International Journal of Government Auditing – October 2008
In 2005, IDI assisted AFROSAI-E (the English-speaking regional organization in Africa) in developing training material on detecting fraud while auditing. In 2007, audit teams from five countries in the region were invited to develop customized fraud guidelines for their SAIs with the help of subject matter experts. After validating the guidelines’ relevance through pilot audits, the teams came together for a 2-week workshop in South Africa in July 2008 to develop the AFROSAI-E Regional Guidelines on Detecting Fraud while Auditing, which will be presented at the region’s technical update meeting later this year.
IDI has been cooperating with AFROSAI-E to develop a number of institutional level interventions, such as needs assessments, strategic planning, and calibration of institutional strengthening frameworks. In response to a felt need to develop guidelines to enable the region’s SAIs to report on their performance, five regional experts met in South Africa for a week in August 2008 to develop SAI reporting guidelines. The guidelines will be reviewed and approved by the regional Capacity Building Committee and presented at the AFROSAI-E technical update meeting later this year.
In 2007, IDI and AFROSAI-E cooperated to initiate a needs assessment and strategic planning program for selected regional SAIs. The five participating SAIs—Ethiopia, Seychelles, Liberia, Malawi, and Zambia—conducted needs assessments and developed strategic plans based on identified needs. In August 2008, the teams met in South Africa for 1 week to have their strategic plans reviewed and receive assistance in developing operational plans linked to strategic plans.
Although two pools of training specialists have already been trained in ASOSAI, the region asked IDI to provide a third train-the-trainers program to strengthen the regional training network. For this third program, IDI decided to pilot a blend of e-learning and face-to-face training. The instructor team reviewed the course material used during the previous program at a 2-week redesign meeting held in Vietnam in July 2008. Forty participants from 21 targeted SAIs were chosen through an online selection process designed to ensure they had the right experience, potential, and aptitude. During a 3-week online preparatory learning phase in September/October 2008, the selected participants were introduced to each other and were given an overview of capacity building, the Systematic Approach to Training, and the e-learning medium. Later in the year, they will meet face to face at the Course Design and Development Workshop in Vietnam. In line with recent IDI developments, the program aims to create not only classroom trainers but also facilitators who can design and deliver different kinds of capacity-building interventions.
Needs assessments conducted in ASOSAI in 2007 identified a need to strengthen the audit quality assurance systems of a number of SAIs in the region. Course materials and a draft Quality Assurance Handbook were prepared in March 2008. In August 2008, a 2-week Quality Assurance Workshop was held in Mongolia for teams from 10 targeted regional SAIs. During the workshop, the teams prepared and presented plans for conducting pilot quality assurance reviews. Following the workshop, the teams carried out pilot quality assurance reviews in their SAIs. These quality assurance reviews will be circulated to the other participating teams for peer review.
This program is designed to identify capacity-building needs in OLACEFS and develop the region’s capacity to assess needs by training SAI staff on needs assessment methodology and techniques. After a design meeting in June 2008, a needs assessment survey was sent to all SAIs in the region. Based on this survey, seven SAIs were invited to send teams of auditors to the Needs Assessment Workshop held in Peru during the first 2 weeks of September 2008. After this workshop, the teams will perform institutional needs assessments in their SAIs and meet in January 2009 to receive feedback on their work.
The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI, formerly known as SPASAI) is changing its organizational structure and has therefore set up a transitional working group that will oversee the implementation arrangements. In September 2008, IDI met with the group in New Zealand to make some key decisions and identify potential areas of cooperation with the region.
SAIs are increasingly requesting capacity development in public debt auditing. In view of the topic’s relevance and importance within INTOSAI, IDI decided to undertake a transregional capacity-building program in public debt management audit in cooperation with the Debt Management Programme (DMFAS) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Institute for Training and Reasearch, and the INTOSAI Working Group on Public Debt.
Program stakeholders and subject matter experts met at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, for a 3-day planning and curriculum meeting in September 2008 to discuss and agree on the program design and roles and responsibilities. They also developed a survey questionnaire to be sent out to SAIs in the target regions.
IDI representatives have attended and reported at the following events in recent months: CAROSAI meetings and the Commonwealth Auditors General Conference (Bermuda), Transitional Plan Implementation Workshop (South Africa), and the OLACEFS Regional Training Committee meeting (Peru).