John Menadue. More problems with the Department of Health and Ageing.

On 16 March, I drew attention to a Capability Review of the Department of Health and Ageing by the Australian Public Service Commission. It set out a very worrying analysis of the overall performance of DHA.

We now have a report by the Australian National Audit Office of DHA’s administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA). The 5CPA is the fifth agreement which the Commonwealth Government has made to provide subsidised medicines to Australians who are eligible through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This agreement is with community pharmacies across Australia.

The Australian National Audit office points to major concerns about DHA’s administration of this 5CPA.

It says ‘Six broad principles and objectives were included in the 5CPA. Limited departmental information plus shortcomings in DHA’s performance reporting and 5CPA evaluation framework mean that the department is not well positioned to assess whether the commonwealth is receiving value for money from the agreement overall, or performance against the six principles and objectives.’

The report adds ‘Administration of 5CPA has been mixed … A number of key government negotiating objectives for the 5CPA were only partially realised and there have been shortcomings in key aspects of DHA’s administration at the development, negotiation and implementation phases. …’

The report refers to shortcomings in the Department’s estimation methodology and that a number of the government’s strategic negotiating objectives were only partially realised.

Like the Capability Review by the Australian Public Service Commission, this report by the Australian National Audit Office points again to the extremely worrying performance of the Department of Health and Ageing.

The performance of the department on co-payments should not be a surprise to anyone.

The long-time secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing has been promoted to become the Secretary of Finance.  John Menadue.

See link below for full report.


John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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