Part 1 - Introduction

Public entities' progress in implementing the Auditor-General's recommendations.

The Auditor-General seeks to improve performance in the public sector and enhance the public's trust in government. The Auditor-General carries out a range of audit, inquiry, and other work, such as annual audits, to identify how public entities can improve their performance.

We report the results and make recommendations where appropriate, to give independent assurance to Parliament, central government agencies (such as the State Services Commission and the Treasury), and the public that public entities are:

  • carrying out their activities effectively, efficiently, and appropriately;
  • using public funds wisely; and
  • reporting their performance appropriately.

Public entities decide whether they accept the Auditor-General's recommendations and how they will implement them. Most seek to make the improvements we suggest. There are occasions when an entity cannot implement our recommendations because of system constraints (such as technology limits) or when changes over time mean it no longer makes sense to implement our recommendations.

Public entities sometimes disagree with our recommendations or do not give priority to implementing them. In these situations, it is up to the entity to explain to Parliament and the public why they have not acted.

The scope of our report

This report sets out our view on the progress that five public entities have made in responding to recommendations that we made in 2008 and 2009.

For this year's report, we have broadened our scope and have been more selective in our reporting. These changes allow us to examine entities' responses to inquiries as well as performance audits, and postpone reporting on progress where it is too soon to do so meaningfully. In other cases, we will produce separate progress reports because an in-depth examination is needed. We intend to take this approach from now on.

Public entities discussed in this progress report

This report discusses the progress that five public entities – all of them government departments – have made in implementing the recommendations that we made in five separate reports:

The Appendix lists some of the other follow-up work that we have carried out and some that we have deferred until 2011/12.

Structure of this progress report

In each Part, we:

  • provide some background information;
  • outline the scope of the performance audit;
  • summarise our findings and recommendations; and
  • report on the public entity's response to our findings and recommendations.
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