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Types of assurance

Procurement and tendering

Procurement and tendering processes must be robust and fair to all the parties involved, such as contractors, consultants, and purchasers. They must meet the standards for good practice expected of public entities. Our team can provide an invaluable independent review of public entities’ processes and procedures.


Whenever a public entity spends money, that spending must meet standards of probity that will allow it to withstand Parliamentary and public scrutiny. With extensive knowledge of the public sector, we are well positioned to provide public entities with assurance about probity risks.

Managing contracts

Whether public entities are handling a major supply contract or a small professional services contract, good practice is essential. Our team can review contracting practices and provide independent advice.

Managing projects

Major work paid for by the public carries significant risks. Even if public entities employ a professional project manager, the public entity remains responsible for the outcomes and for ensuring that public funds have been used effectively and efficiently. Our team can provide independent assurance that public entities are managing projects to good practice standards.

Managing risks

Identifying, analysing, and mitigating or eliminating risks is integral to the reputation of a public entity. All public entities need systems to avoid conflicts of interest and to show that the entity adheres to professional accounting, legal, and financial standards. Public entities need to show that they have appropriate quality assurance, external review, and training for managing risks. Understanding good practice thoroughly means our specialists can provide quality assurance for public entities’ practices.

Managing assets

Managing assets well will result in an organisation reducing risks and getting better value for money. Public entities will want effective plans for managing their assets effectively and efficiently. Our specialists have wide experience in advising on asset management and can provide assurance on planning.


Getting governance right is vital to protect and enhance the performance of a public entity. Good governance contributes to an open, fair, and transparent public sector. Our team has wide experience identifying where governance works well and where improvements can be made.

Information systems

Computerised information systems, a major part of most businesses, need to be put into effect and managed effectively. Our Information Systems Audit and Assurance team can assess information systems to help public entities to better manage risks.

Public private partnerships

Partnering between the public and private sectors is becoming more important in procuring major infrastructure work and public services. More public entities are partnering with private companies to build new infrastructure or provide services. Our specialists have experience advising about public private partnerships and can provide public entities with assurance about their partnerships.

Managing performance

Managing performance effectively is critical to the success of a well-run public entity. Managing performance well should provide managers with the information that they need to make decisions, help to guide and manage staff, and provide information to stakeholders and the public about the services that a public entity provides. Our specialists’ thorough understanding of best practice means that they can provide quality assurance for public entities.

Sensitive spending

An example of sensitive spending is giving private benefit to an individual – for example, spending on travel, accommodation, and hospitality. A public entity might spend money on something considered unusual for that organisation’s purpose and/or functions. A public entity’s sensitive spending needs to stand up to the scrutiny of Parliament and the public. With extensive knowledge of the public sector, our team is well positioned to provide public entities with assurance about sensitive spending.

Discretionary expenditure

All of a public entities’ discretionary spending should have a clear and appropriate business purpose and be properly authorised. Our specialists can offer assurance that a public entities’ discretionary spending is appropriate and complies with policies.

Page last updated: 17 October 2013

Martin Richardson, Acting Director, Specialist Audit and Assurance Services

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