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Approved organisations that are funded through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) are subject to periodic investment audits. In selecting the approved organisations to be audited, three risk factors are considered:

  1. known issues/risks
  2. levels of funding
  3. length of time since the previous audit.

Most approved organisations are audited every three years, with those receiving a higher level of funding on a two-yearly cycle. State highways and Auckland Transport  are exceptions – they account for over half of the land transport programme and are audited annually.


The Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link), section 95(1)(e)(ii), requires the NZ Transport Agency to audit the performance of approved organisations in relation to activities approved by the Transport Agency.

Planning the audit

In May each year all approved organisations are sent a copy of the audit programme for the coming year.

View the latest audit programme

Each approved organisation included in the programme  will receive a letter confirming the details of the audit and requesting that they prepare some information for the auditor.

The audit process

An entry meeting is held to explain the audit process and establish relevant contacts with key staff.

The audit is carried out and then, at its conclusion, an exit discussion is held with key staff. Any issues are raised at this time to ensure there are no surprises in the final report.

Before the audit report is finalised, it is sent to the approved organisation for comment. The comments are considered and some text of the report may be changed as a result. The comments are appended to the report in full. A final report is issued after Transport Agency approval.

Recommendations resulting from the audit are followed up to confirm implementation. Where necessary any over-claimed expenditure is recovered from the approved organisation.

The audit – what we do

Investment audits focus on ensuring approved organisations comply with the Transport Agency's requirements in accordance with the Planning and Investment Knowledge Base(external link), Procurement manual and various general circulars that have been issued to approved organisations. The audits include:

  • assessing whether the value for money objectives are being achieved
  • reviewing documentation/ledgers supporting final claims submitted to the Transport Agency
  • reviewing and validating a sample of transactions included in the general ledger
  • checking a sample of contracts to ensure they have been let in accordance with approved procurement procedures
  • looking at management of the contracts subsequent to them being let, including both financial and non-financial aspects
  • validating annual achievement reports submitted to the Transport Agency.

Public transport audits

For approved organisations managing public transport programmes, there are additional areas of interest as follows:

  • validating patronage funding claims
  • the operation of the SuperGold scheme
  • the management of the Total Mobility scheme
  • public transport infrastructure maintenance and development
  • road safety promotion.

Technical aspects

Approved organisations are periodically reviewed in relation to technical aspects. These aspects are reviewed, on average, every 7–10 years. Where possible, the technical aspects are reviewed as part of the investment audits to enable a full picture at a certain point in time. The technical aspects considered include:

  • asset management planning processes and documents

  • data quality

  • programme management

  • safety systems.

A network inspection is carried out as part of the review.

Questions frequently asked during audits

When do we need to consider road safety audits?

Road safety audits must be considered for each key phase of every project. These are any new works or any replacement works which change alignment, visibility, or any other safety aspect such as the surface. If a safety audit is considered and it is decided that an audit is not necessary, the decision must be documented as an exception declaration. A template of the exception declaration provided in Road safety audit procedures for projects (May 2013).

Who do we contact?

Please contact the Risk and Assurance team at the Transport Agency.

Where do I find the audit programme?

The audit programme is published annually on our Audit programme page