Annual report 2021/22

What went well in 2021/22

went-well.pngWe completed the audits that were critical for public accountability

The ongoing global auditor shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect our ability to complete all audits within statutory deadlines. However, we completed 88% of the audits for large public organisations within these deadlines, which is a significant achievement given the challenging operating environment. Those organisations also implemented nearly 700 recommendations that auditors made for improving systems and processes.

We were also able to report the results of these audits to select committees on time. This enabled them to examine the audited public organisations and report on them to Parliament.

We published more work with more impact

Despite a challenging operating environment, we published 50 pieces of work, including 19 significant reports. This is about 40% more than the previous year.

We published good practice guidance on reporting about performance (together with the Treasury) in April 2022. In feedback we received on the guidance, more than 91% of respondents found the guidance useful. We also launched our integrity framework to help leaders and governors of public organisations build a culture of integrity. More than 200 stakeholders attended our launch event for the integrity framework,making it one of our largest launch events.

In December 2021, we made a submission to the Pae Ora Legislation Committee about our concerns about the accountability arrangements in the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill. This submission resulted in the Committee recommending changes to the Bill related to accountability arrangements. These recommended changes were adopted in the final legislation, ensuring that the New Zealand Health Plan and the performance reporting against it will be independently audited.

This year we completed more follow-ups of performance audits than ever before. From these follow-ups, we found that the audited organisations have made good progress on implementing our recommendations.

We strengthened relationships

We support Parliament’s role to hold the public sector to account for its performance. This year, we have continued to build on our relationships to achieve this. The results of this year’s survey of parliamentary select committees confirmed that our advice and reports are helpful and our capability and understanding about issues is highly regarded.

We also hosted more events to promote our good practice guidance and share insights with public sector leaders and practitioners. We continued to build our relationships with public sector audit and risk chairpersons through regular online forums. These continue to receive excellent feedback from participants.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic affecting our ability to travel, we have continued to play a key role in supporting good governance in the Pacific, including through our role as Secretary-General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions.

We supported our people

We continued supporting our staff in a challenging work environment. This included implementing a new competency framework and updating our remuneration system. We also made considerable progress this year modernising our audit documentation, back-office, and security technologies and to prepare key Office systems to move to the cloud. Overall, our staff engagement increased.