Appendix: Details about how we did our audit

Governance of the City Rail Link project.

Our eight elements of governance

We identified eight elements of good governance in our 2016 report, Reflections from our audits: Governance and accountability. We used these eight elements to help guide our fieldwork and analysis.

Our eight elements for effective governance are:

  • Set a clear purpose and stay focused on it (this includes setting realistic medium- and long-term outcomes and short-term priorities).
  • Have clear roles and responsibilities that separate governance and management.
  • Lead by setting a constructive tone.
  • Involve the right people.
  • Invest in effective relationships built on trust and respect.
  • Be clear about accountabilities and transparent about performance against them.
  • Manage risks effectively.
  • Ensure that you have good information, systems, and controls (to support effective decision-making and accountability).

The sorts of documents we looked at

We received documents from CRL Ltd, the Council, Auckland Transport, KiwiRail, the Ministry of Transport, and the Treasury. The sorts of documents we reviewed included:

  • papers to the various Boards of Directors and relevant minutes;
  • CRL Ltd's monthly reports to the Sponsors, including financial reporting and the Assurance Manager's reports to the Joint Sponsors Team;
  • minutes of meetings between the Sponsors' officials, the Assurance Manager, and CRL Ltd;
  • procurement-related information, such as examples of the Sponsors' approvals for major transactions that CRL Ltd wanted to make;
  • agendas, papers, and minutes for the Delivery Partner Steering Committee, the Sponsors' Forum, Joint Sponsors Team, and the Project Alliance Board;
  • select committee reports about CRL Ltd;
  • Cabinet papers about CRL Ltd and the CRL project;
  • relevant reports and briefings to the Ministers of Transport and Finance;
  • relevant papers and minutes of reports and briefings to Auckland Council's Governing Body and Audit and Risk Committee;
  • the legal agreements between the organisations delivering the CRL project;
  • reports on Gateway Reviews of the CRL project; and
  • relevant information on the organisations' websites.