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Agencies Maintaining the Financial Management System

The Office of the Controller and Auditor-General (C&AG) is an Office of Parliament that carries out its functions under the authority of, and for the benefit and support of, Parliament. The C&AG provides Parliament with independent assurance that state sector agencies are operating and accounting for their performance in line with Parliament's intentions.

Key functions of the C&AG include:

  • examination of government spending to ensure it is lawful and has been properly authorised
  • mandatory audits of the financial reports of state sector agencies
  • discretionary performance audits and inquiries.

Three departments, known as central agencies, are also concerned with coordinating and monitoring state sector performance. They are the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the State Services Commission and the Treasury.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet:

  • provides advice to the Prime Minister on policy, administrative and constitutional issues
  • provides executive support to Cabinet
  • helps coordinate the work of the Government across departments.

The State Services Commission is the Government's principal advisor on the state sector management system. The Commission:

  • advises on performance management and organisational structures
  • recommends departmental chief executive appointments
  • reviews chief executive performance
  • provides guidance on the integrity and conduct of state servants
  • helps develop people capability in the state services.

The Treasury is the principal economic and financial advisor to the Government. It works to promote economic growth, macroeconomic stability and state sector performance. The last two are particularly relevant to the financial management system, within which the Treasury:

  • helps the Minister of Finance to improve the value-for-money delivered from existing, planned and proposed expenditure
  • advises on sustainable and predictable levels of expenditure
  • prepares budget documents for scrutiny by Parliament
  • manages the public debt
  • has a significant role in tax policy advice
  • helps improve the management of, and reporting on, Crown assets
  • participates in reviews of significant policy issues that affect resources
  • provides consolidated reports and forecasts on the Government’s finances, including the independently audited Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand.
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