Premier and Cabinet

Government advertising

Annual review.

Social benefit bonds

Social benefit bonds are a financial instrument that pays a return based on achieving agreed social outcomes. It is a special type of payment-by-results contract, where private investors provide working capital to a service provider to deliver an intervention. The Government's policy to expand the scope of Social Benefit Bonds in NSW was implemented in 2015. This audit may consider how the Government has worked with stakeholders to ensure that opportunities to leverage this model are being used.

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.  


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. 


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.

School counselling

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. 

Remote education / access to education for rural students

In rural New South Wales, levels of socio-economic disadvantage are higher while educational aspirations and outcomes are lower than in metropolitan areas. Approximately 126,000 students, representing 32 per cent of all students in NSW public schools from low socio-economic backgrounds, are enrolled in rural and remote schools. Fifty-five per cent of the Aboriginal students in NSW public schools also reside in a provincial, remote or very remote location.

The audit is likely to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Education strategies to improve learning outcomes of students in rural and remote areas.

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.

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.  


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. 


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


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.


Affordable housing

Description pending.

Strategic release framework for coal

Description pending.

Managing native vegetation

Description pending.  


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.

Criminal court efficiency

Description pending.

Firearms regulation

Description pending.


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.


Description pending. 

Road safety

Description pending. 

Revenue risk for contracted transport services

Description pending.  

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