Is there a legislative committee (or other appropriate body) responsible for defence budget scrutiny and analysis in an effective way?
13a. Formal rights
New Zealand score: 100/100
No such legislative committee exists, or it lacks any formal powers over the defence budget.
There is a defence committee with formal rights of scrutiny of the defence budget, but lacks some of the powers listed in score 4.
There is a defence committee with extensive formal rights of scrutiny of the defence budget. The committee has the power to scrutinise any aspect of budget and expenditures. The committee is in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it.
The FADTC has formal rights to report the following types of business to the House : (a) bills; (b) inquiries and briefings (c) petitions; (d) annual reviews; (e) Estimates; (f) Supplementary Estimates; (g) international treaty examinations; (h) reports of Officers of Parliament; and (i) any other matters. .The FADTC has powers to send for evidence and persons, to include a summons after signing by the Speaker of the House . The Auditor-General, meanwhile, is responsible for financial scrutiny and possess robust investigatory powers guided by stringent fiscal management legislation [3, 4, 5].
1. Standing Orders 2020, Chapter Four: Select Committees, section 190,
2. Standing Orders 2020, Chapter Four: Select Committees, sections 198-203,
3. Defence Act 1990, Part 4, Section 58 (11), http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0028/latest/DLM206412.html?search=sw_096be8ed819fea9b_auditor_25_se&p=1&sr=0. 4. In particular see Public Audit Act 2001, Part 4, sections 24-31, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2001/0010/latest/whole.html#DLM88974.
5. Public Finance Act 1989, 1A, http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1989/0044/latest/DLM160817.html?search=sw_096be8ed819fea9b_auditor_25_se&p=1
13b. Influence on decision-making
New Zealand score: 75/100
The defence committee has no impact on defence budget decision-making.
The committee reviews the defence budget, but fails to take advantage of its formal powers of scrutiny. It may exercise informal influence over the budget in the case of no formal powers.
The committee reviews the defence budget and attempts to influence budgetary decisions through formal mechanisms, but these attempts are limited.
The committee performs all the functions of score 4, but this may not be in a timely fashion or there may be clear instances where the committee fails to scrutinise effectively aspects of the budget before the start of the fiscal year.
The committee has introduced amendments to the budget and there is evidence that in some instances these have resulted in changes to the budget. The committee engages in mid-year expenditure review and can strike out expenditures before they are incurred.
The FADTC holds two scheduled meetings a year, though it meets more than this. The first meeting, the “Estimates Hearing”, is held in early June shortly before the Budget announcement . The second, the “Annual Hearing”, takes place in December and provides the committee with an opportunity to “question the Secretary of Defence and Chief of Defence Force on how their agencies operated during the previous Financial Year [… and which] In reality the questioning can be on any defence related matter” . The FADTC’s effectiveness is difficult to measure, despite it possessing a broad sphere of activity. Many details of briefings remain unavailable, unless officially requested (though the briefing items are listed) . The FADTC’s annual reports of the MoD and NZDF are, however, publicly available and provided to the House for consideration . There is evidence that recommendations from the Auditor-General carry more weighting, as shown in the FADTC’s 2018/19 Annual Review of the Ministry of Defence . However, in the case of the NZDF, it has been noted that some recommendations following the annual audit remain unresolved . The content and attitude of the FADTC’s Annual Reviews also suggest that the Committee wields limited influence on decision-making unless coordinated with questions raised in the House. It therefore serves to provide comment and observation of activities for referral to the House.
1. Interview with Director Coordination, Office of the Chief of Defence Force, 9 July 2020, via email.
2. “Business”, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/scl/foreign-affairs-defence-and-trade/tab/business?Criteria.PageNumber=1.
3. 2018/19 Annual Review of the Ministry of Defence, and 2018/19 Annual Review of the New Zealand Defence Force, Report of the Foreign Affairs, defence and Trade Committee, 6 March 2020, https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_95069/864ed8303f5738abbfb7aeb9607dab3bcbb68113.
4. 2018/19 Annual Review of the Ministry of Defence, Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, 6 March 2020, p. 2, https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_95069/864ed8303f5738abbfb7aeb9607dab3bcbb68113.
5. 2018/19 Annual Review of the New Zealand Defence Force, Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, 6 March 2020, p. 3, https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_95069/864ed8303f5738abbfb7aeb9607dab3bcbb68113.
Compare scores by country
Please view this page on a larger screen for the full stats.
|Country||13a. Formal rights||13b. Influence on decision-making|
|Albania||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Algeria||0 / 100||NA|
|Angola||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Argentina||0 / 100||NA|
|Armenia||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Australia||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Bahrain||0 / 100||NA|
|Bangladesh||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Belgium||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Botswana||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Brazil||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Canada||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Chile||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|China||0 / 100||NA|
|Colombia||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Denmark||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||NA|
|Estonia||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|France||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Germany||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Ghana||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Greece||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Hungary||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|India||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Indonesia||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Iran||0 / 100||NA|
|Iraq||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Israel||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Italy||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Japan||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA|
|Kenya||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Kosovo||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Kuwait||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Latvia||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Lebanon||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Lithuania||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Malaysia||50 / 100||NA|
|Mali||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Mexico||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Montenegro||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||NA|
|Myanmar||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Netherlands||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|New Zealand||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Niger||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Nigeria||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|North Macedonia||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Norway||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA|
|Palestine||0 / 100||NA|
|Philippines||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Poland||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Portugal||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||NA|
|Russia||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA|
|Serbia||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Singapore||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|South Africa||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|South Korea||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|South Sudan||100 / 100||NEI|
|Spain||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||NA|
|Sweden||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Switzerland||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Taiwan||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Tanzania||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Thailand||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Turkey||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Uganda||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Ukraine||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA|
|United Kingdom||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|United States||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Venezuela||0 / 100||NA|
|Zimbabwe||50 / 100||25 / 100|