Planning & Investment Knowledge Base

Investment Assurance - Overview of fieldwork for different audit and review activities



This page provides general information for Approved Organisations and NZ Transport Agency(state highways) offices about what is involved with the site visits or fieldwork for the different types of investment monitoring activities.


Assurance monitoring

Assurance monitoring activities mainly involve the review of NZ Transport Agency(Planning & Investment)’s own business processes. They therefore tend to be internally focused and require involvement of different groups or staff within NZ Transport Agency depending on the review topic. Some topics may require involvement of Approved Organisations, but there are no standard fieldwork requirements.


Investment audits

Investment audits usually require between two to five days at the Approved Organisation to complete the audit fieldwork. Factors influencing fieldwork time required and the number of auditors or other people involved include:

  • The size and complexity of the Approved Organisation or NZ Transport Agency(state highways) office and its land transport network, and
  • The planned scope of the audit – including whether or not it involves a technical review. 


Investment audits without technical reviews

Investment audits of small-medium sized Approved Organisations will usually be done by one auditor and take up to three days to complete fieldwork. Audits of larger or more complex organisations may involve additional auditors and take four or more days


These audits provide assurance about Approved Organisation’s systems and processes to ensure NZ Transport Agency’s funding is properly used and accounted for, NZ Transport Agency policy requirements have been met, and contract management is sound. This includes checking that NZ Transport Agency procurement procedures are being met, and land transport disbursement is operating to fairly reflect land transport expenditure.


Investment audits with technical reviews

A proportion of investment audits done each year also include a technical review (in addition to the above audit activities). Technical reviews The review of outputs Goods or services delivered by an activity or combination of activities. and general operations of road controlling authorities that receive funds from the NLTF. look at the management and condition of the Approved Organisation’s network as a whole, including how it has changed over time. A major part of a technical review is a drive-over of the network to assess its condition.

Fieldwork for investment audits with technical reviews may take up to five days. People involved in the fieldwork may include:

  • Two to three auditors
  • One or more officers from the Approved Organisation – especially desirable is an officer with an understanding of the network maintenance programme The total of the organisation's approved maintenance, operations and renewal activities.
  • A representative from the local NZ Transport Agency regional office, and
  • An independent local authority Any territorial authority or regional council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2002. engineer from a similar sized authority.


The involvement of an independent local authority Any territorial authority or regional council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2002. engineer gives a good opportunity for the collegial exchange of ideas, information, and good practice. 


General audit process followed during fieldwork

Information needed for investment audits is requested in writing approximately 3-4 weeks before fieldwork. Ensuring the requested information is ready for review when the auditors visit helps ensure audits can proceed efficiently for both the Approved Organisation and the auditors.


An entry meeting is held at the start of each audit visit. This is to explain the review process and identify key staff to talk to. When a technical review is involved, a significant proportion of the fieldwork will involve a drive over of the network.


A close-out meeting is held with key staff at the conclusion of the fieldwork visit. A representative from the local NZ Transport Agency regional office is normally invited to  attend (if not already involved in an audit). This meeting’s purpose is to discuss all the main audit findings, raise any significant issues found, and indicate any likely recommendations to be included in the audit report.


A ‘no surprises’ approach is used so that no other audit findings or issues will be subsequently presented in the audit report unless they result from additional information that was unavailable or not presented during the fieldwork. 


Benefits realisation (post implementation reviews)

Post implementation reviews usually involve a visit to the completed activity/programme/package site(s). These site visits may take from a couple of hours to a full day depending on the complexity of the reviewed activity/programme/package and the amount of testing done to measure benefits. Two-to-three NZ Transport Agency reviewers may attend a site visit. It is preferable that a representative from the Approved Organisation who is knowledgeable about the completed activity/programme/package also attends.


Site visits for post implementation reviews are best done after requested information about the completed activity/programme/package has been provided to the review team. This enables them to complete a preliminary assessment of a benefits and outcomes.



Last Updated: 26/02/2016 5:00pm