Peer Review of the New Zealand Audit Office

Report of the Australasian Council of Auditors General, August 2001


The Australasian Council of Auditors-General (ACAG) was established following the 19th Bicentennial Conference of Australasian Area Auditors-General in Perth in 1993. ACAG provides consultative arrangements for the structured sharing of pertinent information and intelligence between Auditors-General. Membership of ACAG is open to the Auditors-General of all audit jurisdictions within Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The objectives of ACAG are to foster and promote the development of Public Sector Auditing in the Australasian Region. Promoting the development of a professional quality assurance peer review programme for participating Offices is included among these objectives.

This report describes the findings of the first such peer review of the New Zealand Audit Office, conducted between 26 February and 10 March 2001.

Review Team Members

Review Team members were: Dr Gordon Robertson, retired Deputy Auditor-General for Western Australia;

Scope and Approach

A significant difference between the New Zealand Audit Office and those of other jurisdictions is the division of the Audit Office into two separate business units:

  • the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG), which provides technical advice and oversight of all audit activities; and
  • Audit New Zealand, which is a quasi-independent business unit that undertakes audit assurance work on the Auditor-General’s behalf along with private sector audit service providers.

The ACAG review addressed the Audit Office, most aspects of the Office of the Auditor-General and aspects of Audit New Zealand.

The approach included

  • Extensive briefings from and interviews of senior staff;
  • Interviews of key external stakeholders; and
  • Review of documents and files.

The Controller functions of the Controller and Auditor-General were not addressed by this review.

Structure of the Report

The report is split into two parts:

  • Office of the Auditor-General (sections 2 and 3); and
  • Audit New Zealand (sections 4 and 5).

Both parts have an individual Executive Summary and a Detailed Review. In addition, the responses of the Office of the Auditor-General and Audit New Zealand to the ‘Opportunities for Improvement’ set out in the report are detailed in Section 6.

The full text of this report is available in PDF format (239kB).

page top