The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit has tabled its report into the 2016-17 Defence Major Projects Report (MPR).
Committee Chair Senator Dean Smith said that this year’s MPR reviewed risks, challenges and complexities facing major projects in general, as well as the status of 27 selected major projects in terms of cost, schedule and forecast capability.
“Every year the Department of Defence and the Australian National Audit Office work together to produce a consolidated review of selected major Defence acquisition projects, with the resulting report called the Major Projects Report, or MPR,” Senator Smith said.
The Committee’s report makes three recommendations aimed at continuing to drive improvements in transparent reporting of Defence major project expenditure, recommending that Defence report on:
- progress in updating Project Maturity Scores within three months of tabling the Committee’s report;
- a methodology which shows how acquisition projects can transition from spreadsheet risk registers to tools with better version control measures; and
- outcomes of the sea trials for the LHD Landing Craft within three months of tabling the Committee’s report.
The Committee also noted that the ARH Tiger Helicopters were the cause of a second qualified audit finding in a row.
"While it is encouraging that two remaining caveats are expected to be resolved within the next 18 months, the Tiger Helicopters project will remain on the MPR into the future and this project will continue to receive close scrutiny," the Committee said.
The 2016-17 MPR has a total approved budget of approximately $62 billion, covering nearly 59 per cent of the budget within the Approved Major Capital Investment Program.
The MPR reviews risks, challenges and complexities facing major projects in general, as well as the status of the selected major projects in terms of cost, schedule and forecast capability.
The MPR is developed by Defence in conjunction with the ANAO and its objective is to improve the accountability and transparency of Defence acquisitions for the benefit of Parliament and other stakeholders.
The MPR is automatically referred to the JCPAA, Parliament’s joint public administration committee, in accordance with its statutory obligations to examine all reports of the Auditor-General. The JCPAA has the power to inquire into all expenditure of Commonwealth money.