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Publications produced during 2014

This is a list of the publications produced in 2014 (the most recent items are listed first).
Making the most of audit committees in the public sector
In 2015, we updated the material that was published here in November 2014. Please see the audit committee resources in the "our work" section of our website. You'll find the principles we consider useful when setting up and running audit committees there, too...
Government planning and support for housing on Māori land
December 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
Central government: Results of the 2013/14 audits
December 2014: This report sets out the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government for the year ended 30 June 2014 and of carrying out the Controller function. It highlights a number of matters arising from that work, including costs of the Canterbury rebuild, the effect of Solid Energy’s financial performance, the accounting treatment for certain major public sector assets, and improving financial management in central government...
Ministry of Social Development: Using a case management approach to service delivery
December 2014: This report looks at the Ministry of Social Development’s case management approach to delivering its services. We looked at the approach the Ministry uses for working-age adults in its 160 Work and Income service centres after welfare reforms resulted in significant changes. Overall, we found that the Ministry’s case management approach is serving most clients well, most of the time. It had tailored its work-focused case management approach to provide the greatest support to those most likely to need it. We found that the Ministry was well placed to measure the effect of their case management approach, but that the early results were mixed...
Water and roads: Funding and management challenges
November 2014: Collectively, local authorities are responsible for more than $100 billion of community assets that provide essential everyday services. This report sets out an overview of the approach that local authorities are taking to managing their infrastructure assets. We focused on roading, water supply, wastewater, and storm water services...
Accident Compensation Corporation: Using a case management approach to rehabilitation
November 2014: The report finds that ACC needs to make changes to its case management systems and processes to ensure that it is effectively meeting people’s needs. ACC needs to look at how it uses and captures information about effective treatment and rehabilitation options, its internal quality review and coaching tools, how it communicates with people, how adequate and appropriate its case management services are for long-term clients with complex needs, and how it manages the transfer of clients between it and other public entities...
Challenges facing licensing trusts
October 2014: This report brings our observations and concerns about licensing trusts to the attention of those with an interest in this part of the public sector. We found that some licensing trusts are well managed and quite successful, despite current economic challenges. However, increasing numbers of licensing trusts are struggling with profitability and financial viability. Some licensing trusts also resist the costs of public sector external accountability...
Continuing to improve how you report on your TEI’s service performance
October 2014: We sent this letter to the leaders of all tertiary education institutions (TEIs) about the findings of the latest audits. The letter describes which aspects of reporting on TEIs' service performance is done well, and where we'd like to see further improvements...
Annual Report 2013/14
September 2014, ISSN 1179-8963 (print), ISSN 1179-8971 (online).
Ashburton District Council: Allegations of conflicts of interest affecting decisions on a second bridge
October 2014: This report looks at how three elected members of Ashburton District Council managed conflict of interest questions recently...
New Zealand Transport Agency: Maintaining and renewing the state highway network – follow-up report
October 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
From auditor to soldier
August 2014: During World War 1, 32 of the Audit Department’s staff enlisted to serve their country. These are their stories.
Accident Compensation Corporation: How it deals with complaints
August 2014: Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has signalled its commitment to be a more client-focused organisation in the future. However, some people do not receive the standard of service they expect from ACC and make complaints. The most common complaints are a result of ineffective communication or people feeling they have not been kept fully informed, treated fairly, or treated with dignity and respect. ACC has work under way to address some of the problems we have identified. Despite positive signs, ACC has much to improve because its current complaints system is not effective...
Ministry of Social Development: How it deals with complaints
August 2014: We looked at how the Ministry’s Work and Income, StudyLink, and Senior Services sections manage complaints. In our view, the way the Ministry deals with complaints has many positive features. However, the Ministry could do better in some aspects...
State-owned enterprises: Results of the 2012/13 audits
July 2014: State-owned enterprises are an important and financially significant part of the public sector. This report provides an analysis of what our audit work and audited financial statements can tell us about the financial health of SOEs and the listed companies that are majority-owned by the Crown...
Public entities’ progress in implementing the Auditor-General’s recommendations 2014
July 2014: A compendium report containing all of the progress articles that we have published since December 2013.
Inland Revenue Department: Making it easy for taxpayers to comply
July 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
Effectiveness of arrangements for co-ordinating civilian maritime patrols
July 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
Annual Plan 2014/15
June 2014: The Annual Plan 2014/15 sets out our proposed work programme for 2014/15. The programme has a focus on governance and accountability. The document also describes the Office’s priorities and the work that would be useful, based on our knowledge of the public sector and its strengths, challenges, and issues...
The Auditor-General's strategic intentions 2014/15 to 2017/18
June 2014: The Auditor-General’s strategic intentions 2014/15 to 2017/18 sets out the outcomes we seek, and the four strategic objectives we will focus on, during the next four years...
Setting up Central Agencies Shared Services
June 2014: The central agencies did not follow best practice in setting up Central Agencies Shared Services (CASS). CASS was set up by the intended date, but important and fundamental aspects of the change were not done well. Setting up CASS has benefited some service users. Some improvements have allowed the central agencies to better work together. However, CASS functions are performing at different levels of effectiveness. It is not yet clear whether CASS provides a useful model for the public sector to follow...
Home-based support services for older people
June 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
District health boards: Availability and accessibility of after-hours services
June 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
Watercare Services Limited: Review of service performance
May 2014: Overall, Watercare strives to provide its customers with good customer service, and it has been largely successful. In our view, it has been largely successful. Watercare inherited a complex set of tariff arrangements and has been progressively standardising them. However, Watercare could improve some aspects of its performance – in particular, by providing its customers with better information about how it operates and what customers can expect...
Local government: Results of the 2012/13 audits
May 2014: ISBN 978-0-478-41073-0 (print), ISBN 978-0-478-41074-7 (online).
Inquiry into the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board: Follow-up report
May 2014: In this report, we look at the Board’s progress in responding to our recommendations. The Board has taken our recommendations seriously and has worked hard to address them. The action that it has taken has moved it onto a more sure administrative and legal footing. Overall, we saw much less to concern us during our follow-up work than we did in the period preceding our 2010 report...
Reflections from our audits: Our future needs - is the public sector ready?
May 2014: In this report, the Auditor-General, Lyn Provost summarises her views on the theme "Our future needs – is the public sector ready?" using common threads drawn from her Office’s audit work and reports published during the 18 months from June 2012 to December 2013...
Health sector: Results of the 2012/13 audits
May 2014: This report describes the results of our 2012/13 audits of entities in the health sector and our recent performance audit work to assess the effectiveness of particular aspects of the public health system...
Schools: Results of the 2012 audits
May 2014: Up to 28 February 2014, we completed nearly 2450 audits of schools’ financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2012. This report presents the results from our audits of those statements. This report also includes an overview of the financial health of schools as a whole, and articles on state-integrated schools, Kura Kaupapa Māori, and changes to schools’ financial reporting requirements...
New Zealand Customs Service: Managing Trade Assurance capability risks
May 2014: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations...
Central government: Results of the 2012/13 audits (Volume 2)
April 2014: This report presents the aggregate results of our audit of the central government agencies for 2012/13 ...
Additional Work on Solid Energy New Zealand Limited
March 2014: The Auditor-General's briefing to the Commerce Committee on Solid Energy. ISBN 978-0-478-41065-5 (online).
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point
March 2014: Delta lost about $5.9 million on the Luggate investment and has projected a loss of about $2.8 million for Jacks Point. The report identifies that there was too much focus on the likely profits and not enough consideration of risks of the market slowing or an exit strategy if things went wrong. It also suggests that Delta should have got independent advice before investing.
The Auditor-General's Auditing Standards
March 2014: ISBN 978-0-478-32690-1 (print), ISBN 978-0-478-32691-8 (online).
The Treasury: Learning from managing the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme
March 2014: In 2011, we made four recommendations for the Treasury to prepare for potentially large and complex initiatives that might require rapid implementation. The Treasury has responded positively to our recommendations about improving project management and implementing a planning, monitoring, escalation, and reporting framework.
Department of Internal Affairs and grants administration
March 2014: We reviewed the Department’s progress in implementing the three recommendations in our progress report, "Public entities’ progress in implementing the Auditor-General’s recommendations 2012". By early 2012, the Department had addressed two of the recommendations. However, it had experienced delays in replacing the old system for managing grant applications...
Maintaining a future focus in governing Crown-owned companies
February 2014: This report focuses on the ability of Crown-owned companies’ governance systems to support “future thinking” and to realise and adjust strategies accordingly.
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