The operations and performance of Australian Government entities are subject to external scrutiny from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA), and other parliamentary committees.
The purpose of the ANAO is to support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector through independent reporting to the Parliament, and thereby contribute to improved public sector performance. The ANAO’s performance audit activities involve the audit of all or part of an entity’s operations to assess its economy, efficiency, effectiveness, ethicality or legislative and policy compliance. The ANAO identifies areas where improvements can be made to aspects of public administration and makes specific recommendations to assist public sector entities to improve their program management.
Other parliamentary committees investigate specific matters of policy, government administration or performance and may review part or all of an Auditor-General report or reports. Recommendations are then made to government.
Government responses are required to be tabled in Parliament. Responses to recommendations inform the Parliament of government activities and provide accountability by formalising the commitment to implement the recommendations.
Reports of the ANAO and parliamentary committees identify risks to the successful delivery of outcomes and areas where administrative or other improvements can be made. The appropriate and timely implementation of agreed recommendations is an important part of realising the full benefit of an audit or parliamentary inquiry.
This audit will highlight to the Parliament and the public where entities have implemented recommendations in line with intended commitments made to the Parliament.
The audit examined ANAO, JCPAA and other parliamentary committee recommendations from reports or inquiries with agreed recommendations related to 2016–17 for the following four entities:
- Department of Agriculture (Agriculture);
- Airservices Australia (Airservices);
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA); and
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development (Infrastructure).
None of the selected entities demonstrated that they had effectively implemented all agreed recommendations within the scope of this audit.