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Appropriation is a key mechanism allowing Ministers and government agencies to be held accountable to Parliament for their use of public resources. Appropriation links outcomes to the outputs and resources used.

The appropriation system works with Statements of Intent to ensure the right outputs are purchased, funding is spent as intended, and that the data needed to inform future purchasing decisions will get reported.

New Zealand's most successful value-for-money initiatives focused on cost, output and outcome trends over a decade, and helped redirect expenditure that showed limited results. A well-run appropriation system creates requirements for consistent reporting over time, supports critical analysis by spending agencies and monitoring agents alike, and ensures good flows of information to Ministers making purchase decisions.

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