Audits in progress
The following audits are in progress:
Managing Victoria's Timber Resources
Victoria has 6.8 million hectares of native forest on
public land. Around 3.6 million hectares forms a system of
conservation parks and reserves, and 3.2 million hectares is state
forest managed for various purposes from environmental conservation
to timber production.
The timber industry is a valuable source of employment
in many regional areas, employing over 25 000 people. Timber
harvesting must be managed sustainably to maintain forest health,
productive uses of the forest and socio-economic benefits for
communities, over the longer-term.
This audit will examine whether native forest timber
resources on public land are being managed productively and
The report is expected to be tabled by the end of November
Tourism to Victoria makes a significant economic
contribution to the state, with international and interstate
visitation experiencing strong growth over the past 10 years.
Despite this positive performance, Victoria’s tourism
industry is subject to increasing competition from alternative
interstate and overseas destinations, changes in people's spending
patterns and preferences. Further, the industry‘s vulnerability to
currency changes and major incidents mean the industry has to be
flexible and able to adapt at relatively short notice.
Effective government support of Victoria’s tourism
industry requires the activities of multiple departments, agencies
and councils to be well coordinated and managed.
This audit will examine the effectiveness of strategies,
programs and initiatives designed to develop and support Victoria's
The audit is expected to be tabled by the end of December
Asset Management and Maintenance by
Local councils in Victoria managed around $67 billion in
physical assets in 2011–12 including land, roads, bridges, drains,
buildings, parks and recreational facilities. These assets support
the provision of a wide range of services to local communities, so
councils must plan, develop and maintain them appropriately.
The way councils do this in practice can significantly affect
the present and future financial position of councils, and the
quality of life of their communities. This audit will assess how
well councils are managing and maintaining their key infrastructure
assets and whether asset management planning takes into account
changing community needs and circumstances.
It will also examine the role of the Department of Transport,
Planning and Local Infrastructure in providing advice and support
to councils on asset management.
The report is expected to be tabled in February 2014.
Managing Emergency Service Volunteers
Volunteers are critical to Victoria’s ability to respond to
natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. They enable these
services to be delivered more cost effectively than if delivered by
a paid workforce, and also provide a surge capacity for large
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State
Emergency Service (SES) are the key volunteer agencies in Victoria
providing emergency response services. The CFA has around 55 000
volunteers and SES around 5 500 volunteers.
To continue to be able to provide these
services, these agencies need to have appropriate strategies to
recruit, retain, support and train volunteers. This is all the more
important given the predicted increase in the frequency and
severity of natural disasters as a result of climate change.
The audit will assess whether CFA and SES are
effectively and efficiently managing emergency services
The report is expected to be tabled by the end of February
Back to top
Oversight and Accountability of
Committees of Management
The Department of
Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is responsible for most
of Victoria’s public land, including Crown land reserves. These
reserves can include coastal areas, bushland, community halls,
historic buildings, sporting grounds, and parks and gardens. DEPI
delegates responsibility for managing around 1 500 of these
reserves to around 1 175 committees of management comprised of
volunteer community members.
Through managing their
reserves, committees of management provide significant social value
to local communities, and economic benefit to those communities and
to the State. It is important that committees are supported by DEPI
to manage these public assets in a way that is effective,
efficient, transparent and accountable.
This audit will assess
whether the governance and support that DEPI provides to committees
of management enables them to effectively and efficiently manage
The report is expected to be tabled by the end of February
Apprenticeship and Traineeship
Apprenticeships and traineeships are a method
of gaining qualifications through a combination of on-the-job
skills development and formal training. They are available in a
range of fields from traditional trades such as automotive and
plumbing, as well as less traditional fields such as business and
fitness, and lead to qualifications at a range of different levels
from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma. The state government plays
a large role in apprenticeship and traineeship training through the
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) who
fund and develop apprenticeship and traineeship policy as well and
the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) who
regulate the system.
In 2012, 134 000 people were enrolled in an
apprenticeship or traineeship in Victoria, however not all will go
on to complete their qualifications. The most recently available
comprehensive data indicates that 50 per cent of apprentices and
trainees will not complete their training.
The audit will look at how the activities of
DEECD and VRQA maximise apprenticeship and traineeship
This report is expected to be tabled in
Back to top
Residential Care Services for
Residential care is one of three Out of Home Care (OOHC)
placement options for children and young people who can no longer
live with their parents because they are at risk of significant
harm. In 2011–12, there were 478 children and young people in
residential care services in Victoria. The Department of Human
Services (DHS) allocates over $100 million per year to 22 Community
Service Organisations (CSO) to deliver residential care services
throughout the state.
Studies show that children and young people in OOHC, and
residential care in particular, experience poorer health,
educational and other life outcomes than their peers. These
outcomes are due at least in part to their experiences of abuse and
neglect before going into state care. However, they have also been
linked to inadequate planning for transitioning to adulthood and a
lack of support once young people have left care.
This audit will examine the effectiveness of the Department of
Human Service’s residential care services program. In particular,
it will focus on whether:
- children and young people are in
appropriate residential care services that meet their
- the residential care service system is
subject to effective oversight and review.
This audit is scheduled to table in March 2014.
Access to Education for Rural
In Victoria, socio-economic
disadvantage is more pronounced in rural and regional areas.
Students from these areas face additional challenges accessing
education compared with metropolitan students. Access to quality
teachers, resources, courses and curriculums have a significant
impact on the educational outcomes of rural and regional Victoria
students. Levels of attainment and connectedness are lower for
rural and regional students compared with metropolitan students and
only 66 per cent of rural and regional school leavers went on to
further education and training in 2012, almost 15 per cent fewer
than metropolitan school leavers.
The Department of Education and Early
Childhood Development (DEECD) is responsible for compulsory years
schooling and arrangements for the provision of vocational
education and training in rural and regional Victoria. Public
Transport Victoria fund and review provision of school bus services
in rural areas. The audit will assess the effectiveness of
government activities to ensure that Victorians in rural and
regional areas have access to a high quality education.
This report is expected to be tabled in April
Back to top
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
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.
Back to top