5 years ago

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

communication and

communication and engagement experience. HAS was promoted by DHS through posters, advertising in DHS magazines, and in the brochures distributed with letters of invitation to potential customers. To early‐April 2012, DHS has sent 397 458 invitation letters to potential customers, inviting them to have their eligibility for assistance under the Scheme assessed. DHS has also responded to 170 791 queries requesting information about HAS. 38. DBCDE and DHS have worked collaboratively to establish effective arrangements to invite and encourage potential customers to test their eligibility for assistance under HAS. DHS has undertaken the assessment of potential customers in accordance with agreed arrangements established under the MoU and coordinates the flow of work to service contractors. The departments have developed governance arrangements and established work groups and committees to effectively support customer communication and engagement activities. Service contractor management 39. The delivery of HAS relies on DBCDE having mechanisms in place to effectively manage service delivery by third‐party contractors. Two service contractors have entered into deeds of agreement to deliver HAS services in those regions rolled out to date. 40. In planning for HAS, DBCDE envisaged that a dedicated contract management section in the HAS Branch would coordinate the delivery of HAS services into customers’ homes. The skills and staffing profile of the section was adequate to deal with the smaller, early rollouts of HAS, until late‐2010. 13 However, the low staffing levels within the section became problematic as the scale of the Scheme increased, placing additional responsibility on the section. Following a staffing and skills profile review in early‐2011, resourcing was subsequently increased and now includes a dedicated business/data intelligence capability. The increase in staff and the enhanced skills profile of the section has supported improved business processes, data collection and analysis, and business and quality assurance approaches. As the Scheme will be rolled out to the larger and/or more technically challenging regions throughout 2013, and the potential engagement of additional service contractors to provide HAS services, there would be merit in DBCDE regularly reviewing the capacity of the HAS 13 A total of three staff, five fewer than first envisaged, were initially responsible for contract management within the HAS Branch. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 24

Summary contract management function to aid the effective delivery of key activities, including controls over payments to contractors. 41. DBCDE monitors the approval and qualifications of HAS subcontractors engaged by the service contractors to: properly manage scheme risks; direct quality assurance activities to appropriate areas of scheme activity; and obtain accurate information about the Scheme for management use and reporting. The use of subcontractors that had not yet been approved by DBCDE (unapproved subcontractors) by one or both service contractors has occurred during each HAS rollout subsequent to the Mildura/Sunraysia pilot. 42. Throughout 2011, DBCDE has worked closely with service contractors to strengthen arrangements to help ensure that unapproved installers were not delivering services under the Scheme. This work culminated in a revised installer approval process. As part of this process, DBCDE confirmed it would no longer approve installers in retrospect and work identified as being undertaken by unapproved installers would be treated as a breach of the deed, resulting in a financial penalty. As at 1 March 2012, DBCDE has withheld approximately $197 815 from service contractors for works completed by up to 11 unapproved installers, involving up to 922 installations. While the use of unapproved installers has occurred under HAS, the department has acted quickly to revise procedures to limit the risk of recurrence. 43. DBCDE developed effective payment validation processes during the early rollouts of HAS that resulted in tax invoices presented for services delivered under HAS being reviewed against the terms agreed to between DBCDE and the service contractors. In the early stages of the Scheme, DBCDE undertook adequate manual compliance checking to ensure the services delivered corresponded to amounts claimed. As HAS matured and expanded into progressively more populated areas, DBCDE revised its service contractor payment arrangements to accommodate a rapid increase in the amount of data and information being presented as evidence of services being delivered. Refined business processes, supported by increased use of information technology, now complement manual claims processing. The revised processes also remedied inaccurate claims for incentive payment amounts (directed at timely service delivery) that were identified during the Regional South Australia and Broken Hill rollout. DBCDE is now better placed to manage the integrity of contractor payments for the increasing scale of the Scheme. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 25

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