SUPPORT COORDINATION, HARMONIZATION LEAD TO SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY FOR SAI MACEDONIA
Information technology is important in providing quality audit work, and the Macedonian SAI made the creation and implementation of an Audit Management System (AMS) a top priority. SAI Macedonia seized the opportunity to seek assistance with making this project a reality through the 2011 Global Call for Proposals.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed interest in supporting the SAI to ensure sustainable Information Technology (IT) capacities and promote good governance. The Office of the Auditor General of Norway (OAGN) offered technical assistance to implement the project, and, in September 2012, SAI Macedonia and OAGN signed a Memorandum of Understanding that marked the beginning of a five-year cooperation.
The overall project objective was to improve the quality of SAI Macedonia’s audit processes, and the AMS would do this through standardization, unifying documentation and ensuring information security and confidentiality. The AMS would also increase efficiency by reducing time associated with documenting and reviewing audit papers, leading to a rise in productivity. Advancing SAI Macedonia’s audit quality and productivity means improving the professional and efficient management of taxpayer money, as well as public sector financial discipline and accountability.
SAI Macedonia formed a core team of IT specialists and staff members representing different departments. Auditors were included as subject matter experts in the mapping audit processes and creating audit flows.
A strong commitment and steadfast support from management, led to the timely and successful completion of project tasks, which included a draft feasibility study, upgrade to IT infrastructure, IT security policy development and implementation, creation of daily operational, maintenance and technical procedures, pilot audit implementation using AMS, and the design of a training program to use and maintain AMS.
AMS was put into operation as part of SAI Macedonia’s 2017 Annual Work Program. AMS is much more than a document management and audit workflow system—it is a knowledge sharing tool providing guidance to auditors throughout the entire audit process. Auditors’ input on applying and using AMS will be used to adjust and continuously improve the system.
“The selfless support and professional guidance from OAGN colleagues, who were with us through the process, along with the backing of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made this project a reality.”—SAI Macedonia.