Audit office faces busy year

| 06/01/2012

(CNS): The office of the auditor general has a heavy workload ahead this year and the first two reports of 2012 are expected this month. The office said that it hopes the performance audit of government’s overseas medical expenses and a report on major capital projects, including the public schools and the new government office accommodation building, will both be in the public domain before the end of January. Among the major issues that Alastair Swarbrick and his team will be examining this year is an overview of the management of government in its entirety as well as a close-up on government’s expenditure on human capital. The office will also be taking a look at how government collects, as well as spends, public cash.

Early in 2012 Swarbrick has plans to undertake a close scrutiny of the governance arrangements across the public sector, considering how government sets out its purpose and the outcomes it expects for users of its services and the public at large. It will examine how government is organized, how it makes decisions and manages risk and whether it does so transparently.

The team will also be looking at the accountability on executive transactions and transfer payments to organizations and individuals. Each year the government gives millions of dollars to various groups and private individuals for a variety of reasons, from supporting national athletes to charitable causes, most of which is given without the need to account. However, many thousands are given to organisations for specific services to government and the audit office will be looking to see if government is getting value for money for the cash it gives out.

As well as looking at human capital in line with the requirements of the Public Service Management Law, the auditor will be tackling standards of behaviour and the arrangements across the public sector to promote ethical leadership and values. The office will be scrutinizing the investment of public money in information technology and whether due consideration is given to achieving value for money.

Later in the year Swarbrick plans to look at the other side of the ledger and instead of examining how public money is spent the team will take a closure look at government revenues, including fees, customs and duties. The office plans to examine the arrangements in place to determine, manage and collect government earnings transparently, efficiently, effectively and economically, the office said.

All of this will be against a backdrop of reviewing and monitoring previous reports as well as assisting government to get its own accounts in order and produce its first annual report since 2003.

"I am looking forward to 2012 and the work my office has planned that I believe will promote greater transparency and accountability in government operations,” Alastair Swarbrick said Thursday. “In particular I am looking forward to supporting the Government as it makes progress in bringing its accounts up to date and delivering the programme of performance audits, which I believe will provide opportunities to help government manage more efficiently and effectively.

Swarbrick said that he was looking forward to working with the government to strengthen the independence and capacity of the audit office to deliver on its mandate as it moves into its 30th year.

See 2012 Audit schedule below.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Uncivil Servant says:

    The small guys are making a small fortune from the public purse. [Swarbrick] will never catch them.

  2. The Spin Cycle says:

    This work by the Auditor's Office is entirely unnecessary!  Wjhat a waste of time! Haven't they read that:

    Government agencies recently announced they went to a retreat? Or was it into retreat? Whatever. They synergized with each other. 

    And articulated for awhile.

    And… if that weren't enough then they discussed adopting a proposed plan to bring forth a recommendation.  Which will later be presented for consideration.  Then…after consideration it's examined by a committee yet to be appointed for further fine tuning and modification. To narrow down areas of mutual synergistic application. Of the proposed plan. So if the Auditor General is looking into how government spends it's time and our money his work has been done for him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Auditing morality too! Interesting…

    I am excited about Swarbrick and the organization his office can bring to our Governement.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laying the Groundwork for direct Taxation ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Silly comment, actually his work COULD just avoid the necessity for direct taxation. His function is to stamp out corruption and the consequent waste of Government money, which of course means that you dont need to raise so much to get what you need!

      However, if his work is obstructed, and his position threatened by the people who just might be benefitting from wrongful use of Government money then you may well end up with lowered benefit or indeed increased taxation!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope he gives us a list of all the duty waivers and exemptions.