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Auditor-General. Controlling sensitive expenditure: guide for public organisations

27 October 2020
Office of the Auditor-General
Publication date:

Extract from the Auditor-General’s overview:

Controlling sensitive expenditure: guide for public organisations.
E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangarangatanga maha o te motu, tēnā koutou.

Trust and confidence in public organisations is driven by competence, reliability, and integrity. Where there is any question about any one of those things, real or perceived, trust and confidence can be eroded. It is important that organisations and their staff are adhering to the highest standards of integrity and are seen to be doing so.

Sensitive expenditure is any spending by an organisation that could be seen to be giving private benefit to a staff member, their family, or friends. It risks harming an organisation’s reputation and the public sector more generally – for example, if the expenditure could lead to concerns that the spending is inappropriate or lacks a legitimate business reason. Issues concerning sensitive expenditure arise regardless of how much money is spent. Even a small amount can raise concerns if it appears to be improper.

Public organisations therefore need to manage sensitive expenditure deliberately and diligently and, as with all spending, be able to justify it. ...

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