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Published: 2013-08-16 00:00:00

Four independent audits have given Waikato Regional Council’s internal operations the tick of approval, the finance and audit committee has heard this week.

A NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) audit found its investment in the regional council’s public transport programme is being well managed and is delivering value for money.

The council’s $23 million contracted public transport service is the fourth largest in New Zealand, with more than 5 million passenger trips a year.

The NZTA part-funds the services and every three years conducts an audit to look at how its money is being managed by the regional council, as well as reviewing  its internal passenger transport systems.

Finance group manager Mike Garrett told the committee that “overall this is a good news report, they’ve raised no major issues”.

The committee heard issues raised about useful patronage information are being addressed through the development of a new agreement with the ticketing system supplier to secure the provision of better information. Work is also well underway with the NZTA and other regional councils to identify and procure a new ticketing system.

Meanwhile, in its interim management report Audit New Zealand gave the regional council a clean bill of health on its internal controls and processes.

Audit NZ looked at the council’s control environment, zone management plans, the finance and audit committee, and water quality and flagship goals.

Recommendations for the finance and audit committee included the addition of independent experts to enhance the committee’s effectiveness.

Audit NZ is scheduled to commence its final audit for 2013 later this month, for inclusion in the 2012/13 Annual Report. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) undertook two internal audits this year, looking at procurements processes and capital asset projects. 

Cushla Parish from PwC told the committee there were “no high or critical issues” and that action plans had already been developed, and some completed, in response to a few “lower business type improvements and suggestions” in the PwC report.