26 September 2023

Audit judges DPP efficiency

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An audit of the case management practices of the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has found its brief assessment efficiency in decline and its costs escalating.

In his report Case Management by the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Auditor-General, Grant Hehir said an increasing average cost of outputs, flowing from a reduction in referrals had not been fully offset by improvements in quality and timeliness.

“Appropriate governance structures, systems and processes are in place, but there are inefficiencies in brief assessment workflow,” Mr Hehir said.

“The timeliness of brief assessment has improved, but the average number of referrals processed has decreased and the average cost per referral processed has increased.”

He said the CDPP had not sufficiently measured, monitored and publicly reported to inform continuous improvement on its efficiency data.

“While the average timeframe for the completion of assessments is 78 days, which is consistent with the CDPP’s target, there are inefficiencies in the administration of key activities within the assessment workflow,” Mr Hehir said.

He said management reporting did not provide sufficient visibility over key drivers in efficient brief assessment practice.

“However, the average time taken to assess briefs had markedly improved and on average, Investigative Agencies are more satisfied.”

The auditor made four recommendations relating to management reporting, cost monitoring, timeliness targets and performance reporting.

The CDPP agreed with all of the recommendations.

The Auditor-General’s report can be accessed on his website at this PS News link and his 98-page printed report can be found at this link.

The audit team was Christine Chalmers, Judy Jensen, Zoe Pilipczyk, Danielle Page and Paul Bryant.

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