Part 4: Our intentions for 2012/13

Overview of the Auditor-General’s work in the transport sector.

In 2012/13, the Auditor-General will audit and report on how well equipped and supported the public sector is to respond to future (and changing) needs and talk with a wide range of people about our country’s future.

The theme – Our future needsis the public sector ready? – will guide our annual work programme for the financial year, with some work starting before 1 July 2012 to allow us to complete it by 30 June 2013. We are considering what transport audit work – such as looking at integrating land-use and transport planning − we might do in 2012/13 to support this theme.

Performance audits

We audit the performance of public entities. Most performance audits are carried out under section 16 of the Public Audit Act 2001. A performance audit can examine:

  • how effectively and efficiently a public entity is working;
  • whether a public entity is complying with its statutory obligations;
  • any act or omission that might waste public resources; and
  • any act or omission that might show (or appear to show) a lack of probity or financial prudence by a public entity or one or more of its members, office holders, and employees.

We are planning or carrying out performance audits looking at how effectively:

  • the relevant agencies are dealing with road crashes involving alcohol-affected or drugged drivers;
  • Auckland is moving to integrated ticketing; and
  • KiwiRail is improving how it maintains and improves the rail network.

We are also providing assurance about the work that the Civil Aviation Authority is doing in response to our previous recommendations.

Long-term plans

The Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) requires the Auditor-General to audit every local authority’s draft and final LTP. Our auditing of LTPs assures New Zealanders that the plans comply with the requirements of the Act and that the underlying information on which each LTP is based is reasonable and supportable.7 We work with our auditors to ensure that consistent standards are applied throughout the sector.

Our focus on transport in Auckland

There is a funding gap between Auckland’s transport aspirations and current revenue sources. Auckland’s transport network is challenged by the current fiscal environment.

Choices to address the demand and funding imbalance may include:

  • changing land-use plans, with bigger outer business districts to reduce central city demand; and
  • introducing and improving viable alternatives to road travel, such as rail, to reduce demand for roads.

Auckland’s transport capacity and funding are long-term issues likely to have a large effect on the region’s economy. Our annual and LTP audit work looks at how Auckland Council consults with the public on its plans and the quality of information that it uses in asset management planning and financial forecasts.

Other Auckland-related work we may consider includes:

  • comparing transport planning and management decisions with overseas equivalents;
  • auditing major projects during planning and procurement; and
  • auditing major projects for effectiveness and value for money.

7: See section 84(4) of the Act. Help is available to local authorities through the Society of Local Government Managers, which has produced guides for writing LTPs for local authorities.

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