Successive Australian governments have maintained a framework to regulate the use of campaign advertising by selected government entities. The overarching aim of the framework introduced in 2008 is to provide the Parliament and the community with confidence that public funds are used to meet the genuine information needs of the community.

The rationale for undertaking this audit is to provide the Parliament with:

  • information on key developments in the Australian government’s campaign advertising framework since 2019, when the ANAO last reported on its operation;
  • independent assurance on whole-of-government administration of the framework by the Department of Finance; and
  • independent assurance on selected entities’ compliance with the Australian government’s guidelines and the wider framework requirements when planning and undertaking advertising campaigns.

The audit examined developments in the administration of the framework from May 2019 to October 2021. In addition, three campaigns were selected for review:

  • Phase 2 of the Building Our Future campaign, conducted from January 2019 to June 2021 and administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (Infrastructure);
  • the Domestic Violence Support Services (Help is Here) campaign, conducted from May 2020 to January 2021 and administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS); and
  • Phases 1 and 2 of the Economic Recovery Plan campaign, administered by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Phase 1 was conducted from October 2020 to December 2020 and Phase 2 was scheduled from June 2021 to October 2021, but was paused on 1 July 2021 due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.


Publication Details
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Auditor-General Report No.17 2021–22