Audits in progress

Board Performance
Effectively Planning for Population Growth
Effectiveness of the Victorian Public Sector Commission
Follow-up audits
Health ICT Strategic Planning
Internal Audit Programs
Managing School Infrastructure
Managing Victoria's Public Housing
Maintaining State-Controlled Roadways
Public Participation and Community Engagement-Local Government Sector
Public Participation in Government Decision-Making
Technical and Further Education Institutes: 2016 Audit Snapshot
Universities: 2016 Audit Snapshot
V/Line Passenger Services

 

Public Participation and Community EngagementLocal Government Sector

This audit aims to determine the effectiveness of community engagement and participation at the local government level.

The Local Government Act 1989 embeds the need for community engagement within a council’s objectives. However, a number of past performance audits have identified inadequate community engagement across a range of council functions, including service delivery, planning and the development of council plans and strategies. The audit will consider whether:

  • councils have a framework for effective public participation
  • public participation is effective
  • Local Government Victoria effectively supports councils in public participation.

The report is expected to be tabled in May 2017.

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Public Participation in Government Decision-making

Transparent and well-managed public participation is a critical input for informing government policies, and how these policies are translated into effective strategies, programs and projects.  In Australia and overseas, there has been increasing recognition of the value of public participation as an essential part of project planning and decision-making.

In Victoria, the expectation that the community will be able to participate in Government’s decision-making processes is embedded within the Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct, which states that ‘Public officials should demonstrate respect for members of the Victorian community by using their views to improve outcomes on an ongoing basis.’

Public participation in government decision making has had little specific scrutiny but is of great importance, particularly as poor and costly decisions may result from inadequate consultation.

This audit will examine the effectiveness of public participation activities in agency decision-making.

The report is expected to be tabled in May 2017.

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Managing School Infrastructure

School infrastructure, which consists mainly of school buildings, is essential for achieving educational outcomes. In June 2015, Victoria’s school buildings, excluding land, were valued at $8.5 billion. In 2015–16, the government began a significant education investment program aimed at providing all Victorians with access to high-quality education and training through all their lives. However, in 2016, for the first year in 15 years, no new schools will be opened. In January 2016, the government acknowledged that it faced significant challenges building enough schools to accommodate the 190 000 extra students predicted to enter the education system between 2016 and 2026.

This audit will consider how effectively the Department of Education & Training is planning for and managing programs to deliver maintenance work, build new schools and upgrade schools in established areas.

The audit is expected to be tabled in May 2017.

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Board Performance

In Victoria, there has been a long history of using public entities (rather than departments) to deliver a wide array of public sector services. Most public entities are governed by a board of directors.

Public sector entity boards play a crucial role in ensuring that public entities operate effectively and meet statutory obligations.

They perform many functions for the entity they govern including developing an overall strategy as well as monitoring risk, finance and performance. They need to have the capability and skills to exercise effective leadership and establish good governance structures within the organisation.

The purpose of this audit will be to:

  • provide assurance about the extent that boards are effectively performing their governance functions
  • highlight best practice and/or deficiencies
  • stimulate improvement in board governance across public sector entities.

The report is expected to be tabled in May 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 May 2017.

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Effectiveness of the Victorian Public Sector Commission

The Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) was established in 2014 to strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness and capability of the public sector, and maintain and advocate for its professionalism and integrity. A VPSC that effectively discharges these responsibilities and fulfils its statutory objectives is important for shaping a skilled, agile and ethical public sector that can meet the changing needs of the Victorian community.

Recent instances of fraud and corruption within the public sector coupled with recurrent audit findings around inadequate public sector capacity have highlighted the need to assess structures and processes intended to support integrity and capability across the public sector.

The audit will determine whether VPSC is effectively performing its functions, and whether the Department of Premier and Cabinet is effectively supporting VPSC in its work.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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Maintaining State-Controlled Roadways

This audit will assess whether Victoria's road network is being efficiently and effectively maintained.

The need to improve road maintenance practices and increase the state's road maintenance investment was identified by VAGO in its 2008 audit of the regional arterial road network. Nevertheless, maintenance budgets have been reduced and still remain below the level of funding required to maintain roads to the required service standards. Although additional budget allocations were made in 2013, 2014 and 2015, concerns remain over the standard of maintenance and safety implications for road users.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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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 May 2017.

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Health ICT Strategic Planning

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a critical enabler and transformative agent in the delivery of government services. It entails considerable investment. In 2015, the Digital Dashboard Status Review of ICT Projects and Initiatives 1 audit found that the Victorian public health sector was one of the top spenders on ICT, with an average capital and operating expenditure of $394 million per annum for the period: 2011–12 to 2013–14.

ICT strategic planning plays a critical role in managing ICT investments and aligning ICT activities with strategic goals and objectives.

In 2013, the Ministerial Review of Health Sector Information and Communication report highlighted the absence of a statewide health ICT strategic plan. This was also identified in VAGO’s 2013 Clinical ICT systems in the Victorian public health sector performance audit. In October 2014, DHHS released the State-wide Health ICT strategic framework with the purpose of guiding health services in developing local strategic plans for ICT, while supporting system-wide alignment of key outcomes.

This audit will examine the effectiveness of ICT strategic planning in the Victorian public health sector.

The audit is expected to be tabled in May 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 June 2017.

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Managing Victoria's Public Housing

For vulnerable people, access to stable and affordable housing is critical for minimising the impact of mental illness, drug use, criminal behaviour and unemployment.

The Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS) $17.8 billion housing portfolio services many of these members of our community. Previous audits undertaken in 2004, 2010 and 2012 have identified shortcomings in the management of public housing and related risks, including excessive vacancies, rental arrears, damage and vandalism or destruction of property.

The Victorian Government has announced that a policy on housing affordability will be announced later this year.

This audit will examine whether the development of the housing affordability policy is supported by sound advice and whether the Department of Health & Human Services is managing public housing effectively.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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Technical and Further Education Institutes: 2016 Audit Snapshot

The report provides the results of the audits of 25 entities in the technical and further education institutes sector. The report will address their financial reporting and financial sustainability risks, and internal controls relating to asset maintenance.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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Universities: 2016 Audit Snapshot

The report provides the results of the audits of 64 entities in the university sector. The report will address their financial reporting and financial sustainability risk, and internal controls relating to fraud.

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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Follow-up audits

As part of our audit program, we are also committed to conducting follow-up audits. These follow-up audits aim to monitor agency progress in implementing actions from previous performance audits and also verify that actions taken by agencies have been effective in addressing the recommendations.

The three follow-up audits are:

  • Additional School Costs for Families
  • Effectiveness of Support for Local Government
  • Operational Effectiveness of the myki Ticketing System

The report is expected to be tabled in June 2017.

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