NSW Audit Office - Performance Reports – 2001 – Inbrief - Follow

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NSW Audit Office - Performance Reports – 2001 – Inbrief - Follow Powered By Docstoc
                                                                       Background                                                      Audit Opinion
                                                                       The primary objective of performance auditing is to             The acceptance of audit recommendations by the
                                                                       examine the extent to which activities undertaken by            three agencies was high and represented 96% of all
                                                                       agencies are carried out efficiently, effectively and           recommendations made.
                                                                                                                                       In addition, half of the recommendations in the 1998
                                                                       A feature of performance audit is that the reports are tabled   audits have been adequately addressed and for over 70%
                                                                       in Parliament and generally contain recommendations on          of recommendations there have been some measurable
                                                                       how the activities can be improved.                             change in practices or performance. But overall, most of

                                                                                                                                       these improvements have been incremental.
                                                                       Where possible, the Audit Office tries to reach agreement
                                      Follow-up of                     with agencies on recommendations for change. Where              And, for nearly one third of the recommendations, changes

                                                                       agencies accept the recommendations, there is an                have not yet taken effect and there is a risk that the issue
                                      Performance Audits               expectation that those recommendations will be                  or problem contained in the original report may persist.
                                                                       implemented expeditiously.
                                      n   Police response to calls                                                                     There is also a danger that current reporting arrangements
                                                                                                                                       may not provide Parliament sufficient assurance as to the
                                          for assistance                                                                               extent accepted recommendations have been implemented
                                                                       The Audit
                                      n   The levying and collection   To examine whether accepted recommendations have                and improvements have been achieved.
                                          of land tax                  been implemented, the Audit Office periodically undertakes
                                                                                                                                       To provide greater transparency and accountability,
                                          Coordination of bushfire     follow-up performance audits. These audits provide

                                                                       Parliament with an assessment of changes which have             agencies, following a performance audit, should:
                                          fighting activities          occurred in agencies in response to an earlier                  n   establish arrangements, such as an audit committee,
                                                                       performance audit.                                                  to follow up on the progress of implementation of the
                                      Tabled June 2001                                                                                     recommendations

                                                                       This audit examines three reports tabled in 1998:               n   report on the progress of the implementation of
                                                                       n   Police Response to Calls for Assistance                         recommendations in its annual report to Parliament.
                                                                       n   The Levying and Collection of Land Tax
                                                                       n   Coordination of Bushfire Fighting Activities.
Improving Accountability                                                                                                   and coordination within NSW was conducted in an
The Audit Office will assist agencies following a             However, there are still some recommendations that have      effective, efficient and economical manner.
performance audit by:                                         not been implemented such as:
n   providing guidance on how to monitor and report on        n   reporting on performance standards for calls for         The follow-up audit found that eight of the fourteen
    changes arising from performance audits                       assistance in the Guarantee of Service                   recommendations from the 1998 audit had been
n   identifying key indicators to monitor changes in agency   n   identifying opportunities to extend the use of single    implemented by the Rural Fire Service.
    performance following a performance audit                     officer policing.
n   monitoring agency performance up to five years                                                                         The Rural Fire Service is implementing arrangements to
    following a performance audit                             The NSW Police Service is currently addressing these         address many of the outstanding issues such as:
n   reporting to Parliament and the public on changes in      issues.                                                      n  guidance on when aircraft should be used
    practices and performance in response to a                                                                             n  post fire evaluation techniques
    performance audit.                                        The levying and collection of land tax                       n  training and guidance on claims for expenses
                                                              (Office of State Revenue)                                    n  better matching of resources to risk
The Audit Office will also include in its annual program of   The 1998 audit examined the efficiency and effectiveness     n  evaluating the effectiveness of hazard reduction
performance audits, a number of these detailed follow-up      of the levying and collection of land tax by the Office of      techniques
studies.                                                      State Revenue (OSR).                                         n  firefighter training.

Better Practice Guide                                         The follow-up audit found that OSR had implemented many
The Audit Office has developed a guide to assist agencies     of the recommendations from the 1998 audit and there         Further Information
to monitor and report on recommendations following a          have also been subsequent improvements in the
performance audit. This guide is included as an appendix      administration of land tax.                                  Ms Jane Tebbatt
to the report.                                                                                                             Principal Performance Auditor
                                                              The main issue in the 1998 audit was that the quality of     Phone: 02 9285 0074
                                                              land information provided by external agencies restricted
Assessment Of Agency Progress                                 OSR from achieving further efficiency gains in collection.   Email: jane.tebbatt@audit.nsw.gov.au
                                                              The land database was found to be incomplete and contain     The full report can be obtained from our Internet site:
Police response to calls for assistance                       duplicate and corrupt data.
(NSW Police Service)                                                                                                       http://www.audit.nsw.gov.au.
The 1998 audit examined how well the NSW Police Service       Since 1998, OSR has made considerable progress in
managed its response to calls for assistance from the         automating processes however, problems remain with
public.                                                       data integrity as improvements to the database are not yet
In response to the 1998 audit, the NSW Police Service has
focussed on improving measures of response times and          OSR has taken adequate action to address these issues.
addressing issues of data access and quality.                 Further improvement should occur when changes to the
                                                              database are completed in July 2001.
There have been substantial improvements in the accuracy
of response time measurement and improvements in              Coordination of bushfire fighting activities
transparency and accountability for performance.              (NSW Rural Fire Service)
                                                              The 1998 audit examined whether bushfire management

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