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For many years, the Australian Governments have placed emphasis on the need for interagency collaboration with the government institutions to improve service delivery. The key goals for such collaborative efforts include the seamless service delivery, effective program implementation, and sharing of information. The culture of collaboration has particularly been effective in the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
ANAO uses varied ways of reaching an agreement with multiple agencies, some of the methods include the use of Exchange of Letter, Business Partnership, high level of Collaborative Head Agreement, and other related approaches. An example of a collaboration in ANAO is the one between the Commonwealth agencies that was structured with the sole purpose of assessing whether the institutions offer sound administrative services (National Audit Office 2017, p. 1). The collaborate process involves the reviewing of the existing government policies and conduct interviews with agencies to establish the appropriate audit criteria and consequently develop appropriate practices. Through the collaboration with Commonwealth, 200 cross-agency agreements have been described and that have been obtained from 21 agencies that are operational in the public sector. Out of these, 19 have included portfolio departments while the rest have been on Centerline and the Australian Taxation Office.
An alternative approach in the collaborations in ANAO was the one with the Australian Public Service that was achieved within the last few years. The goal has been to ensure that there are effective operative services between within the organizational borders to emphasize on better implementation of government policies. It also serves to enhance the delivery service while improving the process of sharing information. Agreements such as that with the APS ae often non-binding in nature but they ought to be administered basing on sound principles of governance, ensure that there is openness, consider the need for accountability and ensure that there is value for money. In the current APS framework, cross-agency frameworks are vital tools for administration. Often the development of complex agreements is a lengthy process and many required resource and capital input. In many cases, the collaborations by ANAO have proved to be effective for the basis upon which they are intended. The effort placed in the process of negotiating, advancing and implementing the ANAO collaborations has thus been founded to have a substantial outcome and assisted in the formulation and execution of various policy initiatives (Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) 2018).
My organization, ANAO, has been involved in professional collaboration on various dimensions. One of the considerations that are taken into account is the need for planning in advance to ensure that there is appropriate coordination of activities. The essence of planning based on my assessment is that it ensures that the resources are utilized maximally especially when they are limited in nature. It is paramount that the planning is done when both parties engaging in the agreement are available because it will reduce the chances for one side exploiting or taking advantage of the other. In fact, by basing on the costly nature of such agreement, I think that planning for the way the collaborative agreement will be reached it crucial (Healey 2003, p. 105).
Another consideration that ANAO takes into account in the collaborations that it engages is the need for effectiveness and ensure that there is transparency in both the financial and human resource sectors. Just as any other business relationship, there is an emphasis on the importance of building trust and that can only be achieved by being accountable for all transactions and balances that are involved in the partnership agreement. It is noted that the collaboration often involves capital input, which can be costly to either or both parties involved. It thus necessitates the need for being accountable for the transaction that take place in the process and for quantifying the likelihood that a problem could result. As an auditing firm, it is especially significant that the factor of transparency is taken into consideration because it determines the reliability of either party, which is useful when establishing similar relationships in the future (Talbot & Wiggan 2010).
Performance indicators are also an essential input that my organization has consistently been linked with and affirms its need when building partnerships. The performance evaluating factors are often measurable in nature and are used by the firm to ascertain the effectiveness of the project that is set to be achieved. I think that the approach is important because the indicators give clues about the overall performance. The funding processes are particularly significant as financial services can act as a symbol defining the significance of the cross-agency arrangement. I also think that the appropriateness of this move taken by my firm is to emphasize its firmness in monitoring activities and those related to evaluation practices. The process of using measurable concepts ensures that there is shared risk because it is an effective approach when dealing with cross-agency partnerships (Norton & Smith 2008).
Regular updating of systems is another significant approach that is notable with ANAO, and it serves to ensure that the recommended level of quality is not only established in the system but is maintained at that level. It is notably important when the collaboration involves getting into activities that require internal monitoring to warrant that there is consistency in the arrangement that has been reached through collaborative effort (Choi et al. 2010). I also think that my firm needs to combine the update of registers that can be used as an account of the chance that there is poor performance. The ability to trace such factors can only be achieved through the use of a register in the system. In the event that there are large volumes of agreements, it becomes useful to place a register in place. The realization of regular reviews thus enhances the credibility score for ANAO as it promoted multifaceted analysis and determination of various of agreements. Overall, I believe that the activities that the company engages in are appropriate and considerate to cater for the present and future demands in the collaborative world, which overall boost business operations.
Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), 2018. Effective Cross-Agency Agreements. Commonwealth of Australia. Available at: https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/effective-cross-agency-agreements.
Choi, J.H. et al., 2010. Audit office size, audit quality, and audit pricing. Auditing, 29(1), pp.73–97.
Healey, P., 2003. Collaborative Planning in perspective. Planning Theory, 2(2), pp.101–123.
National Audit Office, 2017. Investigation: WannaCry cyber attack and the NHS - National Audit Office (NAO). National Audit Office, (October 2017), p.1. Available at: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Investigation-WannaCry-cyber-attack-and-the-NHS.pdf%0Ahttps://www.nao.org.uk/report/investigation-wannacry-cyber-attack-and-the-nhs/.
Norton, S.D. & Smith, L.M., 2008. Contrast and foundation of the public oversight roles of the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.K. National Audit Office. Public Administration Review, 68(5), pp.921–931.
Talbot, C. & Wiggan, J., 2010. The public value of the National Audit Office. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 23(1), pp.54–70. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/10.1108/09513551011012321.
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