AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation’s management, governance and performance under its Statutory Funding Agreement with the Federal Government will be examined in an audit due to be completed in April next year.
The Australian National Audit Office has said the objective of the audit is to examine whether AWI is effectively meeting the requirements of the Statutory Funding Agreement.
The ANAO has started a consultative process and is seeking submissions from members of the public up to 23 October 2022.
The ANAO proposes to examine the following criteria:
Does AWI have appropriate management and governance arrangements?
Is AWI effectively applying the performance principles under the SFA?
Is AWI effectively managing funds in accordance with the SFA?
On its website, the ANAO said welcomes members of the public contributing information for consideration when conducting performance audits. Performance audits involve the independent and objective assessment of the administration of an entity or body’s programs, policies, projects or activities. The audits also examine how well administrative support systems operate, the ANAO said.
The ANAO said it does not have a role in commenting on the merits of government policy, but focuses on assessing the efficient and effective implementation of government programs, including the achievement of their intended benefits.
Information can be submitted to the AWI audit either by uploading a file, or by entering information into a comments box on the ANAO website. See link here.
The ANAO said it aimed to consider all contributions to the audit within 14 days of receipt.
The ANAO audit of AWI was requested on 20 October last year, by the then chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee Nationals Senator Susan McDonald.
Senator McDonald made the case for the AWI audit stating that the RRAT committee’s concern at the lack of transparency and accountability around AWI’s failure to release an EY Port Jackson Partners report of a review of AWI’s WoolQ platform, and AWI’s 2pc levy preference announcement weeks before it released details on its current reserves, projected income and wool production forecasts and project commitments. Industry group’s objected to the announcement which gave AWI several weeks to promote its levy preference to growers ignorant of AWI’s financial details and projections.
Australian Wool Innovations has admitted to spending $6.4 million on WoolQ, including a taxpayer contribution of about $1.2 million, with negligible returns to growers while failing to reach its own wool trading turnover target.
In 2017-18, an audit of AWI by the Australian National Audit Office was proposed, but then abandoned in favour of adding several matters around governance to the terms of reference of the 2018 EY Review of Performance of AWI.