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The limits of our role

Our work | Inquiries

In inquiries, our role is to investigate and to report our findings and our opinion. Our scrutiny and reporting helps hold public entities to account, and we can refer issues to other agencies for action. However, we do not have direct power to change what an entity is doing.

When people ask us to inquire into an issue, it is important that they understand the limits of our role. For example:

  • We can't intervene in decisions that public entities are making, or the decision-making processes they are following.
  • We can't injunct or stop activities or contracts.
  • We can't make a decision about the legality of actions.
  • We can't order redress or other remedies, or overturn decisions.
  • We can't direct a public entity to act on our findings or recommendations.

Page last updated: 27 April 2017

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Our website for schools

Some of our work has been rewritten as case studies, designed to fit into the New Zealand Curriculum. We've also made a video about our role in the Parliamentary system. Check out auditor-general.parliament.nz to find out more...

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