Inquiry reports

A list of the reports produced outside of the Office's scheduled work programme, as a result of the Auditor-General's decision to inquire into a public entity's use of resources.
Decision to grant Peter Thiel citizenship

17 July 2017: On 23 February 2017, the Auditor-General received a request from Denise Roche MP to look into the the decision to grant citizenship to Peter Thiel. This is our response.

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.

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.

Inquiry into aspects of Auckland Council’s Westgate/Massey North town centre project

January 2017: We looked into specific aspects of Auckland Council’s project to develop a new town centre in Massey North. One of the concerns raised with us was about the lack of transparency, in particular being unable to access information about the project. In our view, Auckland Council could have made more information about this development available. It is important that local authorities strike the right balance between balancing commercial sensitivity, maintaining legal privilege as appropriate and being open with ratepayers and elected officials. Such openness allows public discussion and debate, and is essential to supporting public sector accountability. This exercise has highlighted once again the importance not just of making good decisions but also of being able to show that good decisions have been made.

Inquiry into Health Benefits Limited

October 2015: We looked at the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and identified 11 lessons that might benefit HBL’s successors and other shared services programmes. HBL's difficulties included an ambitious and complex programme, inadequate communication with DHBs, a lack of timely and accurate information for HBL’s board, and no overall project management. Some DHBs’ commitment to change appears to have been limited. From early 2014, HBL's board improved relationships with the health sector and the governance and management of change programmes...

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...

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.

Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme

November 2013: This report describes how Kaipara District Council managed the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme between 1996 and 2012, as well as the role played by other agencies. The matters this report covers are long and often complex, but overall it is a woeful saga...

Summary: Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme

November 2013: This is a summary of our 420-page inquiry report. We describe how Kaipara District Council managed the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme between 1996 and 2012, as well as the role played by other agencies. The matters this report covers are long and often complex, but overall it is a woeful saga...

Inquiry into the Government’s decision to negotiate with SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited for an international convention centre

February 2013: We have seen no evidence to suggest that the final decision to negotiate with SkyCity was influenced by any inappropriate considerations. However, we found a range of deficiencies in the advice that the Ministry provided and the steps that officials and Ministers took leading up to that decision. The quality of support that was provided fell short of what we would have expected from the lead government agency on commercial and procurement matters...

Inquiry into aspects of ACC's Board-level governance

August 2012: Our inquiry found no evidence that Ms Pullar's approach to one of ACC's Board members affected her claim to ACC. However, the Board had no formal policy to guide Board members on communication with individual claimants, a deficiency it is rectifying.