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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.
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 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.
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 objective of the audit was to assess whether the contractual arrangements that have been put in place for the delivery of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal (MIT) will provide value for money and achieve the Australian Government’s policy objectives for the project.
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.