Request for your feedback

Draft annual plan 2022/23.

To provide feedback, email Feedback is requested by Friday 27 May 2022.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

I am pleased to present my Draft annual plan 2022/23 for your feedback.

The Government is continuing to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, while also focusing on an extensive reform agenda, maintaining existing services and working on long-term challenges. Addressing matters such as climate change, poverty, family violence and sexual violence, and mental health remain as important today, if not more so, as before the pandemic.

This is the context in which we have considered the content of my draft annual plan. This plan sets out the discretionary work that I intend my Office to carry out during 2022/23.

My Office is here to improve trust and promote value for Parliament and New Zealanders. Our work helps Parliament and the public hold public organisations to account for their use of public resources.

We have a range of functions to help us achieve this. The most significant is our annual audit function, which makes up about 85% of our work. We also monitor spending against appropriations through our Controller function. This is mandatory work for my Office. It underpins the advice and support we provide to select committees to assist with parliamentary scrutiny of public organisations.

We also carry out a range of activities at my discretion. These include inquiries, performance audits, sector reports, special studies, commentaries and research, and good practice guidance.

Our inquiries look at the use of public resources. In general, this work cannot be planned for – we respond to issues as they arise.

This draft annual plan, therefore, focuses on our other discretionary work:

  • performance audits, where we look at the effectiveness and efficiency of spending by public organisations;
  • sector reports, where we look to provide insights into particular sectors;
  • special studies, commentaries, and research, where we publish information about public sector performance and accountability; and
  • good practice guidance, where we share examples of what “good” looks like to support public organisations to improve.

In this draft annual plan, we propose to continue our priority areas from 2021/22. These include how well the public sector is improving the lives of New Zealanders, how well the public accountability system is working, keeping New Zealanders informed about public sector performance and accountability, and sharing insights about what “good” looks like. The Government’s response to, and New Zealand’s recovery from, the Covid-19 pandemic also remains an important part of our work programme.

We selected the work to be included in this draft annual plan after considering a range of feedback, including:

  • feedback from select committees;
  • intelligence gathered through our audits and other work with public organisations; and
  • advice from our central and local government advisory groups.

In addition, this year we surveyed a nationally representative cross-section of about 1000 New Zealanders to find out what is most important to them. The survey results confirmed that the priorities for the Office’s discretionary work are well aligned with the concerns of those we surveyed. We also wanted to use the survey to select an additional audit topic. As a result of the public feedback, we have added a performance audit on the progress the Government is making to reduce child poverty.

The public sector has faced disruption and been under significant stress over the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although this draft annual plan sets out my intended work programme, we need to continue to be agile and respond to unexpected events. These events might delay some work; they might also give us new work to do.

Your views on our proposed work programme, and on what is most important to you, will help us understand how we can further refine our selection of topics to work on in 2022/23. We will present my final annual plan to Parliament at the end of June 2022.

Because we are updating our Office’s strategy this year, this draft annual plan focuses on topics for 2022/23. However, we also welcome feedback on topics we could consider over the next several years.

Feedback is requested by Friday 27 May 2022. I look forward to hearing from you.

Nāku noa, nā

John Ryan
Controller and Auditor-General

29 April 2022