Publications produced during 2017

This is a list of the publications produced in 2017 (the most recent items are listed first).
Ministry of Justice: Modernising court services

December 2017: We looked at three projects that were carried out between 2012 and 2016. Some people's experience of using court services has improved after the Ministry's investment in these projects. However, the Ministry has not effectively tracked or measured what improvements have been made...

Using information to improve social housing services

December 2017: People who need social housing can be some of the most vulnerable in our society. A significant proportion require social services, including for medical, mental health, and addiction conditions. It is important for Housing New Zealand to have a good understanding of tenants' needs and its role in supporting them. This report looks at how well Housing New Zealand uses information to manage tenancies, maintain houses, and manage and invest in new and existing social housing.

Response of the New Zealand Police to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct: Final monitoring report

December 2017: In 2007, the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct criticised the historical conduct, including sexual conduct, of some police officers and their associates. The Commission recommended comprehensive changes to the way the New Zealand Police (the Police) worked. The Government asked the Auditor-General to monitor, for 10 years, the Police's progress on the Commission's recommendations. This is our fifth and final monitoring report.

Results of the 2016 school audits

December 2017: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2016. We have provided this information to the Secretary for Education.

Central government: Results of the 2016/17 audits

December 2017: This report sets out the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2017 (the Government's financial statements) and of carrying out the Controller function.

Getting the right information to effectively manage public assets: Lessons from local authorities

December 2017: Elected councillors need relevant and reliable information to make good decisions about managing the assets they govern. As communities and environments change, the challenges that local authorities face and decisions they make are becoming more complex. We looked at how five local authorities approached identifying and gathering the right information about their assets...

Results of the 2016 audits of tertiary education institutions

November 2017: We summarise the results of the tertiary education institution audits for the year ended 31 December 2016. We provide a brief introduction to our audit work and an update on timeliness and completion of the 2016 audits. We also report on the types of audit opinions we issued, and note the main matters we identified from our audits.

Annual Report 2016/17

October 2017: Our annual report tells our stakeholders – Parliament, public entities, and New Zealanders – about our performance for the year 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017...

MPs' guide to the Auditor-General

September 2017: This booklet is for members of Parliament (MPs), for new MPs in particular. It explains the separate roles of the Controller and the Auditor-General and outlines the kind of interaction, advice, and support that MPs can expect from the Auditor-General...

Managing the school property portfolio

July 2017: The school property portfolio, valued at about $14 billion at 30 June 2016, is one of the largest publicly owned portfolios of property assets. For this report, we looked at the effectiveness of the Ministry of Education’s property strategy and its role as an asset manager, including how well it plans, monitors, and reports on its performance against the strategy.

Reflections from our audits: Investment and asset management

August 2017: This report brings together some reflections from our work under our work programme theme Investment and asset management. We encourage decision-makers to think about the matters raised in this report. Although aspects of asset management are done well by some public entities, there are significant issues to be addressed and challenges to meet if public assets are to continue to deliver the services that New Zealanders expect over the long term.

Annual Plan 2017/18

June 2017: Our Annual Plan describes our 2017/18 work programme and signals our future work programmes for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Border security: Using information to process passengers

June 2017: In our view, the border agencies are operating effectively. There are differences in the quality of some of the information the agencies receive. This affects how efficiently the information is used. We also looked at whether frontline staff have the systems, tools, and resources to best use and share information, and whether there is effective collaboration between the agencies. Improvements should be made in both areas to ensure that information is used in the most efficient way. New Zealand Customs and the Ministry for Primary Industries also need to continue to develop their approach to workforce planning to improve their ability to efficiently deploy staff.

Managing the assets that distribute electricity

June 2017: We looked at how electricity distribution businesses were managing, maintaining, and investing in their networks to ensure that they could provide services to consumers for the long term.

Inquiry into state schools requesting payments in connection with out-of-zone places

May 2017: Our inquiry looked into the practice of five Auckland state schools that asked for payments in connection with out-of-zone enrolment applications for the 2016 and 2017 school years. We found one school asking for this kind of fee and have recommended that it cease doing so. In the schools we visited that asked for donations, we found that the donations were voluntary and that a child’s chance of gaining an out-of-zone place was not affected by their family’s decision about whether to pay the donation. However, we also found that some of the schools’ enrolment material should have been clearer that the donations were voluntary and not required for applications to be processed. We also found that the Ministry needs to improve its guidance to schools and ensure that schools are given coherent and consistent advice on payments in connection with out-of-zone places.

Immigration New Zealand: Delivering transformational change

April 2017: This report outlines how Immigration New Zealand turned a project that was at risk of failing into a business transformation programme that was delivered broadly on time and to budget. We encourage other public sector entities to consider the good management practices highlighted in Part 4 of this report when planning change and putting it in place.

The Auditor-General's Auditing Standards

March 2017: The Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards are based on the standards issued by the External Reporting Board. However, those standards do not always take full account of the particular scope and nature of public sector audits...

Medium-term planning in government departments: Four-year plans

March 2017: For this report, we reviewed some four-year plans to see whether they appropriately set out a department’s medium-term view of where it was heading, what it would look like in the future, and how it would get there. The central agencies and departments need to do more work to achieve a consistently good standard of four-year plans throughout government. We encourage departments and the central agencies to consider our suggestions for improvements so these plans can become increasingly useful and used.

AgResearch Future Footprint Project: our targeted review of the updated business case

March 2017: As a follow-up to our 2015 letter, which included the results of our review of the AgResearch Future Footprint Project business case, we have now reviewed the updated business case. The five matters we raised in our initial review of the Future Footprint Project business case have been addressed, to varying degrees, in the updated business case. Overall, we are satisfied that the matters raised in our earlier review have been adequately addressed.

Investing in tertiary education assets

February 2017: This report considers the effectiveness of investment in tertiary education sector assets to support educational success. There is an opportunity for education agencies, tertiary education institutions, and other stakeholders to explore the measurement of the effectiveness of investments in assets, and the potential opportunities for more sector-based investment decisions. We hope that this report will start conversations in the tertiary sector about the further development and reporting of a range of cost-effectiveness measures and tools, for the sector and for individual institutions.