There are various ways Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can affect the public sector. Audit is just one of them. The National Audit Office of Lithuania (NAOL), in partnership with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), chose a less traditional means of impact—a public sector conference on sustainable development.
The November 2017 conference, “Signals,” represented a wake-up call to the Lithuanian public sector—policy makers, the academic community, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the media—on key challenges that require immediate solutions, including general education and budgetary governance, which rank as top national and NAOL priorities.
In his opening remarks to attendees, Dr. Arunas Dulkys, Auditor General of the Republic of Lithuania, pointed out, “It is not enough to simply change individual elements of the system; it is crucial to decisively improve the entire system and to find the right form of reporting to the public.”
Dr. Margit Kraker, INTOSAI Secretary General, noted, “For the signals to be recognized, we need to send them collectively and regularly. Only by exchanging experience and signals may we prevent more serious risks and start addressing the problems that are often characteristic of more than any particular country.”
“Signals” included numerous inspirational speakers—Mr. J. Christopher Mihm, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO); Mr. Ronnie Downes from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Ms. Ursula Rosenbichler representing the Austrian Federal Chancellery; Dr. Jouni Valijarvi and Mr. Saku Tuominen, leading education experts from Finland; the United Kingdom’s Ms. Lucy Crehan; and several renowned Lithuanian experts. Presentations, broadcast live on national television, provided additional event exposure and opened access to remote audiences.
With an enthusiastic and willing staff, the conference was developed, implemented and sponsored in-house, proving that events such as these do not have to be resource consuming. The event’s impact, assessed through measures such as media counts and number of participants, also created a ripple effect throughout the public sector and mindset of those involved. Such impact embodies the words inscribed on NAOL business cards, “Bringing benefits.”
The “Signals” conference brought benefits to the public sector, as well as demand for a second conference, which the NAOL plans to organize in November 2018.
More information on “Signals” can be found at www.signals.lt.