Value for money in the delivery of Official Development Assistance through facility arrangements

Job loss Foreign aid Government accountability Government expenditure Unemployment International cooperation Australia

Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget in 2019–20 is $4.044 billion. In 2018–19, expenditure on aid by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) made up 90.8 per cent of Australia’s total ODA spend (valued at $3.976 billion). DFAT’s ODA expenditure represented 65 per cent of the department’s total expenditure.

Facility contractors are delivering $2.8 billion in aid on behalf of Australia over the life of 20 major investments. Effective implementation of Australia’s aid program supports the Australian Government’s long-term policy objectives. Transparency about the purpose, results and costs of these investments, and value for money achieved, helps to maintain confidence that they represent a proper use of public resources.

The audit objective was to examine DFAT’s achievement of value for money objectives in the delivery of Official Development Assistance (aid) through facility arrangements.

Key findings:

  • DFAT’s achievement of value for money in the delivery of aid through facilities is largely effective, with a need for greater focus on the collection, monitoring and analysis of aid administration costs.
  • DFAT has effective frameworks for evaluating and reporting whether aid investments are achieving their intended purpose. There are suitable frameworks and processes in place for assessing progress in the implementation of investments and contractor performance, but there is scope to improve the transparency of evaluation and reporting on the performance of facility arrangements.
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Auditor-General Report No.32 2019–20