The Auditor-General’s relationship with Parliament

MPs' guide to the Auditor-General.

As an officer of Parliament,1 the Auditor-General must be seen to act impartially to retain the integrity and confidence of the whole House of Representatives. To underpin the independence of the role, the Auditor-General:

  • is not a government department;
  • reports to the Officers of Parliament Committee, which is chaired by the Speaker of the House;
  • is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives for a non-renewable seven-year term;
  • has a Deputy who is also a statutory office-holder and officer of Parliament and who can perform all the functions and exercise all the powers of the Auditor-General;
  • can report directly to Parliament and anyone else; and
  • makes requests for funding directly to the House of Representatives (rather than through the Executive Government). The House recommends the sum required to the Governor-General for inclusion in an Appropriation Bill.

Reporting to Parliament

The Auditor-General must present an annual report to the House of Representatives and can also report to the House at any time on matters arising out of the performance and exercise of the Auditor-General’s functions, duties, and powers.

Before the start of each financial year, the Auditor-General consults the House and other stakeholders to ensure that the proposed annual work programme of performance audits and other studies will be relevant and useful to Parliament, public entities, and the public.

The Auditor-General publishes its reports to Parliament and others in hard copy and/or on its website. Hard copies of reports are supplied to the Bills Office for distribution to MPs as required. Additional hard copies can be requested from the OAG office in Wellington, phone 04 917 1500, or by emailing

Sometimes, the Auditor-General publishes a report without presenting it to Parliament. MPs can join the Auditor-General’s subscriber service through the website to receive an alert when any new reports are published.

Briefing ministers about our reports

Please note that it is the job of staff in the public entity we have audited to keep the responsible minister informed.

1: For more detail about officers of Parliament, go to