Annual report 2021/22

Improving performance reporting

performance-reporting-covers.pngAs taxpayers and ratepayers, the public has a right to know what they are getting for their taxes and rates. Performance reporting is about showing what has been achieved with this public money.

In 2021/22, we set out our views about the state of public sector performance reporting in two reports that were tabled in Parliament. The first report, The problems, progress, and potential of performance reporting, highlighted various issues with the relevance, accessibility, and usefulness of performance reporting in the public sector. The second report, Observations from our central government audit: 2020/21, looked at how the Government reports on its performance. These reports noted the opportunity and need to improve how the Government reports on its performance.

We also provided to Parliament a report that looked at the Government's preparedness to implement the sustainable development goals. We found that the Government needs to clearly communicate what these commitments mean, what action is required, and how it will measure progress. Being clear about targets and transparently reporting on progress will enable Parliament and the public to assess the Government’s performance in implementing the sustainable development goals.

We worked with the Treasury to produce a good practice guide on performance reporting. We produced this guidance in response to frequent requests from public organisations to show them “what good looks like”.  The guidance provides insights and has good practice examples from more than 40 annual reports. In feedback about the guidance, more than 91% respondents found it useful and practical for practitioners. We will continue to build on this work in 2022/23.

We also know our own reporting can improve so we’re following our own guidance. We’ve planned a phased approach to improving how we report on our performance in our annual report.