Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the information we audited, as a whole, is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion.
Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit carried out in accordance with the Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements are differences or omissions of amounts or disclosures, and can arise from fraud or error. Misstatements are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the decisions of readers, taken on the basis of the information we audited.
For the budget information reported in the information we audited, our procedures were limited to checking that the information agreed to the Ministry’s information on strategic intentions for the period 2018-2022 and relevant Estimates and Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations 2020/21, and the 2020/21 forecast financial figures included in the Ministry’s 2019/20 annual report.
We did not evaluate the security and controls over the electronic publication of the information we audited.
As part of an audit in accordance with the Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards, we exercise professional judgement and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. Also:
- We identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the information we audited, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
- We obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Ministry’s internal control.
- We evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by the Chief Executive.
- We evaluate the appropriateness of the reported performance information within the Ministry’s framework for reporting its performance.
- We conclude on the appropriateness of the use of the going concern basis of accounting by the Chief Executive and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Ministry’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the information we audited or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Ministry to cease to continue as a going concern.
- We evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the information we audited, including the disclosures, and whether the information we audited represents the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
We communicate with the Chief Executive regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.
Our responsibilities arise from the Public Audit Act 2001.