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Audit details

Audits in progress

The following audits are in progress:

Accessibility of Mainstream Services for Aboriginal Victorians

There are around 47 000 Aboriginal people in Victoria (0.9 per cent of the total population). Victoria's Aboriginal population is distributed between metropolitan Melbourne (46 percent) and regional locations (54 per cent). The Aboriginal population faces considerable disadvantage when compared to the non-Aboriginal population. There are considerable gaps in early childhood development, including higher than average perinatal mortality rates and lower birth weights, and lower participation in maternal and child health services and kindergarten. Aboriginal people have poorer health status, including lower life expectancy and higher hospitalisation rates. In education, there are comparatively lower literacy and numeracy outcomes and poorer educational attainment rates.

Mainstream services are services that the general population is entitled to access. Victoria's Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013–18 emphasises that improved services are expected to deliver better outcomes across Victoria. It has a strong focus on designing and delivering services that are accessible by Aboriginal people across the state. The audit will examine the accessibility of mainstream services covering early childhood, health and human services. It will include the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Access to Services for Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers
(formerly Access to services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities)

Victoria is one of the more culturally diverse societies in the world. In addition to the waves of migration that have occurred since the Second World War, Victoria has also become home in recent years to growing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers. Many of these individuals are fleeing from highly traumatic circumstances. Newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers have major service needs. These groups can face significant barriers to accessing services, such as isolation or transport barriers; language difficulties; financial barriers; lack of familiarity with service systems; and lack of family and/or community networks to help them understand their rights to services and how to access the help they need.

Inability to access services in a timely and effective manner can lead to increased disadvantage and disengagement for individuals who are already among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community. This has flow-on costs to the health system, public housing, criminal justice system and other government services. The objective of the Access to services for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers audit is to assess the accessibility of government services for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Effective access in this context means the provision of equitable, timely and responsive services that meet the often complex needs of these groups.

The following agencies will be included in the audit: the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship; Victorian Multicultural Commission; Department of Health; Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; and the Department of Human Services.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Shared Services in Local Government

Victoria's 79 councils spend over $7.6 billion per year to provide local services and infrastructure. The poor financial position of some councils and difficulty of continuing to seek rising proportions of revenue from ratepayers and state and commonwealth grants provide an incentive for councils to identify opportunities to reduce expenditure and/or to improve service delivery in order to ensure their long term sustainability. Shared services, which are two or more local councils jointly providing services to the community, such as meals on wheels, or internally, such as human resources and payroll services, are one way that councils can potentially achieve these objectives. There are a number of large scale shared services in Victoria such as the SWIFT Library Consortium and the Community Chef, which prepares and delivers meals on wheels.

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure's (DTPLI) Councils Reforming Business Program, delivered in conjunction with the Municipal Association of Victoria, ran from 2007 to 2011. The program aimed to support councils to improve services, reduce costs and reduce red tape for businesses working with councils. Shared services was one of the five key priority areas in the program. The DTPLI's Local Government Reform Fund (LGRF) program, launched in 2009, aims to assist councils to improve their financial and resource management capabilities and business practices. It includes projects which assist councils to improve financial and asset planning and management and their operations through greater regional cooperation and collaboration.

This audit will assess whether councils are effectively using shared services to improve service delivery and achieve savings, and assess the guidance and support provided by Local Government Victoria within DTPLI through its shared services programs. It also aims to better understand success factors and reasons for initiatives stalling, and to identify common barriers to the take up and implementation of shared services and how effectively these have been addressed.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Managing Consultants and Contractors

Public sector agencies draw on consultants and contractors to help them reach and implement decisions. These external resources should be well managed and their advice and outputs used to obtain value for money through improved public sector operations.

The government has an objective to reduce the use of consultants and contractors across the public sector as part of the strategy to maintain a sustainable public service. The 2011–12 budget update planned for savings in consultant spending to contribute $185 million to the target of reducing expenditure by $1.6 billion between 2010–11 and 2014–15.

The Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) develops policies and guidelines that are designed to help public sector agencies achieve their intended procurement outcomes. Current VGPB policies are being replaced under a procurement reform process intended to support a more strategic, flexible and efficient approach to procurement.

This audit will examine whether selected departments are effectively managing consultants and contractors in accordance with VGPB requirements and can demonstrate they have achieved value for money from these engagements.

The audit is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Recreational Maritime Safety

The marine industry is vital to Victoria’s economy, contributing around $4.5 billion per annum and employing more than 7 000 people in manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing.

Victoria has approximately 1 200 kilometres of ocean coastline and 2 100 square kilometres of inland and enclosed waters. These waters provide Victorians with valuable water-based recreation opportunities that contribute greatly to quality of life. However, the growing popularity of these activities coupled with the significant scale and in some cases remoteness of state waters highlights both the challenge and need for the state to effectively manage the associated safety risks.

The Marine Safety Act 2010 (MSA) is focussed on providing for safe marine operations by imposing a range of safety duties and accountabilities on specified duty-holders involved in marine operations. Under the Transport Integration Act 2010, the Director, Transport Safety, supported by Transport Safety Victoria (TSV), is the state’s primary safety regulator who together with other agencies is responsible for enforcing the MSA and regulations.

This audit will assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the state’s marine safety regulatory framework in minimising safety risks for recreational maritime uses. It will examine the effectiveness of TSV and selected waterway managers in implementing the new regulatory framework and discharging their associated obligations.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Tertiary Education and Other Entities: Results of the 2013 Audits

This report provides the results of the audits of approximately 110 entities with a financial year other than 30 June 2013. The report will address their financial and performance reporting, financial sustainability, their financial policies and delegations, and management of procurement.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of May 2014.

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Using ICT to Improve Traffic Management

Congestion is increasingly a problem at certain times and on certain days.

VicRoads is responsible for planning, developing and managing the arterial road network, and delivering registration and licensing service. This involves coordinating traffic management across regional and metropolitan Victoria. Efficient and effective technology can help reduce traffic flow break-down and avoid lengthy gridlocks. ICT applications can also prioritise traffic movement to encourage particular transport strategies.The audit will examine whether:

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of June 2014.

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Administration and Effectiveness of the Environmental Contribution Levy

Since 2004, the Environmental Contribution Levy has been borne by Victorian residents to fund sustainable water management initiatives. The levy is collected from water businesses based on a payable amount of 5 per cent of revenue for urban businesses and 2 per cent of revenue for rural businesses. From 2004 to 2012 the levy raised $505 million and revenue from the levy is expected to raise a further $407 million for the period 2012 to 2016.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is responsible for administering the levy and its funded initiatives. This audit will examine the effectiveness of DEPI’s administration of the levy and its funded initiatives.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2014.

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Prisoner Transportation

In Victoria, prisoners are transferred to and from a range of places in the criminal justice system. For example, prisoners are transported to and from prisons; police cells and youth justice facilities to courts; between prisons for prisoner management or following security reclassifications; to and from Port Phillip Prison to use medical facilities; between police cells and from cells to prisons; and from prisons to youth justice facilities and forensic facilities. Prisoners need to be transported safely, in a timely manner, and in ways that are cost effective.

In Victoria, prison transportation is managed by Corrections Victoria and services are outsourced. The purpose of the audit is to examine whether the transportation of prisoners in the criminal justice system is effective, efficient and economical. In particular the audit is investigating whether transport services are being provided where and when required; prisoners receive appropriate care while being transported; contractual arrangements match demand and provide incentives to minimise costs; transportation delays are identified and addressed; and prisoner transportation is monitored to support outcomes and mitigate risks.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2014.

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Access to Legal Aid

Legal aid is the provision of publicly funded legal services for people who are otherwise unable to afford it privately. It is an important aspect of a democratic society, aimed at enabling fair and equitable access to justice and the legal system.

People in need of legal aid typically represent the more vulnerable in society and their complex needs are often the product of entrenched systemic disadvantage. In 2012–13, Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) provided legal advice, duty lawyer services and grants of legal assistance to 86 861 unique clients.

VLA is experiencing increasing demand for its legal services and an increase in the complexity of its caseload. There have been a number of justice system changes in recent years that are having, and will continue to have an influence on the number of cases coming before the courts, with consequent increased demand for legal aid.

The audit will assess whether VLA is performing its functions and duties, and achieving its objectives under the Legal Aid Act 1978. To address this objective, the audit will assess the arrangements in place to:

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2014.

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Landfill Management

Landfills are an important part of Victoria’s waste management infrastructure. While disposal of materials to landfill is the least preferred management option for waste, landfills will continue to be required to manage those wastes that cannot practically be removed from the waste stream. Active landfills currently receive a range of wastes. However, there are also a number of landfills across the state that are now closed. Active and closed landfills pose a wide range of risks to the environment and public health based on their siting, design, operation and management. Landfills should not leave an unacceptable environmental legacy for future generations to address and, as such, landfills must be managed and regulated in accordance with best practice. Landfill design, operation and management have improved significantly over the last two decades. However, managing potential environmental and health impacts from active and closed landfills still remains a significant challenge for landfill owners and operators.

This audit will determine whether landfills in Victoria are being appropriately designed, managed and rehabilitated so as not to pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and public health.

The report is expected to be tabled by the end of August 2014.

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Managing the Environmental Impacts of Transport

The environmental impacts of transport are diverse and include the production of greenhouse gases (GHG), other air pollution and noise.

The transport sector is the second largest producer of GHG in Victoria, with passenger cars responsible for approximately 60 per cent of those emissions. While total emissions from public transport are lower, trains and trams are particularly GHG-intensive due to their reliance on brown coal.

Motor vehicles also contribute up to 70 per cent of total urban air pollution in the Port Phillip Region, including Geelong, and as Melbourne continues to grow, there is a risk that transportation noise will become an increasing source of community concern, particularly in residential areas.

These impacts not only have an effect on the environment, but can also contribute to reduced livability and loss of amenity, as well as poor health.

This audit will examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria in managing the environmental impacts of transport by assessing whether: 

The report is expected to be tabled in September 2014.

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