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Monday, 14 October 2002
Page: 5106

Senator Chris Evans asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 28 August 2002:

(1) With reference to the Defence Management Audit Branch, what were the Top Management Directed Reviews conducted by this branch for each of the following financial years: (a) 1999-2000; (b) 2000-01; and (c) 2001-02.

(2) For each review, can the following details be provided: (a) the nature and scope of the review; (b) the days allocated to the review; and (c) who directed the review.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

Top management directed reviews often comprise audit investigations into allegations or complaints against individual officers or work areas. It is in the interest of good governance that Defence has an effective internal mechanism to conduct such reviews. It is important that such reviews provide objective and frank findings based on all available material and interviews with relevant officers. The value of such reviews is likely to be reduced if audit techniques and procedures are revealed, and if those involved know that information supplied is likely to become the subject of public debate. I am, therefore, not prepared to risk lessening the effectiveness of the internal review function by providing the information requested.