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Audits in progress

Audits in progress

Access to Public Dental Services in Victoria
Audit Committee Governance
Effectiveness of the Environmental Effects Statement Process
Efficiency and Effectiveness of Hospital Services: Emergency Care
Enhancing Food and Fibre Productivity
Health ICT Strategic Planning
High Value High Risk
Managing Community Correction Orders
Managing the Performance of Rail Franchisees
Meeting Obligations to Protect Ramsar Wetlands
Regulating Gambling and Liquor
Security of Critical Infrastructure Control Systems for Trains

 

Audit Committee Governance

Audit committees play a key accountability role in public sector agencies. This role is primarily to provide independent assurance in regards to risk management, internal controls, financial statements, compliance requirements and internal and external audit.

The member composition of an audit committee, its operating arrangements including terms of reference, roles and responsibilities, and lines of communication and reporting, and the type and extent of information it receives from management all significantly impact on its effectiveness in providing independent assurance.

This audit will examine the effectiveness of governance arrangements for audit committees.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2016.

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Enhancing Food and Fibre Productivity

Victoria’s agricultural sector makes a large contribution to the state’s economy with food and fibre exports valued at $11.6 billion during 2014-15—27 per cent of Australia’s total food and fibre exports.

While agricultural productivity continues to grow, the rate of growth in Australia has slowed since the 1980s and 1990s. Sustaining agricultural productivity growth continues to be challenged by climate variability, increasing production costs, increasingly competitive markets and intensified consumer demands.

The capacity to deliver productive, competitive agricultural industries is underpinned by effective and efficient research, development and extension (RD&E). Agricultural RD&E can lead to enhanced farming systems and practices that increase the value and volume of production and reduce input costs.

The audit will examine how the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources prioritises, delivers, monitors and evaluates agricultural RD&E activities.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2016.

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Meeting Obligations to Protect Ramsar Wetlands

Ramsar wetlands are wetlands of international importance listed and protected under the Ramsar Convention to which Australia is a signatory.  In designating a wetland, countries agree to establish and oversee a management framework aimed at conserving the wetland and maintaining its ecological character. There are currently 11 Ramsar listed sites located in Victoria. Effective management of these relies on good knowledge of the environmental, social and economic values and benefits and management of the numerous potential threats to these, including changes to water regimes, urbanisation, intensive agriculture, pollution, recreational use, and poor land management. 

The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of management of the Ramsar wetlands.

The report is expected to be tabled in September 2016.

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High Value High Risk

The scale of government’s expenditure on capital projects and our previous findings of weaknesses in the application and effectiveness of the High Value High Risk Investment Framework (HVHR) are the basis for proceeding with a third audit in this area.

The audit will determine whether the HVHR process has been effectively updated and applied to provide sufficient and reliable assurance about the deliverability of HVHR projects by determining whether:

The report is expected to be tabled in October 2016.

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Efficiency and Effectiveness of Hospital Services: Emergency Care

This audit builds on previous hospital efficiency audits, particularly the recent Hospital performance: length of stay audit. While that audit examined the length of stay of acute admitted patients, this audit will examine the patient journey through the emergency department (ED) before admission occurs.

The audit will also examine how well the Department of Health and Human Services fulfils its responsibility as system manager for oversighting hospital performance and supporting excellence.

This audit has the potential to improve the management of emergency care in Victoria by driving improvements in ED patient care, particularly in metropolitan public hospitals where demand has increased significantly in recent years.

The report is expected to be tabled in October 2016.

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Security of Critical Infrastructure Control Systems for Trains

The availability and delivery of public transport services is an essential service. Its provision relies heavily on infrastructure and control systems such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to control and monitor public transport services, including trains.

The increased reliance on control systems to manage and deliver essential services to meet increasing public demand means that if these systems are not secured, unauthorised individuals or organisations could disrupt or disable the provision of essential services. Similarly, it is also important to ensure that operators of control systems have plans to ensure their continued and safe operation.

The objective of the audit is to assess whether security risks to ICT systems that operate and control critical train infrastructures (control systems) are managed effectively.

The report is expected to be tabled in October 2016.

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Access to Public Dental Services in Victoria

Lack of timely access to public dental services for basic restorative and preventive care can result in poor oral health, particularly for already disadvantaged and vulnerable groups who rely on public services. Delayed access can also mean emergency care procedures are needed for preventable conditions.

The objective of this audit is to assess whether public dental health services in Victoria are accessible and appropriately distributed across the state, and address the growing demand for general dental, preventative and emergency services.

The audit is expected to be tabled in November 2016.

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Managing the Performance of Rail Franchisees

Metropolitan transport services are critical to the economic development of Melbourne and come at a significant cost to government, totalling multiple billions of dollars. The current train and tram franchise agreements were established in November 2009 for a maximum of 15 years, split into an initial eight-year period and a seven-year extension. The government must decide whether to extend the contracts by November 2017. This will require a close review of past performance to determine the most appropriate course of action, including future performance requirements, penalties and enforcement measures. 

The audit will examine PTV’s effectiveness in managing the performance of Melbourne’s metropolitan train and tram franchisees.

The audit is expected to be tabled in November 2016.

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Regulating Gambling and Liquor

Alcohol and gambling are accepted parts of the Australian culture and generate positive impacts for the state in the form of revenue and employment. However, misuse of alcohol and gambling can result in significant short-term and long-term harm for individuals, their families, their friends and the wider community.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is responsible for regulating gambling and liquor licensing. It oversees more than 21 000 liquor licences and manages the state-wide cap of 30 000 gaming machines. VCGLR also collects approximately $1.8 billion per year in revenue on behalf of the state.

The audit will examine VCGLR’s regulatory practices, including the licensing and compliance monitoring of venues. The audit will also examine relevant activities of the Department of Justice & Regulation (DJR) and Victoria Police.

The report is expected to be tabled in December 2016.

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Managing Community Correction Orders

This audit is part of the series of planned audits examining the administration of programs for managing offenders in the community. Other proposed or recently delivered audits in this area include Diverting Young People from the Criminal Justice System, Administration of Parole and Managing Sex Offenders.

Community correction orders involve the management and supervision of offenders in the community. These offenders are serving court-imposed orders either as an alternative to imprisonment or a condition of their release from prison. Community safety is dependent on these programs being effective, efficient and well governed.

This audit will examine the efficiency and effectiveness of community corrections programs with a focus on maintaining public safety, achieving social and financial benefits, and training and support for community corrections staff. The audit will also assess the appropriateness of and performance against key performance indicators and measures.

The audit is expected to be tabled in December 2016.

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Effectiveness of the Environmental Effects Statement Process

Under the Environment Effects Act 1978, major projects with the potential to have significant adverse effects on the environment in Victoria may be required to undergo the Effectiveness of the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) assessment process. While it is not a formal approval process in itself, it provides a framework to enable decisions about whether a project with potentially significant environmental effects should proceed. 

Where the Minister for Planning decides whether an EES process is required, the project proponent must prepare the EES and perform the required investigations. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) coordinates the EES process. 

The audit will examine the rigour of the EES process, the quality of information for decision-making, the monitoring of conditions imposed through the process, and the extent to which previously recommended reforms have been implemented. It will also assess whether the current framework is well equipped to deal with issues such as climate change impacts.  

The report is expected to be tabled in December 2016.

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Health ICT Strategic Planning

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a critical enabler and transformative agent in the delivery of government services. It entails considerable investment. In 2015, the Digital Dashboard Status Review of ICT Projects and Initiatives 1 audit found that the Victorian public health sector was one of the top spenders on ICT, with an average capital and operating expenditure of $394 million per annum for the period: 20112012 to 201314.  

ICT strategic planning plays a critical role in managing ICT investments and aligning ICT activities with strategic goals and objectives. 

In 2013, the Ministerial Review of Health Sector Information and Communication report highlighted the absence of a statewide health ICT strategic plan. This was also identified in VAGO’s 2013 Clinical ICT systems in the Victorian public health sector performance audit. In October 2014, DHHS released the State-wide Health ICT strategic framework with the purpose of guiding health services in developing local strategic plans for ICT, while supporting system-wide alignment of key outcomes. 

This audit will examine the effectiveness of ICT strategic planning in the Victorian public health sector.  

The audit is expected to be tabled in December 2016.

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