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Northern Territory Auditor-General's Office, February 2023 Report to the Legislative Assembly



Northern Territory Auditor-General's Office, February 2023 Report to the Legislative Assembly

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Tabled Paper 772


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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Auditor-General for the Northern Territory February 2023 Report Page 62 of 131 Local Jobs Fund cont Fund performance Outcomes were established in the LJF Policy Framework in April 2019 and updated in the LJF Policy Framework in March 2022. During my 2019 audit, management advised that key performance indicators were being developed to assess the Funds outcomes. At the time of this audit, there were no key performance indicators or targets established to monitor or assess the performance of the Fund. The reporting enables oversight of the Funds products however does not facilitate oversight of the performance of the Fund. Project performance Recipient reporting requirements are established in the agreements and recorded in the Smarty Grants system. Processes exist to receive, review, assess and report on each recipients performance. Recipient reporting assessments are provided to the Investment Committee, Investment Commissioner and Major Projects Commissioner. There is no set minimum economic return established within the framework. The key requirement is to ensure that each investment brings a minimum of 5 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs to the Territory within 2 years. As a result, the expected employment return on investment varies significantly for each product with the highest investment being $229 thousand per budgeted job, the lowest investment is $30 thousand per budgeted job. Review of the FTE jobs requirement identified: One recipient was measured based on indirect jobs when the requirement was for direct jobs. Grants issued did not have a requirement for a specified number of jobs. Recipients are required to report the FTE associated with their funding agreement. There are some generally accepted exemptions to the stated requirement for 5 additional FTE jobs, however there has been no publically available information to communicate this. Review of Microsoft Excel files used to monitor the Funds offerings identified some errors within the files indicating that review of the recorded information could be improved. Performance evaluation There had been no performance evaluation undertaken at the time of the audit nor is there an evaluation of the success of the Fund planned. In December 2020, the NTG Program Evaluation Framework was released. The Program Evaluation Framework is applicable to the Fund and states: Territory Government agencies must use the framework and toolkit to help plan, commission and use evaluations. An evaluation overview is mandatory for all new programs seeking additional funding of $1 million or more in any single year (refer to the Cabinet handbook and submission templates). Unless otherwise directed by Cabinet, funding for new programs (or extensions of existing programs) that impact the Territory Governments operating balance by $1 million or more in any one year will be subject to an initial five year sunset clause. This ensures that ongoing funding for programs is informed by evaluation.