Chapter 5 Audit Report No. 09 2010-11 Green Loans Program and Audit Report
No. 12 2010-11 Home Insulation Program
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) elected to
examine Audit Report No. 09 2010-11, Green Loans Program and Audit
Report No. 12 2010-11, Home Insulation Program in a single inquiry. The
Committee considered that the two audit reports covered similar issues
regarding the development and implementation of programs designed to address
The Committee recognised that both programs have been the subject of a
number of reviews and, consequently, saw its primary role as identifying the
lessons that can be drawn from the difficulties experienced with the
implementation and delivery of both programs. To this end, this report
emphasises the changes that have been initiated within the departments
concerned and across the broader Australian Public Service (APS).
It should be noted that the programs concerned had originally fallen
under the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage
and the Arts (DEWHA), later the Department of Sustainability, Environment,
Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). In March 2010 the programs were
transferred to the Department of Climate Change which became the Department of
Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE).
Green Loans Program
Following Labor’s election to Government in late 2007, the 2008-09 Budget
allocated $300 million to fund the Green Loans program. This funding was for an
unspecified number of subsidised home assessments, free Green Renovations packs
valued at $50 to each assessed household and interest rate subsidies for up to
200 000 loans to householders. The program, which was to commence in early
2009, had the following objectives:
wide-scale improvement of energy and water efficiency in existing homes;
- providing sound
advice to households on the most appropriate actions to reduce the
environmental impact of operating their home;
- providing financial
assistance to households to gain access to the resources they need to invest in
energy and water-efficient technologies; and
- reducing annual
greenhouse gas emissions.
In the subsequent 2009-10 Budget, the Government realised $125.7 million
in budgetary savings by reshaping the Green Loans program to reduce the number
of loan interest subsidies funded. The revised program was expected to fund up
to 360 000 free home assessments; a $50 Green Rewards card for each assessed
household; and interest rate subsidies for up to 75 000 green loans to
implement home assessment recommendations. The program was launched from 1 July
2009 and was scheduled to run until 2012-13 or until available funding was
exhausted, whichever came first.
The Green Loans program consisted of the following main elements:
registration and contracting of assessors – assessors had to complete
approved training, be registered by an Assessor Accrediting Organisation (AAO)
and enter into a contract with the Australian Government before being able to
provide assessor services under the program;
sustainability assessments – after an assessment had been booked, assessors
physically inspected and collected information on households’ major energy and
water systems relating to thermal comfort, water heating, lighting,
refrigeration, cooking, and entertainment. An assessment report was later
provided to householders recommending measures to improve their home’s environmental
- provision of green
loans – eligible householders could apply to a participating financial
institution for an interest-free green loan of up to $10 000 to fund the
purchase and installation of eligible items recommended in their assessment
Home Insulation Program (HIP)
In response to the global financial crisis, the Government prepared and
announced a series of stimulus measures in late 2008 and early 2009, including
the $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan. A key element of this Plan was
the $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package (EEHP), announced by the then
Prime Minister on 3 February 2009.
The EEHP was designed to generate economic stimulus and support lower
skilled jobs in the housing and construction industry and small businesses; and
improve the energy efficiency of Australian homes. Installing insulation in
existing homes was regarded as one of the most cost-effective opportunities to
improve residential energy efficiency. At the time, it was estimated that only
60 per cent of Australian homes were insulated.
The EEHP was to be administered as an executive scheme
and included the:
- Homeowner Insulation
Program: incentives for
homeowner-occupiers to have insulation installed ($2.8 billion over two and a
- Low Emissions
Assistance Plan for Renters (LEAPR): incentives for renters in private rental
accommodation and their landlords to install insulation ($637.4 million over
two and a half years); and
- Solar Hot Water
Rebate (SHWR) Program: expansion of incentives for householders to install
solar hot water heaters ($514.4 million over three and a half years).
The ANAO Audit
Green Loans Program
The objective of the audit was to examine key aspects of the
establishment and administration of the Green Loans program by DEWHA and the program’s
transition to DCCEE. Particular emphasis was given to the program’s three main
registration and contracting of assessors;
- scheduling, conduct,
and reporting of home sustainability assessments, and the associated payments
to assessors; and
- provision of green
loans to householders, and the associated payments to participating financial
The audit also examined the extent to which steps had been taken by
DEWHA and DCCEE to assess whether the Green Loans program was achieving its
Home Insulation Program 
The objective of this audit was to assess key aspects of the
establishment and administration of the Home Insulation Program (HIP) by DEWHA
as well as the transition of the program to DCCEE. All phases of the program
were examined with particular emphasis for Phase 2 being given to:
- program design and
- registration and
training of installers;
- payment of rebates;
- the compliance
strategy underpinning the program.
Overall audit conclusion
The overall audit conclusion for both Audit Report No. 09 2010-11, Green
Loans Program and Audit Report No. 12 2010-11, Home Insulation Program
identified a number of common themes, in particularly inadequate governance
arrangements and Ministerial advice. In both reports the ANAO
noted project management shortcomings and a lack of executive oversight.
The ANAO was particularly critical of the quality of advice to the respective
Ministers and commented in both cases that, not only was advice inaccurate, but
Green Loans Program
The ANAO noted that although the Green Loans program was not as
significant in terms of funding allocation compared to other programs
administered by DEWHA, it did have a significant impact on stakeholders:
The program stimulated a small sustainability assessment
industry and created work for thousands of assessors. Hundreds of thousands of
households had their energy and water consumption assessed to identify
opportunities for making savings. The assessment reports informed householders
how to change their behaviour (for example, by lowering hot water system
thermostat settings), and householders could apply for an interest-free loan to
fund the purchase of capital items to improve their home’s environmental sustainability.
In particular, the ANAO found that the number of contracted assessors
and the demand for assessments rapidly increased beyond what DEWHA had
anticipated, resulting in significant delays for householders.
In response to adverse media coverage, program changes were implemented in
Program changes announced on 19 February 2010 effectively
capped the number of assessors and the demand for assessments, but also left
thousands of assessors, who had each invested their time and around $3000 on
training, insurance and registration, with unfulfilled work expectations. The
backlog of assessment reports to be distributed continued to grow to over 100
000, which denied many householders the opportunity to apply for an
interest-free green loan.
The ANAO found that since taking over the program DCCEE had made
considerable inroads in clearing the backlog but that there was still some work
Since taking over responsibility for the administration of
the program, DCCEE has procured audit and compliance services for the program
(April 2010), cleared the backlog of assessment reports (May 2010), and
arranged for householders to claim their $50 Green Rewards (from July 2010
onwards). DCCEE has yet to determine a methodology for measuring the performance
of the Green Loans program against its objectives.
The ANAO found that the major cause of the problems encountered by the
program was the lack of effective governance. The ANAO was critical that the
day-to-day management responsibility had been devolved to ‘sub-executive level
officers who had little program delivery experience’ and that the ‘program’s
visibility to DEWHA’s senior executives was poor’.
The ANAO was particularly concerned that advice to the Minister was
‘incomplete, inaccurate and untimely’ and concluded:
... the former Minister was not well served by his department
in this respect during the period from July 2008 to late 2009 due to the poor
quality briefings he received.
The ANAO also found that, although the Department had considered legal
risks, overall it had failed to identify and manage other key risks including:
... the quality of assessor training posed by the absence of
an accredited training course; the lack of policy or administrative measures to
control assessment demand; and staff in the Green Loans team collectively not
possessing sufficient skills and experience in key areas of program management.
Overall, the ANAO found that after DEWHA established the Energy
Efficiency Taskforce in November 2009, the problems identified in the audit
were largely addressed. Governance improved, as did the quality of Ministerial
briefings and administrative issues were managed.
In light of the changes the ANAO was satisfied with progress and did not make
The audit has not made any recommendations to the departments
as DEWHA and DCCEE announced changes to improve corporate and program
governance, enhance internal control mechanisms and systems, and strengthen
accountability frameworks. Better engagement of centrally-maintained subject
matter expertise, such as risk management, procurement, ICT, compliance and
communications, by program areas is also being encouraged to provide greater
support for program managers.
Home Insulation Program
With regard to the Home Insulation Program, the ANAO concluded that:
The program was developed in a very short period of time
between 3 February 2009 and 30 June 2009 as a stimulus measure to respond to
the global financial crisis. In terms of outcomes, it has been estimated that
between 6000 and 10 000 jobs have been created. While, clearly, the creation of
these jobs was an important outcome in the face of the downturn in the economy,
these jobs were shorter-lived than intended due to the early closure of the
program. There have also been energy efficiency benefits but these are likely
to be less than anticipated due to the deficiencies in a significant number of
The ANAO identified poor risk management practices coupled with a lack
of project management and implementation skills as contributing factors to the
program’s failure. The ANAO noted that the
consequences have been wide ranging and ongoing:
Overall HIP has been a costly program for the outcomes
achieved, including substantial remediation costs. There still remains a range
of safety concerns and coronial inquiries are yet to be completed in relation
to the four fatalities associated with installations under the program. The
fallout from the program has caused serious inconvenience to many householders,
reputational damage to the insulation industry, and financial difficulties for
many Australian manufacturers and installers. It has also harmed the reputation
of the Australian Public Service for effective service delivery.
The ANAO noted that HIP was rolled out in two phases and that the key
difference between the two phases was that ‘under Phase 1, the rebate was paid
to householders, while under Phase 2 it was paid directly to installers’.
The change in process considerably increased the risk to the Department as
there was ‘no limit to the number of claims that an installer could submit’.
For Phase 1, the ANAO found that sound processes ensured that
householders’ claims for rebates were adequately assessed and installations
completed. However, for Phase 2,
the ANAO found that the processes proved inadequate due to a number of factors,
- the very tight
timeframe in which the program was required to be delivered;
- underestimation of
key program risks;
- under-resourcing of
- the delayed
introduction of an effective compliance and audit program; and
- inadequate governance
arrangements and advice to the then Minister.
Despite the problems identified in the audit the ANAO did not make any
recommendations as the program has been closed and the ANAO is satisfied that
DEWHA and DCCEE have reviewed and revised their procedures to incorporate the
lessons learned from the program implementation. The ANAO acknowledged the
improvements but cautions that:
[W]hile there is significant work underway, there is still
much to be done to address quality, safety and fraud issues under the program. 
The Committee’s review
The Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday 23 March 2011, with the
- Australian National
Audit Office (ANAO);
- Department of Climate
Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE);
- Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC); and
- Medicare Australia.
The Committee took evidence on the following issues:
- impact on industry
- future of demand
driven, energy efficiency programs;
- insulation industry;
- Ministerial advice;
- lessons learnt:
across the APS;
advice and expertise.
Impact on industry and community
The Committee expressed particular concern regarding the ongoing
consequences for small business and individuals following the failure of both
the HIP and Green Loans programs. The Committee is acutely aware of the time,
effort and money that many people have invested in these programs and that the
mismanagement of the programs has left these people exposed. The Committee
asked DCCEE and DSEWPaC what steps have been taken to alleviate the impact of
the program failings on industry, small business and individuals.
With regard to HIP, DCCEE told the Committee that a range of industry
assistance programs had been implemented:
The Department put forward an industry workers assistance
package in the early part of last year to the tune of approximately $41 million
and later developed a broader insulation industry assistance package of around
$15 million to support business in inventory warehousing and the like.
The Department informed the Committee that assistance packages had also
been put in place for assessors under the Green Loans Program, including a
financial assistance package and a training assistance package.
DCCEE explained that the financial assistance package was aimed at uncontracted
assessors, those who had been accredited but had not obtained work under the
program. The training package
provides assistance to contracted assessors who wish to upgrade their skills.
The Committee asked for clarification on the training assistance
package. As the Green Loans Program has been wound up, the Committee was unsure
why assessors would require further training. DCCEE explained that the industry
‘believe this is a sustainable private sector business in the long term’ and
that ‘there is a future for some private-sector assessors’.
The Committee asked DCCEE if the financial assistance packages would
pick up everyone who had been disadvantaged by the programs or if there would
remain a level of financial exposure at the community level. The Department
told the Committee that, with the assistance packages for both programs, anyone
who applied for help and who met the eligibility criteria would be assisted.
However, DCCEE conceded that some companies may not yet have been assisted.
The Department also explained to the Committee that for some companies
participation in the programs was minimal and they had not required assistance.
... had no interest prior to these programs in either
insulation or green loans in some cases and ... developed a particular stream
for their company. They have just moved on to do the rest of their business.
The Committee asked the departments if there is acknowledgment of the
residual uncertainty and frustration at the community level over the problems
with the two programs. DCCEE told the Committee that the Department recognises,
not only the extent of the hardship experienced, but the ongoing nature of it.
DCCEE indicated its cooperation with the Australian Federal Police in
identifying fraudulent behaviour as an example of the Department’s commitment
to alleviating that uncertainty and frustration.
DSEWPaC corroborated that the issues arising from the implementation of these
programs has resulted in a loss of goodwill in the community.
The Committee suggested that the insulation industry was not very
coherent and that this had exacerbated the problems experienced when these two
programs were implemented. The Committee asked if the industry had changed.
DCCEE explained that the industry was effectively unregulated and largely
divided according to the four types of insulation product: cellulose,
polyester, glass fibre and foil. The Department told the
Committee that DCCEE has been working with both the industry and regulatory
bodies to improve coherence and regulation across the industry.
DCCEE admitted that this was not the usual role of the Department but felt
that, in this case, DCCEE could provide relevant assistance:
... given we were working in this space, particularly around
the rectification issues, we have quite often and in some detail provided
advice and information to assist these bodies in developing standards. There is
a lot of work being done around downlight covers, for instance; there is a lot
of work being done around a standard for home insulation more broadly. That
will continue well past and outside any Commonwealth influence, but we have
participated strongly in that.
The Committee asked DCCEE if the changes made indicated that the
industry had improved. Although acknowledging that it would depend on the
industry, the Department was confident that there would be long term
... that will be up to the industry ultimately, but what we
have been able to do with the rectification program is introduce a whole lot of
standards around training and around what you need to do to get into the
industry. I would like to think that will be enduring.
Future of demand driven, energy efficiency programs
The Committee asked the departments if the experience with the HIP and
Green Loans programs had caused any reluctance on the side of the departments
to develop and implement such programs in the future. While DCCEE reminded the
Committee that ultimately such decisions reside with the government of the day,
the Department still saw benefit in such programs.
However, DCCEE acknowledged that the programs must be better managed:
There is definitely a view that we need to manage them
appropriately, and we need to look at proper mechanisms for the delivery of
these programs. But my group is absolutely focused on a range of energy
efficiency programs, and we will continue to be so.
For both the HIP and Green Loans programs, the ANAO was critical of the
governance and administrative arrangements. The ANAO found a lack of executive
level oversight, lack of adequate human resources and significant
administrative shortcomings. The Committee asked what
steps had been taken to address these issues and ensure the effective
implementation of similar programs in the future.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that the Department has implemented changes
to governance arrangements that ensure executive level visibility of all programs.
DSEWPaC identified appropriate training as the key to improving the
availability of suitably qualified and skilled staff.
To that end the Department has instigated a range of training initiatives:
... making sure that people understood, importantly, the
financial framework and the obligations under the Financial Management and
Accountability Act, procurement guidelines ... and all those sorts of things.
We ramped up the requirements for mandatory training across the board on a
number of those things.
Further, DSEWPaC emphasised the importance of an effective internal
audit process and told the Committee the Department has made a number of
changes to make sure its audit committee and internal audit program are working
... we moved much more to an independent membership of our
audit committee. So we now have an independent chair, two independent members
and one departmental member. ... We also appointed new internal auditors who
have a very active program in the department.
DCCEE indicated that the Department had implemented similar measures to
address the governance, staffing and administrative issues that emerged during
the two programs. DCCEE pointed out to the Committee that, as the Department’s
focus was specifically on the remediation work for HIP, the expectation was
that it would perform more effectively.
In particular, DCCEE identified the steps the Department had taken to
improve the procurement process through engaging and employing procurement
expertise. In addition to a
comprehensive training program, DCCEE told the Committee the Department has
significantly strengthened its project management framework:
... we have developed a project management office to start to
monitor these things. We have a program management committee which reports
directly to our senior management board ... within the department. We have a
whole range of project and program committees that report KPIs on where each of
our projects and programs are up to. That gets fed up and when there are any
problems we can have a look at those pretty quickly.
In relation to these issues, DCCEE drew the Committee’s attention to the
ANAO’s endorsement of the improvements in governance and administration with
regard to the remediation programs for HIP. The Department informed
the Committee that since the ANAO audit, DCCEE has further improved in all the
areas identified in the audit.
The ANAO found that for both the HIP and the Green Loans programs, the
quality of advice provided to the respective Ministers was inaccurate and
overly optimistic. The Committee expressed
grave concern over the quality of Ministerial advice provided by the
departments for both programs, particularly the failure to identify the
difficulties the departments were facing with regard to resourcing and meeting deadlines.
The Committee asked the departments what steps have been taken to improve the
quality of Ministerial advice and to ensure that advice is realistic.
While conceding that the Department could have ‘done a better job’ in
this regard, DSEWPaC maintained that the briefs provided had identified
risks and issues of concern to the respective Ministers.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that the Department has improved program management
and program reporting for all major projects and that these improved processes
have specifically addressed risk management:
... embedded within that are risk management, risk registers
and risk identification systems that we think now are more robust.
The Committee suggested that risk identification was only the first part
of the problem and that risk mitigation strategies had to be put in place to
manage the risk. DSEWPaC agreed and said that the new processes, ‘taken as a
whole’, would ensure that suitable, effective risk mitigation strategies would
be developed and implemented for future programs.
The Committee asked DSEWPaC if, at any time, the Department had advised
the Minister that managing both the HIP and Green Loans programs simultaneously
would cause significant resource issues for the Department. DSEWPaC could not
confirm that such advice had been provided to the Minister.
The Committee asked the departments what lessons had been learnt from
the issues identified in implementing the HIP and Green Loans programs and what
changes had been made to ensure future programs would be implemented more
effectively and efficiently.
The departments drew attention to the number of reviews that had been
undertaken which had helped highlight the issues and suggested improvements.
In particular, the establishment of the separate Department of Climate Change
and Energy Efficiency had initiated a round of reform to address all of the
areas of concern:
As we have moved forward we have been able to incorporate all
of those lessons learned, if you like, from the programs into the development
of our governance and management structures to ensure that these sorts of
issues do not happen again.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that the most important change within the
Department was the development of a ‘more active risk culture’. DSEWPaC
explained that this was evidenced in a greater awareness of risk and an
increased desire to be proactive and manage identified risks collectively.
Application across the APS
The Committee sought assurance that the lessons learnt were being shared
across departments and not confined to the two departments involved in the
implementation of the HIP and Green Loans programs. DCCEE assured the Committee
that there had been a good deal of collaboration across departments in
identifying the lessons that could be drawn from the implementation of these
two programs and that the lessons extended to a broad range of issues:
... about this whole-of-government interaction. ... there has
been a lot of work happening in the background about service delivery and how a
policy position actually transitions from a policy all the way through to
program design and delivery. There has been a significant amount of work on all
of that, which I think has been led by the Department of Finance and
The Committee asked for evidence that the lessons learnt have been
implemented across the Public Service. Medicare Australia confirmed that there
have been improvements across the board and that delivery issues are becoming
an integral part of policy discussions:
Across the whole of the Public Service there has been a
renewed emphasis on involving service delivery issues right at the beginning of
policy thinking, and various options with their associated risks, benefits and
strategies are becoming more the norm, as cross-departmental-agency discussion
are becoming more the norm. ... Certainly, within the Department of Human
Services and its various agencies, all of the sorts of things that have been
canvassed so far about governance arrangements – project management,
capability, recognition and then skilling – have been re-examined and are being
improved for the whole portfolio.
While the Committee accepted the assurance that changes had been made to
governance and administration, it questioned whether there was evidence of a
cultural shift within departmental attitude.
DCCEE explained to the Committee that corporate culture is made up of a
range of factors including governance, service and program delivery skills.
The Department cautioned that although better processes could be put in place,
people can always find ways to break ‘rules and regulations’.
However, DCCEE advised the Committee that there had been a distinct cultural
shift in the Department and that staff had developed an inclusive culture that
encouraged individuals to identify and speak out about problems.
DSEWPaC admitted that cultural change is difficult to measure but
assured the Committee that the Department had implemented both ‘a change
management process and a communication process’ to encourage a cultural shift.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that it had articulated a series of goals in the
Department’s most recent strategic plan designed to facilitate such a change:
... a proactive attitude in all we do; delivering to high
standards; rigorous and balanced policy advice – keeping each other honest in
terms of the advice that we give to ministers ... and accepting personal
responsibility for things that we are responsible for.
The Committee pursued the issue of cultural change, asking the departments
if individual staff had been held accountable and suffered direct consequences
as a result of the failure of these two programs. DCCEE maintained that the
problems and issues had not been brought about by the deliberate mal-intent of
staff members but rather by a mismatch between appropriate skills and the
expectations of a particular role. The Deputy Secretary of DCCEE told the
Committee that it is taking steps to improve this situation:
That is definitely something that I have been dealing [with]
over a period of time – making sure that we can get the right people in the
right jobs, people who understand all of the different things that they need to
understand. That is one of the lessons that we have learnt as a public service
The Committee asked the departments if the structural and cultural
changes that had been put in place have improved the departments’ ability to
respond quickly to a similar crisis to the global financial crisis.
Specifically, the Committee asked if the new processes had been tested and if
the departments could provide assurance that departmental capacity had improved
and that relevant Ministers would be properly advised.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that testing newly implemented processes is
ongoing and that the recent machinery of government changes had provided an
opportunity to ‘stress-test’ many of the structural and cultural changes.
However, DSEWPaC emphasised the importance of the public service as a whole
responding to the lessons learnt from the problems encountered in the
implementation of these programs and emphasised the important contribution that
these two ANAO audit reports have made to public administration across the
DCCEE told the Committee that the Department was in a different
position, having taken responsibility for the programs ‘after the event’ when
the emphasis had shifted to remediation. DCCEE was able to
establish ‘a new way of doing business’ from the start, incorporating the
better practice principles advised by the ANAO.
In particularly, developing and implementing the remediation programs, the Home
Insulation Safety Program (HISP) and the Foil Insulation Safety Program (FISP),
provided an opportunity for new processes to be thoroughly tested.
DCCEE assured the Committee that the Department was confident that it could
respond effectively to future challenges:
The development of FISP and HISP ... has positioned us to
understand more deeply how we would need to respond to similar types of
programs going forward. There are always risks in these issues. As long as we
understand what those risks are, I think we can at least try and put the
mitigation strategies in place that might pick them up a little bit more
Medicare Australia pointed to the Department’s quick response to the
Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi as evidence of the improvement in its
response time to emergency situations.
External expertise and procurement processes
The Committee asked the Departments if full advantage had been taken of
access to external advice and expertise. In particular, the Committee was
concerned that the knowledge gained is integrated into the ongoing corporate
knowledge of departments and that the Australian taxpayer is receiving value
for money across the APS from consultants and advisors.
DSEWPaC told the Committee that the Department does draw on external
advice to supplement its capacity as required. However, DSEWPaC
admitted that questions had been raised about how the external expertise was commissioned
and utilised. DSEWPaC informed the
Committee that the Department is reviewing its processes and will implement
For the Department in the post energy efficiency programs
period, we did commission an internal review ... of the way in which we manage
our information, including information that comes to use from external sources
through consultants et cetera. The implementation of those review findings is
now trying to address the very question that you raise. ... it is a live
question for us and one that we are trying to work through.
DCCEE told the Committee that the Department is taking steps to
determine areas where it is lacking in expertise and decide whether the best
course of action is to upskill existing staff or buy in the knowledge.
DCCEE explained that time is an important consideration:
If we are procuring something that we only need for a month,
we do not want to actually employ staff. We should probably always go out and
procure that particular piece of advice.
DCCEE identified improved procurement processes as the most important
consideration in securing external advice and expertise. DCCEE told the
Committee that it has implemented procurement training across the Department to
ensure that relevant staff make informed choices about the quality of outside
contracts being sought:
We have been doing procurement training across all of our
staff that are actively engaged in any of these program areas to try to upskill
them a little bit, be a little bit more informed about what these people are
providing and see if we can do it in different ways going forward.
The Committee was deeply concerned by the ANAO findings for both these
programs, especially the inadequacy of governance arrangements and the quality
of advice provided to the ministers. The Committee understands the difficulties
caused by the tight implementation timeframes but this does not excuse the lack
of executive oversight or the underestimation of key program risks.
It also does not excuse the poor quality of advice provided to the
respective Ministers by the departments. The failure to advise Ministers of
resourcing and capacity constraints is particularly serious. The Committee
reiterates the need for accurate, timely advice that realistically reflects
circumstances, including a department’s resource needs and capacity to meet
Of greatest concern to the Committee is the ongoing impact of the
failure of the HIP and Green Loans programs on industry, individuals and the
community. The Committee recognises the residual emotional and financial impact
and the ongoing uncertainty and frustration existing in the community and
welcomes the steps that have been taken by the departments to rectify some of
The Committee notes that the ANAO made no recommendations due to the
proactive recognition of issues and remedial action already taken by
The Committee also notes the work done by the ANAO and the departments
in identifying and articulating the lessons learnt from the implementation and
delivery of the HIP and Green Loans programs. The Committee emphasises the
importance of applying this knowledge across the APS and, in future, encourages
these learnings to be disseminated more broadly and systematically.
To this end the Committee encourages all departments and agencies to
ensure that a structured approach is taken to implement change and facilitate
ongoing effective service delivery across the APS.
Robert Oakeshott MP
15 June 2011