Improving public sector accountability and performance
Our audits identify opportunities for improving public sector accountability and performance. We develop recommendations in consultation with the entities we audit in response to our audit findings. Our recommendations are reported to the entities involved and, for the more significant matters, to parliament. Most entities agree with our recommendations.
Of the 427 recommendations we made to our top 50 financial audit entities in 2016−17, 418 (98 per cent) were accepted, above our target of 95 per cent.
Seventy-seven per cent of performance audit recommendations were accepted against our target of 90 per cent. Although this is an improvement on last year, we still have more to do to ensure more of our recommendations are accepted by our auditees.
In regards to the recommendations we have made previously, it is pleasing we continue to make an impact through these recommendations, as the following case studies highlight.
In our performance audit on Community Housing, released in September 2015, we recommended that the Department of Family and Community Services ensure its social housing policy included performance measures for tenant outcomes. This would enable it to monitor progress against its goals and determine whether the community housing sector was delivering value for money. In January 2016, the department released the ‘Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW’ policy. Measurable social housing targets that align with the Premier’s and State Priorities have been identified. Read report.
Released in August 2016, we found that NSW Government initiatives to prevent and reduce red tape were not effective. Reported red tape savings were inaccurate and the regulatory burden of legislation had increased. Red tape reduction targets resulted in some savings. However, estimates of these savings were, in some cases, based on unverified or unsubstantiated assumptions, cost-transfers, or pre-implementation projections that are yet to be achieved. Also, the targets did not drive new reform or significant rollback of regulation. The NSW Government established the ‘Regulatory Policy Framework Review Panel’ in October 2016 as part of its response to the Red Tape Reduction performance audit report. Read report.
Following the tabling of our report Planning for School Infrastructure, the government allocated an additional $4.2 billion over the next four years for school infrastructure. It also established the School Infrastructure NSW unit within the Department of Education to implement the School Assets Strategic Plan, a blueprint for the future of school infrastructure in New South Wales. Read report.
Our May 2016 report on Early Childhood Education found enrolments in quality early childhood education programs were increasing but still below the national benchmark. To support universal access to early childhood education, the government allocated an additional $115 million in funding in 2016 and $217 million between 2017 and 2021. Read report.
Recommendations accepted %
Recommendations accepted %