Video transcript: Public sector financial assets

Transcript for a video about public sector financial assets and how they are managed and governed.

Title: logo of the Office of the Auditor-General

Title: A review of public sector financial assets and how they are managed and governed

Marcus Jackson (Director, Research & Development):

Our report considered three things – the size and scope of financial assets in the public sector, the governance and management of them, and the opportunities and challenges they bring. 

All entities in the public sector have assets on their balance sheet. These can be grouped into two main categories – physical and financial. Financial assets can include cash, receivables, bank deposits, shares, and some types of derivatives. Most financial assets are found in central government. Since 2011, the value of financial assets have exceeded the value of physical assets. 

Treasury’s projections through till 2060 also suggest that financial assets will increasingly dominate the Government’s balance sheet.

David Kidman (Audit Manager, Audit New Zealand):

In 2015, the value of financial assets in the public sector continued to increase. In our audit of the Government’s financial statements, we pay particular attention to the completeness and accuracy of the financial asset balances. We work with the appointed auditors of each of the entities that manage these assets and obtain assurance that the numbers being reported through are correct.


In our report, we discuss the increasing significance of financial assets across the public sector. [Image of report cover.] We also reviewed 14 public sector entities and, generally speaking, they manage and govern their assets well. However, as financial assets continue to increase across the public sector, this will bring a wider range of opportunities and challenges that will need careful thought at an entity level and a whole-of-government level.

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