Part 6: Sharing insights about what “good” looks like

Draft annual plan 2022/23.

To improve their performance, public organisations need to understand what is expected of them. They also need relevant good practice guidance. In 2022/23, we intend to continue sharing examples of good practice to support public organisations to improve.

After the local government elections in October 2022, we will offer induction sessions to new councillors and provide them with our good practice resources on topics of interest, including managing conflicts of interest.

We will also maintain our focus on supporting independent audit and risk committees. We see these committees as critical in supporting public organisations to improve their performance and accountability.

Proposed work: Helping to support the effectiveness of audit and risk committees

Independent audit and risk committees are critical in supporting effective governance, accountability, and transparency of public organisations.

Building on our work in 2021/22, we will continue to support and strengthen these relationships by focusing our engagement with audit and risk committees for targeted sectors.

We will focus on:

  • continuing to run local and central government audit and risk forums; and
  • reviewing and updating our good practice guidance for audit and risk committees.

We will continue producing good practice resources on topics of interest to the public sector. These include good practice guidance for audit and risk committees (an update of our existing guidance) and good practice guidance on performance reporting. As discussed in Part 4, we will also prepare additional material to support the use of our integrity framework. Where appropriate, we plan to work with other organisations that prepare good practice on similar topics to help public organisations improve.

Proposed work: Good practice guidance on performance reporting

We want to help public organisations improve how they report on their performance, and enable more effective public accountability, by providing regular insights and examples of good practice on performance reporting.

In 2021/22, we published the first of a series of guidance on performance reporting, focusing on good examples from central government of:

  • reporting on what is important to users;
  • providing a coherent account of performance; and
  • reporting on impacts and the contribution to outcomes.
In 2022/23, we expect to publish further good practice guidance on performance reporting. After the release of the first guidance, we will consult with public organisations and other stakeholders to determine the focus of the second guidance. It might include a focus on local government, reporting on major new initiatives, new disclosure requirements in the accounting standard, or effective service reporting linked to financial reporting.

We will use existing forums, our “Sharing good practice” speaker series, and other relevant events to share good practice and examples of practices and processes that are done well. We will also continue to send out our quarterly “Auditor-General’s Update” to chief executives and audit and risk committee chairpersons. These provide public organisations’ chief executives and governors with information about our work and shares insights and good practice.

Proposed work: Sharing good practice speaker series
We intend to continue our quarterly speaker series where we host online and in person events with a range of speakers and panellists from the public and private sectors who share their good practice experience, practices, and processes.

To help improve public sector procurement practices, we also intend to publish a report reflecting on our findings from our three-year work programme on procurement.

Proposed work: Procurement reflections report – wrap up of our procurement work
Procurement is the process that public organisations use to obtain different kinds of goods and services to support their work. We want to support public organisations to get the best possible outcomes from the spending of public money, which is why we started a multi-year work programme on procurement in 2018/19.

The work programme began with an introductory report: Introducing our work about procurement. Since then, we have produced a range of procurement-related reports, some of which are still underway. A procurement reflections report is the final piece of work in this work programme. The reflections report will analyse our past procurement reports and identify key themes and good practice. We wish to inform and engage key public sector stakeholders (including Parliament and officials working in procurement functions) on our findings with the aim of improving public sector procurement practices.