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Audits in progress

Audits in progress

Access to Public Dental Services in Victoria
Board Performance
Diverting Young People from the Criminal Justice System
Effectively Planning for Growth
Effectiveness of the Environmental Effects Statement Process
Health ICT Strategic Planning
Managing Community Correction Orders
Managing Public Sector Records
Managing School Infrastructure
Managing the Performance of Rail Franchisees
Managing Victoria's Planning System for Land Use and Development
Managing Victoria's Public Housing
Public Participation and Community Engagement-Local Government Sector
Public participation in Government decision-making
Regulating Gambling and Liquor

 

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 December 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 December 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 February 2017.

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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 February 2017.

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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: 201112 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 February 2017.

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Managing School Infrastructure

School infrastructure, which consists mainly of school buildings, is essential for achieving educational outcomes. In June 2015, Victoria’s school buildings, excluding land, were valued at $8.5 billion. In 201516, the government began a significant education investment program aimed at providing all Victorians with access to high-quality education and training through all their lives. However, in 2016, for the first year in 15 years, no new schools will be opened. In January 2016, the government acknowledged that it faced significant challenges building enough schools to accommodate the 190 000 extra students predicted to enter the education system between 2016 and 2026.  

This audit will consider how effectively the Department of Education & Training is planning for and managing programs to deliver maintenance work, build new schools and upgrade schools in established areas. 

The audit is expected to be tabled in February 2017. 

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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 February 2017.

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Managing Public Sector Records

Effective records management is the foundation of good governance and a transparent and accountable government. Despite this, there are an overwhelming number of reports from a wide range of Victorian integrity and/or oversight bodies that link negative outcomes to a failure to manage records.

All Victorian public offices are required by law to meet the prescribed standards of the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) for effective records management. This audit will examine whether agencies are managing records in accordance with legislative requirements and whether PROV is effectively assisting agencies to do this.

The report is expected to be tabled in February 2017.

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Managing Victoria's Planning System for Land Use and Development

Victoria needs an effective and efficient state-wide statutory planning system to ensure land use and development protects the physical and cultural amenities of our community, natural resources and the environment, and to be able to respond appropriately to development needs. Planning decisions under this system can have a significant impact on the well-being of local communities, the environment, commercial industries and the broader economy. For this reason, it is important that decisions are evidence based, transparent and that they support the Act’s objectives. 

This audit will assess whether the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is effectively managing the planning system, and whether decisions by planning and responsible authorities are achieving the intended objectives of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The report is expected to be tabled in February 2017.

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Board Performance

In Victoria, there has been a long history of using public entities (rather than departments) to deliver a wide array of public sector services. Most public entities are governed by a board of directors.

Public sector entity boards play a crucial role in ensuring that public entities operate effectively and meet statutory obligations.

They perform many functions for the entity they govern including developing an overall strategy as well as monitoring risk, finance and performance. They need to have the capability and skills to exercise effective leadership and establish good governance structures within the organisation.

The purpose of this audit will be to:

The report is expected to be tabled in February 2017.

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Public Participation and Community Engagement-Local Government Sector

This audit aims to determine the effectiveness of community engagement and participation at the local government level.

The Local Government Act 1989 embeds the need for community engagement within a council’s objectives. However, a number of past performance audits have identified inadequate community engagement across a range of council functions, including service delivery, planning and the development of council plans and strategies. The audit will consider whether:

The report is expected to be tabled in February 2017.

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Public Participation in Government decision-making

Transparent and well-managed public participation is a critical input for informing government policies, and how these policies are translated into effective strategies, programs and projects.  In Australia and overseas, there has been increasing recognition of the value of public participation as an essential part of project planning and decision-making.

In Victoria, the expectation that the community will be able to participate in Government’s decision-making processes is embedded within the Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct, which states that ‘Public officials should demonstrate respect for members of the Victorian community by using their views to improve outcomes on an ongoing basis.’

Public participation in government decision making has had little specific scrutiny but is of great importance, particularly as poor and costly decisions may result from inadequate consultation.

This audit will examine the effectiveness of public participation activities in agency decision-making.

The report is expected to be tabled in March 2017.

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Managing Victoria's Public Housing

For vulnerable people, access to stable and affordable housing is critical for minimising the impact of mental illness, drug use, criminal behaviour and unemployment.  

The Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS) $17.8 billion housing portfolio services many of these members of our community. Previous audits undertaken in 2004, 2010 and 2012 have identified shortcomings in the management of public housing and related risks, including excessive vacancies, rental arrears, damage and vandalism or destruction of property.  

The Victorian Government has announced that a policy on housing affordability will be announced later this year.  

This audit will examine whether the development of the housing affordability policy is supported by sound advice and whether the Department of Health & Human Services is managing public housing effectively. 

The report is expected to be tabled in May 2017.  

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Effectively planning for growth

Current forecasts indicate that Victoria’s population could reach up to 10 million by 2051, with 2.2 million people in regional areas and 7.8 million in greater Melbourne. This audit will highlight whether long term strategic planning for rapid population growth is occurring in an effective, integrated manner. A focus on maternity and early childhood services in areas experiencing significant population growth provides an opportunity to provide a case study of integration and coordination of planning efforts across agencies.

The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of strategic planning for population growth, focussing on birthing, maternal and child health and early childhood education services.

The report is expected to be tabled in May 2017.

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Diverting young people from the criminal justice system

This is the third in a series of audits focusing on children and young people at risk. It follows the 2014 audit Residential Care Services for Children and the 2015 audit Early Intervention Services for Vulnerable Children and Families.

Diverting young people from repeated contact with and progression through the criminal justice system has positive benefits for the individual, society and the economy.

The risk that young people will become immersed in the adult criminal justice system increases with the frequency of their contact with the youth criminal justice system.

Therefore the availability of services that successfully divert young people from repeated contact with the youth criminal justice system has significant positive long term implications. The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of strategies to divert young people away from the criminal justice system.

The report is expected to be tabled in May 2017.

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