NIAO Value for Money (VFM) work plays an important role in helping the Assembly hold government to account, as well as improving the quality of our public services. Our work also attracts significant media interest and can generate financial impacts. We need to ensure that our reports continue to meet the expectations of our various stakeholders and remain a powerful force for beneficial change in government.
This handbook builds on the expertise and skills within the NIAO to bring together up-to-date advice and guidance about how we can ensure the continued quality of our reports. It establishes the key standards that support effective delivery of the VFM programme, from identifying initial ideas for a study, through planning, evidence gathering and evaluation to reporting our findings (other preexisting guidance stipulates our arrangements for the clearance process, publication, engagement with the Assembly and for follow-up of our reports). It is intended to help us in our mission to provide objective information, advice and assurance on the use of public funds and encourage:
- beneficial change in the provision of public services;
- the highest standards in financial management and reporting; and
- good governance and propriety in the conduct of public business.