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2009 Annual Report

Report of the

Parliamentary Counsel Office
Te Tari Tohutohu Pāremata

for the year ended 30 June 2009

Presented to the House of Representatives under section 44(1) of the Public Finance Act 1989

September 2009

Wellington, New Zealand

ISSN 1177-6625

CONTENTS

Chief Parliamentary Counsel's Overview

Highlights of 2008/09

Strategic Objectives

Strategic Objective 1—Best Practice Legislative Drafting Services
Strategic Objective 2—Ready Access to New Zealand Legislation
Organisational health and capability

Financial Statements

Introduction to the Financial Statements
Statement of Responsibility
Statement of Financial Performance
Statement of Movements in Taxpayers' Funds
Statement of Financial Position
Statement of Cash Flows
Reconciliation of Net Surplus to Net Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Statement of Commitments
Statement of Contingent Liabilities
Statement of Unappropriated Expenses and Capital Expenditure
Statement of Operating and Capital Expenditure
Notes to the Financial Statements
Statement of Service Performance
Audit Report

Appendices

Legislative framework
Governance arrangements and structure in the PCO
Vision statement

The Attorney-General

I am pleased to present to you the Report of the Parliamentary
Counsel Office for the year ended 30 June 2009.

David Noble
Chief Parliamentary Counsel
21 September 2009

CHIEF PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL'S OVERVIEW

David Noble, Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

This is the report of the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) for the 2008/09 year. In preparing the report, the PCO has followed the guidance provided by the Treasury.1 This Annual Report, together with the PCO’s Statement of Intent2 and Information Supporting the Estimates3 , form the components of the Managing for Outcomes framework.

The mission of the PCO is to provide impartial high quality legislative drafting services and advice and to enable easy access to the laws of New Zealand.

The Statement of Intent for 2008—11 specified the outcome as “contributing to parliamentary democracy under the rule of law”.4 This is achieved by the PCO drafting legislation for the executive branch of government that reflects the fundamental concepts inherent in the rule of law, is clear, effective, and based on sound legal principle, and that is accessible to the New Zealand and wider public.5

Highlights of 2008/09

This year has been one of significant achievement, delivery, and change for the PCO. The breadth of outcomes and the high quality work involved in delivering them are a tribute to the creativity and dedication of the whole PCO staff.

  • The PCO drafted 81 Government Bills and 451 Statutory Regulations in the financial year ended 30 June 2009.
  • The PCO contributed to two Law Commission reports, which reviewed the PCO’s governing statute and the presentation of New Zealand statute law.6
  • PCO staff worked closely with the Law Commission, the Legislation Advisory Committee, and the Legislation Design Committee to improve the quality, clarity, and accessibility of New Zealand legislation.
  • Unique visitor numbers to the New Zealand Legislation (NZL) website7 continued to increase.
  • The PCO’s Information Systems Strategic Plan was established.
  • A post-implementation review of the Public Access to Legislation (PAL) project was completed.
  • Replacement volumes of the New Zealand statutes from 1888 to 1894, the “shattering statutes”, were published in hard copy and on line.
  • The PCO officialised8 388 items of legislation on the NZL website.
  • Thirty-six Acts and 13 Statutory Regulations were issued as official reprints.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Strategic Objective 1—Best Practice Legislative Drafting Services

The specific outcome of this objective is to provide high quality legislative drafting services and advice in a professional, impartial, and responsive manner in delivering the Government’s legislation programme.

Drafting of Bills

It has been the practice of successive governments to adopt a legislation programme for the drafting of Bills in each calendar year, but no formal programme exists for the drafting of regulations. Bills are assigned categories on the legislation programme according to their legal and policy importance. The programme changes throughout the year as Bills are added to, or taken off, the programme, and delays in making policy decisions can delay the drafting of Bills.

The categories in the annual legislation programme are:

Category Description
1 Bills that must be passed or introduced as a matter of law in 2009
2 Bills that must be passed in 2009
3 Bills to be passed if possible in 2009
4 Bills to proceed to a select committee in 2009
5 Bills for which instructions are to be provided to the PCO in 2009

Details of the numbers of category 1 and 2 Bills drafted are included in the Statement of Service Performance (see note to the table of quantity).

Drafting amendments for select committees and committee of the whole House

Legislation is scrutinised extensively in parliamentary select committees, of which there are 13 permanent committees. With the exception of Appropriation, Imprest Supply, and Bills introduced and passed through all stages under urgency, all Bills are referred to a particular select committee for consideration. The process of select committee scrutiny of Bills usually involves the following features:

  • select committees are briefed by departmental advisers about each Bill that public submissions are called for
  • witnesses appear and give evidence at hearings that are open to the public
  • submissions are analysed and reports recommending changes to a Bill are prepared and considered
  • some committees engage independent advisers
  • amendments to a Bill required by the committee are drafted by Parliamentary Counsel in consultation with departmental advisers and considered by the committee
  • a commentary on the committee’s consideration of the Bill is prepared by the committee’s advisers and accompanies the Bill when it is reported back to the House.

Select committee consideration of Bills can occupy many months. The Bills may be extensively amended to take account of changes recommended by select committees following from the public submission process and the select committees’ overall consideration. Parliamentary Counsel attend meetings of select committees when departmental reports are considered and when the amendments to a Bill are decided upon. They will sometimes attend meetings to hear evidence from key witnesses. The drafting work involved can be considerable and time consuming.

Parliamentary Counsel also draft all amendments to Bills required by Ministers at the committee of the whole House stage. Extensive changes are possible at this stage of the legislative process to take account of policy changes or technical refinements that are necessary or desirable.

Law Commission

The PCO maintained a very constructive relationship with the Law Commission, and during the year a Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel was seconded to assist the Commission with legal research and drafting. The Limitation Bill, Inquiries Bill, and Search and Surveillance Powers Bill, which were before the House awaiting a first reading as at 30 June 2009, arose from Law Commission proposals and were drafted by the PCO. The PCO itself has been the subject of a Law Commission review, reported in the Review of the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920 (NZLC R107, published in June 2009) and the associated report of the Commission Presentation of New Zealand Statute Law (NZLC R104, published in December 2008). PCO senior management, Parliamentary Counsel, and other staff have contributed to both of these reviews during the course of the year and are currently engaged in preparing a response to the reports.

Legislation Advisory Committee and Legislation Design Committee

The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is a member of the Legislation Advisory Committee (LAC) established by the Minister of Justice in 1986, and the Legislation Design Committee (LDC) established by Cabinet in June 2006. The LAC advises the Government on good legislative practice and scrutinises the legislative work of the Government, making submissions to select committee where appropriate. The LDC advises departments on the appropriate legislative architecture for significant or complex policy proposals requiring legislation. Parliamentary Counsel have been heavily involved in assisting both committees to achieve their outcomes this year.

Drafting of Statutory Regulations

In the year under review, 451 Statutory Regulations were drafted. In general, Acts of Parliament contain the main policy components of a legislative regime while Statutory Regulations contain much of the essential detail and administrative mechanisms to make the Acts work. It is often through such delegated legislation that a legislative regime has its greatest impact. All proposed Statutory Regulations that are to be made by the Governor-General in Council are considered by the Cabinet Legislation Committee and by Cabinet before they are submitted to the Governor-General in Executive Council. Unlike the drafting of Bills, drafting Statutory Regulations and other legislative instruments can give rise to complex legal questions about whether there is power to make the regulations or instrument under the relevant Act. Parliamentary Counsel are required to certify whether proposed Statutory Regulations are in order for submission to Cabinet, that is, whether there is any question about their vires and whether there is any ground on which they may be challenged under the Standing Orders of the House or disallowed under the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989.

Seventy-three exemption notices were drafted for the Securities Commission under the Securities Act 1978, the Securities Markets Act 1988, and the Financial Reporting Act 1993, and for the Takeovers Panel under the Takeovers Act 1993. These notices can be complex instruments and are often required at short notice. The PCO accords high priority to the requirements of the Commission and the Panel in this regard.

The PCO assists the Rules Committee, established under section 51B of the Judicature Act 1908. Rules of practice and procedure for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, and District Courts are made by the Governor-General by Order in Council with the concurrence of the Rules Committee. In the period under review, the PCO provided advice and legislative drafting services to the Rules Committee. This work included drafting amendments to the High Court Rules and District Courts Rules, and the preparation of draft revisions of those rules.

Clear drafting

The PCO’s goal for clear drafting is continuous improvement. During the development and commissioning phases of the New Zealand Legislation (NZL) system,9 some changes were made to format and amending styles. Now that the NZL system is operational, it is expected that further consideration will be given to the types of improvements that can be made in this area over time.

The guidance material available to PCO staff involved in drafting legislation includes the PCO Style Manual (which was fully revised in 2006) and the PCO Drafting Manual (which was comprehensively reviewed and revised this year). A review of the peer review system was also completed in June 2008 and changes to that system have been implemented with effect from 30 June 2009.

Assistance for departments

The PCO’s Guide to Working with the Parliamentary Counsel Office was revised in June 2009 and republished on the PCO website. It assists departments in working effectively with the PCO, particularly when giving instructions and responding to drafts. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel and other Counsel have also presented seminars on the subject to departmental officials and wider audiences this year.

Parliamentary Counsel provide advice to departments:

  • in the course of the development of policy for legislation
  • in the pre-instruction phase
  • during the drafting phase
  • at other times when required.

The subject matter of advice given by Parliamentary Counsel varies enormously. The context in which advice is sought is generally a specific piece of existing legislation or proposed legislation, but may include questions of drafting practice, the application of the LAC Guidelines, general legal principles, Cabinet procedure, parliamentary procedure, the effect of court decisions, and statutory interpretation.

Contact with other jurisdictions

The Chief Parliamentary Counsel has participated in the Australasian Parliamentary Counsel’s Committee, particularly with regard to issues relating to common drafting approaches, access to legislation, and benchmarking measures. In addition, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and a number of Parliamentary Counsel attended the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel Conference in Hong Kong in April 2009. One of the Parliamentary Counsel presented a paper titled “Accessibility through the New Zealand Legislation System: Opportunity for the public to shape the law as it is made”.

Contributing internationally

During the year under review, the PCO drafted a new public service Bill for the Cook Islands (which has recently been enacted) and has provided advice and precedents to the Law Commission of Samoa. The PCO has also answered queries of a drafting nature from several countries in the Pacific.

Quantity of legislation

The following graphs compare the number of Government Bills drafted and published and Statutory Regulations made and published, plus the numbers of Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs) drafted and published, in the financial years ending 30 June 2005 to 30 June 2009.

Number of Government Bills drafted and published (for the year ended 30 June)
The number of Government Bills drafted and published, from 2005 to 2009.
Number of Statutory Regulations made and published (for the year ended 30 June)
The number of Statutory Regulations made and published, from 2005 to 2009.
Number of Government Bills and SOPs drafted and published and Statutory Regulations made and published (for the year ended 30 June)
The number of Government Bills and SOPs drafted and published, and Statutory Regulations made and published, from 2005 to 2009.

Significant Bills and Acts

In the financial year under review, the following significant Bills were introduced and significant Acts were passed. This PCO-drafted legislation can be viewed on the NZL website (www.legislation.govt.nz).

Bills

Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism
Appropriation (2009/10 Estimates)
Building Amendment (No 2)
Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Youth Courts Jurisdiction and Orders) Amendment
Corrections (Contract Management of Prisons) Amendment
Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment
Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict)
Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety)
Education Amendment
Inquiries
Insolvency Amendment
Limitation
Local Government (Auckland Council)
Port Nicholson Block (Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) Claims Settlement
Sentencing and Parole Reform
Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure
Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement

Acts

Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Act 2008
Appropriation (2008/09 Estimates) Act 2008
Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Act 2008
Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008
Commerce Amendment Act 2008
Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009
Disability (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Act 2008
Electoral Amendment Act 2009
Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding, and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008
Employment Relations Amendment Act 2008
Financial Advisers Act 2008
Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008
Judicature (High Court Rules) Amendment Act 2008
Land Transport Amendment Act 2009
Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008
Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009
Māori Trustee Amendment Act 2009
Parliamentary Service Amendment Act 2008
Policing Act 2008
Public Lending Right for New Zealand Authors Act 2008
Public Transport Management Act 2008
Real Estate Agents Act 2008
Te Roroa Claims Settlement Act 2008
Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008
Walking Access Act 2008
Wanganui District Council (Prohibition of Gang Insignia) Act 2009
Waste Minimisation Act 2008

Strategic Objective 2—Ready Access to New Zealand Legislation

The specific outcome of this objective is to ensure that New Zealand legislation (including Bills) is readily accessible to the public in a timely manner and in an accurate and authoritative form.

New Zealand Legislation system

The New Zealand Legislation (NZL) system is a complete drafting, publishing, and reprints system that is the result of a project that was designed to improve the way in which New Zealand legislation (Bills, Acts, Statutory Regulations, and SOPs) are handled in the drafting stages and made available to the public. The system provides public access to up-to-date legislation in printed form and in electronic form on the NZL website at www.legislation.govt.nz. Public usage of the website has steadily increased over the past year.

The graph below shows unique visitor numbers per month for the NZL website for the year to 30 June 2009. Monthly visitor numbers have doubled over the last year. The number of monthly website hits has increased from between one and two million in mid-2008 to over three million in mid-2009.

Total number of unique visitors by month to NZL website
The total number of unique visitors by month for the Interim Website and the New Zealand Legislation website.

Last year the PCO established a work programme for the NZL system aimed at enhancing the user experience, both for the public via the website and for the users of the drafting and publishing tools (PCO, Inland Revenue Department, and the Office of the Clerk). In the 2008/09 year, the PCO implemented several maintenance releases and one major release, which improved functionality and provided significant benefits for users. The programme of work will continue over the next financial year.

During the first quarter of 2009, the PCO established its Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP). Because the NZL system is the PCO’s core application, it is the major focus of the ISSP, which covers the next three to five years. As a result of the ISSP, the PCO has established some firm business and architectural goals and is now refining the NZL system work programme to focus on architectural goals. The purpose is to simplify the technology of the system as much as possible in order to lower the costs of maintaining and operating the system. Many of the aspects of the ISSP were formed after the successful conclusion of a post-implementation review (PIR) of the Public Access to Legislation (PAL) project (now the NZL system). The PIR identified lessons that arose from the project. Some lessons have been translated into initiatives that inform the NZL system enhancement programme and provide insights into processes that could be strengthened.

The PCO has continued its commercial arrangement with the Knowledge Basket website,10 which provides free access to historical legislation, and extended it to provide access to the “shattering statutes” (see below).

Prepublication

The Prepublication Unit (PPU) is responsible for publishing:

  • new Acts
  • new regulations
  • Bills (both new Bills introduced to the House and subsequent versions of Bills)
  • SOPs
  • reprints of Acts and regulations.

The documents are published in hard copy, and made available at specified bookshops and to subscribers. PPU also publishes on line by providing HTML and PDF files to the NZL website.

Shattering statutes

A significant project carried out in the 2008/09 year was the publishing of replacement volumes of the New Zealand statutes from 1888 to 1894, commonly known as the shattering statutes. These volumes had been printed on acid paper that deteriorated with time, and were in many cases so brittle that they disintegrated when handled. To preserve access to these important historical documents, some of which are still used in legal arguments today, the PCO obtained images of all pages of the volumes and produced PDFs of each one. Facsimile printed editions were published and made available as bound volumes to universities, libraries, Legislation Direct subscribers, and others. PDFs can be viewed on the Knowledge Basket website11 at no cost.

Reprints

During the reporting period, the Reprints Unit successfully completed the 2008/09 reprints programme, which resulted in 6,534 hard copy pages of reprinted legislation (36 Acts and 13 Statutory Regulations). This is in addition to the work completed on the PCO’s officialisation project to verify that all principal Acts and Statutory Regulations on the NZL website are accurate and that all amendments made to them have been compiled appropriately. Officialisation of the website content is the main focus of the Reprints Unit, and is currently expected to be completed by 31 December 2012. In addition to the 49 titles that were officialised in the course of producing the hard copy reprints, the Reprints Unit completed the officialisation of 388 items of legislation, comprising all of 2006 (169 Acts and Statutory Regulations), all of 2005 (136 Acts and Statutory Regulations), and 83 of 127 Acts and Statutory Regulations for 2004 in this reporting year. This means as at 30 June 2009, the officialisation programme is 16% complete.

Total number of pages of reprints published (for the year ended 30 June)12
The number of pages of reprints published, from 2004 to 2008.

The Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force as at 1 January 2009 were published in February 2009. This is the second edition of the Tables to include information on deemed regulations and the agencies who produce them, and details of the PCO’s editorial conventions for reprints.

Investigations into digitisation of New Zealand historical statutes

As part of the PCO’s contribution to the joint Law Commission/PCO project on the Presentation of New Zealand Statute Law,13 studies were carried out into possible options and costs for digitising the New Zealand historical statutes for the period 1841 to 2007 and the feasibility of creating and publishing a subject index in hard copy and electronic format. The PCO has discussed digitisation with interested parties such as the National Library, the New South Wales PCO, and a commercial vendor, who each currently carry out similar projects. Decisions on whether and how to digitise New Zealand historical statutes will be made by the Government in the 2009/10 financial year.

2009 IPANZ Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards

The PCO’s “New Zealand Legislation System Project” was a finalist for the Microsoft Award for Excellence in Networked Government.

Organisational health and capability

Management

The Senior Management Team (SMT) has continued to ensure its staff have the appropriate
resources and skills to enable the achievement of the goals on the PCO Strategic Plan. A
management forum has been established to ensure two-way communication between the SMT
and third-tier managers on strategic PCO-wide issues.

Developments in human resources

The SMT has reviewed the Human Resources (HR) Strategic Plan and updated it to reflect the progress made in enhancing leadership and staff capability, accounting for performance and operating contemporary HR practices.

A complete review of the PCO policies and guidelines has commenced. Managers are taking ownership for recruitment in their own areas with HR support. A revised job description template has been completed, which includes person specifications and competencies.

New HR delegations have been drafted and will be issued early in the 2009/10 year to all managers.

Parliamentary Counsel have been consulted on a draft career framework. Further work has been completed as a result of the feedback received with a further draft ready to go out for consultation.

Training and professional development

Training and development for PCO staff continues in accordance with individual training plans. The PCO is a member of the Leadership Development Centre and managers are undertaking appropriate training. A PCO competency framework is about to be finalised and will be a key tool in identifying training requirements for all managers and staff.

Performance

The Access to Legislation teams trialled a performance appraisal system in the first half of 2009. A working party, with staff representatives from across all teams, was established to review the outcome of the trial and to recommend to the SMT a PCO-wide system including a competency framework.

Operational HR processes and administrative systems

Work continued on updating electronic HR systems. Leave can now be applied for and approved on line. Staff can also update their personal information on line. Enhancements continue for the collection of HR data for reporting purposes.

Engagement survey

In April 2008 the PCO undertook a staff engagement survey under the auspices of the State Services Commission’s structured implementation of the Gallup Q12 engagement survey.

In the 2008/09 year, teams across the PCO have continued to implement their action plans that arose from the survey. The PCO has contracted Gallup Consulting to implement a second survey in September/October 2009.

Equal employment opportunities

The PCO’s Pay and Employment Equity Review report was completed in June 2008. The report’s recommendations have now either been achieved or progressed according to the report’s response plan.

As at 30 June 2009, the staff gender breakdown is:

Male Female Total
Total staff 36.4 42.5 78.9
Parliamentary Counsel 13.4 14.9 28.3
Other Drafting Services staff 4 3.6 7.6
Access to Legislation staff 15 9 24
Corporate Services staff 4 15 19

Note: Numbers of staff are full-time equivalents.

Risk management

The PCO developed a risk management framework in the first half of 2009. Its purpose is to assist the management and mitigation of the PCO’s major risks and the achievement of its outputs and deliverables. The framework includes procedures and practices designed to protect and enhance resources and enable the achievement of objectives.

One of the activities completed in the 2008/09 year was the preparation of a risk register. This identifies the risks faced by the PCO, their main causes, and the consequences if one of those risks occurs. The risk register also documents control measures, and ownership of the major risks.

Audit and risk committee

The PCO has established an audit and risk committee, which had its first meeting in May 2009. The committee consists of two external independent members (including the chair) and one internal member. The role of this committee is to provide independent assurance, advice, and assistance to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel on the PCO’s systems of governance and internal control, risk management and compliance, and external accountability responsibilities.

The committee’s activities will contribute to improved governance and management of the PCO, thereby enhancing the PCO’s organisational performance.

Business continuity

A business continuity (BC) plan has been prepared and all business units have prepared response plans. These will be implemented in the event of a minor or major disaster, or the unavailability of a core system such as the NZL system, so the PCO will be in position to continue working in an effective manner.

In the 2009/10 year, disaster recovery (DR) plans will be completed and all staff provided with training, and the BC and DR plans will be tested.

Security

The PCO has contributed to the development of a parliamentary complex security framework and policy which, once finalised, will ensure a consistent approach to security-related matters.

Organisational structure
PCO Organisational Chart.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL OFFICE
For the year ended 30 June 2009

Introduction to the Financial Statements

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) is responsible for discharging the functions set out in the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920, and certain functions set out in the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989.

The PCO is funded by appropriation of money by Parliament.

The financial statements of the PCO for the year ended 30 June 2009, including the Statement of Service Performance, now follow.

STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY
For the year ended 30 June 2009

In terms of the Public Finance Act 1989, I, David Noble, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, accept responsibility for the preparation of the financial statements and Statement of Service Performance, and for the judgements made in them.

I have the responsibility for establishing, and I have established, a system of internal control designed to provide reasonable assurance as to the integrity and reliability of financial reporting.

In my opinion, these financial statements and Statement of Service Performance fairly reflect the financial position and operations of the PCO for the year ended 30 June 2009.


David Noble
Chief Parliamentary Counsel
21 September 2009

Countersigned by:


Noel Lee
Corporate Services Manager
Parliamentary Counsel Office
21 September 2009

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
For the year ended 30 June 2009

30/06/08

Actual
$000



Notes
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
Revenue
20,446 Crown 18,807 20,807 18,807
179 Other 2 194 224 205
20,625 Total operating revenue 19,001 21,031 19,012
Expenses
7,859 Personnel 4 8,252 9,468 8,544
7,971 Operating 5 6,167 7,636 6,911
1,345 Depreciation and amortisation 6 2,830 2,951 2,525
933 Capital charge 7 1,032 976 1,032
18,108 Total expenses 18,281 21,031 19,012
2,517 Net surplus/(deficit) 720 0 0

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements. For information on major variances against budget, refer to Note 23.

STATEMENT OF MOVEMENTS IN TAXPAYERS' FUNDS
For the year ended 30 June 2009

30/06/08

Actual
$000



Notes
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
12,327 Taxpayers' funds brought forward as at 1 July 13,764 13,764 13,764
2,517 Net operating surplus 22 720 0 0
2,517 Total recognised revenues and expenses for the year 720 0 0
1,437 Capital contributions 374 374 374
(2,517) Provision for repayment of surplus to the Crown 22 (720) 0 0
13,764 Taxpayers' funds as at 30 June 14,138 14,138 14,138

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements. For information on major variances against budget, refer to Note 23.

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
As at 30 June 2009

30/06/08

Actual
$000



Notes
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
Taxpayers’ funds
13,764 Taxpayers' funds 14,138 14,138 14,138
13,764 Total taxpayers' funds 14,138 14,138 14,138
Represented by:
Current assets
5,425 Cash and cash equivalents 4,917 3,902 2,200
732 Debtors and other receivables 8 119 0 0
164 Prepayments 8 125 19 19
0 Debtor—Crown 0 0 0
6,321 Total current assets 5,161 3,921 2,219
Non-current assets
813 Property, plant, and equipment 9 624 11,713 719
10,858 Intangible assets 9 11,273 0 12,495
11,671 Total non-current assets 11,897 11,713 13,214
17,992 TOTAL ASSETS 17,058 15,634 15,433
Current liabilities
944 Creditors and other payables 10 1,323 418 418
2,517 Provision for payment of net surplus 22 720 0 0
354 Provision for employee entitlements 13 410 577 464
3,815 Total current liabilities 2,453 995 882
Non-current liabilities
413 Provision for employee entitlements 13 467 501 413
4,228 TOTAL LIABILITIES 2,920 1,496 1,295
13,764 Net assets 14,138 14,138 14,138

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements. For information on major variances against budget, refer to Note 23.

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
For the year ended 30 June 2009

30/06/08

Actual
$000



Notes
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
Cash flows from operating activities
Cash was provided from:
Supply of outputs
20,446 —Crown 18,807 20,807 18,807
(504) —Departments 837 189 892
12 —Other (30) 35 45
0 —Net GST received 0 0 0
19,954 Subtotal 19,614 21,031 19,744

Cash was disbursed to:
Produce outputs
(7,862) —Personnel (8,107) (9,004) (8,022)
(8,111) —Operating (5,618) (7,922) (8,104)
(187) —Net GST paid 19 (166) 0 0
(933) —Capital charge (1,032) (976) (1,032)
0 Other expenses 0 0 0
(17,093) Subtotal (14,923) (17,902) (17,158)
2,861 Net cash flows from operating activities 4,691 3,129 2,586
Cash flows from investing activities
Cash was provided from:
33 Sale of property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets 0 0 0
Cash was disbursed to:
(3,436) Purchase of property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets (3,056) (674) (3,668)
(3,403) Net cash flows from investing activities (3,056) (674) (3,668)
Cash flows from financing activities
Cash was provided from:
1,437 Capital contributions received 374 374 374
Cash was disbursed to:
(2,616) Payment of net surplus to Crown (2,517) 0 (2,517)
(1,179) Net cash flows from financing activities (2,143) 374 (2,143)
(1,721) Net increase/(decrease) in cash held (508) 2,829 (3,225)
7,146 Add opening cash brought forward 5,425 1,073 5,425
5,425 Closing cash to carry forward 4,917 3,902 2,200

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements. For information on major variances against budget, refer to Note 23.

RECONCILIATION OF NET SURPLUS TO NET CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES
For the year ended 30 June 2009

30/06/08

Actual
$000



Notes
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
2,517 Net surplus/(deficit) 720 0 0
Add/(less) non-cash items:
1,345 Depreciation and amortisation 2,830 2,951 2,525
(88) Increase/(decrease) in non-current employee entitlements (54) 0 0
1,257 Total non-cash items 2,884 2,951 2,525
Add/(less) working capital movements:
(705) Increase/(decrease) in debtors and prepayments 652 0 877
0 (Increase)/decrease in debtor—Crown 0 0 0
(302) (Increase)/decrease in creditors and payables 379 0 (937)
98 Increase/(decrease) in current employee entitlements 56 178 121
(909) Working capital movements—net 1,087 178 61
Add/(less) investing activity items:
(4) Gain on sale of property, plant, and equipment 2, 3 0 0 0
0 Creditors for purchase of property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets 0 0 0
(4) Total investing activity items 0 0 0
2,861 Net cash flows from operating activities 4,691 3,129 2,586

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements. For information on major variances against budget, refer to Note 23.

STATEMENT OF COMMITMENTS
As at 30 June 2009

30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
Capital commitments
62 Less than one year 0
0 One to two years 0
62 Total capital commitments 0
Operating commitments
3,315 Less than one year 2,949
2,582 One to two years 2,029
6,025 Two to five years 3,996
0 More than five years 0
11,922 Total operating commitments 8,974
11,984 Total commitments 8,974

Note:
The PCO has accommodation and car park leases with the Reserve Bank. The PCO has a contract with Unisys New Zealand Ltd for the maintenance and support of the NZL system. The PCO has a contract with Thomson Reuters to maintain the PCO database. The PCO has no finance lease arrangements. The cleaning contract has not been disclosed as it is not significant in value.

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements.

STATEMENT OF CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
As at 30 June 2009

As at 30 June 2009, there are no contingent liabilities. (30 June 2008: nil.)

As at 30 June 2009, there are no guarantees or indemnities given under the Public Finance Act 1989 in respect of the activities of the PCO. (30 June 2008: nil.)

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements.

STATEMENT OF UNAPPROPRIATED EXPENSES AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
As at 30 June 2009

For the year ended 30 June 2009 there are no instances of unappropriated expenses and capital expenditure. (30 June 2008: nil.)

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements.

STATEMENT OF OPERATING AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
For the year ended 30 June 2009

30/06/08
Expenditure
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Expenditure
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Appropriation
Voted1
$000
VOTE: PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL
Operating appropriations
8,958 Law Drafting Services 8,267 8,380
9,150 Access to Legislation 10,014 10,632
18,108 Total operating appropriations 18,281 19,012
Capital appropriations
1,437 Capital appropriations to PCO 2,570 4,068
1,437 Total capital appropriations 2,570 4,068

1 This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates and transfers under section 26A of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Note:
The accompanying Notes to the Financial Statements form part of these financial statements.

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
For the year ended 30 June 2009

Note 1 Statement of accounting policies
Reporting entity

The PCO is a government department as defined by the Public Finance Act 1989.

Basis of preparation

These are the financial statements of the PCO for the year ended 30 June 2009, which have been prepared pursuant to the Public Finance Act 1989. The PCO is a public benefit entity. Its primary objective is the drafting and publishing of legislation.

The financial statements have been authorised for issue on 21 September 2009 by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and the Corporate Services Manager.

These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with, and comply with, NZ IFRS as appropriate for public benefit entities.

The following accounting policies, which materially affect the measurement of financial results and financial position, have been applied consistently to all periods presented in these financial statements.

The measurement base applied is historical cost.

The financial statements are presented in New Zealand dollars and all values are rounded to the nearest thousand ($000). The New Zealand dollar is the PCO’s functional currency.

NZ IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (revised 2007) replaces NZ IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (issued 2004) and is effective for reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009. The revised standard requires information in financial statements to be aggregated on the basis of shared characteristics and to introduce a statement of comprehensive income.

Budget figures

The budget figures are those presented in the Budget Night Estimates (Main Estimates) and those amended by the Supplementary Estimates and any transfer made by Order in Council under the Public Finance Act 1989.

Revenue

The PCO derives revenue through the provision of outputs to the Crown and for services to third parties. Such revenue is recognised when earned and is reported in the financial period to which it relates. Revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration when received.

Cost allocation

The PCO has derived the costs of outputs using the cost allocation system outlined below.

Cost allocation policy

Direct costs are charged directly to significant activities. Indirect costs are charged to significant activities based on cost drivers and related activities/usage information. There have been no changes to the cost allocation policy from last year.

Criteria for direct and indirect costs

Direct costs are those costs directly attributed to an output.

Indirect costs are those costs that cannot be identified, in an economically feasible manner, with a specific output.

Direct costs assigned to outputs

Direct costs are charged directly to outputs. Depreciation and capital charge are charged on the basis of asset utilisation. Personnel costs are charged by actual time incurred. Property and other premises expenses, such as maintenance, are allocated on the basis of floor area occupied for the production of each output.

Basis for assigning indirect and corporate costs to outputs

Indirect costs are assigned to outputs based on a proportion of direct staff costs used for each output.

Trade and other receivables

Receivables are recorded at fair value, after providing for impairment. A provision for impairment of receivables is established when there is objective evidence that the PCO will not be able to collect all amounts due according to the original terms of the receivables.

Significant financial difficulties of the debtor, probability that the debtor will enter into bankruptcy, and default in payments are considered indicators that the debtor is impaired. The amount of the impairment is the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows, discounted using the original effective interest rate. The carrying amount of the asset is reduced through the use of an allowance account, and the amount of the loss is recognised in the schedule of departmental expenses. When a debt is uncollectable, it is written off against the allowance account for debtors. Overdue receivables that are renegotiated are reclassified as current (ie not past due).

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents consists of cash in the bank and cash on hand.

Finance leases

A finance lease is a lease that transfers, to the lessee, substantially all of the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an asset, whether or not title is eventually transferred.

At the commencement of the lease term, the PCO recognises finance leases as assets and liabilities in the Statement of Financial Position at the lower of the fair value of the leased item or the present value of the minimum lease payments.

The amount recognised as an asset is depreciated over its useful life. If there is no certainty as to whether the PCO will obtain ownership at the end of the lease term, the asset is fully depreciated over the shorter of the lease term and its useful life.

Operating leases

The PCO leases premises. As the lessor retains substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership, these leases are classified as operating leases. Operating lease costs are expensed in the period in which they are incurred. Lease payments under an operating lease are recognised as an expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets

The initial cost of property, plant, and equipment is the value of the consideration given to acquire or create the asset and any directly attributable costs of bringing the asset to working condition for its intended use.

All property, plant, and equipment costing more than $1,000 plus GST are capitalised and recorded at historical cost.

Capital work in progress

Capital work in progress is not depreciated. The total cost of this work is transferred to the relevant asset category on its completion.

Depreciation and amortisation

Depreciation of property, plant, and equipment is provided on a straight-line basis so as to allocate the cost of assets, less any estimated residual value, over their useful lives.

The estimated economic useful lives and associated depreciation rates of major classes of assets are:

Furniture 5 years 20%
Office equipment 5 years 20%
Computer systems 3 years 33%
Motor vehicles 3 years 33%
Leasehold property improvements 6 years 16.67%
Intangible assets 5 to 10 years 20% to 10%
Leasehold property improvements

The cost of leasehold improvements is capitalised and amortised over the unexpired period of the lease or the estimated remaining useful lives of the improvements, whichever is shorter.

Intangible assets—software acquisition and development

Acquired computer software is capitalised on the basis of the cost incurred to acquire and bring to use the specific software.

The carrying value of an intangible asset with a finite life is amortised on a straight-line basis over its useful life.

Costs associated with maintaining computer software are recognised as an expense when incurred. Costs that are directly associated with the development of software for internal use by the PCO are recognised as an intangible asset. Direct costs include the software development, employee costs, and an appropriate portion of relevant overheads.

Disposals

Gains and losses on disposals are determined by comparing the proceeds with the carrying amount of the asset. Gains and losses on disposal are included in the Statement of Financial Performance. When revalued assets are sold, the amounts included in asset revaluation reserves in respect of those assets are transferred to taxpayers’ funds.

Impairment

Assets are tested for impairment annually.

Donated assets

Donated assets, with or without conditions, are valued at fair market value and recognised as revenue when control over the asset is obtained.

Provision for employee entitlements

Provision is made in respect of the PCO’s liability for annual, long service, retirement, and sick leave. Annual leave has been calculated on an actual basis at current rates of pay. Long service and retirement leave have been calculated on an actuarial basis based on the present value of expected future entitlements. Sick leave has been calculated on the past history of sick leave taken by all employees for the last three years to derive the average amount of accrued sick leave taken over and above the entitlement for the year. Sick leave has been actuarially assessed.

Defined benefit schemes

The PCO belongs to the Government Superannuation Fund (GSF). GSF is a defined benefit plan. It has been determined that the scheme is fully funded and as such no liability exists to be recognised by the PCO.

Defined contribution schemes

Obligations for contributions are recognised as an expense in the Statement of Financial Performance as incurred.

Foreign currency

Foreign currency transactions are converted at the New Zealand dollar exchange rate at the date of the transaction. When a forward exchange contract has been used to establish the price of a transaction, the forward rate specified in that foreign exchange contract is used to convert the transaction to New Zealand dollars. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from the settlement of such transactions and from the translation at year end exchange rates of monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are recognised in the Statement of Financial Performance.

Financial instruments

Revenue and expenses in relation to all financial instruments are recognised in the Statement of Financial Performance. Where the PCO enters into foreign currency forward contracts to hedge foreign currency transactions, any exposure to gains or losses on these contracts is generally offset by a related loss or gain on the item being hedged.

Goods and services tax (GST)

The financial statements are exclusive of GST, except for creditors and accruals, and debtors and other receivables, which are GST inclusive. All other statements are GST exclusive.

The amount of GST owing to or from the Inland Revenue Department at balance date, being the difference between output GST and input GST, is included in creditors and accruals or debtors and other receivables (as appropriate).

Taxation

Government departments are exempt from the payment of income tax in terms of the Income Tax Act 2007. Accordingly, no charge for income tax has been provided for.

Commitments

Future expenses and liabilities to be incurred on contracts that have been entered into at balance date are disclosed as commitments to the extent that they are equally unperformed obligations. Commitments relating to employment contracts are not disclosed.

Contingent liabilities

Contingent liabilities are disclosed at the point at which the contingency is evident.

Taxpayers’ funds

This is the Crown’s net investment in the PCO. Taxpayers’ funds comprise revaluation reserves and general funds.

Critical accounting estimates and assumptions

In preparing these financial statements, the PCO has made estimates and assumptions concerning the future. These estimates and assumptions may differ from the subsequent actual results. Estimates and assumptions are continually evaluated and are based on historical experiences and other factors, including expectations or future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances.

Statement of changes in accounting policies

There are no changes in accounting policies, including cost allocation policies.

Note 2 Revenue other
30/06/08

Actual
$000
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
4 Gain on sale of property, plant, and equipment 0 0 0
163 State Services Retirement Saving 150 189 157
0 KiwiSaver Subsidy 19 0 13
12 Recovery of printing expenses 25 35 35
179 Total revenue other 194 224 205
Note 3 Disposal of property, plant, and equipment

During 2008/09, the following item was disposed of:

Cost

$000
Accumulated
depreciation
$000
Gain/(loss)
on disposal
$000
Furniture 1 1 0
Computers 811 811 0
Office equipment
2 2 0
Total 814 814 0
Note 4 Personnel expenses
30/06/08

Actual
$000
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
7,685 Salaries and wages 8,022 9,242 8,351
10 Annual, retirement, long service, and sick leave 110 0 0
164 Other personnel expenses 120 226 193
7,859 Total personnel expenses 8,252 9,468 8,544
Note 5 Operating expenses
30/06/08

Actual
$000
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
725 Consultancy 244 550 305
29 Audit fees to auditors for audit of the financial statements 31 23 35
5 NZ IFRS audit fee 0 0 0
6 Fees to auditors for other work 0 0 0
654 Operating lease rentals 646 678 654
3,434 Printing expenses 1,097 2,464 1,890
3,118 Other operating expenses 4,149 3,921 4,027
7,971 Total operating expenses 6,167 7,636 6,911
Note 6 Depreciation and amortisation charges
30/06/08

Actual
$000
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
208 Computer systems 249 250 277
22 Furniture 23 25 18
142 Leasehold property improvements 140 117 144
7 Motor vehicles 6 18 7
18 Office equipment 18 18 17
948 Intangible assets 2,394 2,523 2,062
1,345 Total depreciation and amortisation charges 2,830 2,951 2,525
Note 7 Capital charge

The PCO pays a capital charge to the Crown on taxpayers’ funds held as at 30 June and 31 December each year. The capital charge rate for the year ended 30 June 2009 was 7.5% (2008: 7.5%).

Note 8 Debtors and other receivables
30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
732 Debtors and receivables 119
164 Prepayments 125
896 Total debtors and other receivables 244

The PCO had not yet been reimbursed for these payments at balance date. The amounts outstanding are current (less than 30 days).

Note 9 Property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets


Furniture


Computers

Office
equipment
Leasehold
property
improvements

Motor
vehicles
Work in
progress
intangibles


Intangibles


Total
Cost or valuation
Balance at 1 July 2007 332 1,599 147 1,394 71 8,732 0 12,275
Additions 12 340 4 6 0 (7,777) 10,851 3,436
Revaluation increase 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disposals 0 0 0 0 (41) 0 0 (41)
Write off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Balance at 30 June 2008 344 1,939 151 1,400 30 955 10,851 15,670
Balance at 1 July 2008 344 1,939 151 1,400 30 955 10,851 15,670
Additions 59 115 9 64 0 2,809 0 3,056
Transfers from work in progress 0 0 0 0 0
(2,000) 2,000 0
Revaluation increase 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disposals (1) (811) (2) 0 0 0 0 (814)
Write off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Balance at 30 June 2009 402 1,243 158 1,464 30 1,764 12,851 17,912
Accumulated depreciation and impairment losses
Balance at 1 July 2007 (280) (1,305) (86) (979) (17) 0 0 (2,667)
Depreciation expense (22) (208) (18) (142) (7) 0 (948) (1,345)
Eliminate on revaluation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eliminate on disposal 0 0 0 0 13 0 0 13
Write off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Impairment losses 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Balance at 30 June 2008 (302) (1,513) (104) (1,121) (11) 0 (948) (3,999)
Balance at 1 July 2008 (302) (1,513) (104) (1,121) (11) 0 (948) (3,999)
Depreciation expense (23) (249) (18) (140) (6) 0 (2,394) (2,830)
Eliminate on revaluation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eliminate on disposal 1 811 2 0 0 0 0 814
Write off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Impairment losses 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Balance at 30 June 2009 (324) (951) (120) (1,261) (17) 0 (3,342) (6,015)
Carrying amounts
At 1 July 2007 52 294 61 415 54 8,732 0 9,608
At 30 June and 1 July 2008 42 426 47 279 19 955 9,903 11,671
At 30 June 2009 78 292 38 203 13 1,764 9,509 11,897
Assets held for sale and impairment

The PCO does not have any items of property, plant, and equipment classified as held for sale. There were no impairment losses incurred during the year. There are no restrictions on title and no assets pledged as security for liabilities.

Intangible assets/property, plant, and equipment—the NZL system

The NZL system is the PCO’s integrated drafting and publishing system for New Zealand legislation.

Intangible assets—acquired vs internally generated

All intangible assets are internally generated; therefore no separate disclosure is required for this asset category.

Note 10 Creditors and other payables
30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
622 Trade creditors 296
175 Accrued expenses 1,046
147 GST payable (19)
944 Total creditors and other payables 1,323

Creditors and other payables are non-interest bearing and are normally settled on 30-day terms; therefore the carrying values of creditors and other payables approximate their fair value.

Note 11 Finance leases

The PCO has not entered into any finance leases.

Note 12 Leases

All leases are shown GST exclusive.

Lease expense

Property End date Up to 1 year
$000
1 to 5 years
$000
5 plus years
$000
Reserve Bank 14 April 2010 460 0 0
Car parks 14 April 2010 12 0 0
Total 472 0 0

Reserve Bank office lease: This lease is for the rental of office space on floors 4, 12, and 13 plus basement storage in the Reserve Bank building. The lease has a make-good provision where the lessee can either surrender the fit-outs and alterations to the lessor or remove these and make good. This lease is noncancellable.

Reserve Bank car park leases: These leases are for the rental of car park spaces in the Reserve Bank building and the adjoining building located on the corner of Mowbray and Bolton Streets. These leases are cancellable on the anniversary date.

There are no contingent rents on the above leases; they are all fixed term. There are no restrictions imposed by the lease arrangements.

There are no escalation clauses on the leases.

The Reserve Bank office lease has renewal dates of 15 April 2010 and 15 April 2013. This lease has an expiry date of 14 April 2016. The car park leases have renewal dates of 15 April 2010 and 15 April 2013. These leases have an expiry date of 14 April 2016. None of the leases have purchase options, so are operational leases by nature. The car park leases are automatically renewed annually unless a notice to cancel is provided.

Note 13 Provision for employee entitlements
30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
Current liabilities
45 Retirement and long service leave 32
287 Annual leave 353
22 Sick leave 25
354 Total current portion 410
Non-current liabilities
63 Long service leave 74
350 Retirement leave 393
413 Total non-current portion 467
767 Total provision for employee entitlements 877
Employee benefits

The PCO has employees who are members of the Government Superannuation Fund. This is a fully funded government scheme and, as a result, no liability is recognised.

An independent actuarial valuation was undertaken by Melville Jessup Weaver to estimate the value of long service leave, retirement leave, and sick leave as at 30 June 2009. The major economic assumptions adopted in the valuation process for long service and retirement leave were:

  • salary increase rate: 3.5% per annum (30 June 2008: 4%)
  • discount rate: 6.0% per annum (30 June 2008: 6.4%).

For sick leave the methodology was calculated according to the Treasury guidance and assumes that sick leave is a short-term compensated absence, as defined in NZ IAS 19.

Note 14 Contingencies

The PCO does not have any contingent assets as at 30 June 2009. (30 June 2008: nil.)

Contingent liabilities are separately disclosed in the Statement of Contingent Liabilities.

Note 15 Derivative financial instruments

The PCO does not hold any derivative financial instruments.

Note 16 Financial instruments

The PCO is party to financial instrument arrangements as part of its everyday operations. These include instruments such as bank balances, investments, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and foreign currency forward contracts. The fair value of the PCO’s financial instruments is the same as the carrying value.

The PCO does not have any gains or losses on its financial instruments and no impairments have been recognised to date.

All financial assets and liabilities are non-derivative in form and function and are neither available for sale nor held to maturity.

Credit risk

Credit risk is the risk that a third party will default on its obligations to the PCO, causing the PCO to incur a loss.

In the normal course of its business, credit risk arises from debtors, deposits with banks, and derivative financial instrument assets.

The maximum exposure from trade debtors is the value of the non-government debtors, ie nil. Default is considered by management to be unlikely and the probable exposure has been determined as negligible. There were no changes in receivables or payables during the year that can be attributed to credit risk.

The PCO is only permitted to deposit funds with Westpac, a registered bank, and enter into foreign exchange forward contracts with the New Zealand Debt Management Office (NZDMO).

The PCO does not require any collateral or security to support financial instruments with financial institutions that it deals with, or with the NZDMO, as these entities have high credit ratings. For its other financial instruments, the PCO does not have significant concentrations of credit risk.

The PCO holds cash with Westpac. Westpac is part of the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme and so all deposits up to $1 million held with Westpac are guaranteed by the Crown.

30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
Loans and receivables:
5,425 Bank balances 4,917
732 Debtors—Government 119

The PCO is not exposed to any other concentrations of credit risk.

Credit facilities

The PCO does not have bank overdraft facilities as at 30 June 2009.

Currency risk

The PCO has no significant exposure to currency risk on its financial instruments.

Currency risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate because of changes in foreign exchange rates.

Interest rate risk

Interest rate risk is the risk that the fair value of a financial instrument will fluctuate, or the cash flows from a financial instrument will fluctuate, due to changes in market interest rates.

The PCO has no interest-bearing financial instruments and, accordingly, has no exposure to interest rate risk.

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that the PCO will encounter difficulty raising liquid funds to meet commitments as they fall due.

In meeting its liquidity requirements, the PCO closely monitors its forecast cash requirements with expected cash draw-downs from the New Zealand Debt Management Office. The PCO maintains a target level of available cash to meet liquidity requirements.

The PCO considers that it does not have a significant liquidity risk as it ensures it has adequate working capital coverage at all times.

Exposure to risk

The PCO is not aware of any exposure to risk regarding financial instruments that would have a significant impact on operations.

Note 17 Capital management

The PCO’s capital is its equity (or taxpayers’ funds), which comprises general funds and revaluation reserves. Equity is represented by net assets.

The PCO manages its revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and general financial dealings prudently. The PCO’s equity is largely managed as a by-product of managing income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and compliance with the Government Budget processes and with Treasury instructions.

The objective of managing the PCO’s equity is to ensure the PCO effectively achieves its goals and objectives for which it has been established, whilst remaining a going concern.

Note 18 Provisions

With the exception of the provision for payment of the net surplus to the Crown, the PCO does not hold any non-employee related provisions.

Lease make good provisions

In respect of the Reserve Bank office lease, the PCO is required at the expiry of the lease term to either surrender to the lessor the fit-out and alterations or remove the improvements and make good any damage caused to the premises. The PCO has the option to renew this lease, which impacts on the timing of expected cash outflows to make good the premises. Given the long-term nature of the accommodation strategies for the PCO, it is unlikely that the make good provisions will crystallise. Therefore no provision has been raised.

Note 19 Cash flow

The GST (net) component of operating activities reflects the net GST paid to the Inland Revenue Department. The GST (net) component has been presented on a net basis, as the gross amounts do not provide meaningful information for financial statement purposes.

Note 20 Related party information

The PCO is a wholly owned entity of the Crown. The Government significantly influences the role of the PCO as well as being the major source of revenue.

The PCO enters into numerous transactions with other government departments, Crown agencies, and State-owned enterprises on an arm’s-length basis. These transactions are not considered to be related party transactions.

Those transactions that occur within a normal supplier or client relationship, on terms and conditions no more or less favourable than those that it is reasonable to expect the PCO would have adopted if dealing with that entity at arm’s length in the same circumstances, are not disclosed.

No provision has been required, nor any expenses recognised, for impairment of receivables from related parties.

Key management remuneration
30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
924 Salaries and other short-term employee benefits 920
0 Post-employment benefits 0
109 Other long-term benefits 0
0 Termination benefits 0
1,033 Total key management personnel compensation 920

There are no other employee benefits.

Key management personnel include the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and other members of the Senior Management Team.

Apart from those transactions described above, the PCO has not entered into any related party transactions and there are no conflicts of interest recorded. The PCO has a policy on conflicts of interest and at each Senior Management Team Meeting any conflicts of interest are recorded.

Note 21 Post balance date events

The PCO does not have any post balance date events for 2008/09. (2007/08: nil.)

Note 22 Repayment of surplus
30/06/08
Actual
$000
30/06/09
Actual
$000
2,517 Net surplus/(deficit) 720
Note 23 Major budget variances
Statement of Financial Performance

A net surplus of $0.720 million was recorded. This was owing to a number of factors. Significant factors are stated below.

There was a surplus of $0.265 million from personnel-related expenditure, which resulted from timing factors associated with the filling of vacant positions, as well as the number of staff on parental leave during the year, and the delay in commencing a planned continuing professional development programme for managers.

There was a surplus of $0.861 million from printing-related expenditure, which resulted from lower than anticipated demand for legislative printing and the commencement of a new contract that contained lower unit costs.

However, additional depreciation costs of $0.331 million were incurred due to “work in progress” items in the New Zealand Legislation system being capitalised.

The Cabinet Business Committee (CBC Min (08) 32/6) directed all chief executives of State sector departments, including the PCO, to carry out a review of the expenditure in their Vote, which included identifying savings that could be freed up for the 2008/09 financial year. The PCO carried out a line-by-line review, identified $2.000 million that could be freed up, and returned those funds to the Government.

STATEMENT OF SERVICE PERFORMANCE
For the year ended 30 June 2009

The PCO agreed to provide outputs in 2008/09 to meet the requirements of the Attorney- General in terms of their nature, outcome emphasis, quality and quantity specifications, and cost.

Output Class—Law Drafting Services

Description

Under this output class, the PCO delivered a service that provides for:

  • drafting Bills (including amendments) and Statutory Regulations
  • examining and reporting on local Bills and private Bills, and drafting amendments to them.
Outcomes

Contributing to parliamentary democracy under the rule of law by supporting Parliament and the executive in their law-making roles and contributing to the Government’s objectives by ensuring that legislation that is necessary to change the law to implement Government policies is effective, clear, consistent with other legislation, the general law, and international law; and ensuring that, having regard to the policy of the legislation, it is also consistent with legal principle and with the rights and freedoms protected by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993 and, in the case of delegated legislation, that it will withstand scrutiny by the Regulations Review Committee and challenge in the courts and will not be subject to disallowance under the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989.

Quantity

This output class is demand driven. It is accordingly difficult to estimate accurately the number of Government Bills and Statutory Regulations that will be drafted in any year, or the extent of the amendments required to Bills before the House.

For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Standard Actual Actual Actual
all Bills on the annual legislation programme in categories 1 and 2 (which are Bills that must be passed in the current year) are drafted1 100% 100% 100% not
measured
number of Government Bills drafted, and amendments to same number drafted during their passage through the House 50—70 drafted 81 drafted 66 drafted 42 drafted
number of local and private Bills examined, and amendments to them drafted 4—8 drafted, and amendments drafted to same number 4 drafted: 3 local
1 private
7 drafted: 4 local
3 private
4 drafted: 2 local
2 private
number of Members’ Bills drafted at the direction of the Attorney-General 4—8 drafted nil drafted 2 drafted nil drafted
number of Statutory Regulations drafted 300—400 drafted 451 drafted 427 drafted 404 drafted

Note: The variance between actual and projected figures results from the difficulty in estimating demand.

1 All seven Bills in the 2008 legislation programme assigned category 1 (Bills that must be passed or introduced as a matter of law in 2008) were drafted in the 2008 calendar year. Of the 35 Bills assigned category 2 (Bills that must be passed in 2008) in the 2008 legislation programme, drafting was completed for 30 of those Bills, one Bill was enacted before the 2008/09 financial year, and for the remaining four Bills either no instructions were received, or the instructing department did not progress the development of the Bill.

For comparison purposes:

For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
number of Government Bills enacted 841 1362 803
number of Government Bills before the House of Representatives or awaiting Royal assent at the end of the year 72 56 394

1 Three of the Government Bills were drafted by the Inland Revenue Department.
2 Six of the Government Bills were drafted by the Inland Revenue Department; two began as Members’ Bills.
3 Three of the Government Bills were drafted by the Inland Revenue Department; three began as Members’ Bills.
4 Two of the Government Bills before the House of Representatives or awaiting Royal assent at the end of the year were drafted by the Inland Revenue Department.

Quality

The standard is:

  • Bills and Statutory Regulations are legally effective, clear, consistent with other legislation, the general law, and international law
  • Bills and Statutory Regulations are consistent with the policy they implement, are consistent with legal principle, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and the Human Rights Act 1993
  • advice given on matters relating to the provision of legislative drafting services, including advice on legislative drafting, parliamentary procedure, executive government process, and the law, is sound, practical, and clear.
For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Actual Actual Actual
whether the Attorney-General is satisfied that the quality standard has been achieved the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied
instructing departments and agencies are satisfied that the quality standard has been achieved, as determined from overall responses to the departmental satisfaction survey (target: 90% satisfaction rating) 92% satisfaction
81% response rate
94% satisfaction
68% response rate
93% satisfaction
97% response rate
whether the PCO’s practices, systems, and processes relating to the drafting of legislation, in conjunction with external systems and processes relating to the enactment of statutes by Parliament and the making of Statutory Regulations by the executive, provide a reasonable level of assurance that the quality standard has been achieved PCO’s practices, systems, and processes, and external systems and processes, were applied during the year PCO’s practices, systems, and processes, and external systems and processes, were applied during the year not previously measured
Timeliness

The standard is:

  • Bills, Statutory Regulations, and SOPs are drafted in accordance with time frames set by, or agreed with, the Government, select committees, and departments.
For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Actual Actual Actual
whether the Attorney-General is satisfied that the timeliness standard has been achieved the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied
instructing departments and agencies are satisfied that the timeliness standard has been achieved, as determined from overall responses to the departmental satisfaction survey (target: 90% satisfaction rating) 92% satisfaction 81% response rate 94% satisfaction 68% response rate 93% satisfaction 97% response rate
Financial performance for Output Class—Law Drafting Services
30/06/08

Actual
$000
30/06/09

Actual
$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
9,855 Revenue—Crown1 8,261 9,261 8,261
132 Other revenue 122 150 119
9,987 Total revenue 8,383 9,411 8,380
8,958 Total expenses 8,267 9,411 8,380
1,029 Net surplus 116 0 0

Note: Figures are GST exclusive.

1The Law Drafting Services output appropriation for 2008/09 was less than the 2007/08 year due to the reassignment of the Information Systems team to output class: Access to Legislation, with effect from 1 July 2008, and due to savings being identified and released back to the Government as a result of the line-by-line review in February 2009.

Output Class—Access to Legislation

Description

Under this output class, the PCO delivered a service that provides for:

  • supplying printed copies of Bills and SOPs to the House and, on a selective basis, copies of Acts with proposed amendments incorporated
  • publishing printed copies of Bills and SOPs, pamphlet copies of Acts and Statutory Regulations, and annual volumes of Acts and Statutory Regulations
  • compiling reprints of Acts and Statutory Regulations with their amendments incorporated and publishing them
  • publishing the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force in printed form
  • providing the above for sale at designated bookshops and by subscription
  • providing free public access via the internet to an electronic database of Acts (both as enacted and with their amendments incorporated), Statutory Regulations (both as made and with their amendments incorporated), Bills, and SOPs, and maintaining the electronic database of legislation in an up-to-date form.
Outcomes

Contributing to parliamentary democracy under the rule of law by supporting Parliament and the executive in their law-making roles and contributing to the Government’s objectives by ensuring that legislation, including Bills and SOPs, is accessible to the public in both printed and electronic forms, and by providing printed copies of Bills and SOPs to the House.

Quantity

This output class is substantially demand driven. It is accordingly difficult to estimate accurately the number of Bills, SOPs, Acts, and Statutory Regulations that will be published in any year, or the number of printed copies of Bills and SOPs that will be provided to the House.

For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Standard Actual Actual Actual
number of Bills supplied to the House and published 50—70 81 68 45
number of SOPs supplied to the House and published 70—100 43 54 50
number of Acts of Parliament published 80—120 88 143 84
number of Statutory Regulations published 300—400 451 427 404
the annual volumes of Acts for 2008 and the annual volumes of Statutory Regulations for 2008 are published volumes are published for 2008 calendar year, 5 volumes of Acts and 7 volumes of Statutory Regulations published for 2007 calendar year, 7 volumes of Acts and 4 volumes of Statutory Regulations published for 2006 calendar year, 4 volumes of Acts and 7 volumes of Statutory Regulations published
reprints of Acts and Statutory Regulations listed on the annual reprints programme are compiled and published (target 100%) 36 Acts
13 Statutory Regulations
36 Acts
13 Statutory Regulations
14 Acts
2 Statutory Regulations
35 Acts
9 Statutory Regulations
publication of the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force 2008 edition 2008 edition 2007 edition 2006 edition
publication of the interim indexes of Statutory Regulations indexes are published indexes were published indexes were published indexes were published
free public access to the New Zealand Legislation website is available 99% availability 99% availability not previously measured not previously measured
availability of the Legislative Authoring, Content Management, and Publication systems for PCO, Office of the Clerk, and Inland Revenue Department staff 92% availability 92% availability not previously measured not previously measured
Quality

The standard is:

  • Bills approved for introduction and SOPs approved for release are published in an accurate form
  • accurate publication of Acts of Parliament
  • accurate publication of Statutory Regulations
  • the annual volumes of Acts for 2008 contain correct copies of the Acts of Parliament published in the volumes and the annual volumes of Statutory Regulations for 2008 contain correct copies of the Statutory Regulations published in them
  • reprints of Acts and Statutory Regulations correctly state the law enacted or made by the Acts and Statutory Regulations reprinted and by the amendments to that legislation
  • the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force are accurate
  • the interim indexes of Statutory Regulations are accurate
  • the electronic database of Acts (both as enacted and with their amendments incorporated), Statutory Regulations (both as made and with their amendments incorporated), Bills, and SOPs is up to date and accurate
  • Bills, SOPs, Acts of Parliament, Statutory Regulations, the annual volumes, reprints, and the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force are published in accordance with best industry practice.
For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Actual Actual Actual
whether the Attorney-General is satisfied that the quality standard has been achieved the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied the A-G was satisfied
whether the PCO’s practices, systems, and processes relating to the publishing of Bills, SOPs, and legislation and to the compilation and publishing of reprints and the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force provide a reasonable level of assurance that the quality standard for publication is achieved PCO’s practices, systems, and processes, and external systems and processes, were applied during the year PCO’s practices, systems, and processes, and external systems and processes, were applied during the year not previously measured
the number of publishing errors reported in the legislation that is published in printed and electronic forms (target: fewer than 10 per year) 2 6 not previously measured
Timeliness
For the year ended 30 June
2009 2008 2007
Measure Standard Actual Actual Actual
the time taken to supply Bills and SOPs to the House in accordance with the requirements of the Ministers of the Crown in charge of those Bills or SOPs met met not previously measured
the time taken to make legislation (including Bills and SOPs) available on the New Zealand Legislation website new Bills: within 1 working day after introduction met not previously measured not previously measured
subsequent versions of Bills: within 1 working day after the printed version is made available to the House met not previously measured not previously measured
SOPs: within 1 working day after they have been circulated to Members of Parliament met not previously measured not previously measured
Acts: within 5 working days of assent met not previously measured not previously measured
Statutory Regulations: within 1 working day of the date they are notified in the New Zealand Gazette met not previously measured not previously measured
the time taken to make legislation (including Bills and SOPs) available for sale at designated bookshops and by subscription Bills and SOPs: within 5 working days of introduction or release met not previously measured not previously measured
Acts: within 10 working days of assent met most within 10 working days most within 10 working days
Statutory Regulations: within 5 working days of being made met met met
the date of publication of the annual volumes of Acts and Statutory Regulations within first half of 2009 for 2008 year: March 2009 for 2007 year: April 2008 for 2006 year: within first half of 2007
the date of publication of the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force within first half of 2009 met met met
the dates of publication of the interim indexes of Statutory Regulations 4 times a year 4 times a year 4 times a year 4 times a year
the time taken to respond to enquiries sent through the New Zealand Legislation website (target: 80%) within 1 working day of receipt 92% not previously measured not previously measured
the frequency with which the database of legislation is updated as Bills are introduced and pass through the House, SOPs are released, Acts and Statutory Regulations are enacted and made, and the frequency with which Acts and Statutory Regulations are published in up-to-date form with their amendments incorporated as required as required as required N/A

Financial performance for Output Class—Access to Legislation

30/06/08
Actual

$000
30/06/09
Actual

$000
30/06/09
Main
Estimates
$000
30/06/09
Supp.
Estimates
$000
10,591 Revenue—Crown1 10,546 11,546 10,546
47 Other revenue 72 74 86
10,638 Total revenue 10,618 11,620 10,632
9,150 Total expenses 10,014 11,620 10,632
1,488 Net surplus 604 0 0

Note: Figures are GST exclusive.

1The Access to Legislation output appropriation for 2008/09 was less than for the 2007/08 year due to savings being identified and released back to the Government as a result of the line-by-line review in February 2009.

Overall financial performance

The financial performance of the PCO for the year ended 30 June 2009 resulted in:

30/06/09
Actual
30/06/09
Estimated (Supp)
30/06/08
Actual
Operating results
Revenue—Crown $000 18,807 18,807 20,446
Revenue—other $000 194 205 179
Output expenses $000 18,281 19,012 18,108
Other expenses $000 0 0 0
Net surplus/(deficit) $000 720 0 2,517
Working capital management
Liquid ratio % 200 249 142
Debtor collection period (third party sales) days 0 0 0
Creditor payment period days 28 28 28
Resource utilisation
Property, plant, and equipment (PPE)—
Additions as a percentage of total % 25.7 27.8 29.4
PPE as a percentage of total assets % 3.7 4.7 4.5
Taxpayers' funds at year end $000 14,138 14,138 13,764
Forecast net cash flows
Cash disbursed to producing outputs $000 (14,923) (17,158) (17,093)
Net increase/(decrease) in cash held $000 (508) (3,225) (1,721)

Audit Report

TO THE READERS OF PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL OFFICE'S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
For the year ended 30 June 2009

The Auditor General is the auditor of Parliamentary Counsel Office (the Office). The Auditor General has appointed me, John O'Connell, using the staff and resources of Audit New Zealand, to carry out the audit. The audit covers the financial statements and statement of service performance included in the annual report of the Office for the year ended 30 June 2009.

Unqualified opinion

In our opinion:

The audit was completed on 21 September 2009, and is the date at which our opinion is expressed.

The basis of our opinion is explained below. In addition, we outline the responsibilities of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and the Auditor, and explain our independence.

Basis of opinion

We carried out the audit in accordance with the Auditor General's Auditing Standards, which incorporate the New Zealand Auditing Standards.

We planned and performed the audit to obtain all the information and explanations we considered necessary in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements and statement of service performance did not have material misstatements, whether caused by fraud or error.

Material misstatements are differences or omissions of amounts and disclosures that would affect a reader's overall understanding of the financial statements and statement of service performance. If we had found material misstatements that were not corrected, we would have referred to them in our opinion.

The audit involved performing procedures to test the information presented in the financial statements and statement of service performance. We assessed the results of those procedures in forming our opinion.

Audit procedures generally include:

  • determining whether significant financial and management controls are working and can be relied on to produce complete and accurate data;
  • verifying samples of transactions and account balances;
  • performing analyses to identify anomalies in the reported data;
  • reviewing significant estimates and judgements made by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel;
  • confirming year-end balances;
  • determining whether accounting policies are appropriate and consistently applied; and
  • determining whether all financial statement and statement of service performance disclosures are adequate.

We did not examine every transaction, nor do we guarantee complete accuracy of the financial statements and statement of service performance.

We evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements and statement of service performance. We obtained all the information and explanations we required to support our opinion above.

Responsibilities of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and the Auditor

The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is responsible for preparing the financial statements and statement of service performance in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand. The financial statements must fairly reflect the financial position of the Office as at 30 June 2009 and the results of its operations and cash flows for the year ended on that date.

The financial statements must also fairly reflect the expenses and capital expenditure incurred against each appropriation administered by the Office and each class of outputs included in each output expense appropriation for the year ended 30 June 2009. The financial statements must also fairly reflect the Office's unappropriated expenses and capital expenditure for the year ended on that date.

The statement of service performance must fairly reflect, for each class of outputs, the Office's standards of delivery performance achieved and revenue earned and expenses incurred, as compared with the forecast standards, revenue and expenses adopted at the start of the financial year.

The Chief Parliamentary Counsel's responsibilities arise from sections 45A and 45B of the Public Finance Act 1989.

We are responsible for expressing an independent opinion on the financial statements and statement of service performance and reporting that opinion to you. This responsibility arises from section 15 of the Public Audit Act 2001 and section 45D(2) of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Independence

When carrying out the audit we followed the independence requirements of the Auditor-General, which incorporate the independence requirements of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.

Other than the audit, we have no relationship with or interests in the Office.

John O'Connell
Audit New Zealand
On behalf of the Auditor-General
Wellington, New Zealand

Matters relating to the electronic presentation of the audited financial statements

This audit report relates to the financial statements and statement of service performance of the Parliamentary Counsel Office for the year ended 30 June 2009 included on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's website. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the Parliamentary Counsel Office 's website. We have not been engaged to report on the integrity of the Parliamentary Counsel Office's website. We accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements and statement of service performance since they were initially presented on the website.

The audit report refers only to the financial statements and statement of service performance named above. It does not provide an opinion on any other information which may have been hyperlinked to or from the financial statements and statement of service performance. If readers of this report are concerned with the inherent risks arising from electronic data communication they should refer to the published hard copy of the audited financial statements and statement of service performance and related audit report dated 21 September 2009 to confirm the information included in the audited financial statements and statement of service performance presented on this website.

Legislation in New Zealand governing the preparation and dissemination of financial information may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

APPENDICES

Legislative framework

The PCO is constituted as a separate Office of Parliament by the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920.

  • drafting Government Bills and Statutory Regulations
  • supervising the printing of Government Bills and Statutory Regulations
  • examining local Bills and private Bills
  • compiling reprints of statutes and Statutory Regulations
  • supervising the printing of those reprints.

The Inland Revenue Department is responsible for drafting certain Bills that will become Acts administered by that department (see Inland Revenue Department (Drafting) Order 1995).

Under section 4(1) of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, the PCO is responsible for arranging the printing and publication of:

  • copies of Acts of Parliament
  • copies of Statutory Regulations
  • reprints of Acts of Parliament and reprints of Statutory Regulations
  • reprints of Imperial Acts that have effect as part of the laws of New Zealand.

From time to time, the PCO also drafts certain other instruments such as Orders in Council establishing commissions of inquiry, instruments made under the Royal prerogative, and other official documents.

The PCO is not part of the Public Service under the State Sector Act 1988, and thus is not under the State Sector Act 1988, and thus is not under the direct control of the State Services Commissioner. However, the PCO is part of the State services within the meaning of the State Sector Act 1988, and is subject to certain provisions of that Act (eg sections 57 to 57C, which relate to the setting and enforcement of minimum standards of integrity and conduct).

Governance arrangements and structure in the PCO

The Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Parliamentary Counsel are appointed under the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920 by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Other staff are employed by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel on contract.

The Minister responsible for the PCO is the Attorney-General. Under the Output Plan agreed each year by the Attorney-General and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel is required to report quarterly to the Attorney-General. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is responsible to the Attorney-General for the operations and management of the PCO.

The organisational structure of the PCO, revised during the 2008/09 year, is shown above.

The PCO has key relationships with a number of other organisations. In particular, the PCO:

  • receives a range of services from the Parliamentary Service, including accounting and financial reporting services, payroll, and the parliamentary core computing network. Service level agreements are in place to manage the provision of these services
  • works closely with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and has developed a Memorandum of Understanding with that office for the processing, printing, supply, and publication of legislation
  • provides access to the legislation system for the drafting unit in the Inland Revenue Department, which is responsible under current arrangements for the drafting of tax legislation
  • works closely with the Legislation Coordinator in the Cabinet Office, whose role is to provide support to the government of the day in developing, monitoring, and modifying the legislation programme, and with the Secretary of the Cabinet Legislation Committee
  • has extensive working relationships with all central government departments and agencies in terms of taking instructions from them for the drafting of new and amending legislation and providing links and electronic “feeds” from the NZL website
  • fulfils its obligation to publish New Zealand legislation through a contract with SecuraCopy for the printing, distribution, and sale of hard-copy legislation and by publishing direct to the NZL website
  • is audited by the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General has appointed Audit New Zealand to perform the audit of the PCO on his behalf. Audit New Zealand also undertakes the annual Departmental Internal Control Evaluation (DICE) review on behalf of the Treasury.

Vision statement

A Parliamentary Counsel Office committed to the following objectives:
To improve access to legislation by ensuring:
  • that legislation is drafted as clearly and simply as possible
  • the timely and high quality publication of legislation
  • the timely and high quality compilation of legislation.
To improve the delivery of services to Ministers, government departments, select committees of Parliament, and the Office’s other clients by:
  • liaising with clients
  • keeping clients well-informed
  • reviewing and improving the systems used to deliver those services.
To establish and maintain a reputation, among the Government, the Parliament, the Courts, and the wider public, for:
  • providing high quality legislative drafting services and advice in a professional, impartial, and responsive manner
  • ensuring, so far as it can, that New Zealand legislation is based on sound legal principles
  • ensuring that New Zealand legislation is readily accessible.
To undertake the continuous, systematic review and improvement of management systems, information systems, work practices, and use of resources.
To promote a collegial approach to the work of the Office.
To promote:
  • communication among the staff of the Office
  • a high level of consultation with staff
  • participation by staff in decision-making.
To establish and maintain a supportive working environment that:
  • ensures the recruitment of persons best qualified and able to contribute to the achievement of the Office’s mission
  • provides proper training to staff
  • promotes the professional development of staff
  • encourages staff to perform to the highest levels of their ability
  • recognises the contributions of staff by principled and fair performance assessment.
Footnotes

1Preparing the Annual Report: Guidance and Requirements for Departments (July 2009), www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/guidance/accountability/annualreports.
2Statement of Intent Parliamentary Counsel Office for the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2011.
3 Justice Sector—Information Supporting the Estimates of Appropriations 2008/09, www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2008/ise/v7.
4Strategic direction—outcome and objectives.
5 This is further explained in the Statement of Intent Parliamentary Counsel Office for the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2011.
6 Law Commission Reports 107 and 104.
7www.legislation.govt.nz.
8 “Officialisation” refers to the steps necessary to make each principal enactment in the database of legislation on the NZL website an accurate and authoritative version of compiled legislation.
9 The NZL system is the PCO’s integrated drafting and publishing system for New Zealand legislation.
10www.knowledge-basket.co.nz.
11legislation.knowledge-basket.co.nz/shattering_statutes/index.html.
12 Total numbers of enactments reprinted by year ended 30 June: 2005: 21 Acts, 35 Statutory Regulations; 2006: 39 Acts, 10 Statutory Regulations; 2007: 35 Acts, 9 Statutory Regulations; 2008: 14 Acts, 2 Statutory Regulations; 2009: 36 Acts, 13 Statutory Regulations.
13 NZLC R104.

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