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The audit objective was to form an opinion on the effectiveness of DEST's planning, assessment, and Funding Agreements management for the Australian Technical Colleges programme. At the time of the audit fieldwork (prior to the 2007–08 Budget) the Government had announced the establishment of 21 of the then target of 25 colleges. After fieldwork was completed the Government announced its intention to fund an additional three colleges in three new regions.
The criteria for this audit were designed to test whether DEST's management of the programme complied with its plans, procedures and guidelines, with the Act, and better practices for grants administration. For these purposes, the ANAO focused on DEST's:
planning for the implementation of the programme;
assessment of proposals to establish and operate the colleges; and
The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which selected agencies have implemented the two recommendations of the previous audit; and the appropriateness of advice provided by Finance and the ATO. To address this audit objective, the audit assessed:
the roles of Finance and the ATO in clarifying: the interaction of the PB and SG Act; the ongoing role of the PB Act; and mechanisms to monitor Australian Government organisations' compliance with the PB Act;
the extent to which Finance and the ATO have provided guidance and other support to assist Australian Government organisations manage and meet statutory superannuation obligations for eligible contractors; and
whether Australian Government organisations have managed and met statutory superannuation obligations for contractors in past and current contracts.
The objective of the audit was to review the efficiency, economy and administrative effectiveness of departmental activities leading to the letting of the contract with SPCL and its subsequent administration. This included, among other things, an examination of action taken to protect the Commonwealth's interests and the adequacy of relevant departmental guidelines and processes. A primary aim of the audit was to identify the facts of the particular case, including any administrative inadequacies that led to unnecessary financial exposure for the Commonwealth and less than satisfactory outcomes. In particular, the audit aimed to identify elements of better practice that could be followed under similar circumstances or programs in the future.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether selected regulatory agencies have cost recovery procedures and practices which comply with the Government's guidelines. To address this objective, the audit assessed the management of cost recovery against the following criteria:
regulatory agencies have clear and consistent cost recovery procedures to identify their activities and costs, and set fees and levies;
regulatory agencies have effectively implemented their cost recovery procedures;
regulatory agencies regularly monitor and review their cost recovery activities; and
regulatory agencies regularly report on their cost recovery.