including the use of information technology, development of relevant management information and suitable benchmarking processes.
The ANAO concluded that DHAC's administration of the National Cervical Screening Program is generally sound. The ANAO found that the department has a key role in the Program by providing secretariat services and other support to the NAC, which provides policy advice to AHMAC, and by supporting initiatives to further develop the Program. Some areas of DHAC's administration of the Program provide examples of good practice. Related examples are the early identification of the need to monitor the Program, the early identification of possible data sources for monitoring, and the use of an independent body to provide advice, through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on performance indicators and data sources. A further example is DHAC's administration of the provision of cervical screening funding assistance to the States and Territories through Public Health Outcome Funding Agreements, which complies with the principles for sound Specific Purpose Payments program administration advocated by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in their Report 362. On the other hand, the ANAO has identified areas for improvement in quality assurance for the analysis of Pap smears by pathology laboratories.
The audit reviewed Defence's higher-level management of its knowledge system equipment acquisition projects. These amount to $8.5b. The focus of the audit was on the opportunities for Defence to adopt a much more coherent and integrated approach to knowledge systems management prospectively rather than on emphasising current system compatibility issues.
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 objective of the audit was to assess the framework and systems that DHAC has in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The ANAO concluded that DHAC had taken appropriate steps to protect Commonwealth resources under its administration from fraudulent misappropriation by developing a sound fraud control framework, the effectiveness of which is illustrated by the relatively low incidence of reported fraud in the department over the last few years. The framework also includes key elements for preventing and dealing with fraud in line with the Commonwealth's Fraud Control Policy.
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 ascertain how efficiently and effectively the ATO administers sales tax collections. The audit excluded an examination of the Australian Customs Service's sales tax administration, although it did examine coordination and liaison arrangements between the ATO and ACS. The audit approach involved analysing the ATO's performance against the five elements of the ATO's established compliance improvement process, namely:
interpreting and clarifying sales tax law;
identifying and understanding clients and markets (enabling tax officers to identify and analyse risks of non-compliance);
providing education and information to clients regarding sales tax obligations, based on identified compliance risks;
implementing administrative arrangements which ensure and/or assist taxpayers to meet their obligations; and
detecting non-compliance and taking action to remedy instances of non-compliance.
The audit was structured to provide an overview of the administration of Commonwealth assistance to the agrifood industry. In particular, the ANAO sought to form a view on the extent to which four key agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Transport and Regional Services and Austrade) are able to demonstrate their success in achieving the Government's objectives for the Australian agrifood industry by assessing agencies' agrifood-related: planned outcomes; performance information; and reporting.
The ANAO undertook an audit of the framework and systems that Industry, Science and Resources had in place to prevent, control, monitor, detect and investigate fraud. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of these arrangements in relation to departmental administrative functions and program operations.
The objective of the audit was to review the Department of Veterans' Affairs' management of the outsourcing of its data centre in Sydney from February 1992, specifically with respect to the management of its contractual arrangements. The audit sought to identify the extent to which DVA achieved its objectives of outsourcing and the effectiveness of its management of the arrangement with the supplier.
The objective of the audit was to assess key aspects of the Australian Taxation Office's administration of the PAYE system in relation to employers' remittances and to identify opportunities for improvement. The audit focussed on four areas:
remittance monitoring, especially managing late remittances;
follow-up action for end of year reconciliation, including discrepancies;
handling compliance intelligence gained from the public; and
The objective of this audit was to ascertain whether Defence performance management strategies and practices contribute to the effective and efficient management of the supply chain. In particular, it focussed on examining the extent to which the latter demonstrate identified world-class practices.
This performance audit is the first property management audit that the ANAO has conducted since the FMA Act came into effect in 1997, with the associated devolution of responsibility to agency heads. The audit included coverage of office accommodation currently leased in Australia from the private sector. This office accommodation was housing the functions and activities of clerical, technical or professional staff, including conference and meeting rooms and ministerial suites but excluding basements, car parks, theatrettes, and cafeterias.
The audit evaluated the effectiveness of the accountability and oversight arrangements for statutory bodies within the former Primary Industries and Energy portfolio (most of which are now part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio). The audit focused on accountability of the statutory bodies to the Minister and through the Minister to Parliament; it did not directly address accountability to industry stakeholders and levy papers.
The audit was undertaken in the Training and Youth Division TYD) of the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. The objective of the audit was to determine whether the application of Business Processing Reengineering(BPR) principles would identify improvements to the business processes of the TYD. The TYD was used in this audit to illustrate the application of BPR as a tool for agencies to identify efficiencies and enhance program effectiveness.
The audit reviewed the Defence's $5.05 billion New Submarine Project which commenced in 1982 and involves design and construction of six Collins class submarines and associated supplies and services. The objectives of the audit were to assess project management by the Department's Project Office in the light of accepted better-practice project management techniques. It also aimed to derive lessons learnt and recommendations that could be applied to the Project and to similar Defence projects now and in the future. The audit follows a 1992 audit of the Project by the ANAO and a review by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts in 1995.
The audit covered major program elements within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and Environment Australia that are managed:
directly by DPIE or Environment Australia;
through the One-Stop-Shop project assessment process administered by the States/Territories; or
by non-government organisations.
The purpose of the audit was to examine and benchmark the administrative processes established for these programs. The primary focus of the audit was to draw on the best elements of past practice (particularly in relation to programs involving the One-Stop-Shop) and highlight any shortcomings so that the risks to program effectiveness and accountability could be addressed in the implementation of the Natural Heritage Trust.
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 objectives of the audit were to assist the Department in the timely identification of any deficiencies in the evaluation of responses from suppliers and options for addressing the deficiencies. The objectives were to:
test the Department's adherence to Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines for open and effective competition and to legislative and other Government specified requirements; and
provide a report to the Parliament, the Government and other interested parties on the probity of the evaluation process.
The scope of the audit was restricted to considering the processes employed by the Department in the selection of hearing devices for use under the voucher scheme.
The Age Pension is a social security income support payment available to Australian residents and eligible Australians residing overseas who have reached Age Pension age and whose income and assets are under certain limits. In 1999-2000, approximately $14 billion was paid to approximately 1.7 million Age Pension recipients. Payment of Age Pension is made under the Social Security Law and in accordance with the Guide to the Social Security Law prepared by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). FaCS has contracted Centrelink under a Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) to administer the payment of Age Pension to eligible customers. The objective of the audit was to assess the extent to which new claims for Age Pension had been assessed in compliance with the legislation and other relevant guidelines developed by Centrelink, and whether Centrelink employed appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance. In particular, the ANAO sought evidence with respect to: payment at the right rate, from the right date, to the right person with the right product, for new claims assessed during the audit sample period (that is, in accordance with the working definition of accuracy within Centrelink); the accuracy of Centrelink?s own reporting on compliance, as reported to FaCS under the BPA; and the application of appropriate mechanisms to help ensure such compliance.
The study examined aggregated benchmarking measures of cost, efficiency quality and better practice for nineteen Commonwealth organisations and compared the results with that of an international group. The objective of the study was to obtain and report on over time quantitative and qualitative data relating to finance function activities as they operate in Commonwealth organisations.
The audit examined the design, management and reporting of performance information for the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) which is administered by the Commonwealth Departments of Environment and Heritage, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the performance information used to support the administration of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth financial assistance; and compliance with legislative requirements for performance monitoring and reporting.
The audit reviewed the accountability framework and performance information of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The objective of the audit was to form an opinion on the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASC: accountability arrangements, focussing on key stakeholders such as the Minister and the Parliament; and management information systems, focussing on performance information, in particular key performance indicators; and its use in resource allocation decision-making.