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Audit Client Information

What are the key milestones in the audit cycle? 
What will the audit approach be like?
What do audits examine?
How do the auditors examine these areas?
What are the outputs of the audit?
What happens if audits uncover something that’s seriously wrong?
What is the value of an audit?
Where to find out more

What are the key milestones in the audit cycle?

Image of What are the key milestones in the audit cycle?

1) Planning – We schedule and begin to plan your audit.
2) Client Engagement – We notify your Chief Executive and request a nomination for a Senior Responsible Officer (SRO), who will be the key contact throughout the audit process.
3) SRO Visit – We meet with your nominated SRO to outline the audit process, agree scope and timeframes, and identify what documentation can be supplied to the auditors. 
4) Audit Confirmation – We confirm the audit timeframes in writing to your SRO. We issue a key-code for the self-assessment application, and brief you on the application's use. 
5) Client Self-assessment –  You complete the self-assessment within the agreed timeframes.
6) Desktop Review - We review the alignment of your self-assessment's ratings with the documentary evidence provided.
7) Field Audit – Independent auditors conduct onsite investigations to validate your self-assessment. 
8) Audit Reports – We provide you with a report consolidating findings. You will also receive a letter from the Chief Archivist reviewing the findings and, if appropriate, making recommendations.
N.B. We also draft an annual report summarising audits for the Chief Archivist, Minister, and Parliament.
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What will the audit approach be like?

Archives New Zealand is looking to provide New Zealanders with assurance that the recordkeeping practices of public offices are fit-for-purpose, i.e. that they:

Audit reports will focus on how business risk is being influenced by your organisation’s recordkeeping practices.
Audit compliance will be measured from a continuous improvement perspective rather than a pass/fail approach.
When we meet your Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the first time, we will provide a comprehensive briefing about the audit process and reporting.
We will ask your SRO to identify known problems or issues, with a view to ensuring that our audit does not focus unduly on areas where evaluative or corrective activity has already been actioned.
Archives New Zealand aims to be pragmatic and helpful. Our audit procedures focus on producing helpful, actionable reports while keeping demand on your resources to a minimum.
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What do audits examine?

The audits will look for evidence of a maturing recordkeeping capability and compliance with the three mandatory standards which prescribe good recordkeeping practice:

The standards have been developed through an extensive consultative process. They are available online at:
Continuum Resource Kit

The audit is structured into eight areas. The first four cover general business activities, and the remainder cover more specific recordkeeping requirements:
General business activities

1. Planning
2. Resourcing
3. Training
4. Reporting
Specific recordkeeping practices

5. Creation and capture
6. Retrievability and security
7. Maintenance and storage
8. Disposal and transfer
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How do the auditors examine these areas?

You will be provided with access to a self-assessment application that allows you to construct a profile of your organisation’s recordkeeping capability.
Self-assessment is followed by a series of validation checks to confirm your self-assessment ratings. 
The Self-Assessment Application
Throughout 2008 and 2009, Archives New Zealand held a series of consultative workshops to develop a conceptual Audit Tool to appraise public offices’ recordkeeping capability.
This is now deployed in a web-based self-assessment application that allows public offices to conduct a self-assessment of their recordkeeping capability. This has navigational aids, contextual help and the capability to produce standard reports which can be used in business planning, business performance improvement initiatives and legal compliance reporting.
We will analyse your self-assessment and documents supplied to us to develop an audit plan. This sets out how we will approach validating your organisation's self-assessment when we come to visit you on site. Typically we will be conducting physical inspections, interviewing staff and clarifying the status, availability and promulgation of policy and procedural documents.
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What are the outputs of the audit?

Key outputs are:

The annual report will:

The Minister will present this report to the House of Representatives.
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What happens if audits uncover something that’s seriously wrong?

We emphasise that the Audit Team will always look to work with clients in a constructive and cooperative manner.
Our auditing standards specify the process for managing instances of non-compliance discovered during audits.
In the event of discovering evidence of serious instances of non-compliance with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2005, the Chief Archivist does have powers to:

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What is the value of an audit?

A recordkeeping audit is a value-adding activity.
Value is provided through:

Tell us about any issues and concerns you have.
We encourage you to discuss any issues and problems with us. We will be as helpful as possible without prejudicing our independence.
We also encourage you to provide feedback that helps us to improve the efficiency of our audit processes.
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Where to find out more

For more information, please contact:
Programme Coordinator
Public Records Act Audit Programme
Archives New Zealand
PO Box 12-050, Wellington
Telephone: 04 894 6032
Fax: 04 495 6210


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