Management, monitoring, and evaluation of the PGF
Management, monitoring, and evaluation of the Provincial Growth Fund
The Provincial Growth Fund (the Fund) allows for $3 billion of public money to be invested over three years, with the aim of lifting productivity in New Zealand’s regions.
The speed with which the Fund was established and continues to be developed, the nature of many of the funding proposals, and the high level of public interest have meant that the processes and types of funding provided might be different from traditional public sector arrangements. The Fund also requires appropriations to be managed by multiple government departments and organisations, which increases the risk of unappropriated expenditure.
As part of the 2017/18 annual audit, and acknowledging the short time frame for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to develop the necessary processes and procedures, we carried out some preliminary work to review how it was administering the Fund. In the final report to MBIE on the audit, we made recommendations aimed at improving the overall management of the Fund.
The Provincial Growth Fund will be a focus for our Office in 2018/19 and beyond. We intend to carry out additional work, building on our 2017/18 annual audit of MBIE.We’ve published the terms of reference for this additional work on our website.
Incentive payments made by Te Puni Kōkiri to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies
During the Māori Affairs Committee’s Annual Review of Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry) in December, members of the select committee asked about an “incentive payment” that had been distributed to the shareholders of a Whānau Ora commissioning agency. Recognising the potential public interest in this matter, we reviewedthe arrangements and have written to the Ministry with our findings. We have not found any evidence that indicates the Ministry has incurred expenditure that is unlawful.
Our letter also includes some observations about the current incentive payment arrangements. Because other agencies in the public sector administer similar funding arrangements (including incentive payments), we have decided to publish this letter on our website.