Canberra's $800 million light rail line and the Mr Fluffy asbestos buyback scheme are set to be considered under the scrutiny of the ACT auditor-general in the 2015-16 financial year.
Announcing planned audits for the coming 12 months this week, Auditor-General Maxine Cooper set her sights on two of the government's largest projects as well as a range of government spending and service delivery which could be considered by her office in the coming three years.
Considering fiscal challenges facing the ACT government, Dr Cooper said she would conduct audits of management and maintenance of territory assets including public housing, ACT Policing's management through an agreement with the Australian Federal Police, credit card and electronic spending by government directorates and strategic planning for information technology.
The light rail project could be considered in as many as three audits.
Auditors will seek to find timely areas for improvement in the public-private partnership delivery of the 12 kilometre line linking the city and Gungahlin, including through a possible focus on project spending to-date, how it has been planned and how the line was pitched to the market.
The Mr Fluffy buyback will be scrutinised by a "program of audits". The first could examine effectiveness of funding arrangements for the buy-back program through a $1 billion loan from the Commonwealth and the progress of home buybacks to date.
The audit could consider the structure of the loan and plans for its repayment over 10 years, including how remediated blocks are sold in the open market through the government's Land Development Agency.
Dr Cooper will also consider management of the ACT's cultural and heritage facilities, vocational and education training including apprenticeships and implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Barr government's budget and business processes inside ACT government agencies are also to be reviewed, as well as Mr Barr's Access Canberra initiative.
Currently two audits are under way of public transport planning and management and Calvary Public Hospital's performance and financial reporting.
"The audit office has developed the program having regard to the office's mandate, its strategic plan, and interests of its primary stakeholders: the Legislative Assembly and the ACT community," Dr Cooper said in a statement.
Audit areas are chosen to benefit the community, improve services and government programs, assist vulnerable, disadvantaged and children and to minimise waste in the ACT government.
Last week an engineers group said a conflict of interest should have forced Dr Cooper to recuse herself from the audit of the Cotter Dam enlargement. The claim, rejected by her office, came after an audit blamed blowouts in cost and time on unrealistic expectations.
Potential audits for the 2016-17 financial year could become key political issues in the lead up to the October 2016 territory election.
More scrutiny on light rail and Mr Fluffy buyback is forecast, as well the Barr government's planned asset sales of public housing and disused government office blocks.
A third light rail audit could go ahead or be delayed for a later year. It would assess implementation of tram services and "provide assurance around the value for money and progress in meeting the objectives for this project." The operation of Canberra's ACTION bus network is also listed for possible review along with conduct of the 2016 territory election.
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