Links to our reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters about procurement.
Inquiry into Callaghan Innovation’s procurement process

7 December 2023: Concerns were raised with us that Callaghan Innovation had not properly managed a conflict of interest nor natural justice process, and inappropriately shared confidential information with others. We decided to carry out an inquiry into whether the actions and procurement processes for the Start-up programme met good practice expectations.

Engagement of consultants by Horowhenua District Council

31 January 2023: We wrote to the Chief Executive of Horowhenua District Council after concerns were raised with us about the engagement by the Council of external consultants to provide services in relation to the Levin landfill.

Responses about our functional leadership recommendations

2 August 2021: We asked New Zealand Government Procurement (in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and Te Kawa Mataaho (the Public Service Commission) for an update on their response to recommendations we made in 2019 about the functional leadership of the government's procurement work.

Auckland light rail City Centre to Māngere Project

November 2020: We've written to the Ministry of Transport about the Auckland light rail City Centre to Māngere project. Concerns were raised with our Office about the decision to run a "parallel process" to select a delivery partner for the project. In particular, the concerns raised were whether the process complied with the Government Procurement Rules.

Getting the best from panels of suppliers

September 2020: Each year, public organisations spend about $42 billion on goods and services. One way that organisations can manage purchasing goods and services is by setting up a panel of suppliers – a list of suppliers that have been pre-selected and have agreed to the terms and conditions of supply. We carried out work to learn more about panels of suppliers and how public organisations use them.

Local government procurement

May 2020: Last year we visited 21 councils throughout New Zealand to see how they carry out procurement. We heard about the challenges councils are facing and where they felt they could improve. Based on these visits, and observations from our other work on procurement, we wrote an article that poses a series of questions about procurement practice and culture.

Inquiry into Alpine Energy Limited's decision to install solar equipment at a senior executive's house

December 2019: Concerns were raised with us about certain procurement practices carried out by Alpine Energy, including a decision to install solar energy equipment on an employee’s house as part of a solar energy trial. We were interested in this decision because it raised questions about sensitive expenditure. Sensitive expenditure is a particular risk in the public sector – if it is not recognised and properly managed, public trust and confidence can quickly be eroded, regardless of the amount of money spent.

Using “functional leadership” to improve government procurement

December 2019: Since 2012, New Zealand Government Procurement, a business unit in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, has been responsible for leading improvements in government procurement. In this report, we have identified some important areas for New Zealand Government Procurement to focus on to further improve public sector performance and to be seen as the centre of excellence for procurement in the public sector.

Author portrait picture Being bold together: Watercare’s approach to procurement

As part of our procurement work programme, we’re inviting speakers to present at the Office about the lessons and challenges their organisations face when it comes to procurement. In August, the Office hosted a presentation from Raveen Jaduram, Chief Executive of Watercare.

Author portrait picture Changing the world one contract at a time: Understanding your supply chain

Slavery, bribery, fraud, corruption, environmental degradation, intentional discrimination: these aren’t usually top of mind when running a public sector tender. But how many public organisations can say whether or not their supply chains are consistent with their own ethical standards’? Martin Richardson from Audit New Zealand’s Specialist Audit and Assurance Services team tackles some challenging issues.

Author portrait picture Right versus right: Ethical procurement

Being explicit about ethical dilemmas at the planning stage and throughout a procurement process can help you prepare to tackle them if and when they arise. Martin Richardson from Audit New Zealand’s Specialist Audit and Assurance Services team explores some ways to approach these dilemmas.

Inquiry into procurement of work by Westland District Council at Franz Josef

March 2019: This report concerns a decision of the Westland District Council to carry out work at Franz Josef to protect the town's wastewater treatment plant from flooding. The work was carried out on an urgent basis and resulted in the construction of a new 700-metres-long stopbank on the bank of the Waiho River. In this report, we acknowledge the serious nature of the flood risk the Council was dealing with, and the motivation of the elected members who were driving the decision to act in the community's best interests. However, we have serious concerns about what was done in this case.

Introducing our work about procurement

September 2018: This report introduces our work on procurement. Drawing from our audit work and conversations with people involved in public sector procurement, we summarise what we see as the main issues and opportunities for improving procurement practice in the public sector. In our view, the public sector still has work to do to improve procurement practices. Despite considerable focus on it, and despite improvements that have been made, we continue to see instances of procurement practice that give us cause for concern.

Inland Revenue Department: Procurement for the Business Transformation programme

March 2018: We decided to look at whether the Inland Revenue Department's Business Transformation Programme's procurement is effective, is well managed, and complies with relevant rules and other requirements. As well as looking at Inland Revenue's overall approach to procurement, we focused on two parts of the procurement process: sourcing goods and services; and managing relationships with suppliers.

Ministry for Primary Industries: Managing the Primary Growth Partnership

February 2015: We audited how the Ministry for Primary Industries has implemented and managed the Primary Growth Partnership so far. In the six programmes we reviewed, we saw examples of partnerships that appeared to work well from the beginning and others that experienced difficulties. These difficulties included prolonged business case development, long contract negotiations, and staffing shortages...

Inquiry into the Government’s decision to negotiate with SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited for an international convention centre

February 2013: We have seen no evidence to suggest that the final decision to negotiate with SkyCity was influenced by any inappropriate considerations. However, we found a range of deficiencies in the advice that the Ministry provided and the steps that officials and Ministers took leading up to that decision. The quality of support that was provided fell short of what we would have expected from the lead government agency on commercial and procurement matters...

Managing the implications of public private partnerships

November 2011: This discussion paper has been written to inform public sector leaders and decision-makers considering partnering with the private sector about the general features of PPPs and the factors that are seen as important in sustaining an appropriate "enabling" environment for all PPPs...