Governance of the National Security System

Governance of the National Security System


We carried out a performance audit to provide
assurance to Parliament and the public about the effectiveness of governance arrangements
for the National Security System. National security arrangements are important
to all of our lives. Ensuring our national security enables us to go about our daily
business confidently and free from fear. New Zealand takes an “All Hazards, All Risks
approach to national security. This means that the National Security System
covers all risks to national security whether internal or external, human or natural. This can include trans-national organised
crime, state and armed conflict, cyber security incidents, biosecurity events,
natural disasters, and pandemics. We used the Eight Elements of Good Governance
published in our recent report Reflections from our Audits: Governance and Accountability
to assess the governance arrangements of the National Security System. The report provides assurance to New Zealanders
that governance arrangements for responding to national events and emergencies such as
the recent earthquakes are well established, fundamentally sound, and fit for purpose. Improved arrangements were put in place around
two years ago for governance of how risks to our national security are
identified and managed and also for building our resilience as a nation. These arrangements are maturing quickly
and operating better over time. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet aspires to New Zealand having a world-class national security system and continually seek
to improve the system. Our report identifies some important
recommendations to help them in achieving a world-class
National Security System for New Zealand. It is reassuring to know that New Zealand
can call on an experienced, dedicated, and resolute network of people to come together
constructively and quickly, when needed, to help ensure our national security. When I started working on this audit about
six months ago, I knew very little about the National Security System or the people involved in it. Now having done the audit, when things happen,
like the recent earthquakes, I find it very comforting to know that there are
a group of people who come together and kick into action at short notice and know what
they’re doing because they operate in a system where it’s well-defined and they
can come together in a structured way and can help respond on our behalf
to whatever the event is.

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