Audits in progress

Effectively Planning for Population Growth
Internal Audit Programs
Managing the Level Crossing Program
Assessing benefits from the Regional Rail Link project
V/Line Passenger Services

 

V/Line Passenger Services

V/Line, a public sector corporation, is Australia’s largest regional public transport operator—in 2015–16, it carried 17.7 million train and coach passengers. However, V/Line has struggled to deliver on its operational performance thresholds and targets in a challenging environment, consistently failing to meet its targets for punctuality. Additionally, overall customer satisfaction for regional trains over the past three years has fallen.

V/Line faces the challenge of improving its performance in the face of expected further passenger increases and in a strict fiscal environment.

This audit will examine how V/Line is managing these current and future challenges. It will also examine the support provided by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2017.

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Internal Audit Programs

The audit aims to establish how well departments are using their internal audit resources.

Each public sector entity is required to establish, maintain and resource an internal audit function that is independent of management. This internal audit function is overseen by the audit committee and encompasses both internal resources and the activities of the agency’s externally appointed internal auditors.

Over several years, numerous performance audits have questioned the effectiveness of agencies’ use of internal audit resources. Recurring issues relate to the adequacy of internal audit resources—their capacity and capability—and to the whether the way they are used within the risk and control environments of each entity maximises their value and impact.

This audit will examine the resourcing and deployment of internal audit effort within each department, and its operational effectiveness as one ‘line of defence’ within departmental assurance frameworks.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2017.

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Effectively Planning for Population 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 funded kindergarten services.

The report is expected to be tabled in August 2017.

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Managing the Level Crossing Program

The Level Crossing Removal Program aims to remove 51 crossings by 2022—including 20 by 2018—at an estimated cost of $5–6 billion. At June 2015, three packages of works involving 17 level crossings were underway. The Level Crossing Removal Authority was established to oversee the program. The program aims to improve productivity by creating more reliable and efficient transport networks and better connected and safer local communities.

The audit will assess the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the existing program and planning for the future direction of level crossing removals in the state. The audit will also assess whether the program has realised the expected benefits, such as network efficiencies.

The report is expected to be tabled in November 2017.

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Assessing benefits from the Regional Rail Link project

The $3.65 billion RRL opened on 21 June 2015. The project involved construction of additional tracks between Southern Cross Station and West Werribee, two new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit, upgrades to Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine stations, and signalling upgrades along the whole corridor.

The main aim of the project was to separate regional V/Line services to Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong from Melbourne’s electrified suburban network, thereby increasing rail capacity and reliability. The project was delivered ahead of time and under budget, although there were several scope and budget revisions after the initial announcement of the project in 2009.

The project was expected to provide a range of community, economic, environmental and transport benefits. Early positive outcomes from the project include 342 extra regional train services each week between Melbourne and Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. As a result, the number of passengers on the regional rail network has grown by 20 per cent—it now carries more passengers than at any point in its history.

Some issues emerged shortly after the RRL project opened, with passengers raising concerns about reliability, overcrowding and irregular spacing of services—particularly in Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. In January 2016, regional services were also disrupted when V/Line’s VLocity trains experienced higher-than-normal wheel wear, largely due to tight curves in the track design and lubrication practices on some sections of the RRL.

The report is expected to be tabled in November 2017.

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Last updated on 22/06/2017