This report sets out the results of my audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2015 (the Government's financial statements) and of carrying out the Controller function. Both are essential components of New Zealand's public financial management system.
I am pleased to report that I have issued an unmodified audit opinion on the Government's financial statements. The financial statements give an account of what the New Zealand Government earns, spends, owns, and owes.
My role is to provide assurance to Parliament that the way the Treasury has reported in the Government's financial statements fairly reflects the Government's financial performance and position. The Controller work complements that. As the Controller, I check that government departments do not spend more money than Parliament has approved and that they have spent money for its intended purposes.
These are not trivial matters. Establishing that the Government's books are trustworthy is fundamental to public accountability, as is the principle that the Government spends only what Parliament has approved.
The Government's financial statements do not exist in isolation. This report draws on the many individual audits of central government organisations. That said, many specific issues covered in individual audits are not significant enough to feature in this report.
Some of the issues that I highlight in this report are of interest not only from a financial reporting perspective. They indicate the complexity of issues that concern a large number of New Zealanders – assessing the cost of the Canterbury rebuild is one example.
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