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Audits in progress

Audits in progress

Applying the high value high risk process to unsolicited proposals
Biosecurity: Livestock
Delivering Services to Citizens and Consumers via Devices of Personal Choice
Department of Education and Training Strategic Planning
Managing Mining Approvals: Environmental Conditions now Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts
Operational Effectiveness of the myki Ticketing System
Realising the Benefits of Smart Meters

 

Delivering Services to Citizens and Consumers via Devices of Personal Choice

There are now more than 12 million smartphones in use in Australia. During 2014, internet usage by such devices is expected to overtake desktop internet usage.

The delivery of government services by digital channels can increase efficiency, cut lengthy wait times at traditional 'bricks and mortar' locations, and cut the costs associated with traditional service delivery approaches.

This audit will examine government efforts to allow key transactions to be performed online and using digital devices, including whether these services are effective and efficient when compared to traditional service delivery modes.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2015.

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Operational Effectiveness of the myki Ticketing System

An effective ticketing system is essential for encouraging use of the public transport system. Modern public transport ticketing systems are much more than fare collection tools. They provide the key interface with customers and, with smartcard technology, they can also be a useful strategic tool for facilitating a range of government transport policies. A well designed and implemented system should be easy for commuters to use and benefit transport operators through streamlined fare collection and access to important data on travel behaviour.

The state committed to implementation of the myki system in July 2005 when it signed the contract for the system, and the myki system was due to be operational by July 2007. However, there were delays, scope changes and cost increases in implementing the system. In December 2012, myki became the only form of ticket valid on Melbourne public transport with the switching-off of the previous ticketing system, Metcard. As of 2014, more than 5.7 million myki cards have been issued with the system processing around 6 million touch-on transactions per week. Since implementation, myki has experienced a number of issues including slow card reader response times and the instability of devices, in particular on trams and buses.

The significant investment in the myki system, together with the additional costs and time required for its development, and implementation and its initial operational issues, warrant an assessment of its operational effectiveness.

The objective of the audit is to examine the operational effectiveness of the myki ticketing system and whether it is achieving expected benefits.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2015.

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Realising the Benefits of Smart Meters

In early 2006 the Victorian Government approved the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program that aimed to replace electrical metering infrastructure in all Victorian residential and small business premises' with digital meters known as smart meters.

VAGO’s 2009 report Towards a ‘Smart Grid’—the rollout of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure found that there was a risk of an inequitable transfer of economic benefits to industry, rather than consumers. Following this and other government reviews of the smart meter program, major changes were made to the program to ensure consumers receive the benefits and to continue with an improved rollout, which made delivery of consumer benefits the top priority.

Between 2009 to 2014, Victoria’s electricity distribution businesses have installed roughly 2.8 million smart meters at an estimated cost of $2 billion. As the smart meter rollout is effectively complete, it is timely to undertake the audit to assess the extent to which deficiencies in the AMI program have been addressed, and whether benefits for consumers are being realised.

The audit will assess whether the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation:

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2015.

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Managing mining approvals: Environmental conditions
Now: Unconventional gas: managing risks and impacts

Unconventional gas is natural gas that is sourced from different—unconventional—rock layers in the earth rather than from the types of layers where natural gas has more traditionally been found. It is usually harder to extract gas from these unconventional sources and can require some different techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The issues surrounding unconventional gas exploration and production in Australia and globally are complex, technical, wide ranging and in some cases, contentious. Victoria is still in the early stages of understanding the potential for an unconventional gas industry. There has been some exploration for unconventional gas in Victoria but no commercial production and there is currently a moratorium preventing hydraulic fracturing and new onshore exploration for all types of gas, including from unconventional sources. Community views in relation to the development of an unconventional gas industry vary greatly.

This audit is being undertaken to inform Parliament about Victoria’s preparedness to effectively respond to emerging risks and challenges in the event that unconventional gas activities proceed in this state. This will include examining recent activities and approaches to manage the risks and impacts associated with unconventional gas exploration and production.

The audit will determine whether Victoria is well-placed to effectively respond to potential environmental and community risks and impacts in the event that unconventional gas activities proceed in this state.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2015.

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Biosecurity: Livestock

Livestock biosecurity involves the management of risks to the economy and the community of diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading among livestock animals.

Despite Victoria’s favourable animal biosecurity status, exotic animal diseases remain an ever-present threat to Victoria’s livestock industries. Managing these risks is made more complex by climate change, increasing global trade and travel, and increasing human and livestock encroachment into wildlife habitat.

Livestock diseases can also pose significant public health risks through zoonoses—animal diseases that are transmittable to humans.

The audit will examine the effectiveness of Victorian biosecurity practices that relate to livestock disease management and the associated risks to primary production, animal welfare and human health.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2015.

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Applying the High Value High Risk Process to Unsolicited Proposals (formely High Value High Risk)

The high value high risk (HVHR) review process aims to address time and budget overruns and the extent of benefit from the delivery of major infrastructure projects. The process applies to all projects over $100 million, assessed as high risk, or determined by government as warranting additional oversight. Given the significance of these projects, VAGO is undertaking annual HVHR audits examining how effectively the process is improving outcomes for a range of projects and review action against past HVHR audit recommendations.

VAGO's first audit of the HVHR process tabled in Parliament in June 2014. It found that the Department of Treasury and Finance's (DTF) increased scrutiny of projects through HVHR had made a difference to the quality of the business cases and procurements underpinning government's investments. It made eight recommendations about how DTF should improve the application of HVHR projects, including that it apply HVHR to projects over $100 million selected under the unsolicited proposals policy. An unsolicited proposal is one where the private sector approaches government with a proposal to build infrastructure or deliver services. These proposals are not always subject to competition, and therefore thorough scrutiny of such proposals is critical to ensure value for money.

The objective of the audit is to determine whether the HVHR process has been effectively applied to two unsolicited proposals that government has identified as HVHR projects: the Cranbourne-Pakenham Rail Corridor and the CityLink Tulla Widening projects.

This report is expected to be tabled in August 2015.

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Department of Education and Training: Strategic Planning

Sound planning is a key part of effective governance and management, enabling agencies to define objectives and identify how they will achieve these. Strategic planning is a key part of public sector activity, typically involving setting long-term goals or outcomes and developing long-term plans—greater than three years—to achieve them .

As the recipient of 29.5 per cent of the State’s budget, it is essential that the Department of Education and Training (DET) make well informed planning decisions that ultimately achieve value for money. DET has developed a four-year strategic plan that intends to outline how the department will achieve its 10-year goal of making Victoria a world leader in learning and development. Ten-year outcomes, and four-year priorities and strategies have also been developed to enable the achievement of the goal.

The audit objective is to examine how effectively DET plans to achieve its objectives. The audit will assess DET’s high-level strategic planning, including the evidence base used and how performance against strategic plans is understood and acted on.

The report is expected to be tabled in October 2015 .

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