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Central government reports

A list of reports, articles, or published letters about central government agencies (Ministries, Departments, State-owned enterprises, or Crown entities).
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.
Ministry of Social Development: Using a case management approach to service delivery
August 2017: In December 2014, we published a report on how the Ministry of Social Development applied a case management approach to providing services for working-age adults. This follow-up report looks at the Ministry's progress in responding to the Auditor-General's recommendations.
Ministry of Social Development: How it deals with complaints
May 2017: This article describes the progress that has been made in responding to the Auditor-General's earlier recommendations.
Insights and challenges: The Auditor-General's vision for the public sector
March 2017: Letter sent on 30 March 2017 to State sector chief executives by Martin Matthews, the Controller and Auditor-General about his vision for the public sector.
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.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority: Assessing its effectiveness and efficiency
January 2017: In our view, CERA did well early on in the recovery. CERA was also effective in leading a co-ordinated government response to the earthquakes. However, CERA found it challenging to maintain momentum. Its role became less clear as it took on more responsibility for delivering more projects and programmes. CERA did not engage the community well, and struggled to demonstrate its effectiveness and value for money because it had inadequate performance measures and information. It also took a long time for CERA to set up effective systems and controls. CERA’s management controls and performance information needed improvement right up to the time of its disestablishment.
Central government: Results of the 2015/16 audits
December 2016: This report discusses the 2016 audit findings of, and the opinion we issued for, the financial statements of the Government. For the first time this year, we have included “key audit matters” in our audit report on the financial statements of the Government. Reporting on key audit matters is a new requirement for selected entities under a new international auditing standard. We decided to apply this standard to the audit of the Government’s 2015/16 financial statements because we considered this to be of use to the readers of these accounts. We have produced what we believe is the world’s first audit report on government financial statements to include a section on key audit matters.
“Joining the dots” – insights from the 2014/15 annual audits
May 2016: We sent a letter to chief executives of government departments and Crown entities, describing the insights we gained from the 2014/15 audits and encouraging the chief executives to see where they could improve how they were operating...
Central government: Results of the 2014/15 audits
December 2015: This report sets out the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government for the year ended 30 June 2015 and of carrying out the Controller function. It highlights a number of matters arising from that work, including costs associated with the Canterbury rebuild, and investing in and managing the Crown’s assets.
Ministry for Primary Industries: Preparing for and responding to biosecurity incursions - follow-up report
October 2015: Our follow-up audit this year reviewed what progress the Ministry for Primary Industries has made to address the recommendations in our 2013 report. We found that the Ministry has made good progress with how it prepares for, and responds to, biosecurity incursions.
Response to queries about recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes
10 July 2015
Ministry for Primary Industries: Managing the Primary Growth Partnership
February 2015: We audited how the Ministry for Primary Industries has implemented and managed the Primary Growth Partnership so far. In the six programmes we reviewed, we saw examples of partnerships that appeared to work well from the beginning and others that experienced difficulties. These difficulties included prolonged business case development, long contract negotiations, and staffing shortages...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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.
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