Auditor-General's overview

Statements of intent: Examples of reporting practice.

This discussion paper gives examples of reporting practice from the statements of intent (SOIs) of government departments and Crown entities, including statements of forecast service performance (forecast SSPs). The examples were selected during my Office's review of the 2008/11 SOIs.

Each of the 26 examples includes features that I would refer to as “better practice”. I hope that highlighting these examples will stimulate discussion within public entities and contribute to better non-financial performance reporting.

Performance reports (such as SOIs and SSPs) should reflect the entity's management intentions, and are an essential part of accountability documents. These documents help ensure that government departments and other state sector entities are held accountable to Parliament and the public. The quality of performance reports needs to improve significantly to achieve their purpose satisfactorily.

Although my staff have not identified any SOIs as overall models of good practice, the examples in this paper may serve as helpful references for public entities to improve their accountability documents. I am confident that many entities have begun to improve the quality of their SOIs. I am encouraged because many of the entities featured in this discussion paper have already informed my Office that their 2009/12 SOIs (in draft at the time of writing) have significantly improved on 2008/11. Therefore, I encourage readers to seek out the latest SOIs for these entities when they become available.

I expect to see a steady improvement in the quality of performance reporting, and my Office will continue to encourage this through our audit reports and various other reports to Parliament and to the entities themselves. We plan to publish a follow-up report in the near future about this expected improvement in performance reporting.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

23 June 2009

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