Publications produced during 2016

This is a list of the publications produced in 2016 (the most recent items are listed first).
Results of the 2015 school audits

December 2016: We reported on the results of the 2015 school audits to the Ministry of Education on 21 October 2016. This information, on the completion of the 2015 school audits and the types of opinions we issued, was included in our report to the Ministry of Education.

Central government: Results of the 2015/16 audits

December 2016: This report discusses the 2016 audit findings of, and the opinion we issued for, the financial statements of the Government. For the first time this year, we have included “key audit matters” in our audit report on the financial statements of the Government. Reporting on key audit matters is a new requirement for selected entities under a new international auditing standard. We decided to apply this standard to the audit of the Government’s 2015/16 financial statements because we considered this to be of use to the readers of these accounts. We have produced what we believe is the world’s first audit report on government financial statements to include a section on key audit matters.

Governance of the National Security System

November 2016: In our view, the governance arrangements for responding to national security events and emergencies are well established, fundamentally sound, and fit for purpose. The response to Operation Concord was an example of the National Security System working well. New Zealand’s security system has some of the characteristics of a world-class system.

Assessing the performance of the Office of the Auditor-General against International Standards

November 2016: This report presents the overall results of our own assessment using the Supreme Audit Institution Performance Measurement Framework. Both this and the detailed report have been peer reviewed by the INTOSAI Development Initiative. The assessment has identified strengths in the Office's operating environment, audit work, and management, as well as areas for further attention.

Summary of our Education for Māori reports

October 2016: Every child in New Zealand deserves to thrive physically, academically, socially, and culturally. However, too many Māori children leave school without the education they deserve.

Annual Report 2015/16

September 2016, ISSN 1179-8963: The Annual Report 2015/16 reports on our achievements and progress towards our outcomes and strategic intentions during 2015/16.

Auckland Council: How it deals with complaints

August 2016: As part of our periodic reviews of the Council's service performance, we audited the Council's complaints-handling process. Overall, the Council has a focus on resolving complaints, and most are dealt with in a timely manner. But it could do better in some aspects – in particular, collecting information from the complainant's perspective.

Health sector: Results of the 2014/15 audits

August 2016: In general, district health boards are doing reasonably well at marshalling their resources for current operational needs. However, our analysis of their financial statements for successive years suggests that their planning for the future and ability to deal with uncertainty or changing circumstances is limited.

Annual Plan 2016/17

June 2016: The Annual Plan 2016/17 sets out our proposed work programme for 2016/17. Our 2016/17 Information theme reflects the increasing importance of information to the effective and efficient delivery of public services now and in the future.

Energy sector: Results of the 2014/15 audits

June 2016: Most companies in the energy sector, such as electricity distribution businesses, are monopolies and are subject to regulation. We are often told that the regulations are complex and require significant effort to ensure staff understand the detail of the regulations. It is also important that auditors have a good understanding of the regulations. Some electricity distribution businesses have made, or are planning to make, investments seeking revenue from sources beyond their core business, for example investment in telecommunications fibre networks and commercial property. The governors of these businesses need to be cautious and undertake appropriate due diligence so they fully understand the risks of their potential investments.

Collecting and using information about suicide

June 2016: Public agencies collect and use some information well to help them support those affected by suicide and find ways to prevent it. For example, reliable and detailed mortality statistics are kept on suicides and there is a rapid advice system in place for coroners to tell district health boards about suspected suicides in their area.

Home-based support services for older people: Follow-up audit

June 2016: The Ministry’s progress in implementing national home-care quality indicators has been slow and it is currently working to produce a better set of indicators. The Ministry has strengthened infrastructure that should help it to better collect and use performance information to monitor the quality of home-care once national indicators are in place.

Crown Fibre Holdings Limited: Managing the first phase of rolling out ultra-fast broadband

June 2016: Crown Fibre has managed commercial partner rollout performance effectively, and has implemented a testing programme to assure quality. The proportion of the network that has been built and passed the quality testing programme so far is ahead of schedule and the first phase of the roll-out looks likely to be delivered on time and within budget by December 2019. The network looks likely to meet all of the targets set by the Government.

District health boards’ response to asset management requirements since 2009

June 2016: We found that standard asset management practices, like knowing, monitoring and reporting on the condition and performance of assets and having integrated asset, service, and financial plans do not seem to be standard practice for more than half of DHBs. We also found that, since 2009, fewer than half of DHBs showed indicators of asset spending and building up money to pay for future assets at levels we think characterise good financial and asset management.

Education for Māori: Using information to improve Māori educational success

June 2016: This report focuses on the use of information across the education sector to support Māori educational success. Although Māori educational achievement is improving overall, results for Māori students from roughly similar communities, being educated in roughly similar settings and circumstances, are very different. Schools must collect, analyse, and use information about Māori students to ensure that they are doing everything they can to give Māori students the best chance at a great education.

Immigration New Zealand: Supporting new migrants to settle and work

June 2016: The progress made so far looks promising but it is too early to say how settlement outcomes of new migrants have been affected ‒ in particular, whether the barriers faced by secondary skilled migrants and temporary work visa holders have reduced. The Ministry needs to keep monitoring, and reporting on the effectiveness of settlement services. This is to ensure that resources are targeted where they are most needed, and that the settlement needs of new migrants are met.

Effectiveness and efficiency of arrangements to repair pipes and roads in Christchurch - follow-up audit

May 2016: We found out that the public entities have made good progress in addressing the recommendations that we made in our 2013 report. SCIRT has made solid progress in repairing damaged pipes and roads. Also, the public entities have improved the governance arrangements over SCIRT. These improvements include clearer roles and responsibilities, more effective guidance and clearer direction to SCIRT, and improvements in reporting.

Local government: Results of the 2014/15 audits

April 2016: Communities continue to expect that their council will manage spending well and keep rate increases to a minimum. But the demand for services, and the need for investment in infrastructure, is generally not reducing. Councils must think about the long term and consider how to adapt.

Public sector accountability through raising concerns

March 2016: In this report, we discuss how easily people can make their complaints and raise their concerns through various channels and what we have learned about the strengths of, and challenges facing, six particular inquiry agencies. The inquiry agencies we looked at are facing increasing challenges, including increased demand for their services, increased complexity of issues brought to them, and resource constraints.

Improving financial reporting in the public sector

February 2016: This report reflects on the concerns raised in 2009, sets out our views about how well these concerns have been addressed, and provides some insight into the future of financial reporting. There have been positive changes to accounting standards during the last six to seven years, which we expect to lead to improvements in financial reporting. The positive changes include setting up an independent body to set accounting standards and adopting a new Accounting Standards Framework for all reporting entities...