B2 - Internal and external scrutiny

During 2012–13 ESDD was subject to external scrutiny by a number of agencies, including the ACT Ombudsman, ACAT, the ACT Auditor-General and various Legislative Assembly committees. ESDD also maintains a customer feedback and complaints system which enables customers and members of the community to raise issues directly.

The Directorate received and responded to five complaints from the ACT Ombudsman. No formal reports were received from the ACT Ombudsman relating to the finalised complaints during the year.

The ESDD Audit Committee initiated five audits during the year. Recommendations from the reviews are progressively being implemented. Section C1 of this report provides information relating to the ESDD Audit Committee and internal audits.

In total, 32 appeals were lodged with ACAT. As at 30 June 2013, 13 appeals that had not been heard were carried forward to the 2013–14 reporting period. During the year, ACAT handed down 37 decisions, of which 35 (or 91.9 %) upheld the Directorate’s position. Several decisions handed down in 2012–13 related to appeals lodged during 2011–12.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate Interim Audit Management Report for the Year ended 30 June 2012

Recommendations/ Outcome of inquiry

Response to the outcome of inquiry

New Audit Findings – Governance

1. Internal Audit Arrangements - Independence

The Directorate should ensure that its internal Audit Manager is free from the influences of operational management and operating responsibility.

Agreed.

The Directorate has undertaken an internal reorganisation which will allow the internal audit manager to report directly to the Director-General. The reorganisation has also resulted in the creation of a dedicated resource for the internal audit committee secretariat functions.

2. Risk Management Arrangements

The Directorate should ensure that:

  1. risks are clearly described in the risk registers for the Directorate and its business units;
  2. additional risk mitigation strategies are developed for risks with a high net risk rating;
  3. risk registers identify those who are assigned responsibility for the implementation of risk treatment plans and the dates by which plans must be implemented;
  4. business unit risk registers up to date and consistent with the Directorate's strategic risk register; and
  5. risk registers are updated and completed for all business units, and are reviewed on a regular basis (i.e. annually or more frequently if risks have changed).

Agreed.

The Directorate will review the risk register and ensure that all risks are accurately reflected.

3. Monitoring of Audit Findings

Recommendations

The Directorate should:

  1. ensure that audit recommendations outstanding from 2009 are promptly implemented;
  2. improve its practices for monitoring audit recommendations to ensure audit findings are resolved before being removed from the 'Audit Implementation Progress Summary' report; and
  3. (update the 'Audit Implementation Progress Summary' report to include all audit recommendations which have not been implemented (including those raised by the

Audit Officand provide accurate completion dates.

Agreed.

A review of the outstanding recommendations will be undertaken and completed as required.

New Audit Findings – Internal Controls

1. Daily Cash Reconciliations

The Directorate should retain documentation supporting the reconciliation of daily cash takings to Cashlink. If the Cashlink system is unable to retain an audit trail of such documentation, this documentation should be kept in hard copy form.

Agreed.

The Directorate will investigate options to clearly indicate the completion of the daily reconciliation.

2. Satisfactory Receipt of Goods and Services

The Department should ensure that goods and services are satisfactorily received and evidenced as such prior to payment.

Agreed.

The invoices that were reviewed all included the signatures of the project managers responsible for the projects and an appropriate financial delegate. In the Directorate's view the invoices were properly certified and the transactions complied with the Director- General Financial Instructions.

3. Bank Signatories

The Directorate should:

  1. review its authorised cheque signatories on a quarterly basis; and
  2. promptly alert the Commonwealth Bank when an authorised cheque signatory is no longer an employee of the Directorate or the Shared Services Centre.

Agreed.

New Audit Findings

Statement of Performance

1. Accountability Indicators — Not Measured

The Directorate should:

  1. either measure a result for these accountability indicators or report the result as 'not measured'; and
  2. review the methods used to calculate all accountability indicators (including those identified abovto ensure that these methods enable the accountability indicators to be measured and independently verified.

Agreed.

The Directorate has incorporated the recommendations into the 2011–12 Statement of Performance.

2. Accountability Indicators — Reporting Errors

The Directorate should review the processes used to record the result for its accountability indicators, including those referred to above, to improve the accuracy and reliability of the reported results.

Agreed.

The Directorate has reviewed the process and believes that the amended process which includes a review of the statements by the Directorate's internal audit committee will identify and correct errors.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate Final Audit Management Report for the Year ended 30 June 2012
Recommendations/ Outcome of inquiry Response to the outcome of inquiry

New Audit Findings

1. Extension of Time to Build Fees

The Directorate should:

  1. improve its accounting records to enable the identification of leases where the 'time to build covenant' has been breached, and where the lessee has not applied for an extension of the time to build;
  2. quantify 'extension of time to build' fee revenue owed to the Directorate and record these fees as revenue as required by AASB 118: 'Revenue'; and
  3. promptly investigate leases in breach of the 'time to build covenant', and establish processes for monitoring and collecting fees owed from lessees.

Agreed.

The Directorate will put in place measures to provide an accurate estimate of the outstanding revenue and investigate leases which are in breach.

 

2. Customer Satisfaction

The Directorate should:

  1. collect the information needed to measure a result for customer satisfaction; and
  2. use information provided by customers on their satisfaction to improve its services.

Agreed.

A survey has been conducted which provides an accurate measure of the level of customer satisfaction with this information being used to improve service.

3. Quality of the Statement of Performance

The Directorate should:

  1. review and improve its processes for preparing the statement of performance; and
  2. ensure that the results of its accountability indicators are correctly reported.

Agreed.

The systems have been modified to ensure the data is correctly reported.

4. Capital Works in Progress

The Directorate should document procedures for the regular review of the capital works in progress balance. These procedures should include guidance for project managers to:

  1. reliably identify items that are to be capitalised in accordance with the relevant policy and accounting standards; and
  2. identify and transfer completed capital works in progress projects to property, plant and equipment in a timely manner.

Agreed.

 

Previously Reported Audit Finding

1. Usefulness of the Statement of Performance

The Directorate should:

  1. comprehensively review of the relevance, usefulness and appropriateness of all accountability indicators reported in its statement of performance;
  2. comprehensively review the adequacy of the information being included in its statement of performance to ensure that the information accompanying the reported results is sufficient to enable users of the statement of performance to understand the accountability indicator, the result being reported and, where appropriate, how it was measured or estimated; and
  3. ensure each accountability indicator is supported by a clear and concise definition, target and an appropriate measurement method.

Agreed.

 

A number of the identified measures have been either completed or discontinued in 2012–13 and replaced with clearer and concise measures. Further work will also be undertaken as part of the 2013–14 to further refine the accountability indicators.

 

ACT Government Parking Operations Report No. 3 / 2013 – May 2013
Recommendations/ Outcome of inquiry Response to the outcome of inquiry

Recommendation 1 (Chapter 2) – High Priority

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, Justice and Community Safety Directorate, Territory and Municipal Services Directorate and Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate should work together to strengthen ‘One Government’ governance arrangements for parking operations by:

improving coordination, communication and consultation processes between agencies;

and

documenting roles, responsibilities, inter-relationships and accountabilities.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate response:

Agreed. A formal cohesive outline/document of process and roles and responsibilities of directorates around parking could assist in providing clarity and co-ordination. ESDD is responsible for policy around fees, and demand/supply of parking. The objective of a 'one-government' document could be undertaken by the Inter-Directorate Committee (Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, Justice and Community Safety Directorate, Territory and Municipal Services Directorate and Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate), which oversights implementation of Transport for Canberra.

Recommendation 2 (Chapter 2)

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate should:

  1. update the Transport for Canberra Implementation Tracking document with respect to parking operations;
  2. develop and publish key performance indicators and supporting targets to guide the delivery of strategic objectives in the Strategic Parking Framework;
  3. use the Transport for Canberra Implementation Tracking document as a basis for developing an integrated implementation, monitoring and evaluation plan for the Strategic Parking Framework;
  4. work with the National Capital Authority, other relevant Commonwealth Government agencies, and the ACT community to implement the Commonwealth Government’s 2013–14 budget initiative to introduce paid parking in the Parliamentary Triangle Zone.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate response:

Agreed. The Transport for Canberra Implementation Tracking document is used to track the regular monitoring and reporting of actions in Transport for Canberra. It is an inter-directorate implementation, monitoring and evaluation record. The Strategic Parking Framework action has been worked up further and is noted in the tracking document as Action 25 with 16 sub-actions.

With respect to Recommendation 2 d), the ACT Government is working with the National Capital Authority on implementing the Federal Government's budget initiative to introduce paid parking to the Parliamentary Triangle Zone.

Recommendation 3 (Chapter 2)

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate should consult with other directorates and the Attorney-General to establish a timeline and process for ensuring annual changes to parking fees occur in a routine and timely manner.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate response:

Agreed. Consultation will continue through the Inter-Directorate Committee oversighting implementation of Transport for Canberra that includes actions of strategic parking management.

There is ongoing consultation at the officer level between ESDD and JACSD on proposed increases in parking fees.

ESDD recommends parking fees to the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development and the submission is made jointly with JACS (who report to the Attorney General).

Recommendation 4 (Chapter 2) – High Priority

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate should finalise and release the ACT Government Transport Pricing Policy. The policy should include:

  1. criteria for the determination of parking fees;
    • criteria mentioned in (to be explicitly addressed in recommending changes in parking fees to the Attorney-General; and
    • a mechanism for using revenue data collected by other ACT Government agencies, in particular the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, in determining parking fees; and
  2. a requirement for:
  3. the timeline and process for making annual changes to parking fees (refer to Recommendation 3).

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate response:

Agreed (a).

Agreed (b).

Agreed (c). Noting that the approval of changes to parking fees rests with the Attorney-General.

Recommendation 5 (Chapter 3)

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate should review and document its management of parking demand surveys and in so doing:

  1. outline the processes used for undertaking surveys and spot checks;
  2. define the frequency and timing of surveys;
  3. guide how information from demand surveys is shared with other directorates, in particular the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate; and
  4. ensure that information on short term, long term and disability parking demand is separately collected.

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate response:

Agreed. Two parking surveys have collected data separately on long-stay, short-stay and other restricted parking, including for motorcycles and scooters and for people with disabilities.

In the future, following the progressive introduction of new parking ticket machine technology, the government will have access to more than adequate information to allow more detailed analysis of revenue streams from, and demand in, pay parking areas. The Interdepartmental Committee on Transport for Canberra will consider this data in its policy deliberations.

The more general surveys of all parking spaces, including privately provided off-street spaces, tenant spaces and on-street parking spaces other than ticket machine spaces will continue to be undertaken by ESDD to provide the broad information on parking supply and demand for planning purposes.