Auditor-General's overview

Annual plan 2023/24.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangarangatanga maha o te motu, tēnā koutou.

I am pleased to present my Office's annual plan for 2023/24. This has been finalised following feedback on our draft annual plan, which we presented to the Speaker on 28 April 2023.

My Office works to improve trust and promote value in the public sector. As always, our plan looks at where we can best influence improvements in the performance and accountability of public organisations. I am pleased with the interest in our draft annual plan and the helpful feedback we received.

The annual plan covers our discretionary programme of work for 2023/24. Our discretionary work includes performance audits, inquiries, special studies, commentaries and research, regular reports and updates, and good practice guidance.

This plan does not cover our mandatory audits of public organisations,1 specific inquiry topics,2 or most of our international work.3 However, given the significance of our mandatory work, both to our wider work and to supporting public accountability and performance, we have included information on the work we are doing to further strengthen the public audit function and address audits deferred due to Covid-19.

Following feedback on our draft annual plan, we have confirmed our four priorities for the year, which are aligned with my strategic intentions to 2028:

  • strengthening our core assurance role;
  • increasing our impact with public organisations;
  • enhancing our impact in te ao Māori; and
  • building on our reputation as a source of trusted information.

What we heard from you on our draft plan

In developing and finalising this plan, we sought feedback from across the public sector, from Parliament, and from the public. I would like to thank those who gave us feedback, which was largely in support of our proposed work programme. We have included a summary in Appendix 1 of the changes we made in response to the feedback.

We acknowledge the breadth of this plan and the amount of work we have planned during the year. However, while we continue to focus on addressing deferred work, we also want to ensure that we continue to provide insight into the aspects of public sector performance that New Zealanders see as important.

We will continue to be agile and respond to unexpected events and emerging issues during 2023/24. These might delay some work; they might also give us new work to do.

We noted in our draft plan our intention to introduce a new product in 2023/24 – a rapid audit. Rapid audits will be a shorter form of performance audit, designed to provide clarity or insight on matters of immediate public interest in a short time frame. We received support for this new product from Parliament and public organisations. We are currently preparing a new methodology to support these audits to ensure that they can be carried out quickly while meeting our standards for quality and balance.

As also noted in the draft plan, in this year's public survey we heard about two areas of interest for the public: value for money and resilience of infrastructure, and the effectiveness of workforce planning in the health and education sectors. We sought feedback on these topics and received particular support for looking at the resilience of infrastructure. We have decided to include a performance audit on this topic in our programme for 2023/24.

I thank my staff for their work in preparing and finalising this plan. I also thank Parliament, the public, and the public sector for your interest in, and support for, the work we do. Your feedback has been important to us in finalising this plan.

Nāku noa, nā

John Ryan
Controller and Auditor-General | Tumuaki o te Mana Arotake

22 June 2023

1: See Appendix 2 for a summary of the types of public organisations we audit.

2: In contrast to our planned discretionary work, our inquiries work responds to matters of current concern, so the number and topics we might inquire into varies by year.

3: Our international work, such as our role as Secretary-General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI), is carried out under a contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and managed through that contractual relationship.