Following a request from the NSW Legislative Council in September 1996, a performance audit into various matters affecting the operation of the New South Wales Department of Agriculture was undertaken by The Audit Office.
Among the recommendations from this report, the Audit Office found that:
An economic appraisal should be undertaken before all major developments, including rationalisation plans, are implemented. It should include details of anticipated benefits from the changes planned, so that their achievement can be evaluated after implementation.
Government policies should be made explicit or else established by directives in writing. Planning Infrastructure and human resources should be planned to maximise efficiency and effectiveness. If Government chooses alternatives that have higher costs or lower benefits for the Department, then these should be explicitly funded.
The Department should strengthen its system of internal control by strengthening the role of the Board of Management as a means of management control, directing an overhaul of the Charter of the Internal Audit Committee and using it to drive the Department’s internal audit function and ensuring implementation of an effective financial management information system.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #36 - released 27 March 1997