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Auditing over the seas

To gain better insight into the running of government departments operating overseas, like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, our auditors will sometimes work offshore.

David and Situfu

These visits play an important role in providing management and the public with confidence that the way these operations are run is consistent with our expectations.

Audit Manager, David Kidman visited the MFAT branch in Apia, Samoa. He says:

“Visiting places such as Apia, helps me get a better understanding of the political, social, and economic environment that the offshore offices are operating in. It helps ensure that the conclusions and recommendations from the audit are practical in the local context.

“MFAT is responsible for protecting and promoting New Zealanders’ interests overseas. Consular services play an important part in maintaining relationships with the host country, and making sure that the rights and safety of New Zealanders are protected while abroad.

“It is also through MFAT that New Zealand contributes to sustainable development in other countries.

“When carrying out MFAT’s annual audit, we include visits to a number of overseas posts each year. We check that the financial information prepared at the branch and their reporting on the services they provide meets the public’s expectations.

New Zealand High Commission in Aia

“Our work includes testing various transactions and balances, such as invoices to be paid, payroll, property, and receipting of inwards cash. We also audit spending on aid activities, which are often multi-million dollar projects.

“Both the New Zealand staff and locals employed by MFAT were very accommodating and happy to show me around.  Through working and interacting with them, I got more of an insight into what life is like than a typical tourist experience could give.”“Spending time in Apia gave me a brief introduction into what it’s like living in quite a different society from what I’m used to here in New Zealand. My visit meant I could see some of the challenges faced by front-line staff and get their view of procedures and risks.

Page last updated: 9 July 2013