Part 1: Introduction

Public entities’ progress in implementing the Auditor-General’s recommendations 2012.

The Auditor-General seeks to improve how the public sector performs and to enhance the public's trust in government. We carry out performance audits, inquiries, and other work, such as annual audits, to identify how public entities can perform better.

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 roles effectively, efficiently, and appropriately;
  • using public funds wisely; and
  • reporting their performance appropriately.

Public entities decide whether to accept our recommendations and how they will address them. Most seek to improve in the areas that we suggest. Sometimes, a public entity cannot act on our recommendations because of system constraints (such as technology limits) or when changes over time mean that it no longer makes sense to implement our recommendations.

Sometimes, public entities disagree with our recommendations or do not give priority to acting on them. In these situations, the public entity must explain to Parliament and the public why it has not acted.

The scope of this report

Our yearly progress reports focus on how well public entities have acted on the recommendations that we made in the reports on our inquiries and performance audits. In this report, we set out our views on the progress that public entities have made in responding to recommendations that we made in 2009 and 2010 in the following reports:

In this year's progress report, we are reporting for the second time on two entities that we included in our 2011 progress report. These are the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development. We noted in last year's report that we would include them again because it was too soon to comment on how effective changes had been or because progress had been slower than expected.

The structure of this report

For each performance audit, we:

  • provide some background information;
  • outline the scope of the original performance audit;
  • summarise our original findings; and
  • assess the public entity's progress in carrying out the Auditor-General's recommendations.
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