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Reports

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Actions for Development applications: assessment and determination stages

Development applications: assessment and determination stages

Local Government
Planning
Internal controls and governance
Management and administration
Service delivery

A development application (DA) is a formal application for development that requires consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. It is usually lodged with the local council for processing and determination, and consists of standard application forms, supporting technical reports and plans.  The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE)’s ‘Development Assessment Best Practice Guide' describes the development assessment pr

Published

Actions for Student attendance

Student attendance

Education
Management and administration
Service delivery

Poor attendance at school is related to poor student outcomes, particularly once patterns of non-attendance have been established. This report examined how the NSW Department of Education (the department) is managing student attendance in NSW government schools. What we found Around a third of students in Years 1–10 attended school less than 90% of the time in semester one, 2021. Missing more than 10% of school may put a stud

Published

Actions for Effectiveness of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

Effectiveness of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

Planning
Environment
Infrastructure
Internal controls and governance
Management and administration
Regulation

This audit examined whether the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) have effectively designed and implemented the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (‘the Scheme’) to compensate for the loss of biodiversity due to development. Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the Scheme enables landholders to establish in-perpetuity Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements on sites to gene

In progress

Actions for Use of consultants

Use of consultants

Treasury
Procurement

Audit background NSW Government agencies engage consultants to provide advice to inform their decision-making. Using consultants can provide access to skills that are not necessary, sensible or economic for an agency to build or maintain itself. However, there are risks associated with the use of consultants. Some of these risks were raised in our State Finances 2021 report. The NSW Government made a commitment in 2019 to reduce spending on consultants

Published

Actions for NSW planning portal

NSW planning portal

Planning
Industry
Environment
Local Government
Information technology
Project management
Risk

The ePlanning program is an initiative of the Department of Planning and Environment (the department) to deliver a digital planning service for New South Wales through the NSW planning portal (the portal). Using the portal, relevant planning activities can be carried out online, including all stages of development applications. The portal has been developed under three separate business cases in 2013, 2014 and 2020. In late 2

Published

Actions for Facilitating and administering Aboriginal land claim processes

Facilitating and administering Aboriginal land claim processes

Planning
Environment
Industry
Local Government
Premier and Cabinet
Whole of Government
Cross-agency collaboration
Compliance
Management and administration

The Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW) (the Act) provides land rights over certain Crown land for Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW. If a claim is made over Crown land (land owned and managed by government) and meets other criteria under the Act, ownership of that land is to be transferred to the Aboriginal Land Council. This process is intended to provide compensation for the dispossession of land from Aboriginal people in N

Published

Actions for Building regulation: combustible external cladding

Building regulation: combustible external cladding

Finance
Local Government
Planning
Compliance
Infrastructure
Regulation
Risk

The report focuses on how effectively the Department of Customer Service (DCS) and Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) led reforms addressing the unsafe use of combustible external cladding on existing residential and public buildings. Nine local councils were included in the audit because they have responsibilities and powers needed to implement the NSW Government’s reforms. What we found After the June 2017 Grenfel

Published

Actions for Machinery of government changes

Machinery of government changes

Premier and Cabinet
Treasury
Whole of Government
Management and administration
Project management

The term ‘machinery of government’ refers to the way government functions and responsibilities are organised. The decision to make machinery of government changes is made by the Premier. Changes may be made for a range of reasons, including to support the policy and/or political objectives of the government of the day. Larger machinery of government changes typically occur after an election or a change of Premier. This report

Published

Actions for COVID Intensive Learning Support Program

COVID Intensive Learning Support Program

Education
Management and administration
Project management
Service delivery
Workforce and capability

This audit examined a state-wide program to provide small-group tuition to students disadvantaged by the move to learning from home during 2020. The audit assessed the design and implementation of the program. What we found The program design was based on research and data showing learning loss during 2020.  The department rapidly planned and developed the policy design and guidelines for schools.  Governance arrangements m

Published

Actions for Rail freight and Greater Sydney

Rail freight and Greater Sydney

Transport
Information technology
Infrastructure
Management and administration
Project management
Service delivery

The movement of freight contributes $66 billion annually to the NSW economy. Two thirds of all freight in NSW moves through Greater Sydney, and the volume of freight moving through Greater Sydney is expected to increase by 48 per cent by 2036. This audit assessed the effectiveness of transport agencies in improving the use of rail freight capacity in Greater Sydney, and to meet current and future freight demand. What we found