3.2 External scrutiny

Significant developments in external scrutiny

There were no significant developments arising from external scrutiny of the ARC during 2015–16.

Judicial decisions, decisions of the administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner

In 2015–16:

  • there were no judicial decisions against the ARC under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
  • there was one request from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for the ARC to review a freedom of information decision.

Reports on operations by the Auditor General

During 2015–16 the ARC reviewed and considered the recommendations made within a number of Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performance audit reports which dealt with issues relevant to the ARC. They were:

  • Delivery and evaluation of grant programmes, ANAO report no. 25 of 2015–16
  • Implementation of deregulation, ANAO report no. 29 of 2015–16
  • Cyber resilience, ANAO report no. 37 of 2015–16.

Reports on operations by a Parliamentary Committee

The ARC appeared before the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee at estimates hearings held in February 2016 but was not required to appear at the November 2015 or May 2016 hearings.

The ARC responded to seven Questions on Notice arising from the November 2015 and May 2016 hearings. It also provided input to two Questions on Notice directed to the ARC’s portfolio department, the Department of Education and Training, and provided responses to 66 cross-portfolio questions on notice in May 2016.

The ARC Annual Report 2014–15 was tabled in Parliament on 28 October 2015. In March 2016 the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee released its report on annual reports for the agencies for which it is responsible (Annual reports—No. 1 of 2016). The committee assessed the ARC Annual Report 2014–15 to be satisfactory in terms of timeliness of presentation and compliance with relevant reporting requirements.

Reports on operations by the Commonwealth Ombudsman

During 2015–16 there was one investigation about ARC business initiated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office. The outcomes of the investigation had no substantial impact on the ARC’s business.

Capability reviews

No capability reviews on the ARC were conducted or released during 2015–16.