Part 2: Our strategic context

Annual plan 2020/21.

Our strategic direction

The Auditor-General’s strategic intentions to 2025 is our long-term strategic planning document. It sets out the enduring outcomes and impacts we seek from our work and provides the strategic context for our annual work programme.

The ultimate outcome we seek is that Parliament and New Zealanders have trust and confidence in the public sector. For this to happen, the public sector has to perform well and provide reliable, meaningful, and timely information so it can be held accountable. Everything we do is directed to achieving these outcomes. To contribute to this, we aim to influence the following:

  • Parliament provides effective scrutiny of the sector.
  • New Zealanders are better informed about the performance and accountability of the public sector.
  • The public sector improves its performance and accountability.

Figure 1 sets out our performance framework.

Figure 1
Our performance framework

Figure 1 - Our performance framework.

As the auditor of every public entity, we have a role with each organisation – and we can also see the overall performance and accountability of the entire public sector. This gives us a unique position from which to influence a high-performing and accountable public sector that has the trust and confidence of Parliament and New Zealanders.

Our strategy

We have a medium-term strategy (our strategy), which describes how we will build on our core functions and what we will do differently to generate the impacts we need to achieve our outcomes. We regularly review our progress against our strategy in the context of our changing operating environment. This enables us to focus our work on where we can make the most difference in influencing our outcomes.

Our strategy is organised around four strategic shifts that we need to make to respond to the changing operating context in which we work and to enhance the impact of our activities (see Figure 2).

Figure 2
The four strategic shifts we aim to make

Strategic shift 1 Strategic shift 2 Strategic shift 3 Strategic shift 4
Focus more on examining how well the public sector achieves positive change for New Zealanders Help New Zealanders become better informed about public sector performance and accountability Be more active in sharing insights about what “good” looks like Help improve the public sector accountability system

The work programme in this annual plan is organised around four broad areas of work that align to our strategic shifts:

  • How well is the public sector improving the lives of New Zealanders? (Strategic shift 1);
  • How well is the public accountability system working as a whole? (Strategic shift 4);
  • Keeping New Zealanders informed about public sector performance and accountability (Strategic shift 2); and
  • Sharing insights about what "good" looks like (Strategic shift 3).

In addition, we have planned for a specific area of work that aligns to all our strategic shifts:

  • Providing assurance to Parliament and the public on the Covid-19 pandemic response and recovery.

We provide more information in Part 4 about these areas and the work we intend to carry out under each.