Auditor-General's overview

Education sector: Results of the 2011 audits.

Education is important to every New Zealander. We all have a stake in the outcomes of our investment in education, and, unsurprisingly, many people have a view on how that education should best be offered. This makes education a contested and often controversial area of endeavour. My office has an enduring interest in assuring the New Zealand public that, in the face of regular adjustment and reprioritisation, their education investment is spent as intended and the results are reported appropriately.

This report is primarily about the assurance my office provides on public education expenditure. The annual audit of public entities in the education sector is a central tool for that assurance.

As well as annual audits, my staff carry out other audit work that builds on the information we gather from annual audits and from our contact with public entities. The section on tertiary sector subsidiaries is a good example of that work, where we aim to raise questions and add to the wider information base.

Where relevant to either the tertiary or compulsory education sector, this report also describes changes in auditing policy, standards, or other auditing requirements. Readers might also find it useful to refer to our report on the 2011/12 audit results for central government, which we expect to publish in early 2013.

I report each year to Parliament on the work of my office. My office has started publishing sector reports to better profile important aspects of government investment. We will publish more sector reports for the 2011/12 year and intend to maintain this kind of sector focus.

I will continue to maintain an ongoing and significant interest in the education sector, as my five-year focus on education for Māori demonstrates.

Signature - LP

Lyn Provost
Controller and Auditor-General

1 December 2012

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