Evaluation of A Performance Audit Report on the Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People
Student Name: Ika Sadeli (11029245)
1. Executive Summary
A report by the Office of Auditor General of Western Australia about Life Matters Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People. It was published in November 2001 as Report No. 11.
Public fund of $31 million have been allocated in the health sector in order to answer society concern of the increasing number of youth suicide nowadays. As the result of the allocation, a strategy was implemented. This strategy is called the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy. The main result of the strategy is a framework called the Guidelines, which was meant to guide the hospital Emergency system and community based services in regards to youth suicide.
The Office of Auditor General of Western Australia (OAG) questioned the accountability of the health sector in Western Australia. The OAG conducted a performance audit report against the Guidelines to its implementation in the Western Australia health system. The OAG aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Guidelines.
This performance audit report is evaluated in two ways. First it is evaluated in terms of its usefulness to other stakeholders. As the report was based on effectiveness only, it would be a more completed evaluation if the efficiency of the prevention strategy was also evaluated. Secondly, it was evaluated based on its role as an assurance to promote the government’s accountability. The report has come up with good recommendations that would ensure to benefit the public sector, the Parliament and the people.
Accountability is an essential element in government management. Society has becoming critical on the management of public sector entities towards public funds. Pound, Gay and Simnett (1997, p. 711) said that SAC 2.5 defined accountability as “the responsibility to provide information to users, to enable them to make informed judgments of a reporting entity”.
Australian government that has adopted the Westminster system regard the concept of accountability very highly. They have started to enhance accountability by publishing sets of performance indicators relating to their activities, usually within individual jurisdiction (Walker, 2001).
This assurance is mostly done in the form of performance audit report. Gill, Cosserat, Leung and Coram (2002, p. 646) defined performance audit as “an independent and systematic examination of the management of an entity for the purpose of economy, efficiency and effectiveness”.
This particular essay is assigned to evaluate whether those performance audits have enhanced government accountability. One performance audit report is selected, which is called Life Matters: Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People. It is analysed in the basis of its usefulness in the process of accountability.
3. Main Body
3.1 Report Background