The Department’s financial accountability responsibilities are set out in Section 44 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997
and are based on efficient, effective and ethical use of allocated resources. The Department meets these responsibilities by working within a financial control framework that supports efficient processing and recording of financial transactions (including the production of audited financial statements).
In 2005-06, the Department continued to focus on improving its financial management performance to improve the way it does business. This included managing the Department’s internal controls to increase the level of departmental governance, financial responsibility and managerial performance and to deliver best value-for-money corporate services.
Key initiatives in 2005-06 included:
- an improved focus and alignment of financial management responsibilities between State and Territory Offices and program delivery;
- continued improvement in the budgeting and reporting of administered program expenditure including better alignment of the external budget and internal financial management systems and processes; and
- maintenance and enhancement of the Department’s Goods and Services Tax control framework.
In 2005-06, the Department complied with the Government’s purchasing policies as articulated in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.
The Department’s asset management strategy emphasises whole-of-life asset management and focuses on the responsibilities of staff in this process. In addition, the annual asset review looks to minimise holdings of surplus and underperforming assets.
The Department’s stocktake of fixed and intangible assets in 2005-06 confirmed the location and condition of the Department’s assets. The Department’s review of assets for impairment, undertaken in accordance with the new Australian Accounting Standard (AASB 136 Impairment of Assets), ensured that the Department only carries assets at a value above the recoverable amount.
Competitive Tendering and Contracting
In 2005-06, the Department’s contracts with office services and warehousing and distribution service providers saw the streamlined delivery of office services, with the ability to incorporate additional contracted services including various components of physical security and vehicle fleet management. They also delivered improved warehousing and distribution services which demonstrated benefits and cost savings to the Department.
The Department conducted a review of the office services provider in November 2005, which confirmed a satisfactory delivery of services meeting all intended departmental business requirements. Following this, a two year contract extension was exercised between the Department and the service provider, taking the contract to 31 January 2008.
In 2005-06, the Department did not exempt any contracts from publishing in AusTender, on the basis that publishing contract details would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982