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Letter of transmittal

National Commission of Audit logo

31 March 2014

The Hon Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House

The Hon Joe Hockey MP
The Treasurer
Parliament House

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Parliament House


Dear Prime Minister, Treasurer and Minister

In accordance with the Terms of Reference we are pleased to present the Phase Two Report of the National Commission of Audit.

This Report builds on the theme of responsible government and focuses on Commonwealth infrastructure and public sector performance and accountability.

The Commission makes a number of recommendations to improve the structure and operation of the Australian Public Service and to improve practices for evaluating the effectiveness of government programmes and agencies.

The absence of proper programme evaluation and the proliferation of programmes, grants and bodies are major contributors to Commonwealth inefficiency.

Changing the way the Commonwealth does business with a greater focus on results is paramount.

This Report also reinforces the need for a concerted effort to reduce duplication within the Federation and devolve more activities to the States and Territories.

The recommendations in this Report build on those from the Commission’s Phase One Report which set out steps to repair the Budget and ensure taxpayers receive value for money.

Our combined Report provides a number of important recommendations which would increase transparency and accountability. As well as immediate changes, the Report outlines a number of structural reforms designed to ensure the long-term efficiency and fiscal
sustainability of the Commonwealth.

Once again, the Commission records its appreciation to its professional and dedicated Secretariat led by Mr Peter Crone. We are also grateful to those who have provided further submissions and given us advice.

Yours faithfully

Tony Shepherd Peter Boxall Tony Cole Robert Fisher The Hon Amanda Vanstone
A.F (Tony) Shepherd AO
Peter Boxall AO Tony Cole AO Robert Fisher AM The Hon Amanda Vanstone