Part 3: Organisational health and capability

Annual Report 2014/15.

We place high importance on having a strong foundation of skilled people working together in a well-run organisation.

Our people

We are committed to an organisational culture where our people are supported and have the capability and opportunity to do their best work. We take joint responsibility with our people for building capability and strengthening their contribution to the Office and to the public sector. The Office seeks to provide our people with a supportive and rewarding place to work.

Equal employment opportunities

Our equal employment opportunities programme is designed to enable us to continue to attract and appoint people who have the appropriate skills, values, and attributes to meet the Office's needs. The principles and practice of Equal Employment Opportunities are embedded in our human resources policies. We consider that we have continued to give effect to those principles during the year.

The Office is committed to inclusive work practices and culture, and bases appointments on merit. Our managers are made aware of, and given support to fulfil, our good employer obligations through specific programmes, courses, and one-on-one coaching. We monitor our recruitment and employment decisions and practices. Details about staff numbers and staff diversity between 2012 and 2015 are available on our website.

Building our staff capability

We focus on improving every staff member's skills, as identified in our competency frameworks. We continue our focus on our leadership development programmes, and on improving our staff's engagement (as measured by our annual staff engagement survey). Our average staff engagement scores throughout the organisation showed a marginal decrease from 2013/14 (4.03 in 2013/14 and 3.91 in 2014/15). We have observed this effect in years where we audit local authority long-term plans and the workload for many of our staff considerably increases. We intend to further explore the reasons for this effect.

The capability of our audit staff continues to be well rated. Feedback from public entities through our client survey shows their rating of our audit staff's service quality improved. This year's 7.6 out of 10 rating was an improvement from 7.5 in 2013/14.

Our audit staff have consistently performed well in the final Professional Competence Examination of the Chartered Accountants Programme. In 2014/15, we again achieved a 100% pass rate.

Workplace health and safety

We have an active employees' Health and Safety Committee, with staff representation from each of our seven office locations, The Committee promotes positive health and safety policies and practices in all of the Office's workplaces, identifies any areas of risk to Office staff, and implements any health and safety activities.

The Health and Safety Committee is sponsored and supported by an executive oversight group. The activities of the Committee are reported to the leadership teams, as well as to the Audit and Risk Committee.

Information systems

Our work involves intensive use of information. We rely on information systems to support this work. Our audit teams in the field use specialist auditing software and remote access tools.

We recognise the significance of the information and insights that the Auditor-General, her Appointed Auditors, and their staff gather as they work, and we are committed to using this to help improve the public sector's performance. To improve the collection, analysis, sharing, and reporting of this information, we have completed development of the first phase of our Business Intelligence platform – an analytical system where we store a wide variety of information about public entities. Our objective is to use this platform to better understand risks and issues throughout the public sector, and to continue our reporting about these. We intend to continue adding data to the system that will enhance our understanding of entity and sector risk.


In 2014/15, we completed the relocation of our Hamilton-based staff into newly refurbished offices. Contact details for our offices are available on the OAG and Audit New Zealand websites.

Health and capability triangle.

2014/15 results and previous performance for organisational health and capability

Staff are engaged and satisfied
Measure Our staff engagement rating of 3.8 is improved (or at least maintained).
Result Achieved.
Comment The Office's staff engagement survey is based on responses to statements on a 5-point scale, with "1" being the lowest score and "5" being the highest.

This revised measure now has a numerical target – 3.8 or better. In 2014/15, we achieved our target with a score of 3.91.

Figure 14
Overall staff engagement scores, 2010/11 to 2014/15

Figure 14 - Overall staff engagement scores, 2010/11 to 2014/15.
Measure The average years of experience of our qualified auditors is improved (or at least maintained).
Result Achieved.
Comment For this revised capability measure, we assessed the average years' experience of our Audit New Zealand staff after their qualification as a Chartered Accountant (or equivalent).

In 2014/15, the average years' experience of our qualified auditors was 10.7 years, an improvement from 9.9 years in 2013/14.
Measure Staff turnover.
Result No target set.
Comment Overall, we are comfortable with a turnover of up to 20%, but would prefer no more than 15%. This year's turnover was 11.1%, a reduction on 14.6% in 2013/14.