List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Department of Finance:
review, and update as required, its resource management guidance for Commonwealth entities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), having regard to Australian National Audit Office and Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) findings concerning governance in the stewardship of public resources, as well as ANAO Audit Insights on this matter
provide the JCPAA with an update on amendments made to resource management guidance to reflect these audit and JCPAA findings

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that:
the Australian National Audit Office consider undertaking an audit of information governance frameworks in selected Commonwealth entities, with a focus on organisational culture, implementation of digital policy and/or record keeping
the Australian Public Service Commission provide an update on how it is working to foster a digital information management and record-keeping culture in the Australian Public Service.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the National Archives of Australia (NAA) report back:
with details of its risk management plan for the Building Trust digital policy, and on how NAA is identifying, managing and reporting risks to implementation of the policy
on its monitoring and evaluation plan for implementation of the Building Trust policy, including details of:
how the performance measures it has established are relevant, reliable and adequate; are consistent with the policy objectives, to enable accurate assessment of NAA performance against objectives and accurate analysis of Commonwealth entity performance in implementing targets; and clearly define how success will be measured and reported
how its annual surveys have been redesigned to reflect the objectives of the Building Trust policy and gauge entity progress in implementing the policy, to enable direct comparison of survey results with policy targets, and ensure consistent and comparable data is collected
the findings of its review of implementation of the policy (due in 12 months), including performance reporting on NAA’s effectiveness in monitoring and assisting entities to meet the targets of the policy
on its assurance framework for verifying the accuracy of reported data in Commonwealth entity self-assessments from annual surveys, in terms of implementation of the Building Trust policy.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Attorney-General’s Department, in consultation with other relevant departments and agencies as required, report back to the JCPAA on how the relevant information management and archives legislation provides clarification on record-keeping obligations when creating records that are the property of the Commonwealth (those with the relevant characteristics of official documents and decisions) – regardless of the technology and method used to create the record - in relation to record-keeping obligations when conducting official business, ie. specifically in reference to records which are the property of the Commonwealth.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and the Department of Defence report back on how the revised performance framework, introduced as part of the revised service agreement, implements the findings and recommendations of Auditor-General’s Report 31 (2019-20). In particular, the Committee seeks details on how the performance information in the revised framework:
relates to and supports the measurement of performance against all the objectives of the service agreement, including efficiency, cost-effectiveness and value for money
provides a measure of DHA operating efficiency
assesses the impact of DHA housing on Australian Defence Force member retention, and provides assurance to the Parliament that DHA is achieving its purpose.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) report back:
on staff training provided with regards to its revised procurement arrangements and on implementation of the November 2020 EY procurement audit recommendations
whenever its next procurement compliance audit takes place, on the outcomes of this process, particularly in terms of instances of non-compliance with DHA procurement policy

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that Defence Housing Authority (DHA) report back to the JCPAA on how the DHA Board, as DHA’s governing body and accountable authority:
is ‘determining the policy of DHA with respect to any matter’, as set out in the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987;
is ensuring strategic oversight of regulatory compliance risks, such as those related to land development and civilian tenancy; and
has concluded the next capability assessment and review.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Defence Housing Authority report back on the outcomes of its 2021 review of the use of civilian tenancies, particularly with regard to previous legal advice received on this matter and the relevant audit findings in Auditor-General Report 31 (2019-20).

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment provide a report on whether the Water Division’s conflict of interest policy has identified any direct or perceived conflicts of interest that would not have been identified by the department’s broader policy in this area.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that relevant delegates at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment undertake probity and negotiation training to develop staff capacity for future procurement activities.

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication provide details of:
its implementation plan in response to the Sententia and KPMG review recommendations, including implementation timeframes; and
how the department will drive any necessary organisational cultural change, based on findings of the KPMG review

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that the Department of Finance (Finance):
provide an update on its review of the Lands Acquisitions Act 1989 and how the findings of Auditor-General Report 9 (2020-21) and the Independent Review of the Leppington Triangle Acquisition (Sententia Consulting, May 2021) have informed Finance’s review, and subsequent guidance issued to Commonwealth entities;
pending any systemic changes, adopt a clear default presumption that compulsory acquisition powers shall be used for land acquisition; and
only permit ‘off-market’ voluntary acquisitions when carefully justified and thoroughly documented, in which case compulsory acquisition methodology should be used as a benchmark to help ensure that a situation like the Leppington Triangle purchase does not happen again.

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