Covid-19

A list of our content (including reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters) about the public sector response to Covid-19.

Over the next three years, our programme of performance audits and special studies will include a specific focus on understanding the Government’s response to Covid-19.

What we're working on

We're currently working on two follow-up reviews, looking at what the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health have done in response to our reports on the wage subsidy scheme and the nationwide vaccine roll-out. We expect to report to Parliament on these two reviews at the end of 2021. 

We will also continue to produce regular Controller reports, tracking the spending and whether it was appropriately authorised.

List of all Covid-19 content...

Trust and confidence in the public sector has never been more critical than now, as New Zealand responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's the work we've produced so far...

Preparations for the nationwide roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine

May 2021: The Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is critical to New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. This report provides an independent view on how ready the Ministry of Health and district health boards are to roll out the vaccine to the general population.

Management of the Wage Subsidy Scheme

May 2021: The Wage Subsidy Scheme is the Government's largest single area of spending in response to Covid-19. We carried out a performance audit to review how well the Government has managed the Wage Subsidy Scheme. This report is intended to provide an independent perspective to Parliament and the public and help the public sector prepare for and operate any similar schemes in the future.

Controller update: July to December 2020 Controller update: July to December 2020

30 March 2021: Most government spending for the first six months of 2020/21 has been properly authorised and was within the law. However, one of the Covid-19 initiatives has led to unappropriated spending in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Our intentions: Looking at the central response to Covid-19 Our intentions: Looking at the central response to Covid-19

23 February 2021: The Government’s response to Covid-19 has required close co-ordination between many different government agencies. We’re looking at how well co-ordinated the response has been, and how lessons learned through the response to date have been implemented.

Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19 Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19

17 September 2020: While carrying out our Controller work this year, we have been giving special attention to the Covid-19 spending. In this Update, we report on what has been approved, and what the Government has spent, on the Covid-19 response for the year ended 30 June 2020.

Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19 Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19

27 July 2020: We have examined the Government’s financial records for spending approved and incurred for the 11 months ended 31 May 2020. From what we have seen, the Covid-19 spending has been correctly approved.

District health boards: Main findings from the 2018/19 audits

July 2020: Brief summary of the main matters arising from the 2018/19 audits of district health boards. These matters include Covid-19, financial sustainability, Holidays Act 2003 compliance, procurement and contract management, and proposed changes to the health system.

Ministry of Health: Management of personal protective equipment in response to Covid-19

June 2020: In April 2020, we agreed with the Ministry of Health to independently review its management of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the early stages of the country’s response to Covid-19. In times of crisis, people need to have trust and confidence in the systems and arrangements set up to support them. We decided that it was important to take an independent look at how the Ministry has been managing both the national reserve of PPE and the supply of PPE during the pandemic.

Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19 Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19

11 June 2020: We have examined the Government’s financial records for spending approved and expenses incurred against these approvals for the 10 months ended 30 April 2020. From what we have seen, the Covid-19 spending approvals have been managed appropriately. We report on one area where spending has been incurred without the correct approvals.

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.

Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19 Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19

12 May 2020: We have examined the Government's financial records for expenditure approved and expenses incurred during March 2020. From what we have seen, the Covid-19 expenditure has been approved correctly. We have not identified any expenditure incurred during March without Parliament and Cabinet approvals.

Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19 Controller update on Government spending on Covid-19

9 April 2020: There will be an unprecedented amount of public money spent over the coming months as the Government responds to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will monitor the Covid-19 spending and will report to the public and Parliament about how the Government is accounting for it.

COVID-19: Important governance matters to consider COVID-19: Important governance matters to consider

3 April 2020: The Auditor-General has written to the chief executives of a range of public agencies about important governance matters to consider during the response to the pandemic. The contents of this letter are useful matters for all chief executives and senior managers to consider.

Auditing in the context of COVID-19 Auditing in the context of COVID-19

25 March 2020: We’re aware that the current circumstances leave public entities unsure how they might meet their accountability obligations. The Auditor-General’s audit service providers are responding to the evolving COVID-19 situation with the best interests of our communities in mind.