26 September 2023

Destination NSW its own major event

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A performance audit into whether Destination NSW (DNSW) can demonstrate that its support for major events achieves value for money has been realised.

In her report, Destination NSW’s support for major events, Auditor-General Margaret Crawford makes four recommendations aimed at improving documentation and increasing transparency.

“Destination NSW’s processes for assessing event applications and evaluating its support for major events are mostly effective,” Ms Crawford said.

“DNSW’s internal systems allow it to know whether its decisions are achieving value for money,” she said.

“Its public reporting does not provide enough information about its activities and their outcomes, although it is consistent with that of equivalent organisations in other Australian jurisdictions.”

Ms Crawford said her audit focused on DNSW’s work to attract major events to NSW but did not assess its tourism promotion or development work.

“DNSW has a framework for disclosure and monitoring staff conflicts of interest,” she said.

“However, its forms for staff to disclose conflicts of interest on specific events they are working on are ambiguous.”

She recommended DNSW improve its documentation of initial event assessment by: providing more detailed guidance for staff on how to make assessments against DNSW’s funding criteria; documenting the reasons for initial assessments against funding criteria in more detail; and documenting Ministerial directions relating to funding events.

Ms Crawford also recommended DNSW consider the use of a streamlined approach to assess and evaluate major events that receive a small amount of funding; improve the application of policies for managing staff independence risks; and increase transparency by including more detail about the major events it funded and the outcome of these events in its public reporting.

The Auditor-General’s 26-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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