Bimberi Operations and Financial Performance Audit Internal Audit 2009-2010
The Human Rights Commission in its report, The ACT Youth Justice System 2011: a report to the ACT Legislative Assembly by the ACT Human Rights Commission published on 28 July 2011 referenced the Bimberi Operations and Financial Performance Audit Internal Audit 2009-2010 by Oakton. As a consequence it is in the public interest to make this internal audit report available to the ACT community to provide greater clarity.
The Community Services Directorate (previously ACT Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services (DHCS) transferred an operational budget of $5.8m from Quamby to Bimberi on opening into 2009-10 financial year.
An additional $0.710m was pre-planned and made available through the ACT Budget in 2008-09 for commissioning and operating costs for Bimberi and over the period to June 2010 included:
- employee expenses (approximately $0.5m);
- property, plant and equipment expenses (approximately $80,000);
- utility costs (approximately $50,000);
- professional services (approximately $31,000); and
- Repairs and Maintenance (approximately $30,000).
In the first half of 2009, DHCS commenced working with ACT Treasury to develop a ‘zero base’ operating budget for Bimberi based on an analysis of centre utilisation and expenditure. Central to the rationale for a zero base budget approach was the recognition that Bimberi was unlike conventional youth detention facilities and was a larger centre with additional facilities. Within the principles of prudent financial management, analysis of actual expenditure incurred over an initial operating period would provide an accurate evidence base to put to Government on the costs of operating Bimberi. The analysis also took into account the fact that the first 12 months of operation included the ‘defect and liability period’ for the physical infrastructure and plant.
In mid June 2009, the Department through the Internal Audit and Review Committee commissioned a Bimberi Post Occupancy Review. The rationale was to undertake an independent audit of Bimberi operations after a consolidation period to demonstrate that DHCS is taking a proactive approach to ensure that the facility was operating as intended and provide an opportunity for the timely identification/ rectification of potential issues or problems. Oakton was engaged in August 2009 and a final report provided in December 2009. The Oakton audit demonstrated that additional costs were incurred in operating Bimberi. A copy of the report can be accessed here.
A business case was developed for 2010-11 budget process based on the zero base budget analysis and the Oakton audit. The business case acknowledged the high likelihood that the numbers of young people at the centre would increase and sought a commitment from Government to provide additional funding.
In the 2010-11 Budget, the Government provided $1.704m for the operations of Bimberi. Government agreed that DHCS would continue to monitor costs and bring forward a further submission in the event there is an ongoing requirement for the third unit to be operational.