Councillors' guide to the Auditor-General.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangarangatanga maha o te motu, tēnā koutou.

This booklet is for the elected members of councils and for new members in particular. It gives an overview of my role and also outlines the kinds of interaction you can expect with me and with my staff.

Elected members are ultimately responsible for what a council does, how it does it, and the consequences of those decisions.

Our job is to ensure that councils are accountable to, and subject to the scrutiny of, local communities. We also aim to improve trust in government, including local government, and to promote value in spending.

We mainly do this by carrying out annual audits of councils and the organisations that councils control. Our interest is in providing the independent assurance that communities need about whether councils are operating as they planned to, and properly accounting for their use of public money.

We are mindful of the importance of trust and confidence to the effective operation of all levels of government – central and local. In that regard, how elected members are seen to conduct themselves can be just as important, if not more so, to the public as the performance of the council. For example, a perceived conflict of interest can be just as damaging as an actual one. Your auditor's findings and recommendations will be invaluable to you.

I trust that the content of this booklet will also be of use to you.

Nāku noa, nā John

Signature - JR

John Ryan
Controller and Auditor-General

23 September 2019

Photo acknowledgement: Chris Tse