The Auditor-General has announced the release of the performance audit report Water Demand Management: Administration of Selected Initiatives.
In general it seems to be a big tick to the government with the programs judged to be working.
There were a couple of gripes however:
However, agencies used different and changing methods and assumptions to measure water consumption targets. The targets and the methodology used to assess achievements against these targets need to be clearly defined for consistency and clarity across all agencies. This will assist consistent dissemination of information to the public and in monitoring and reporting progress against the strategy.
Storage levels in the ACT’s dams are used by ACTEW as one of the factors to trigger the possible introduction or variation of water restrictions. There was no consistent correlation between the restriction level indicated by dam storage levels and the actual restrictions in place. This suggests that dam storage levels have far less significance in determining water restriction levels than other factors. It would enhance the transparency of ACTEW decisions if all the factors used by ACTEW in its decision making process, and the relative ‘weighting’ of these factors, were made readily available to the public.
There were some general gripes about DECCEW not using the systems it had developed, but that’s the sort of little stuff audits are there to pick up.
The Flemington Road ponds however seem to be in some trouble:
The Flemington Road Ponds Project was the first stage of a larger project – the Canberra Integrated Urban Waterways Project (CIUWP) – to provide non-potable water to sportsgrounds and recreational areas. The Flemington Road Ponds Project experienced significant delays and the ponds are not yet supplying non-potable water to end users. None of the expected water savings from the CIUWP has been delivered as originally intended (1.5 GL of non potable water by 2010). DECCEW expects the supply of non-potable water to occur in 2011, and the CIUWP target of GL to be met by the revised timetable of 2015, as re-negotiated with the Commonwealth.
And Developer Contributions appear to have fallen in a horrible hole:
Funding arrangements established between the Commonwealth and ACT Governments included $3.3 million to be raised from developer contributions by 2009-10. The developer contribution scheme has not been progressed, so none of the $3.3 million has been raised. The ACT Government will have to meet this shortfall.
As audits go though, the ACT Government has certainly seen worse.