OLACEFS Assesses Availability of SAIs’ Information to the Public
The Technical Commission for Good Governance Practices of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS), led by Lic. Jesús Rodríguez, President of the National Audit Office of the Argentine Nation, has produced the fourth Index of Availability of Information to Citizens about SAIs’ Management (IDIGI-EFS 2021). The civil society organization Corporación Acción Ciudadana Colombia (AC-Colombia) contributed to this effort.
IDIGI-EFS measures the extent to which SAIs make information on a variety of topics—including institutional framework and controls, scope and results of audits, and accountability—available to the public on their websites. Availability of this type of information is key to citizens’ ability to hold governments accountable. The 2021 index found that the SAIs of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru were leaders in this field.
The regional average of SAIs’ information availability was nearly 85 percent, an increase of approximately 33 percent over the regional average from the first index, in 2017.
Five percent of OLACEFS SAIs had a high level of information availability in 2017, while in 2021, 64 percent did. Likewise, in 2017, 55 percent of the region’s SAIs had a low level of information availability, while in 2021, only 9 percent did.
The 2021 index also assessed the availability of information related to audits of government expenditures on the COVID-19 pandemic. The index found a regional average of nearly 65 percent for availability of this type of information—a medium score, which means available information provides basic inputs to facilitate citizens’ oversight. Seven SAIs—from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru—provided ample COVID-19 information.
Regional SAIs have made progress in developing innovative strategies for communicating audit results to the public. However, more is needed to strengthen collaborative efforts of audited entities, citizens, and other stakeholders to enhance audit impact and improve the quality of government services.
IDIGI-EFS has proven an important tool for encouraging the region’s SAIs to continue to expand public access to information. This effort, which may serve as a good practice for other members of the INTOSAI community, also provides valuable inputs into the SAI Performance Measurement Framework. The full report on results of the 2021 index is available here.