Annual report 2022/23

Our relationships

Our mutually productive and respectful relationships with all our stakeholders are important to us.

Image used for Our relationshipsWe are here to support Parliament. However, we also have a wide range of other stakeholders. Our ability to manage our relationships well is important to our ability to influence and make a difference.

Understanding what Parliament and our other stakeholders are concerned about, and where risks might arise, helps to inform our work. It also allows us to target how we can best assist public organisations with the challenges they face and shape how we communicate the key messages from our work to influence improvements in the public sector.

In 2022/23, we regularly held events for public sector employees and their audit and risk committees about governance and accountability, good practice, accounting and auditing developments, and other topics of interest with governors, managers, finance teams, and other public sector staff.

For example, we:

  • continued our six-monthly meetings with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and all select committee chairpersons to discuss our work to support parliamentary scrutiny;
  • strengthened our relationships with Parliament, the public sector, and audit profession groups by providing briefings and presentations on good practice, emerging risks, and sector insights;
  • maintained our focus on liaising with audit and risk committees and chairpersons and continuing our forums for audit and risk committee chairpersons, which have been well received;
  • established a Rōpū Māori to advise the Auditor-General as the Office works to enhance our impact in te ao Māori;
  • continued to provide briefings for members of Parliament on reports and briefings for select committees to aid their scrutiny of public sector spending and performance. This year we provided enhanced analysis of the quality of performance reporting; and
  • continued to host events with Transparency International New Zealand in person and online, which focused on strengthening public sector integrity and transparency.

Our challenge is to improve how we build relationships and connect our work with a wider range of New Zealanders, including iwi, hapū, and whānau Māori and community organisations.

To better understand what parliamentary select committees and other stakeholders consider we do well, and where we need to improve, we survey select committee chairpersons and local government leaders every two years. Our 2022 survey results showed that our trusted advisor capability is highly regarded. Interviewees spoke highly of our investment in working relationships.

We also worked on the way our sector teams work and report to better target our efforts, improve our impact, and support performance in the public sector.

Our Sector Managers work with various stakeholders in the local government sector and report the findings from our audits and share good practice. These stakeholders include select committees, councils, audit and risk committees, Local Government New Zealand, Taituarā, and professional bodies.

During the year, our local government team:

  • briefed the Governance and Administration Committee on the audits of 2021-31 consultation documents and long-term plans;
  • delivered induction sessions to elected members at 22 newly elected councils. These sessions focused on the role of the Office, what public accountability means for councils, the importance of a strong integrity culture and practices, managing conflicts of interest, improving the effectiveness of audit and risk committees, and areas of focus for the upcoming 2024-34 long-term plans;
  • worked with Taituarā and the Institute of Professional Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA), delivering training to the local government sector on good practice in climate change reporting, insights from the 2021-31 long-term plan audits, expectations for the upcoming 2024-34 long-term plans, and asset management planning; and
  • published good practice expectations on audit and risk committees, communications during the 2022 local government pre-election period, and issues to be aware of when setting rates.

International relationships

Our international team co-ordinates activities to strengthen accountability, transparency, and good governance in the Pacific region and around the world. This work provides opportunities for staff from across the organisation to contribute their expertise for the benefit of our Pacific counterparts. The Office works in collaboration with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).