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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 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 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 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 objective of the audit was to determine whether the Commonwealth's interests were adequately protected in terms of both the contractor selection process that led to Australian Construction Services being awarded the contract for the overall management of the project and the actual commercial arrangements between the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and ACS. As part of the audit, criteria were developed which considered whether the Commonwealth procurement guidelines were adhered to, as well as whether the commercial arrangements clearly detailed the goods and services to be provided, their cost and timing of delivery.
The audit assessed the effectiveness of the governance framework for the management of the transition from the existing red meat industry structures to new structures which increased industry's role in self determination and self regulation and minimised the involvement of Government. Matters considered included the effectiveness of:
planning for the implementation of the new arrangements;
management of the risks associated with the implementation of the new arrangements;
management structures used in the transition arrangements; and
accountability arrangements for ongoing Commonwealth involvement.