Annual plan 2018/19.

Tēnā koutou. I am pleased to submit this Annual plan for 2018/19.

The work programme outlined in this plan strongly supports the ultimate outcome that we seek from all our work – that Parliament and New Zealanders can have trust and confidence in the public sector.

Procurement is the theme for our theme-based work starting in 2018/19, with work on procurement continuing in the following two years. Through our work, we want to influence those involved in public sector procurement to ensure that they consistently manage it well and in a principled way. In doing so, we want to contribute to maintaining the New Zealand public sector's reputation for honesty and integrity.

We describe our Procurement theme and the work we plan to carry out in Part 3. Part 2 provides an overview of our multi-year work programme and our various work categories, including our new work category – "Sharing good practice" – which directly relates to our strategic objective of strengthening the public sector. Part 1 provides context for our work.

Feedback from Parliament

Our 2018/19 work programme was confirmed after consultation with members of Parliament. This consultation helps us to ensure that our work is relevant, responsive, and useful to Parliament, public entities, and the public.

We consulted the Speaker and select committees about our proposed work programme. We thank them all for their consideration of our proposed work.

The Finance and Expenditure Committee's feedback

The Finance and Expenditure Committee (FEC) formalised its feedback and that of other select committees in a report to the House of Representatives. The FEC endorsed our planned work programme and our proposed Procurement theme-based work starting in 2018/19. The FEC suggested that we examine how well individual public entities assess risk in determining their approach to procurement and whether they adopt good practice. Risk management and good practice are important lenses that we intend to apply when we examine how well a range of public entities are carrying out their procurement responsibilities. This work will inform our approach to updating our public sector good practice guide on procurement.

The FEC further asked us to include work that ensures that the public sector has effective corruption detection and prevention processes in place, noting that this risk extends more widely than procurement. Given the scope of the FEC's request, we are considering how we can best address this through our annual audits. Our annual audits already assess public entities' control environments. We are considering how we might take more of a focus on the controls in place to reduce the risk of wrongdoing in the public sector.

Other select committees' feedback

The FEC's report to the House included feedback from the Environment Committee, the Māori Affairs Committee, the Governance and Administration Committee, and the Transport and Infrastructure Committee. These Committees supported our 2018/19 work programme and endorsed our Procurement-themed work. The Māori Affairs Committee expressed interest in our work on procurement of services in local communities, planned for 2020/21. The Committee asked us to consider how well Māori communities are served in that process. We have noted this for when our work starts. We have also noted the Transport and Infrastructure Committee's interest in the results of our work with the New Zealand Transport Agency, planned for 2019/20.

Feedback from others

Our Procurement theme has generated a lot of interest. People from within the public and private sectors and an iwi organisation sent us carefully considered and thoughtful feedback. All affirmed our aim to see public sector procurement practice improve. Some suggested additional areas to examine and other lenses to apply to our work. As we carry out further scoping, their feedback will help to shape our work.

Concluding comments

We have a challenging work programme for 2018/19 and beyond. In the coming year, we plan to conclude our work on Water management and start our three-year programme of work on Procurement. We will also carry out the work we have planned under our other work categories.

John Ryan commences his seven-year term as Controller and Auditor-General on 2 July 2018. He may decide that he wishes to vary the work set out in this Annual Plan for 2018/19.

I am confident that we are well positioned to achieve our planned work, and to continue our contribution to a high-performing and trusted public sector.

Nāku noa, nā

Signature - GS

Greg Schollum
Deputy Controller and Auditor-General

21 June 2018