Before Parliament adjourned yesterday, Mark Brown said the audit of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 accounts was initially supposed to be signed off on June 30, 2020.
The Audit Office now expects to sign them off in September this year, “three months late”, Brown said.
“It was pleasing to note the results of the audits now being completed, particularly on the larger departments, “more and more are coming through as fully unqualified audits”.
Unqualified audit means those departments “have ticked all the boxes and have done all the right things”, he added.
Brown said out of the 30-odd government entities that required auditing, it took only one to delay its own audit and that delayed the overall audit of the consolidated account.
“Many of these outstanding audits come from island administration accounts where we acknowledge that the strength of finance management and the ability to be able to produce timely accounts has not always been there,” Brown conceded.
“But we have worked very hard with the Ministry of Finance and with the Audit Office firstly to centralise the financing of these small island account entities but also to make them more timely so it is not delaying the auditing of the consolidated accounts.”
Brown said they were in the process of bringing all the audited Crown accounts “right up to date” after a number of years of delay.
He said this was a tremendous achievement by the Audit Office, which had received resources from the New Zealand Government to allow them to conduct two years’ worth of audit every year.
“And essentially as a result of their hard work over three years, this office will now have our Crown accounts more or less up to date.”