New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Administration of grant programmes - follow-up audit.

We carried out a performance audit that assessed the extent to which New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has addressed the areas of concern identified in 2004 when we examined NZTE’s administration of grant programmes.

Our findings

Overall, NZTE has responded appropriately to the recommendations we made in our 2004 report. NZTE is effectively and efficiently administering the grant programmes we examined in keeping with the Government’s intentions.

We have suggested some minor improvements to NZTE’s grant administration processes in this report, but did not find it necessary to make any formal recommendations.

A grant administration framework and adherence to grant criteria

NZTE is administering all its grant programmes more consistently. It has set up an effective framework for administering its grant programmes.

NZTE now has effective systems and processes to ensure that its grant programmes comply with both the Government’s and NZTE’s criteria. NZTE effectively and consistently assessed the grant applications we examined against relevant criteria.

Data collection and documentation standards

NZTE has improved its information systems so that it can provide comprehensive information on grants. The extent to which staff used its electronic client management system for grant administration varied between grant programmes.

We understand, however, that NZTE is reviewing use of the system by different grant programmes to improve consistency.

Comprehensive documentation standards and guidance are now in place for all the grant programmes we reviewed. Grant files we audited were generally well organised. Files were organised consistently and in keeping with NZTE’s documentation standards and guidance.

Risk assessment and monitoring

Grant programmes use risk profiles to identity and mitigate associated risks. All three grant programmes we examined have processes in place to assess the risk of awarding grants to applicants. NZTE could provide staff with more guidance about assessing risk to ensure that they do it consistently.

NZTE actively monitored many of the grants we examined, but the extent to which grant recipients met reporting requirements varied between the three grant programmes we looked at. Some grant programmes could make greater use of NZTE’s electronic client management system to record monitoring contact with grant recipients and to track whether they are meeting reporting requirements.

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