In order to face the challenges of developing new strategies for public governance, it is a sine qua non requirement to work with efficiency and the citizen trust. To achieve this, the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are indispensable to ensure government transparency and accountability, which helps to maintain a financial discipline, and fight against corruption and impunity.
Auditing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can increase accountability of government for commitments made to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as expedite progress towards achieving these goals.
One of the distinguishing features of audit organizations and reports is the emphasis on evidence to support findings and recommendations, so any techniques that have the potential to make that evidence more powerful should be given high priority. One way that offers that potential is to closely examine three of the techniques used by audit organizations to collect evidence: surveys, semi-structured interviews, and data collection instruments (DCIs).
Recognizing the significance of budget credibility and the demand for further research and practical guidance on this critical topic, over the last two years Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have collaborated with the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DPIDG/UNDESA) and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) to develop a handbook for auditors on how their work can contribute to improving budget credibility. The output of this far-reaching effort has been published recently in Strengthening Budget Credibility Through External Audits: A Handbook for Auditors.
In 2022, the Brazilian Court of Audit (TCU) and the Comptroller General of the Union audited the Automotive Regional Development Policies (PADR) of the Brazilian government. These policies, created in the late 1990s, granted tax credits to automobile manufacturers that established factories in less developed regions of Brazil.
The importance of ethics in government programs has been highlighted in multiple Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audits, particularly those examining procurement and grants administration. The lack of adequate documentation and records to support the rationale for decisions made and actions undertaken by audited entities is a consistent theme.
This article presents a methodology to assess the effective transparency of information published on public entities’ portals. It considers not only the mere availability of information but also quality requirements of information, such as timeliness, completeness, conciseness, accuracy, clarity, reliability, accessibility, and relevance.
Many Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have in recent decades adopted performance auditing as one of their main tasks. Performance audits extend a SAI’s role from main public auditor to judge, jury and even management consultant. INTOSAI has promoted performance auditing as a method to establish the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of government policy (‘the 3Es’) and a means to strengthen government accountability and transparency.
Emerging technology has revolutionized the world, and has become a preferred ally for auditors, as its use can significantly help in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their work. Governments and public sector organizations worldwide are embracing innovative technologies to modernize their auditing practices. These technologies include blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, etc.
In the aftermath of the global pandemic, operational, financial, and strategic landscapes within audited entities have dramatically transformed. This shift necessitates Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to revise their auditing methodologies and face novel challenges as they seek to assess the pandemic’s impact on audited agencies effectively.
The financial statement audit, aims to provide confidence in financial statements for users’ decisions. Financial statement auditors give an independent opinion on whether financial statements are presented in accordance with the designated framework and accurately represent an entity’s financial position and activity outcomes. As organizations have developed and grown in size, so has the complexity of their operations, which have greatly influenced financial statement audit approaches. These developments do not erase the previous methods; instead, it builds upon them to make the audit process more efficient and effective.
Amongst the many things the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation (IDC) does to strengthen support to the SAI community, the IDC’s brokerage activities have helped connect SAIs with resources, guidance, and partnerships from donors, peer partners, and other organizations. The INTOSAI Development Initiative’s (IDI) Global Foundations Unit leads this work with the goal of enhancing the capacity of SAIs to lead their own development initiatives.
Spotlight on Capacity Building
In 2022-23, the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) commissioned the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation (CAAF), to support the design and implementation of performance management systems for the Office of the National Auditor of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Pohnpei Office of the Public Auditor.
Spotlight on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Spotlight on Science and Technology
Creating an effective and safe environment for remote work in the public sector requires clear policies, careful planning, technology and infrastructure, data security, performance measurement, and focus on productivity of employees, and public sector auditing organizations have a role to play in ensuring this environment.