Annual report 2021/22

Service 1: Provide advice and support for effective parliamentary scrutiny

What went well What didn’t go to plan

Despite Covid-19 and challenges for our auditors in completing audits, we worked closely with Parliament to ensure that our advice was given in keeping with select committee schedules.

Select committees valued our briefings for their scrutiny of public organisations and the 2022 Budget.

Our sector briefings assisted select committees in their focus on cross-agency work and identifying sector-level issues.

There were no specific issues in this area.

This service is funded through the appropriation Statutory Auditor Function MCA, Supporting Accountability to Parliament Category. The amount appropriated for this category in the Main Estimates for 2021/22 was $6.210 million.

We provide advice and support to Parliament to assist their scrutiny of public sector performance. This includes their annual reviews and scrutiny of forecast spending through the Estimates of Appropriations examinations after the Government announces its Budget each year.

In 2021/22, the public sector continued to pursue a significant work programme, including implementing or preparing for fundamental reforms in the tertiary education and health sectors and in three waters services. These reforms challenged our efforts to build our knowledge of emerging trends and risks in the public sector.

We have put significant resource into understanding the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on public organisations and on public spending. As part of this, we put emphasis on understanding how the public sector reported on performance and how Covid-19 affected this.

In 2021/22, we continued our emphasis on cross-agency and sector-level work in the public sector to reflect select committees’ interest in this work. For example, we provided 20 sector briefs to select committees, advice in support of select committee annual reviews in the housing sector, briefings on our work on the Joint Venture for Family Violence and Sexual Violence, and briefings for Labour Market and Education Votes.

We want our briefings for annual reviews and Estimates to be a valued source of advice for select committees in their scrutiny of public sector performance. Our 2022 stakeholder survey confirmed that we are achieving that objective.

Select committees asked us to provide 97 briefings in support of annual reviews and 64 briefings on Votes as part of Budget Estimates of Appropriations. We also provided 20 sector briefs for select committees and issued 169 letters to portfolio Ministers summarising the findings from our audits of public organisations.

Timeliness measures

Indicator: Percentage of briefing papers that are submitted to select committees by the agreed deadline
Target: 100%

Year Result
2021/22 99%
2020/21 100%
2019/20 98%
2018/19 100% Revised measure for 2019/20

Note: We revised the wording of this measure for 2019/20. Previously, it was “Briefings are given to select committees at least two days before examination, unless otherwise agreed”.

Quality measures

Our services to parliamentary select committees during 2021/22 have continued to meet expectations.

Indicator: Percentage of parliamentary select committees that rate our advice as at least “satisfactory” *
Target: 100%

Year Result
2021/22 100%
2020/21 100%
2019/20 100%
2018/19 Revised measure for 2019/20

* Our surveys of select committee chairpersons are carried out every two years.

Indicator: Percentage of parliamentary select committees that rate our reports on performance audits, inquiries, and other studies as at least “satisfactory”
Target: 100%

Year Result
2021/22 100%
2020/21 Not assessed because this survey is carried out every two years
2019/20 100%
2018/19 New measure for 2019/20

The following diagram shows the workflow pattern of the support we provided to parliamentary select committees in 2021/22.

Our support for select committees happens throughout the year. We provided 20 sector briefs to support the sector-based approach that was encouraged in the 2020 Standing Orders Review. Our support also involves a series of high workload periods that reflect the cycle of scrutiny work for the select committees. These periods involve annual review briefings and Estimates briefings. In advance of annual reviews, we also send letters to Ministers about the results of annual audits of the public organisations they are responsible for.

Our support to Parliament and Ministers

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