Publications produced during 2015

Governance and accountability for three Christchurch rebuild projects

December 2015: This report looks at the governance arrangements for three projects to rebuild essential facilities in Christchurch: the Bus Interchange, the New Central Library, and the Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital. We found that governance was most effective when there was a clear structure and when accountabilities, roles, and responsibilities were well defined and understood. Strong leadership was an important part of effective governance, and being clear about who is accountable for project outcomes supports effective governance.

Central government: Results of the 2014/15 audits

December 2015: This report sets out the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government for the year ended 30 June 2015 and of carrying out the Controller function. It highlights a number of matters arising from that work, including costs associated with the Canterbury rebuild, and investing in and managing the Crown’s assets.

Matters arising from the 2015-25 local authority long-term plans

December 2015: This report sets out the main findings and observations from our audits of local authorities’ 2015-25 long-term plans (LTPs). It follows on from our report Consulting the community about local authorities’ 10-year plans, which included our observations from our audits of local authorities’ consultation documents.

Earthquake Commission: Managing the Canterbury Home Repair Programme - follow-up audit

December 2015: EQC has continued to manage some things well. These include the management of actual repair costs, the management of health and safety, securing reinsurance, and high levels of surveyed customer satisfaction with the quality of repairs immediately on completion of the repairs. Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions.

Governance and accountability of council-controlled organisations

October 2015: This report updates our earlier publications on local authority subsidiaries and re-examines the principles for good governance of subsidiaries that we proposed in 2001. It also identifies and discusses the issues relevant to CCOs that have come to our attention since 2002.

Queenstown Lakes District Council: Managing a conflict of interest in a proposed special housing area

October 2015: We found that the chief executive’s involvement did not influence or contribute to any substantive aspects of the Council’s policy for special housing areas. The Mayor and Council took appropriate steps to manage the conflict of interest. The chief executive took no part in recommendations or decisions about special housing areas after declaring his interest. We also found that the conflict affected the chief executive’s ability to advise the Council about special housing areas and provide leadership to council staff in this area.

Reviewing aspects of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative

October 2015: Progress with technical aspects – such as reaching design solutions, developing procurement options, and budget management – has been strong. But Auckland Transport needs to improve the focus on relationships with stakeholders, contractor performance, and the benefits delivered to date, as part of the monitoring and reporting. We made 12 recommendations to help Auckland Transport strengthen AMETI’s governance, accountability, and programme management arrangements.

Inquiry into Health Benefits Limited

October 2015: We looked at the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and identified 11 lessons that might benefit HBL’s successors and other shared services programmes. HBL's difficulties included an ambitious and complex programme, inadequate communication with DHBs, a lack of timely and accurate information for HBL’s board, and no overall project management. Some DHBs’ commitment to change appears to have been limited. From early 2014, HBL's board improved relationships with the health sector and the governance and management of change programmes...

Consulting the community about local authorities' 10-year plans

August 2015: Overall, local authorities have responded well to the new requirements in the 2014 amendments to the Local Government Act 2002. However, the consultation documents we audited varied in quality, as did the infrastructure strategies. But they have provided a good base for local authorities to improve on.

Annual Plan 2015/16

June 2015: The Annual Plan 2015/16 sets out our proposed work programme for 2015/16. The programme has a focus on investment and asset management. The document also describes the Office’s priorities and the work that would be useful, based on our knowledge of the public sector and its strengths, challenges, and issues...

Reflections from our audits: Service delivery

June 2015: This report provides an overview of our findings from our work under our Service delivery theme. The rapidly changing world we live in presents many challenges and opportunities for public sector service delivery. Being in the public sector is about serving New Zealanders. Through this report, we offer independent insights to encourage discussion and debate about how the public sector can rise to the challenges and opportunities to deliver better services.

Being accountable to the public: Timeliness of reporting by public entities

May 2015: This report takes a “snapshot” of how well public entities met their reporting deadlines during 2013/14. Most public entities meet their deadlines for reporting. The entities that don’t meet their reporting deadlines tend to be small entities or subsidiaries. It is clear that some public entities need to give greater priority to meeting their reporting obligations...

Effectiveness of governance arrangements in the arts, culture, and heritage sector

May 2015: In this report, we look at the effectiveness of governance arrangements in six public entities in the arts, culture, and heritage sector. Overall, there is an effective level of governance in each of the six entities. The boards for these entities take their responsibilities seriously and have appropriate structures, policies, and practices to help their organisations achieve their strategic direction and fulfil their roles. However, more could be done to strengthen risk management...

Whānau Ora: The first four years

May 2015: In its first four years, Whānau Ora has delivered some positive outcomes. However, our report identifies some problems with how Whānau Ora was implemented, which contributed to confusion about Whānau Ora. We could not get a consistent explanation of the aims of the initiatives in Whānau Ora from the joint agencies or other people that we spoke to. So far, the situation has been unclear and confusing to many of the public entities and whānau...

Inland Revenue Department: Governance of the Business Transformation programme

April 2015: We found that Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme has provided clear direction, and supported clear and effective decisions. Strengths of Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme include a comprehensive and clear governance structure, an established methodology, and an advanced approach to managing risks...

Auckland Council: How it deals with building consents

April 2015: Overall, Auckland Council is performing its responsibilities as a building consent authority reasonably well. Its internal quality assurance procedures are sound, with systems and technical audits carried out routinely. It has a good standard of internal reporting of workflows and how well it meets targets...

Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau

February 2015: This is the second report in a five-year programme of work to find out how well the education system supports Māori students to achieve their full potential. In this report, we look at whether schools and whānau are forming effective relationships. We found that there is a risk that some schools do not focus enough on improving their relationships because they think that they have better relationships with whānau than whānau think they do. Our report provides an opportunity for people to think about their schools and their relationships, to understand the differences between schools, and to work to build and use relationships more effectively.

Response of the New Zealand Police to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct: Fourth monitoring report

February 2015: This report is the fourth we have produced on how the Police are responding to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct in 2007. It follows up on the Police's response to the five recommendations we made in our third monitoring report in October 2012. We have also taken the opportunity to look at changes in the Police's workplace culture. Overall, the Police have made good progress in addressing the five recommendations from our third report. However, there is still room for the Police to improve how they communicate with victims and how they collate and use feedback from victims...

Ministry for Primary Industries: Managing the Primary Growth Partnership

February 2015: We audited how the Ministry for Primary Industries has implemented and managed the Primary Growth Partnership so far. In the six programmes we reviewed, we saw examples of partnerships that appeared to work well from the beginning and others that experienced difficulties. These difficulties included prolonged business case development, long contract negotiations, and staffing shortages...