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Auditor-General's report published

Auditor-General's report published, Central government: Results of the 2017/18 audits


The Auditor-General’s report Central government: Results of the 2017/18 audits was presented to the House of Representatives today.

This report sets out the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2018 and of carrying out the Controller function. Both are essential components of New Zealand’s public financial management system.

The Government’s financial statements are important for New Zealanders and New Zealand. They tell a story about what the Government is doing with the money it earns and borrows to deliver the services and investments that support us as individuals and as a nation.

We issued an unmodified audit opinion on the Government’s financial statements. In short, that means that we can assure Parliament that they fairly reflect the Government’s financial performance and position.

The key audit matters highlighted in our audit report for 2017/18 were:
• recognising tax revenue;
• valuing property, plant, and equipment;
• valuing insurance and superannuation liabilities;
• valuing financial assets and liabilities; and
• entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003.

We were satisfied that the balances and disclosures in the Government’s financial statements relating to these matters are reasonable. We have made some recommendations for agencies and Treasury in relation to some of these key audit matters.

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The number of incidences of unappropriated expenditure has, overall, been going down since 2009/10. However, there were 18 reported instances of unappropriated expenditure in 2017/18, some of which appear to have been unavoidable. However, in other instances, departments could have avoided the situation with better planning and management. Parliamentary authority for government spending is a fundamental principle and we expect government departments to put considerable effort into getting appropriation management right.

A one-page summary of this report is also available.

ends

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