Better Practice Guides
Better Practice Guides (BPGs) aim to improve public administration by providing a mechanism whereby better practices employed in organisations are recognised and promulgated to all Australian Government entities. This can involve examining practices in the public or private sectors, in Australia or overseas. Our emphasis is to identify, assess and articulate good practice from our knowledge and understanding of the public sector as well as areas where improvements are warranted.
Depending on the subject and nature of information collected during an audit, BPGs may be produced in conjunction with an audit or prepared as a result of a perceived need to provide guidance material in a particular area of public administration.
Legal Services Arrangements in Australian Government Agencies
Thursday 10th August 2006
Preparation of this Better Practice Guide was prompted by the ANAO's 2004-05 audit report on legal services arrangements, which identified the need to manage legal services in order to get the best value from them. This guide aims to help agencies adopt better practice in managing their legal service arrangements, including arrangements for planning and reviewing those services.
Australian Government agencies may need legal services for any of a variety of reasons: to meet administrative, legislative or policy objectives or to protect Commonwealth interests. Legal advice can provide assurance that the way an agency has acted, or proposes to act, is legally appropriate, within the scope of its powers, and that legal risks are being adequately managed.
Legislation and the law generally are necessary features of the administration and accountability of government, underpinning the broad range of government functions, from social welfare, education and defence, to regulation and enforcement. In addition, a signifi cant body of law governs the operating environment of agencies for their day-to-day management.
Sunday 22nd January 2006This guide aims to increase the useability and effectiveness of forms1 provided by Australian Government agencies to individuals, to support service delivery and to satisfy other government objectives. Australian Government agencies issue and receive back millions of paper forms each year. Well-designed forms make it easier for members of the public to access government services, and support administrative efficiency. This is why effective forms are a crucial element in the efficient and effective delivery of services to customers.
Common principles of useability and accessibility apply to all forms regardless of the channels (such as in person, by telephone, online and by post) through which they are received and lodged. This guide is intended as a reference document for people responsible for the design and testing of Australian Government forms. Its guidance on sound practice was developed in the course of the Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO’s) audit, Forms for Individual Service Delivery (Audit Report No. 26 2005-06).
The guidance reflects principles of management observed in some of the agencies covered in that audit, as well as the fundamentals of good practice identified by experts in various aspects of form design and accessibility.
Better Practice in Annual Performance Reporting
Thursday 8th April 2004The Australian National Audit Office and the Department of Finance and Administration have prepared the Better Practice Guide jointly. It provides guidance to agencies in measuring, assessing and reporting of agency performance in the annual report. The examples used to illustrate better practices have been extracted from selected agencies' actual annual reports and the guide contains an explanation of why each of the examples is considered to be better practice.
Public Sector Governance
Friday 8th August 2003This guide updates two previous ANAO guides published in 1997 and 1999: Applying principles and practice of corporate governance in budget funded agencies, Discussion Paper, July 1997; and Corporate governance in Commonwealth authorities and companies, Discussion Paper, May 1999. It provides guidance relevant to all public sector organisations - covering those subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.
Performance Information in Portfolio Budget Statements
Friday 31st May 2002Reforms in the Australian Public Service over many years have emphasised the importance of a performance culture supported by clear lines of accountability. This guide has been written to provide guidance relating to the development of performance information for the PBS.
Implementing Better Practice Grants Administration
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