Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Auditor-General Shows How DSTO can lift its game



Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release

Allan Rocher MP Shadow Minister for Defence Science & Personnel

AUDITOR-GENERAL SHOWS HOW DSTO CAN LIFT ITS GAME

The Auditor-General's Audit Report No. 2, 1992-93 on Commercial Activity in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation shows that there is considerable scope for improvement in the commercial performance of the DSTO and in developing a closer relationship between the Organisation and Australian industry.

Among the most significant of the report's conclusions is that the Organisation lacks clear policy guidance on commercialisation issues.

The reports notes that "five years after the ministerial direction to commercialise, some fundamental policy issues remain unclear" (p. 22).

The report also notes that there are "inconsistencies, ambiguities and lack of clarity in various levels of policy direction" (p. 2) and difficulties arising from a general lack of coordination in defence industry policy.

The Auditor-General highlights some fundamental constitutional and legal issues that must be resolved if the commercial activities of DSTO are to be given a secure foundation.

Also significant is the report's comment that "external and internal reviews have indicated that the current level of resources applied to commercial activity may be too low" (p. 23).

The Auditor-General concludes that "the current funding of commercial activity is arbitrary and may be too low. It should be based on resource needs established through a formal planning process" (p. 23).

In particular, "the ANAO considers that the 1% limitation on the diversion of funds for commercial activity is an arbitrary restriction" (p. 25).

These conclusions are mostly in line with those of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts' Report No. 318, Public Sector Research and Development, June 1992.

The Auditor-General notes that the DSTO is "making some progress in achieving commercial objectives" (p. 4), but the thrust of the report is that there is considerable room for improvement in commercialisation and in developing a closer relationship with Australian industiy.

It is clear that the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Mr Bilney, has some work to do, particularly in relation to policy guidance, if DSTO is to be brought up to speed in its commercial activities.

15 October 1992

For further information: Stephen Kirchner (06) 277 4727.

COMMONWEALTH P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY MICAH