Links to our reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters about public accountability.
Value for money – a simply complex problem

21 June 2024: Value for money is an important measure of public sector performance that helps public organisations to strike the right balance between what is spent and what is achieved. In this article, the Auditor-General describes the public sector’s challenge with defining, assessing, and reporting on value for money.

Meeting the needs of people affected by family violence and sexual violence

27 June 2023: We published a report in 2021 that described how effectively a joint venture involving 10 government agencies had been set up to support efforts to reduce family violence and sexual violence. In this report, we look at how the government agencies are working individually, together, and with tangata whenua, communities, and non-government organisations to understand and respond to the needs of people affected by family violence and sexual violence.

Māori perspectives on public accountability

21 July 2022: We commissioned Haemata Limited to help us understand more about Māori perspectives on effective public accountability. Guided by kaupapa Māori research principles, Haemata had wide-ranging discussions with 35 Māori participants about their perspectives on accountability and trust in, and with, the public sector. The findings in Haemata's report highlight issues that we consider are of importance to all public organisations that seek to build and maintain trust and confidence with Māori.

Building a stronger public accountability system for New Zealanders

October 2021: This discussion paper explores how well New Zealand's public accountability system is working in practice. For this work, we surveyed members of the public and interviewed people who work with the public accountability system. As public accountability is primarily about relationships between people, we focused on the views of people who experience the public accountability system and/or work with it.

Working in new ways to address family violence and sexual violence

June 2021: In September 2018, the Government announced the formation of the Joint Venture for Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The joint venture is accountable for significantly reducing family violence and sexual violence and involves new ministerial arrangements, new public service governance arrangements, and new ways for agencies to work. We carried out a performance audit of this new way of working.

Author portrait picture Auditing public organisations during Covid-19

Covid-19 might have consequences for the audit of public organisations' accountability statements, and for the messages included in their audit reports. Todd Beardsworth (Assistant Auditor-General, Audit Quality) sets out some questions for organisations to consider, and looks at how Covid-19 might affect this year's audit reports.

Author portrait picture It all comes back to trust and confidence

Here at the Office of the Auditor-General, our overall strategic outcome is about making sure that Parliament and New Zealanders have trust and confidence in the public sector. So it was a familiar topic at October’s Leaders Integrity Forum when the focus was about building and maintaining trust.

Author portrait picture What is an inquiry?

The Auditor-General has the power to inquire into public entities’ use of public resources. What exactly does that mean? In the first of a series of blogs about our inquiry work, Inquiries Manager David Lemmon explains…

Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence

September 2019: This discussion paper is the first phase in a programme of work about the future of public accountability. It is not a detailed review of New Zealand's current constitutional arrangements, but explores the role public accountability plays in maintaining trust and confidence in the public sector.

Author portrait picture Bouncing around at the top of the Corruption Perceptions Index

Each year that the corruption perceptions index score is announced, New Zealand seems to bounce between first and second place. When the table you’re bouncing on is a league table of the world’s corruption perceptions, bouncing between first and second is not so bad. In fact, it’s good news for the public sector here in Aotearoa.

Public Audit – Achieving Better Public Accountability

September 2001: Paper presented by Robert Buchanan, Assistant Auditor-General . The aim of this paper, therefore, is to explain what the Auditor-General does and show how the Act fits into the system of public sector accountability.