Appendix 1: Response to feedback on our draft annual plan

Annual plan 2022/23.

Section 36 of the Public Audit Act 2001 outlines the requirements for the preparation of the annual plan of the Auditor-General. This includes the consideration of any comments of the Speaker or any committee of the House of Representatives on our Draft annual plan 2022/23. Below we outline the feedback we received from committees and our response. We also outline the feedback received from our other stakeholders, including the general public.

The feedback we received on our draft annual plan was largely supportive of our proposed work programme and the topic areas for which we have planned work.

The Finance and Expenditure Committee was interested in our planned work on performance reporting, education outcomes, Covid-19, sexual harassment and bullying, Māori and Pasifika equity issues, and infrastructure and procurement. The Finance and Expenditure Committee noted that the plan looks well considered and did not propose any changes.

Other feedback suggested we focus on the reforms currently occurring, including those happening for the health and disability system and three waters. This is an area of interest for the Office, particularly in terms of performance during transition periods. In 2022/23, we intend to draw on the data published in annual reports to see what it reveals about how well public organisations involved in reforms are maintaining their performance during the transition. We will use this to inform the different types of work we do, and we are looking at how we can make this data more accessible to the public by publishing it on our website. In time, we will see whether reforms have resulted in the performance improvements they intended.

Quite a lot of the feedback we received noted that our plan seemed ambitious. We acknowledge this is an ambitious plan, but we want to ensure that we address the areas of public sector performance that New Zealanders see as important. However, as a result of the feedback, we have reconsidered the timing of some of our initiatives. If new information or risks come to light for our planned work, or if the Covid-19 pandemic adversely affects our ability to carry out certain work, we will review our planned work as appropriate.

We also received feedback on the timing of some planned work, suggesting we consider reviewing the timing for initiatives where there might be dependencies on work being completed in the public sector. As a result of this feedback, we have decided to defer work looking into how recent and planned infrastructure investment is aligned to Te Waihanga's infrastructure strategy, and how strongly New Zealand's climate change commitments are reflected in infrastructure decisions. We now propose to carry out this work in 2023/24.

We will continue to consider the feedback we received as we carry out more detailed planning of our work, as well as when planning work for 2023/24 onwards.