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Audits in progress
Request for public submissions

Audits in progress

Access to Public Sector Information
Applying the High Value High Risk Process to Unsolicited Proposals
Biosecurity: Livestock
Bullying and Harassment in Victoria’s Public Health Sector
Department of Education and Training Strategic Planning
Follow up of Collections Management in Cultural Agencies
Follow up of Management of Staff Occupational Health and Safety in Schools
Follow up of Managing Major Projects
Managing Mining Approvals: Environmental Conditions now Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts
Realising the Benefits of Smart Meters
Regional Growth Fund: Outcomes and Learnings

Follow up of Collections management in Cultural Agencies

In October 2012, VAGO tabled an audit on Collections Management in Cultural Agencies. The audit examined whether state collections of natural history, scientific, historical and artistic and cultural significance were adequately managed and whether agencies holding key collections had adequate collection management policies, systems and practices and could demonstrate performance against relevant statutory obligations.

This follow-up audit will examine the progress made in addressing the recommendations from our 2012–13 report.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2015.

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Follow up of Management of Staff Occupational Health and Safety in Schools

In May 2013, VAGO tabled an audit on Management of Staff Occupational Health and Safety in Schools. The audit examined whether schools had managed health and safety risks to their staff, and whether the Department of Education and Training had provided schools with sufficient guidance, support and oversight. It also examined WorkSafe's involvement and impact on improving occupational health and safety performance in schools. The audit considered only school-based employees.

This follow-up audit will examine the progress made in addressing the recommendations from our 2013 report.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2015.

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Follow up of Managing Major Projects

In October 2012, VAGO tabled an audit on Managing Major Projects. The audit objective was to determine how effective, efficient and economical Major Projects Victoria (MPV) were in managing major capital projects. To address this objective, the audit examined the projects MPV managed and whether frameworks in place enabled MPV to assess and report performance and demonstrate value for money. The audit made 21 recommendations directed at MPV and the former Department of Business and Innovation (DBI) and one for the Department of Treasury and Finance.

This follow-up audit will examine the progress made in addressing the 21 recommendations for MPV and the former DBI.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 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 September 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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Regional Growth Fund: Outcomes and Learnings

Approximately 1.46 million people, or a quarter of the Victorian population, reside outside metropolitan Melbourne. In 201213 the regions accounted for $64.7 billion or 19 per cent of the Victorian economy. Successive governments have concentrated efforts on fostering growth in regional areas and meeting the challenges of a growing metropolitan population. Multiple programs have focused on regional development and projects have been implemented to drive growth and sustainability in regional Victoria. Initiatives in the past have included the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) and the Provincial Victoria Growth Fund (PVGF).

The RGF was a $1 billion eight year initiative to be delivered by Regional Development Victoria (RDV) started in 2011. The stated long-term goals of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) included ‘developing a prosperous and thriving regional Victoria with more important opportunities for regional Victorians’ and ‘improving the quality of life for regional Victorians’. After four years of operations the RGF will close in June 2015 and will be replaced by the $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF).

VAGO's 2012 report Management of Provincial Victoria Growth Fund found areas of improvement in the management of the PVGF and recommended the department apply lessons learnt from the audit to the RGF. The audit will assess the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the RGF and achievement of the intended outcomes. The audit will also examine implementation of previous VAGO recommendations and whether the lessons learnt from the RGF are being applied to planning and implementation of the RJIF.

The report is expected to be tabled in September 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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Access to Public Sector Information

Public sector information is recognised as one of government’s most valuable assets due to its ability to drive innovation, contribute to community outcomes and facilitate economic development.

In response to the 2009 Parliamentary inquiry into Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information and Data, the government established Victoria’s Information Management Framework.

In doing so, it noted that the ‘Victorian Government has recognised the need to improve and better coordinate its information management practices' and 'government can only operate efficiently and effectively when staff and citizens have access to the right information’.

The audit will assess whether selected agencies are effectively facilitating access to public sector information.

The report is expected to be tabled in October 2015.

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Bullying and Harassment in the Health Sector

Workplace bullying and harassment are perpetrated by workers and managers and affect mental and physical health and wellbeing. They can result in absenteeism, reduced productivity and healthcare workers leaving the profession. They also have the potential to create risks for patient safety. Studies show that bullying in the health sector is generally associated with the social organisation of work, including issues of hierarchy, resourcing and leadership, and is often not reported out of fear of retribution.

This audit will determine whether public health services are effectively managing the risk of bullying and harassment in the workplace.

The report is expected to be tabled in December 2015.

Request for public submissions

To better understand the extent and nature of bullying and harassment in the health sector and its impact on the individuals involved, VAGO is conducting a public submission process. This process will help us identify consistent issues and will enable respondents to provide input on where improvement could be made.

Submissions are invited from healthcare workers who have experienced bullying and harassment in the workplace.

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