Premier and Cabinet

Government advertising

Annual review.

Local Government Reforms

See full description under Local Government.   

NSW major event assessments

Destination NSW is the lead NSW Government agency for the tourism and major events sectors. Its role is to market Sydney and NSW as one of the world’s premier tourism and major events destinations; to secure major sporting and cultural events; to work in partnership with Business Events Sydney to win major international conventions and incentive travel reward programs; to develop and deliver initiatives that will drive visitor growth throughout the State; and to achieve the NSW Government’s goal of doubling expenditure within the State’s visitor economy by 2020.

This audit may examine how well Destination NSW assesses the costs and economic impacts of attracting major events to NSW to ensure it achieves value for money for taxpayers.  

Progress and measurement of the Premier's Priorities

The NSW Government has established 12 Premier's Priorities to tackle important issues for the people of NSW using a whole-of-government delivery-focused approach led by the Premier's Implementation Unit.  

This audit will assess whether the Premier's Implementation Unit is effective in advancing the Premier's Priorities and reporting progress to the public.  

Treasury

Governance of state financial assets and liabilities

Description pending.

FMT implementation

Description pending.  

Finance, Services and Innovation

ICT Investment Assurance Framework

In 2016, the NSW Government strengthened the information and communications technology (ICT) investment assurance framework (IAF). The IAF applies an independent risk-based assurance process for the State’s capital and recurrent funded ICT projects to identify the level of confidence that can be provided to the nominated sub-committees of Cabinet that the State’s ICT projects are being effectively developed and delivered in accordance with the Government’s objectives.

This audit may examine a selection of large ICT projects to determine whether the IAF is effective in providing independent assurance that projects address priority needs, the best options to address these needs are selected, costs are controlled well and variations properly justified and approved.

Ensuring contract management capability in government

Effective contract management requires an appropriate contract management framework that addresses governance arrangements, skills, roles and responsibilities, and policies and procedures. It should promote accountability for decision making and expenditure of public funds. A robust contract management framework helps ensure all parties meet their obligations, contractual relationships are well managed, agencies achieve value for money and deliverables meet the required standards and agreed timeframes. An effective framework should also provide guidance for managing contract variations well.

This audit may consider whether agencies have the contract management capabilities needed to effectively manage different types of contracts with different risks, scale and complexity.

Property asset utilisation

In response to recommendations of the Property Asset Utilisation Taskforce the NSW Government set out in 2012 operational and guiding property principles that Property NSW and NSW Government agencies must follow. Property NSW was assigned the mandate to improve the management of the NSW Government's owned and leased real property portfolio.

The aim of the audit is to assess whether Property NSW is effective in its management of NSW Government owned and leased property.

This audit may examine the effectiveness and efficiency of Property NSW's initiatives to improve the management of NSW Government's owned and leased property portfolio.

Cyber security

Details pending. 

Education

Implementation of local school management and funding arrangements

Local Schools, Local Decisions is an education reform that gives NSW public schools more authority to make local decisions about how best to meet the needs of their students.

This means giving schools greater freedom to make decisions about how to use the money we spend on public education. Schools have more flexibility to respond to local student needs through the allocation of staff and resources. They will manage a single budget and be funded directly through a new resource allocation model (RAM).

This audit is likely to examine the RAM, its implementation and impact.

Connected Communities - effectiveness of cross-agency coordination

The Connected Communities strategy is a whole of government reform to drive improved education outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people in some of the state's most complex and disadvantaged communities.

The 15 schools, in rural and remote NSW, have been selected to work in partnership with their communities to create the generational change required for students to achieve better outcomes at school and access pathways from school into further learning and employment. The schools act as community hubs to co-ordinate a range of services from government and non-government agencies and tailor education to the needs of their students.

The audit may examine the effectiveness of this coordination, and the impact of the program on students.

Mental Health support services in schools

Schools play a critical role in helping children and young people make sense of the world around them. Schools are experiencing increases in the number of students with social, emotional and mental health issues. Students need support that is relevant to their specific needs.

The $167 million Supported Students, Successful Students initiative commenced in 2015. Some of the additional resources under the initiative included:

  • 236 new school counselling/psychology positions
  • $51 million for wellbeing services equivalent to an additional 200 Student Support Officers
  • 500 graduate scholarships to boost the recruitment of school counsellors, psychologists and wellbeing officers. 

Teacher quality

The Department has been pursuing initiatives to shorten and streamline processes for managing underperforming teachers. By 2015 teachers were to be subjected to an annual performance and development process based on the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework.

This audit is likely to examine the design, implementation and effect of the performance and development process.

Supply of specialist teachers

Maintaining an adequate supply of secondary subject-specialist teachers is crucial to meet the goals of the ‘National STEM School Education Strategy 2016–2026’. The NSW Department of Education’s workforce projections identify shortages in qualified subject-specialist teachers. To address these shortages, the Department offers scholarship programs to encourage graduate teachers to practice in a discipline or location of demand. This audit may examine the robustness of the Department’s workforce planning projections and effectiveness of initiatives to increase the supply of secondary teachers in areas of shortage.

Family and Community Services

Grants to non-government organisations

Many FACS services are provided by non-government organisations, including services for people with disability, vulnerable children and young people, homeless people, and people using social housing. FACS is increasingly transferring responsibility for delivering services to non-government organisations, but it retains responsibility for ensuring these services are high quality and help people achieve good outcomes. This audit may assess the effectiveness of FACS' work to monitor the quality and outcomes of services provided by non-government organisations.

Accessing crisis accommodation

FACS provides a range of accommodation services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  These include emergency accommodation in low-cost motels, caravan parks or similar.  It also funds a range of specialist homelessness services such at refuges and other short-medium term crisis accommodation.  In 2013-14 the government began reforming specialist homelessness services through its Going Home, Staying Home program. This audit may examine the effectiveness of the Going Home Staying Home reforms including whether program objectives have been met.

Effectiveness of early intervention programs

Description pending.

Antisocial behaviour in social housing

Social housing is a safety net for the most vulnerable in the community – including the elderly, people with a disability or severe and chronic mental health illness, carers with long term caring responsibilities and those experiencing drug and alcohol misuse and domestic and family violence.

In 2015, the NSW Parliament made amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) to address antisocial behaviour through a ‘strikes’ approach. The objectives of this approach are described in the FACS strategy 'Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW':

  • to create a better social housing experience for tenants
  • to create safe, stable communities
  • to balance the responsibilities of tenants and the rights of their neighbours and the broader community, with the need to support tenants to maintain their tenancies.

The audit objective is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of antisocial behaviour management in social housing environments.

The program intends to reduce homelessness, provide more housing and support for those needing social housing and providing more support to help people divert from or successfully transition out of the social housing system. This audit may examine the governance of, and capability to deliver, the Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW program.

Health

Aboriginal health plan

The social determinants of health — which include education, employment, housing and, importantly, the consequences of colonisation, which have had a devastating impact on the social, economic and physical living conditions of Aboriginal people for over 200 years — directly contribute to the health disparities experienced by many Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal Health Plan is a result of the NSW Government's commitment to close the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW. The strategic directions of the Plan consider key issues, such as how to build respectful, trusting and effective partnerships between NSW Health and the Aboriginal communities it serves. The Plan contains a strong focus on strengthening performance monitoring, management and accountability. This audit may consider how effectively and efficiently NSW Health is measuring performance and ensuring accountability for Aboriginal Health.

Follow-up on activity based funding - management demand and hospital cost/quality variation

Governance arrangements in local health districts and hospitals

National Disability Insurance Scheme - impacts on health services

Description pending. 

Governance in local health districts and hospitals

Description pending

Industry

Biosecurity risk management

A strong biosecurity system is vital for protecting our primary industries, our economy and our community. In 2013, the NSW Government released the NSW Biosecurity Strategy 2013 – 2021, that is based on the principle that biosecurity is a shared responsibility between governments, industries and individuals. The Strategy outlines how government, industry and the community need to work together to identify, prevent, eradicate, minimise, respond to and manage biosecurity risks.

This audit may examine how effectively the Department of Primary Industries has implemented the NSW Biosecurity Strategy 2013 – 2021 to prepare for, and respond to, biosecurity risks. 

Planning and Environment

Recycling

The Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative aims to transform waste and recycling in NSW. It includes grant programs for new and upgraded infrastructure, community recycling centres for household problem wastes, business recycling, market development, programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter, as well as a range of programs to support local councils and regional groups. Waste Less, Recycle More is the largest waste and recycling funding program in Australia. It was initially a five year program (from July 2012 to June 2017) designed to stimulate investment in infrastructure to meet the ambitious recycling, illegal dumping and littering targets adopted by the NSW Government’s NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one.

Up to July 2016, the initiative had awarded more than $292 million to 822 projects. In October 2016, the NSW Government announced the extension of the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative with a further $337 million allocated over 4 years from 2017 to 2021.

This audit may review whether the allocation of funds under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative is being managed efficiently and effectively.

Effectiveness of Trusts in the Planning and Environment cluster

Trusts in the planning and environment cluster fund projects that rehabilitate or regenerate the environment, promote environmental education and sustainability, as well as managing important sites such as Centennial Park and the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.

This audit may examine the role and effectiveness of trusts in the planning and environment cluster, including how they monitor and measure the achievement of intended outcomes.

Planning for new/revitalised communities

The Department of Planning and Environment has projected population growth of 1.7 million in Greater Sydney by 2036. There is increasing community concern that the impact of population change and growth comes at a cost to the quality of life in cities and that new development is not delivering the infrastructure that these new populations will need. This audit will look at a small number of case studies in new and revitalised communities to assess:

  • whether the demand for new infrastructure was anticipated effectively
  • whether the infrastructure needed to meet this demand was delivered
  • the key enablers and barriers to effective infrastructure planning and delivery.

 

Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Project (Revitalising Newcastle)

The Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Program (Revitalising Newcastle) involves around $650 million government funding for a range of urban renewal and transport activities, including a new light rail and development of parts of the former rail corridor.

The audited agencies are Hunter Development Corporation (Department of Planning and Environment) and Transport for NSW. Areas of Newcastle City Council responsibility are outside the scope of this audit. 

This audit will assess the effectiveness of the agencies’ approach to governance and consultation in the Revitalising Newcastle program. It will also assess whether the light rail is an economical option for achieving the objectives of the program, and whether the best value has been obtained for the use of the former rail corridor land.

We plan to table the audit in NSW Parliament in December 2018.

Affordable housing

Description pending.

Strategic release framework for coal

Description pending.

Justice

Emergency management

Emergency management is a common public safety service delivered by governments in all jurisdictions. This topic has been proposed as a concurrent audit with other Australian Audit Offices. The scope of the audit will be developed in collaboration with our participating counterparts and may examine areas of common interest in each jurisdiction.

Victims Support Scheme

The Victims Support Scheme in NSW was introduced in 2013. The Scheme helps victims of crime in NSW access services such as counselling and financial entitlements to assist in their recovery.

This audit may examine how the Victims Support Scheme is managed and whether it is achieving good outcomes for the people it intends to assist.

Managing the prison bed capacity program

In 2016, the NSW Government announced a $3.8 billion investment over four years to create thousands of new beds for inmates in the State's prison system in response to increasing inmate numbers. This audit may examine the Department’s procurement and program management processes to ensure that this extensive capital investment program is well managed.

Criminal court efficiency

Description pending.

Management of the NSW firearms licensing and registration scheme

Our audit may assess how effectively the NSW legislative and regulatory framework for licensing and registering firearms is being enforced. Our audit may look at a subset, or all the objects of the Firearms Act 1996, which are to:

  • prohibit the possession and use of all automatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns except in special circumstances
  • establish an integrated licensing and registration scheme for all firearms
  • require each person who possesses or uses a firearm under the authority of a licence to prove a genuine reason for possessing or using the firearm
  • provide strict requirements that must be satisfied in relation to licensing of firearms and the acquisition and supply of firearms
  • ensure that firearms are stored and conveyed in a safe and secure manner
  • provide for compensation in respect of, and an amnesty period to enable the surrender of, certain prohibited firearms.

 

Transport

Transport data analytics for decision making

Transport for NSW collects a number of sources of data on customers and its network to inform planning and decision making. For example, the opal card system offers information on the actual travel patterns of customers.  This audit may examine whether Opal card ticketing data is complete and accurate and how the transport agencies are using this, and other information for planning and service delivery improvements.

Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Project (Revitalising Newcastle)

See Planning and Environment for full description

Mobile speed cameras

Fixed speed cameras and safety cameras aim to reduce speeding at specific locations, while mobile cameras aim to reduce speeding across the road network. Roads and Maritime, in consultation with the NSW Police Force and the NSW Centre for Road Safety, manages the deployment of mobile speed cameras to ensure the program delivers maximum road safety benefits and supports police enforcement activities

This audit will assess whether mobile speed cameras are effectively and efficiently operated to maximise road safety benefits across the NSW road network.

Access to public transport for people with disability

According to the ABS, one in five Australian's have reported living with a disability. Restrictions to accessible and integrated transport infrastructure can limit the participation of a person with a disability to work, education or other community and economic activities and opportunities.  This audit may examine how well NSW public transport agencies are ensuring efficient and effective transport services are available to people with a disability.

Westconnex

Description pending. 

Road safety

Description pending. 

Revenue risk for contracted transport services

Description pending.  

Our vision

Our insights inform and challenge government to improve outcomes for citizens.

Our purpose

To help parliament hold government accountable for its use of public resources.

Our values

  • Purpose – we have an impact, are accountable and work as a team.
  • People – we trust and respect others, and have a balanced approach to work.
  • Professionalism – we are recognised for our independence and integrity and the value we deliver.