Auditor-General's overview

Annual plan 2019/20.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

I am pleased to present my Office's Annual plan 2019/20. This plan sets out the work that my Office intends to carry out in 2019/20 and indicates the work that we are considering for the following two years.

Our job is to help Parliament to hold public organisations to account for their use of public money. We aim to improve trust in government, including the public sector, and to promote value in public spending.

This is no small task.

To ensure that our resources are targeted at the areas where we can have the maximum effect, we carefully consider and consult widely on the preparation of our Annual plan. As part of this process, we presented a draft of this plan in April and have actively sought feedback on it from a range of stakeholders, including Parliament.

I have been very pleased with the level of engagement we have had and the helpful feedback we have received from Parliament, public organisations, auditors and the broader public. All of the feedback has been useful to refine our thinking and will be used as part of the detailed scoping of the work we do.

Overall, there was strong support for the plan. Completing our work on water, progressing our procurement work, and starting our work on initiatives aimed at improving the lives of New Zealanders were endorsed. There was also particular support for two other areas we have indicated in the plan – building a work plan around ethics and integrity, and providing new and updated best practice materials to help organisations to do the right thing.

The plan highlights our ongoing work on researching what public accountability means in the 21st century and how current accountability mechanisms compare to that. It also highlights our ongoing reporting on sectors and following up on how well our recommendations are being implemented.

The core work of the Office, consuming nearly 90% of our resources, continues to be our annual audits of nearly 3500 public organisations. While we briefly summarise this work in the plan, it is the annual audit that fundamentally supports the integrity of the financial and performance reporting of public organisations. All our work is built on this very solid foundation. We spend considerable time in ensuring that New Zealanders can rely on the independence and the quality of all the work we do.

I thank everyone who has taken time to consider this plan and provide feedback on it. I also want to acknowledge the work my staff have done to prepare the plan and support the finalisation of it.

I am confident that we have developed a plan that will have a significant and positive effect on the trust and confidence New Zealanders have in their public sector. I look forward to reporting the outcome of our work to Parliament and New Zealanders over the coming year.

Nāku noa, nā

Signature - JR

John Ryan
Controller and Auditor-General

24 June 2019

Photo acknowledgement: Chris Tse