Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) success stems from several measures, including robust communications (internally and externally) and leading by example. Over the years, the National Audit Office of Lithuania (NAOL) has established good professional relations with Lithuania’s Parliamentary Committee on Audit—our main partner assuring oversight of governmental activities.
The NAOL also dynamically communicates with stakeholders, including academia, non-profit associations and public sector entities affected by government initiatives.
Such interactions provide several benefits, such as:
- Publicizing audit findings and recommendations;
- Raising SAI awareness and increasing visibility;
- Examining data and stakeholder relevance;
- Informing SAIs on stakeholder insights into the most sensitive public sector governance issues; and
- Providing observations on specific areas that require in-depth and systemic assessment.
The NAOL strives to use communication to seek new opportunities and identify problems (and find ways to eliminate the underlying causes).
The NAOL also uses internal communication techniques to drive organizational improvement. Targeted and focused interaction increases staff creativity and participation, while value-setting exercises refine what employees consider essential to achieve NAOL strategic objectives. Combining individual interests and agreeing on crucial organizational needs consolidates efforts and generates an understanding that we are stronger together than we are individually.
The NAOL seeks to be a public sector model—leading by example—by applying the highest standards to its work; serving as an independent, competent adviser to decision makers; exhibiting trustworthy behavior; continuously innovating; and demonstrating that these actions improve performance.
Our efforts don’t go unnoticed. The NAOL’s work has garnered public and private sector, domestic and international recognition. In 2016, the NAOL received the national “Best Public Institution” award, and this year, the Lithuanian Business Confederation awarded the NAOL with the “Partnership Leader Prize” honoring NAOL’s professional systemic audits and audit opinions.
Also in 2017, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/Support for Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA) identified the NAOL and its Parliament as having exemplary cooperation practices in its study, “Developing Effective Working Relationships Between Supreme Audit Institutions and Parliaments.”
While the NAOL has experienced much success, it is a temporary state, and there is always work to be done! We hope sharing our perspective provides insight and inspiration to other SAIs and to the wider auditing community.