Part 5: Our international contribution

Annual report 2020/21.

We aim to strengthen public sector accountability and promote good governance by sharing our skills, knowledge, and expertise with other audit bodies throughout the world. We are an active member of the international auditing community known as the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Our primary focus is working with PASAI, which is one of the seven regional organisations of INTOSAI.

The Auditor-General of New Zealand is currently the Secretary-General of PASAI. PASAI is the official regional organisation of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in the Pacific. PASAI has 27 members.

We work with PASAI to support accountability, transparency, and good governance in the Pacific. Through this role our Office supports a small Secretariat in Auckland that works to increase the capacity, independence, and capability of SAIs in Pacific nations. In turn, this work contributes to stability in the Pacific and accountability for the resources that New Zealand invests in the region.

Our work focuses on PASAI's 2014-24 Strategic Plan. We support PASAI's training and development programmes, administration, and governance, to ensure that quality programmes are delivered that meet PASAI's member's needs and development partner funds are used effectively.

In 2020/21, because Covid-19 disrupted travel, we supported PASAI to adapt their programmes to be delivered online. We also delivered online training programmes for PASAI focused on stakeholder engagement with Parliament and the media, leading effective audit teams, interpersonal skills for auditors, and report writing techniques.

We also hosted PASAI's first virtual Congress. The Congress is PASAI's decision-making body. Consisting of all PASAI members, it provides guidance to the PASAI Governing Board. More than 100 people from 35 countries registered for the three-day event. The theme of "Impact through leadership'" saw discussion about leadership opportunities and challenges experienced during the pandemic. Keynote speakers included the Right Honourable Trevor Mallard, the Honourable Aupito William Sio, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, and Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

As part of our Pacific focus, we are privileged to have twinning relationships with the Samoa Audit Office and the Cook Islands Audit Office. These strong relationships enable us to work closely with these SAIs to strengthen their systems and processes and enhance their skills.

This year we worked with the Cook Islands Audit Office on the audit of their Financial Statements of the Government resulting in the audit of these accounts being bought up to date after a prolonged period of backlog, and with the Samoa Audit Office to further strengthen their integrity, fraud, and controller functions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade funds our work with PASAI and with the Samoa Audit Office and the Cook Islands Audit Office.

The Auditor-General is also the Auditor-General of Niue and Tokelau under their respective accountability arrangements. Our auditors complete the audits of the Governments of Niue and Tokelau. With travel to the region disrupted by Covid-19, our auditors carried out their work virtually.

During 2020/21, we strengthened our relationships with other New Zealand public organisations that also work in the Pacific with a focus on governance and accountability. Every two months, we host meetings with this group. As we all adapted to the challenges of international capacity building work in the context of a global pandemic, this collaboration enabled participating agencies to share good practice and experiences.

Photo of some of the PASAI congress speakers.