Reports by the Auditor-General
In 2017–18, the Australian National Audit Office tabled 12 reports in the parliament, covering nine performance audits, two financial statements audits and one information report involving the department:
- ANAO Report No. 6 – The Management of Risk by Public Sector Entities
- ANAO Report No. 7 – Efficiency of the Australia Council’s Administration of Grants
- ANAO Report No. 11 – Australia Post’s Efficiency of Delivering Reserved Letter Services
- ANAO Report No. 16 – Administration of the National Broadband Network Satellite Support Scheme
- ANAO Report No. 19 – Australian Government Procurement Contract Reporting
- ANAO Report No. 23 – Delivery of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal
- ANAO Report No. 24 – Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30 June 2017
- ANAO Report No. 33 – Implementation of the Annual Performance Statements Requirements 2016–17
- ANAO Report No. 35 – Management of Special Appropriations
- ANAO Report No. 36 – Corporate Planning in the Australian Public Sector 2017–18
- ANAO Report No. 41 – Efficiency through Contestability Programme
- ANAO Report No. 47 – Interim Report on Key Financial Controls of Major Entities
Details of these reports, including the department’s response to audit reports, are available on the Australian National Audit Office website.
Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration
The Senate Standing Committees on Finance and Public Administration covers the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Finance portfolios. The work is divided between two committees— the Legislation Committee and the References Committee.
Finance appeared before the Legislation Committee at its Senate Estimates hearings on 24 October 2017, 27 February 2018 and 23–24 May 2018.
In January 2018, Finance presented a submission to the inquiry into the arrangements for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. It attended the hearing on 7 September 2017. Finance subsequently tabled the government response on 26 June 2018.
Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
The Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951 constitutes the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). The Committee initiates inquiries into public administration matters and can conduct inquiries into matters referred to it by either house of parliament.
During 2017–18, Finance had a series of engagements with the committee as detailed below. Finance has also provided information to the committee as part of its ongoing relationship, including providing responses to questions taken on notice during public hearings and provided in writing.
- On 16 August 2017, the JCPAA released Report 463: Commonwealth Financial Statements: Inquiry based on Auditor-General’s report 33 (2016–17). Finance provided an initial response to the JCPAA report’s recommendations on 9 March 2018 and a supplementary response on 14 May 2018.
- 31 January 2018—Finance presented a submission to the Commonwealth Procurement Inquiry, based on the Auditor-General’s Report No. 9 (2017–18). The department attended the hearing on 16 February 2018.
- 8 and 16 February 2018—Finance presented submissions to the inquiry into Australian Government contract reporting, based on the Auditor-General’s Report No. 19 (2017–18). The department attended hearings on 16 February 2018 and 23 March 2018.
- 14 March 2018—Finance responded to recommendations included in the JCPAA‘s Report 465: Commonwealth Procurement.
- 4 June 2018—Finance responded to recommendations included in the JCPAA‘s Report 469: Commonwealth Performance Framework: Inquiry based on Auditor-General’s reports 31 (2015–16), 6 and 58 (2016–17). Finance also presented a submission to the inquiry on 21 August 2017 and attended the hearing on 6 September 2017.
In addition to the above matters, the Committee has had an ongoing interest in the independent review of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Rule required under section 112 of the Act.
Finance attended hearings or provided submissions to the following other parliamentary committees during 2017–18:
- Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories—inquiry into Australia’s Antarctic Territory (attended 15 February 2018)
- Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN)—on 6 April 2018, Finance presented its submissions, prepared jointly with the Department of Communications and the Arts, to the inquiry into the business case for the NBN and the inquiry into the rollout of the NBN in rural and regional areas (attended 14 June 2018)
- Senate Economics Legislation Committee—inquiry into Medicare Levy Amendment (National Disability Insurance Scheme Funding) Bill 2017 and 10 related bills [provisions] (attended 29 September 2017)
- Senate Economics References Committee—inquiry into the future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry (attended 8 September 2017 and 7 June 2018)
- Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee—inquiry into the impact of Defence training activities and facilities on rural and regional communities (attended 21 March 2018)
- Joint Select Committee on Government Procurement—in November 2017, Finance tabled the Australian Government response to the report Buying into Our Future: Review of amendments to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (attended 8 May 2017)
- Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security—in August 2017, Finance tabled the Australian Government response to the Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 14 (2014–2015)
- Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee—submission to the inquiry into the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Executive Remuneration) Bill 2017 (provided 1 February 2018).
Finance’s submissions, responses to questions taken on notice (written and taken during hearings) and the transcripts of committee hearings are available on the Parliament of Australia website.
In addition to attending scheduled hearings, Finance also participated in a number of private briefings with parliamentary committees during the reporting period.
Reports by Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Commonwealth Ombudsman did not release any reports during 2017–18 that involved the department or that had, or might have, a significant impact on the department’s operations.