Public Accounts Committee reports on Defence projects and grants administration

House of Representatives

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit has released reports on Defence major projects and the administration of Commonwealth grants.

Report 483 focused on the 2018-19 Defence Major Projects Report and the Future Submarine Project.

“Reviewing the Major Projects Report each year has been a longstanding practice of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit and goes to the core of the Committee’s oversight role,” the Chair of the Committee, Ms Lucy Wicks MP, said.

The Committee made seven recommendations, including that the ANAO consider improving the format and accessibility of the MPR. It also recommended that Defence commission an external performance review of the helicopter acquisition program in advance of its upcoming acquisition and clarify the thresholds that categorise Defence major projects listed as Projects of Concern.

The Committee’s report on the administration of government grants was based on Auditor-General reports concerning the National Competitive Grants Program; the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages; and the Community Sport Infrastructure Program.

Ms Wicks said, “The Committee made six recommendations, including that the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines be amended to strengthen record-keeping and reporting requirements, to ensure compliance and public accountability.”

The report also recommended that Sport Australia review its guidelines in relation to all current and future grants programs, to clarify the authority and duties of the Minister for Sport and the authority of the Australian Sports Commission.

Report 483 examined the following Auditor-General reports:

No. 19 (2019-20), 2018-19 Major Projects Report

No. 22 (2019-20), Future Submarine Program: Transition to Design

Report 484 examined the following Auditor-General reports:

No. 5 (2019-20), ARC Administration of the National Competitive Grants Program

No. 12 (2019-20), Award of Funding Under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages

No. 23 (2019-20), Award of Funding under the Community Sport Infrastructure Program

/Public Release.