Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Public Audit Bill comes to parliament

A new Bill clarifying the powers of the Controller and Auditor-General and making the position an office of Parliament will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Audit Department Jim Anderton said Cabinet today approved the Public Audit Bill.

It establishes the Controller and Auditor-General as an Officer of Parliament and reforms and clarifies the law relating to the auditing of public sector organisations.

The Auditor-General’s mandate is to be applied consistently to all public entities, with the exception of State-Owned Enterprises, where some limitations on performance audits remain. The Reserve Bank is also added to the Auditor-General’s mandate.

"The existing legislation is now widely regarded as unclear and out of step with modern public sector practices," Jim Anderton said.

"Before the election I called for the Auditor to be given powers to check on whether new programmes actually achieved what they were meant to achieve. This new Bill ensures that effectiveness and efficiency audits can be performed.

"This Bill enshrines the power of Auditors-General to ensure that public money is spent on what Parliament votes and that it has the effects that Parliament intends.

"Calls have been made repeatedly over recent years by Controllers and Auditors General and by constitutional experts for the powers of the office to be clarified. For example, while it is convention that the Controller and Auditor General is an officer of Parliament, this is not stated in the Public Finance Act. It is high time that the Auditor's position as an independent advisor to Parliament was made clear."

The new Bill fully implements the recommendations of the 1998 Finance and Expenditure (FEC) Inquiry into Audit Office legislation.

Extra accountability provisions include arrangements to enable the Auditor-General’s annual plan to be the subject of consultation with the Speaker and a committee of the House of Representatives before it is tabled. The House will also have a power of resolution to direct the Auditor-General as to the work programme priorities.

"This is an important day in the honest and transparent administration of Government. New Zealand was a forerunner in passing the original Audit Act in 1858. But that Act was repealed nine years later, so since 1867 we have not had an Audit Act," Jim Anderton said.

The Bill will be sent to Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. The Government hopes to pass it by June.

Further comment: John Pagani 04 471 9172 025 570 872

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election