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Water lessons from PASAI's Secretary-General's Office

Water lessons from PASAI's Secretary-General's Office
by Sarah Markley, PASAI’s Deputy Secretary-General


It was great to see everyone at our Annual Congress last month. The role of auditors – and Auditors-General – can be a lonely one, so it is excellent to connect with peers, to discuss our challenges and hear about the innovative ways PASAI members are dealing with them.   

Sharing lessons and models is a sustainable and effective way to improve the impacts of our initiatives, which we can localise to suit the needs of our own countries. Our audits are just one of the tools we have – what we are seeking to do is build the trust and confidence of our people that our public sectors are accountable, and that our work is improving their efficiency and effectiveness.

We have learned a lot from the audit of preparedness to implement the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals undertaken by our Pacific neighbours. Hearing about the world-leading initiatives that SAIs across our region are doing in this area will inform our own activities in the future.

In this spirit, we would like to share with you some examples of reports our office has tabled recently, as we complete a suite of performance audits considering issues related to water management in New Zealand. We are constantly studying the initiatives of others, and testing and refining our own – and we are more than happy to share our knowledge.

 

Auditing water management: a theme-based approach

One of the challenges we are facing more and more is how to audit complex and interconnected systems beyond the financial aspects of individual entities, into the performance, outcomes, governance, and effectiveness of whole sectors. This was a factor we considered in doing a major, multi-year programme looking at water management.

We are still learning how to do this most effectively. However, our initial attempts have shown not just how well our planning pieced the puzzle together, but also the pieces we’re missing.

Some of the work we have done to explore this theme so far includes:

Managing stormwater systems in New Zealand

Flooding is New Zealand's most frequent natural hazard. Climate change and increasing urbanisation are expected to increase the risk of flooding in the future. In this audit, we looked at how three councils managed their stormwater systems to protect people and their property.

We found all councils had an incomplete understanding of their flood risk, gaps in their understanding of their networks’ current state, and were potentially underinvesting in renewing their assets.

You can see our report here https://oag.govt.nz/2018/stormwater.

 

Marine planning for the Hauraki Gulf:

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The Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana is one of the busiest marine areas in New Zealand. Each year, the Gulf generates more than $2.7 billion in economic activity. Used for boating and recreational, commercial, and customary fishing, it’s important both for people living there, and the region's tourism industry.

Community stakeholders and government agencies worked together to create New Zealand's first marine spatial plan, for a healthy, productive, and sustainable future for the Gulf. Finalised in December 2016, the project was a successful example of a stakeholder-led collaborative approach, with general support from those who prepared it. However, the plan is not easy for the central and local government agencies to implement, and those involved in the project are frustrated at the lack of progress.

You can see our report here https://oag.govt.nz/2018/hauraki

 

Protecting marine environments

We looked at how two groups used two different processes that generated advice to Ministers for establishing marine protection, including marine reserves. We examined how inclusive, transparent, and well informed the processes were to identify lessons that could be applied to support the establishment of other marine protection measures.

Through this, we found that aspects of the implementation guidelines are too restrictive, and called for Government to consider reforming marine biodiversity protection legislation, policy, or planning to support greater collaboration, to better protect New Zealand’s unique marine biodiversity.

You can see our report here https://oag.govt.nz/2019/marine-environment

 

How water is used for irrigation

In 2010, the New Zealand Government regulated how big water users track their water use. We audited how these had been implemented by the six councils responsible for 90% of freshwater irrigation used in NZ.

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Through this audit, we found not only that councils had mostly implemented these effectively, as required by law, but that some had gone beyond the basic requirements, using smart metering to collect information to improve how they maintained their network, scheduled water use promotions, and charged service users.

You can see our report here https://oag.govt.nz/2018/irrigation

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These audits represent some of our work programme to improve trust and promote value within New Zealand’s public entities, for the good of our communities. I hope these examples are useful to you – and we are happy to discuss, support, and exchange ideas to build a prosperous and stable Pacific, with effective and fair public systems, and good governance for our organisations.

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PASAI's 22nd Congress, in Natadola, Fiji 27 - 30 August 2019 - our video

PASAI's Congress Video 2019: SAIs, DPs, Secretariat & Sec General teams gathered at PASAI's 22nd Congress in Fiji, 27-30 August 2019. Watch the video on PASAI's Congress and the approaches to growing capacity in the right way, at the right time and in the right place; and how SAIs can move on to auditing implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Narrated by SAI Chuuk's Senior Auditor, Rosalinda (Sarah) Mori.



Why Kiribati's SAI PMF assessment couldn't have come at a better time ...

SAI PMF paves the way for a stronger SAI in Kiribati

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By Kiribati’s Auditor-General, Eriati Tauma Manaima

 



The SAI-PMF Assessment

Over two weeks in late August and earlu September 2019, the Kiribati Audit Office had the pleasure of hosting the PASAI Supreme Audit Institution Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF) assessment  team, comprising of team leader Ms Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo from PASAI’s Secretariat, Ms Elsie Willy and Ms Elsie Daniel both Audit Managers from the SAI-Vanuatu, and Mr Samuela Tupou an Audit Manager from SAI-Fiji.

What does the SAI-PMF mean for the Kiribati Audit Office?

The timing of this assessment could not have been better!

This SAI-PMF assessment is very important to SAI Kiribati. Not only is this the first ever comprehensive assessment for SAI-Kiribati, but as the new head of the Kiribati Audit Office, it will provide me with a much-needed stock-take and baseline as we go forward. It’s important for me to know where we stand in terms of the institution’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and threats.

In addition to this, SAI-Kiribati is now in the final year of her four year (2016-2019) strategic plan, so having the SAI-PMF assessment in the midst of reviewing our 2016-2019 strategic plan and preparing our next (2020-2023) strategic plan is brilliant. Among other things, what we will learn from this assessment will help inform SAI-Kiribati on what/which key strategic goals or areas to focus on the next four years as we continue building and strengthening our office.   

Another reason that this assessment is very important to SAI Kiribati is that when we request development assistance from our stakeholders, especially the Government and our development partners, the findings of the SAI-PMF assessment will provide evidence to support and make the case for our request for those needed assistances.    

 

What does the SAI-PMF mean for the Government of Kiribati and her people?

 Strengthening SAI Kiribati aligns well the Government of Kiribati’s vision, in particular the Pillar 4: Governance of the Kiribati Vision 20 (KV20) which advocates for the creation of a corruption-free public service through strengthening of institutions, like the SAI-Kiribati, within the public and private sector that foster good governance practices.

A strong and effective SAI-Kiribati plays an important role in the Government’s combat against corruption and its negative impact on the economy and the people of Kiribati. In this context, the SAI-PMF plays an essential role in building and strengthening the Kiribati Audit Office and - more importantly - the audit impact it will bring to the lives of the people of Kiribati.


How was the SAI PMF process for Kiribati?

 The whole SAI PMF assessment was a fascinating experience. Even though this is our stock-in-trade as auditors, we were all excited to learn about the value of strong interviewing techniques and the importance of finding supporting evidence to back up any comments, whether negative, positive or neutral.

As the SAI PMF assessment tool is a new concept for Kiribati’s Audit Office, the assessors spent time with the SAI’s entire team explaining its format and uses, before getting into the assessment itself. 


So what comes next?

We’re waiting on the edge of our seats for the results! But in the meantime, I have already been able to factor some of the information into our strategic plan, and it has been a privilege to be part of such a comprehensive process. I strongly recommend it for all SAIs!


For more information please contact PASAI’s Communications Advisor on jill.marshall@pasai.org

 

Strategic Management requires Ownership for Sustainability, says PASAI's Sina Palamo-Iosefo

By Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo, PASAI’s Director of Practice Development

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 One of the fundamental areas where Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in the Pacific region require support is in the development of effective strategic plans, that the SAIs will then implement and report on. This need was met with the timely request from the International Development Initiative (IDI) for the Pacific region to pilot its Strategy, Performance Measurement and Reporting (SPMR) programme. This programme aims to improve strategic management within SAIs and INTOSAI regions, leading in turn to better service delivery.

The programme builds the capabilities of SAIs in developing effective strategic plans and translating them to operational plans. It also embeds the rationale that SAIs need to take a holistic approach to setting their strategic direction, identifying societal values they aspire to contribute to and determining both the required resources and how they will deliver value and benefits to citizens. This holistic approach entails the SAIs giving due consideration not only to their core business and operations, but also to understanding stakeholders’ expectations and the environment in which the SAI operates.

And herein lies the issue. Identifying strategic challenges, defining outcomes and developing performance indicators are not the usual tasks of an auditor. In fact, developing a strategic plan was not an expectation or a key focus of a Head of SAI until just a few years ago, and consequently some SAIs would engage a consultant to develop them in their place.

However, if SAIs are to remain relevant, I think that they need to embrace the changing environment and face head-on the emerging risks which can influence the delivery of its core function and make a difference in the lives of citizens.

From experience during a recent Operational Planning workshop in Cook Islands (link to PASAI newsletter), which I co-facilitated with IDI, there is no doubt that SAIs are finding this whole approach to strategic management challenging, particularly in changing mind-sets from solely planning audits to planning the strategic direction of the SAI.  Factors such as the size, capacity, capability and maturity level of the SAIs impact on the SAI’s ability to engage effectively - and with ease - in the various stages of strategic management. This new norm needs to be sustainable.

The workshop delegates highlighted especially the hurdles in aligning various plans such as divisional, Human Resource, IT and communications plans with the SAI’s strategic plan and in ensuring that various plans speak to each other.

The different terminology used by various participating SAIs and within the SPMR programme itself added another layer of complexity. While SAIs use terms such as key results areas, goals and objectives, the SPMR programme’s results framework refers to impacts, outcomes, outputs and capacities. In considering the different terminology that might be adopted by SAIs, the proposed solution was for SAIs to understand the different levels – strategic or operational - that they referred to when developing the different elements of their strategic plans.  

Through this programme, SAIs have learnt how important it is for their leaders to take ownership of their organizational planning process by defining their strategic directions and involving all SAI staff in the development of these organizational plans. In my view, when a SAI leader takes ownership, it ensures that strategic management is sustainable and will remain as a fundamental responsibility of the SAI and not of external parties. We were fortunate enough to have nine Heads of SAI among the twelve SAIs taking part in the programme, signalling their ownership of the strategic management process. Hopefully this will strengthen SAI commitment to better performance and accountability.

In the end, however, it’s going to take significant shifts in culture, focus and ownership of end-to-end strategic management to ensure SPMR’s true benefits are reaped. IDI has developed a powerful programme – now it’s down to the SAIs to strategically plan their next steps. It is my firm belief that interesting and rewarding times lie ahead for all SAIs who rise to the challenge. 

Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo,
PASAI Director of Practice Development



PASAI were invited to attend the OLACEFS planning meeting on SAI PMF in Lima, Peru 11 -15 February 2018.  Sina is left, with Chair of CEDEIR and President of SAI El Savador, Mrs Carmen Elena, and the facilitators – Mr Horacio (from SAI Brazil) and Mr Bill Burnett, a Consultant engaged by IDI to conduct independent quality assurance review of SAI Performance reports, including the reports of SAIs in our region

PASAI were invited to attend the OLACEFS planning meeting on SAI PMF in Lima, Peru 11 -15 February 2018.

Sina is left, with Chair of CEDEIR and President of SAI El Savador, Mrs Carmen Elena, and the facilitators – Mr Horacio (from SAI Brazil) and Mr Bill Burnett, a Consultant engaged by IDI to conduct independent quality assurance review of SAI Performance reports, including the reports of SAIs in our region

With the Comptroller General of SAI Peru

With the Comptroller General of SAI Peru

How future auditors will use data analytics, according to VAGO's Ben Jiang

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The auditor of the future will use data analytics to check data of much larger sets of information from a wide variety of agencies, according to Ben Jiang, Director - Data Analytics in the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO).

“It once would have been impossible to analyse all of the transactions of a large agency,” Jiang told CPA Congress in October 2018. “The traditional approach of sampling was necessary in its time but now the volume of transactions is so high that analytics technology has to be the way to go.”

ALGORITHMS FOR DATA ANALYSIS

A major advantage of analytics is that the contributing agencies can provide data in almost any format. Clients lodge their data, usually monthly, through a secure portal.

Jiang’s team has written a series of algorithms to transform the material into a common format for analysis, as well as run checks for completeness. The aim of the algorithms is to streamline processes that were formerly done manually.

The result is a dashboard of aggregated, summarised data relating to each contributing agency. This allows auditors to easily access information and drill down as they need to. The common format allows for easier extraction of data, and also the checking of anomalies and outliers. The analytics program can create “red flags” to draw a matter to an auditor’s attention.

Related: Using data analytics to deliver distinctive experiences to your accounting clients

In the VAGO, the system is still in its development phase. The dashboard system will be used in conjunction with traditional auditing methods for a complete audit cycle. The two methods will then be compared and assessed, and any problems with the analytics methods will be identified and addressed.

The first wave of clients involves 35 agencies across the range of government entities, which includes departments, universities, councils and others. Second and third waves are planned, with improvements to the system being made as more experience is gained.

AUDITORS’ FOCUS ON RISK

“The aim is to free auditors from mechanical tasks so they can concentrate on what they really need – and want – to do, which is auditing,” Jiang says.

“They can focus in on areas of risk that the analytics have flagged, such as classes of transactions. Ultimately, it will allow for better performance benchmarking and resource use as well as auditing oversight.”

To get the most from the analytics system and the dashboards, additional staff training will be needed. While auditors are generally very pleased with the prospect of not having to perform routine data collection, processing and checking, the new system requires some new skills and a different mindset.

Data analytics requires a large amount of computer processing power, so this led to a rethinking of the IT system at VAGO. Safeguards also had to be built into the IT changes to ensure data security.

Jiang notes that the software packages used to design and operate the new system are Microsoft SQL Server, Qlik Sense and Python.

“We are aware that we are writing the rulebook rather than working through an existing one,” he says.

“Especially in relation to performance auditing, I think we are just scratching the surface. And we take the view that analytics is meant to supplement and improve auditing. Analytics is the first post of auditing, and then human experience, insight and judgement take over.”



Source: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/11/07/data-an

The SAI Young Leaders Program - from a PA-SAI Young Leader, Cherry Lyn Somcio, SAI Pohnpei

My SAI Young Leader experience

By: Cherry Lyn Somcio, Pohnpei State Public Auditor’s Office

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Last year, INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) launched the Supreme Audit Institutions Young Leaders Program (SYL), with the objective of strengthening Young Leaders who are contributing to positive change in Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).

I am very proud that I am one of the pioneers of this initiative, as the SYL Program was an amazing and once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When I first applied for this program in October 2017, I was not expecting anything because it is very competitive. IDI’s invitation was sent to 91 SAIs and IDI received 70 completed applications. I was blessed to be one of the 40 applicants invited to the first screening, which was held in Norway in November 2017 – but unfortunately, I was not able to go because of the visa requirement. However, I am very happy and grateful that IDI was flexible, arranging for a Skype interview in which I presented my change strategy proposal (the Communication Strategy for Pohnpei State Public Auditor).   

PASAI ladies with IDI - I’m second from left.

PASAI ladies with IDI - I’m second from left.

After the interview I was told that, whether I got accepted for the program or not, a decision would be emailed to me after two days, and that the Young Leaders selected for the SYL Program would be invited to attend the International Interaction in Chennai, India. I received an email the very next day stating that I was one of the 25 Young Leaders selected - and yes! I was invited to the Chennai Interaction which was held on March 19-29, 2018. I cannot explain how happy, blessed and grateful I was. Imagine a new employee like me (just about three months in office) would have an opportunity like this. I have nothing to say but God is an amazing God.

My Chennai experience was great, humbling and unforgettable. It’s not every day I would get to meet such intelligent and inspiring people as the other SAI Young Leaders from different countries - Europe, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, Latin America, Asia and Pacific. We understand and support each other, and there were great change strategies from the other young leaders that I could share with my office.

In Chennai, I learned a lot of things about being a leader. One was to be aware of myself not only through my strengths, but to also recognize and improve on my weaknesses and limitations. Aside from self-awareness, it is also important to be socially aware, so you know how to deal with conflict, how to influence others, how to collaborate and most especially how to empower others.

In Washington DC, October 15-26, 2018, we learned the characteristics of being a good leader, as well as different styles of negotiations, influencing others and communicating effectively, which I could use to improve the Communication Strategy of Pohnpei Office of the Public Auditor (POPA). SYL’s also had the opportunity to visit such international organizations like the United Nations Headquarters in New York and World Bank in Washington DC, to interact with international stakeholders on emerging issues.

In the second week, all the SAI Young Leaders presented the milestones of their change strategies and their journey as SYL. I was hoping and praying that I would be the first one to present since I already finished the presentation before I left Pohnpei. To my dismay I picked the last number and so, yes, I was the last one to present. But since day one, after I presented the milestone of our Communication Strategy and my journey as a SYL, everybody came to me and congratulated me for a wonderful presentation and they all said that they were inspired by my story. It is still surreal for me hearing those kind words - that I actually inspire people.

The group in Washington DC

The group in Washington DC

The workshop in Washington DC, gave me new ideas and knowledge that I could use to improve the programs required under our Communication Strategy. Although it was our last meeting for SYL batch 2017-2018 to meet in Washington DC, our journey continues. Every day is an opportunity to be better and to do better and we can make a difference every single day.

To be part of the positive change is not a race. It is a marathon, and you cannot hurry the result. You need perseverance to finish strong and finish it in the right way. Implementing the Communications Strategy that I presented is not easy. We face a lot of challenges and rejections, the biggest being our limited resources:

·         First, the brochures regarding our audit process and the promotion of our office are still being printed in black and white. We have one printer that could print in color, but it is very costly for us;

·        Second, we do not have office cars for our field work and office errands, so POPA’s employees are using their own cars for their fieldwork. Office cars would be very helpful in the implementation of our Communication Strategy, especially in attending community meetings in far-flung places in Pohnpei;

·        Third, we received a very low response from the stakeholders’ expectation form we distributed;

·        Finally, some of the activities that we planned for our communication strategy have not yet started such as the community meetings and translation of the executive summary into local language.

Despite all these challenges and rejections, we are still grateful because we learned from it. We now look at it in a different perspective, as an opportunity to improve our program. Lessons learned helped us to fulfill our plans.

I am very thankful to IDI for this program. It changed me a lot and now I can say that I am ready to be a leader. Change is not easy; change takes time and sometimes it’s painful. But if you really want something badly enough, you will make it happen to the best of your abilities and strength.

The Emotional Intelligence Maturity Inventory Report that we went through in Chennai was what really opened my eyes to change. I realized that being honest with yourself is being honest with other people, and that is part of integrity. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”. Now I am not afraid to be true to myself, and just because I am different from the majority doesn’t mean that I am weird. I am just unique.

I believe the greatest fulfilment in my career is to be able to produce other leaders through the skills and knowledge I share with them. With the help of this program, my skills were definitely improved and my abilities sharpened, and now I can fulfill this dream. I am committed to investing my time and intelligence in coaching and mentoring future leaders of Pohnpei State specifically for the Office of the Public Auditor. With this, I encourage SAI Young Leaders in the PASAI region to apply and join this amazing program and be the change today.

Cherry Lyn Somcio, Pohnpei State Public Auditor’s Office

 

You can read more about PASAI’s experience of the SAI Young Leaders program in our November newsletter, out soon.

Find out more about the program on IDI’s website.

PASAI's Director of Practice Development talks SPMR with RNZ's Tim Glasgow

SInaroseta Palamo-Iosefo, PASAI’s Director of Practice Development, took time out from co-facilitating the SPMR workshop in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 26 - 30 November 2018, to talk to Tim Glasgow of Radio New Zealand.

She discussed the objectives of the workshop in improving auditing processes in the Pacific, highlighting the importance of working with the SAIs to align their operational plans with their strategic plans.

Download Sina’s interview here

Read Tim’s article (with interview) here


Serving the public from army to auditing - Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General NSW

PASAI’s leaders arise from a host of backgrounds and experiences, bringing their rich blend of skills, knowledge and vision to their roles in Auditor-Generals’ offices across the region.

Ian Goodwin’s experience in the Army Reserve has served him well, from the IMF to his current role as Deputy Auditor-General of New South Wales.

Read the article about Ian in Acuity magazine.

https://tinyurl.com/y8sw7av7

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Inspiring PASAI's future auditors at University of Queensland, by A'eau Agnes Taimane Tuiai-Aruwafu

Inspiring Pasifika’s future talent, by

A’eau Agnes Taimane Tuiai-Aruwafu
PASAI’s Director Technical Support

When I graduated from University of Queensland’s (UQ) St Lucia campus in 1991 at the tender age of 20, I was still trying to get used to the culture and my new environment after migrating to Brisbane from Auckland NZ in 1988. In particular, I was probably the only Pacific Islander attending UQ in 1989 so I always felt isolated. 

But how times have changed. Fast track to 2018, and there is now a well-established South Pacific Islander Association (SPIA) at UQ (which was founded by my niece) with a very powerful mission statement:

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“To strengthen the presence of and empower Pacific Islanders on and off-campus at the University of Queensland and to create a network of old, new, existing and potential students in the university of Pacific Islander and non-Pacific Islander background; to recognise and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific; to be involved in the wider community.”

I was approached to be an industry speaker on 28th September 2018 at the UQ SPIA student summit called INSPIA. A Pasifika take on the word ‘inspire’, the theme of the day was “To inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” The aim was for Maori and Pacific Islander High School Students to attend this one day summit held at UQ St Lucia to hear from past and present students including myself, and be part of workshops throughout the day.

Among the speakers were present/past Pasifika graduates of UQ or QUT or Griffith University, who talked about the challenges of university life and shared their recent experiences of the transition from high school to university to the workplace. We heard from a Tongan student currently studying for a Bachelor of Film in the art of cinematography, a Samoan QUT graduate who studied a double degree attaining a Bachelors of Justice and Behavioural Science (Psychology) majoring in Criminology and Policing, a Papua New Guinean who just completed her Masters in Development Practice, (majoring in Community Development), and a Samoan in his final 4th year studying a Bachelor in urban and environmental planning at Griffith University.

Although I have just received my Master’s (International and Community Development), I wasn’t there as a new graduate like these other speakers. With over 18 years of industry experience in Australia for private and public sector organisations and almost 6 years in international development in the Pacific Islands, it was challenging trying to summarise what I do, where I’ve been and how I got there in 10 minutes.Nevertheless, I delivered a presentation including the PASAI journey video, which I hope inspired these upcoming young professionals and potential tertiary students to think about making a difference in the future.

 After further reflection on my past and journey to where I am, I came up with my five key takeaways:

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 I was asked a very interesting question by a participant, which I believe reflected a real struggle for many of the young Pacific Island generation of today: “How do you mix the two cultures – our Pacific Island and western culture?’

I’m not sure I answered her question fully, but in the end the answer, for me, lies with our faith in God. It was difficult for the students to fathom this because they are living in a society which is politically correct and sensitive about religious connotations. However, we have to remember where we come from, and many Pacific Islanders are taught from the day they are born about Christianity and God.

As I left the grounds of the Great Court at UQ (iconic infrastructure) with my family, husband and 6 month old twin girls, I reflected on how a couple of decades ago I was single and had no direction or career ambition. Now I’m happily married with two children and passionate about the work I do in the pacific with PASAI.

During my journey I’ve been able to understand and appreciate and be proud of my cultural background and integrate that into my westernised professional life. I have gained the best of both worlds: working in the Australian workforce (both private and public sectors) and remaining committed to my Samoan heritage, family, village and church community.

This unique upbringing has served me well in my profession, and I encourage all Pacific Islanders to embrace your cultures!

I really enjoyed being a part of this Summit because in the end it was just an extension of what I love to do in the Pacific region – to empower, encourage, motivate and capacity build the future auditors of the Pacific region to make a difference in the lives of our Pasifika people.


 

A’eau Agnes Taimane Tuiai-Aruwafu is PASAI’s Director Technical Support has over 20 years of industry experience in public sector auditing both in Australian State/Federal Government and internationally within the Pacific Region. Skilled in strategic management, international development, project management, capacity building and public financial management, she continues her passion to make a difference in the Pacific. She recently graduated with a Masters International and Community Development (Deakin) and completed a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Business in Accounting from UQ and QUT respectively. She is a Certified Practising Accounting from CPA Australia and was awarded a Jane M Klausman Woman in Business Award in 2013 from Zonta NZ. She is an active and devoted member of her Samoan community in Brisbane, Australia and her extended family in Samoa/NZ, and in 2016 she was bestowed the honour of the Samoan High Chief Title of A’eau to represent the Falealupo District, Savaii, Samoa.

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Peer-to-Peer Cooperation - PASAI shares SAI Palestine's Perspective

By Ms Lana Assi

Head / Public and international Relations Unit, State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau, SAI of Palestine

When I first started my work at the Supreme Audit Institution of Palestine, one challenge was how to start co-operating with international peers so that we could use our shared knowledge and experience to increase our productivity and the quality of our work. Today, the State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB) is in a good position to start good relations and have successful co-operations with international peers.

After having worked at the SAI of Palestine for ten years, it has become very clear to me that peer-to-peer cooperation is one of the strong pillars on which a SAI can depend. It offers a window to the outside world, a world full of experienced people working according to international standards to enhance integrity and transparency.

Working with colleagues from peer institutions helps to share knowledge, ideas and experience, besides building socially dynamic relations between employees in SAIs. Personally, I have developed my skills in organizing, planning and understanding the mechanisms of how to deal with international peers, how to prioritize the needs of the SAI, and to reflect these priorities in the projects plans. Co-operation with peers has helped me tailor our objectives, to think deeply about:

  • what is needed;

  • why it is needed; and

  • how to reach the goal in a long- or short-term co-operation.

Before starting any SAI peer-to-peer co-operation, it is important to decide internally what your objectives might be, and then try to tailor the co-operation to your needs so as to meet your objectives within an agreed time-frame. A decision of this kind needs a leadership that is quite aware of the dramatic changes that the office may go through; which encourages change; and which supports new procedures internally.

Looking at our experience, the first challenges were found in the language aspects of the co-operation, which required translation of all documents to facilitate the communication between our employees and the international experts. Working at a long distance provided a second challenge, depending on the location of our peers. Time presented a third challenge. To meet these challenges, a person in charge should know how to carefully manage the resources to implement all aspects of the co-operation.  It is important to ensure that the work done by the auditors reflects the goals of the cooperation, also bearing in mind the importance of not overlapping with multiple partners. Sharing activities between all partners is a way of being transparent and cooperative.

What has struck me as surprising throughout our peer-to-peer co-operations, is our ability to cope with changes and overcome challenges to reach better results and have fruitful, tangible outcomes.

I think co-operation with peers is a two-way learning process. It means sharing, discussing, giving feedback, and reflecting ideas. It is an operational experience that we, as internal staff in the SAI, and the external peer, all learn from. Hence, the peer-to-peer co-operation helps us in developing better services for our stakeholders.

Peer-to-peer co-operation has benefitted me via knowledge capture, knowledge management and knowledge sharing. These benefits will stay with me throughout my professional life.

 

Go to INTOSAI’s peer-to-peer cooperation page for more on this blog at https://www.intosaicbc.org/benefits-of-co-operating-with-peers/  and the consolidated notes from Theme 2 discussions at the CBC meeting in Kuwait: Consolidated notes theme 2.

How many hats can a Secretary-General wear? PASAI's new SG, John Ryan, explains.

Wearing many hats,

by John Ryan, PASAI’s Secretary-General

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangarangatanga maha o te motu, tēnā koutou.

Thank you for the warm welcome you have given me as your Secretary-General. It’s a privilege for me to hold this position – to don this particular hat - and I look forward to serving all the members of PASAI in this role.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get to PASAI’s Congress this year. This was a great disappointment for me but there are times when the many hats we wear include life outside work, and on occasions our family commitments must come first.

In fact, in our work we must remain focused on what we, our families, our friends and communities should reasonably expect, especially in terms of understanding how well the public sector is delivering for us.

I’m rapidly finding that wearing several hats simultaneously is an essential part of what we do. As well as any titles we may hold, we’re both auditors and citizens. We’re outside and inside the systems we work for. We hold institutions to account, and tell them how they can improve. As auditors, we naturally focus on the institutions’ last financial year, but influencing how the public financial management system works is also absolutely critical.

As members of PASAI, we have the unique perspective and independent voice to influence positive changes needed for the public sectors of our countries. We are able to contribute to the effective operation of organisations and to their accountability to our people – today and for the future.

The SAIs of our Pacific nations face relative isolation and constant constraints on our capability and capacity, yet we can always do more. Our countries are made up of many small communities with diverse economic, cultural, social and environmental needs. How well we monitor the organisations that deliver the essential services we rely on has enormous impact on the trust and confidence our people will have in how we are governed.

Given our unique role, we need to be recognised as champions for public sector performance and accountability for the 21st century. We need to keep our organisations relevant, strongly connected and active, and lead with integrity and independence. We have many challenges ahead in re-imagining our public accountability system for the significantly different world that’s emerging.

John Ryan signing Tokelau agreements

John Ryan signing Tokelau agreements

Wearing my hat as the Auditor-General of Tokelau (and of Niue), for example, I recently met with Government of Tokelau and key officials. Tokelau’s development strategy sets good governance as its first strategic priority. I was impressed by the commitment of Tokelau’s leaders to take the necessary steps to ensure accountability systems are strengthened as a foundation for future development.

For each of us in all of the corners of the Pacific our challenges present themselves in different ways - but our goals are the same. PASAI has a well-defined and outcomes-focused strategy to assist each of us to reach those goals. I look forward to working closely with you all to deliver on the key focus areas of the PASAI Strategic Plan.

                                                                                                                                         

John with Deputy Secretary-General, Sarah Markley, and PASAI Chief Exec, Tiofilusi Tiueti

John with Deputy Secretary-General, Sarah Markley, and PASAI Chief Exec, Tiofilusi Tiueti

Launching NZ OAG’s Procurement Programme

Launching NZ OAG’s Procurement Programme

Let the Games Begin: Yap SAI's very active participation in 9th Micro Games

More than just Games

Yap Games banner.jpg

“More than Just Games” was the theme of the 9th Micronesian Games held in Yap, Micronesia from July 16-27, 2018. Hundreds of volunteers, including Yap SAI staff members Bryan Dabugsiy (Senior Auditor), Jesse Foruw (Investigator), and Leelkan Southwick (Chief Investigator), dedicated time and effort to help ensure a successful experience for all during the Games – and the Office of the Yap State Public Auditor even won some medals.

About the Micronesian Games

The first Micronesian Games, held in Saipan in July 1969, brought together athletes representing only those Micronesian islands which constituted the U.S. administrated Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, including the Marianas, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Yap, Truk (now Chuuk), Ponape (now Pohnpei), and Kusaie (now Kosrae).

Today, participants of this event come from 10 Micronesian island nations and states, which include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap, which compete separately from one another).

The Micronesian Games thus combine events that may be found in other international competitions with events more specific to Micronesian countries. Athletes compete in the fields of athletics, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, coconut tree climbing, coconut-husking, fast-pitch softball, golf, slow-pitch softball, spearfishing, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, va'a canoe, volleyball and wrestling, as well as the "micro all around".

More Than Just Auditors

Bryan, Jesse, and Leelkan were involved in various roles, from being part of the organizing committee to representing and coaching particular sports during the Games. Bryan and Leelkan joined 10 other volunteers in Marketing and Communications—one of several subcommittees under the 2018 Micro Games Organizing Committee. Among other goals, the purpose of Marketing and Communications was to develop and execute a marketing plan and obtain sponsorships for the event.

Bryan and Jesse not only donated their time to helping where they could on committees, however. They were also actively involved as head coaches and represented Yap State in participating sports—weightlifting and baseball, respectively.

Bryan’s involvement in weightlifting started in 1997 as an athlete, and in 2012, he started coaching the Yap weightlifting team. At the 9th Micro Games, his team secured three silver medals for the State. He is very proud of this team and is now preparing and looking forward to the next Micronesian Games to be held in the Marshall Islands.

Jesse’s involvement with baseball comes not only from his passion for the sport, but also from enjoying working with and as a team. He participated as an athlete in the 2010 Micro Games held in Koror, Palau, and since then has continued working with the youth groups to identify and train future players. Their participation in the 2018 Micro Games is another stepping stone in developing Team Yap and getting ready for the Micronesian Baseball Classic event to be held next summer in Koror, Palau.

Jesse Furow (left) and Bryan Dabugsiy

Jesse Furow (left) and Bryan Dabugsiy

From a SAI perspective, the Games proved how important it is to be giving back to the community and citizenship we serve and are part of. Overall, the 9th Micro Games served as a unique experience for all the people of Yap State, bringing together helping hands from each member of the community, promoting a healthy lifestyle, supporting local culture through sports and consumption of local food, building camaraderie, aiming for sustainability, and keeping true to the theme of this year’s games—"More than Just Games”.

 

 

Audit reporting, done with style

Reporting on the reporting

By Tiofilusi Tiueti, Chief Executive, PASAI

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A few weeks ago, we had the very great pleasure of passing on outstanding news from the Audit Office of New South Wales, when they won several awards for their 2016/2017 Annual Report at the Australasian Reports Awards in Sydney, Australia.

After winning the overall ‘Report of the Year’ category last year, the team - headed up by Margaret Crawford, Auditor-General for New South Wales - were thrilled to repeat their success by grabbing a gong in three different categories, including awards for the best online annual report and best governance reporting, and the much-coveted gold award for reporting.

We were especially thrilled for this team because we know, first-hand, how difficult it is to lift  auditing reports beyond what is basically clear and correct to what could be considered to be engaging, informative and, perhaps most importantly, completely transparent.

In fact, even though our programmes and the support we’ve rolled out for our Strategic Priority 2 on Advocacy and Engagement underpin all this, excellence in report-writing is still one of those goals we all have in PASAI that seem very obvious to note down and commit to achieving, but not so easy to implement.

At this very moment, for instance, I’m in the process of gathering the source data and information for the 2017/18 Annual Report, and the challenges are many. How do we combine input from many different SAIs, initiatives and programmes, strategic priorities and even individuals, while making it consistent, relevant and readable? How do we present information that lights us up as auditors but may not be so interesting – or even understandable – to a member of the public? How do we show how much we’ve done and where and when we’ve done it, without drowning the reader in data?

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The answer is … like this. Just like the NSW Audit Office has done, by combining clarity and complex information into visual, digestible chunks. By being just as open and transparent about the things we haven’t achieved as we are about the highlights and success stories. By striving continually to improve our written (and verbal!) communication in every respect, remembering at all times who exactly we’re writing for, and to what purpose. 

So this isn’t just a shout out to NSWAO in their moment of glory. It’s also a thank you – for taking the lead on a priority that we’ve started upon but maybe not taken as far as we could. We’ll be aiming to tread a similar path in the future.

 

Tiofilusi Tiueti, Chief Executive, PASAI

 

 

 

 

Investigating the IntoSAINT Integrity Tool in Mexico City

Investigating tools to strengthen integrity in SAIs and the public sector in Mexico

By Sarah Markley, PASAI’s Deputy Secretary-General

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At the beginning of July, I had the privilege of representing PASAI and New Zealand’s Office of the Auditor-General at a meeting of the IntoSAINT (International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions Self-Assessment Integrity) working group in Mexico City. The SAI of Mexico is the chair of the IntoSAINT working group and they were supported to host the meeting by funding from the INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee.

It was a fabulous trip in all respects – especially in regards to hearing all the latest about the INTOSAI Self-assessment of Integrity tool, IntoSAINT.

IntoSAINT is a self-assessment tool that all SAIs and other public entities can use for analysing integrity risks and assessing the maturity of their integrity management systems. The self-assessment is conducted during a structured two-day workshop. Moderated by a trained facilitator, the workshop evaluates the perceptions and experiences of a cross-section of staff related to integrity systems of the organisation. At the end, the facilitator provides management recommendations for better supporting the integrity of the organisation in question. The organisation gets a great base on which to further develop and refine its integrity policy, while, at the same time, staff benefit by learning about integrity awareness.

The IntoSAINT tool fits with the SAI Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) assessment, referred to in SAI 4(i). If you use the IntoSAINT tool, your SAI PMF score will improve. It is also compatible with the INTOSAI Development Initiative ‘SAIs fighting corruption’ programme that is already underway in the PASAI region. In addition, the IntoSAINT tool provides a way to carry out the assessment of integrity that is now required, so that a SAI can assert that it is fully compliant with the ISSAI 30 Code of Ethics for SAIs.

Sarah offician Intosaint picture.jpg

The tool was originally developed by the Netherlands Court of Audit about eight years ago, to enable public sector entities to evaluate the integrity risks and the maturity of integrity systems and controls. It has been used in SAIs across the globe, in both developing and developed countries, and OLACAFs and the SAI of Mexico have also had a good level of uptake in public sector organisations.

The results will vary significantly depending on the maturity of the systems and controls already in place. One of the things I think is particularly effective about the tool is that it cuts through the “tick box” approach to assessing what integrity controls are in place, and enables an evaluation of whether the controls are operating effectively. For example, an organisation may have a code of conduct, conflict of interest policy, rotation policy or a gift declaration policy. However, does a cross-section of employees feel that these are applied equally to all staff? 

The working group spent time at the meeting considering how to further improve the tool, drawing on the experiences over recent years and bringing together materials that have developed into a revised set of programme resources. The goal of the working group is to see the tool formally endorsed at INCOSAI 2019.

In the PASAI region, integrity system maturity may vary widely, but there is a consistent drive to improve. The New Zealand Government strongly encourages the development of good governance systems in the Pacific, and it supported our participation in this meeting primarily with the goal of evaluating whether the tool could be a worthwhile addition to PASAI’s toolbox.

I was really impressed by the achievement in other regions as a result of using the IntoSAINT tool. I think it could be very valuable in the PASAI region and could also be useful to test the quality of New Zealand’s own already highly developed integrity systems.

Of course, rolling out anything in PASAI is dependent on funding – so gauging the interest of PASAI member organisations and then seeking funding partners will be critical to bringing PASAI into the IntoSAINT programme.

Sarah seat marker and flag.JPG

I will be presenting more information about IntoSAINT at the upcoming PASAI Governing Board and Congress in August and holding discussions with our twinning partners about their interest in the tool.

My thanks to MFAT and their funding that enables New Zealand to support PASAI and enabled me to participate in this meeting, and also to SAI Mexico for being such gracious hosts and enthusiastic champions for improving integrity in our SAIs and our public sector entities.

 

In addition to being PASAI's Deputy Secretary-General, Sarah Markley is a Sector Manager, Local Government, in the Office of the Auditor-General of New Zealand. 

 

Reimagining SAI Reform in Somalia - PASAI Guest Blog

Reimagining SAI Reform in Somalia  

Guest blog by H.E Mohamed M Ali, Auditor General FGS

Mr Mohammed Ali Somalia.png

Just a few weeks ago, David Goldsworthy, the principal consultant at Development Action and a fellow speaker at IFAC and PAFA’s Fragile States Conference, wrote an article asking readers to imagine walking into their office on the first day and finding no computers, limited equipment, and few qualified accountants. This was the very real scenario when I first assumed my post as the 8th Auditor General of the Federal Republic of Somalia in August 2017.

Prior to this, for over two decades, I lived and worked in the United States—mostly in Washington DC — in both in the private and public financial sectors, having only traveled to Somalia briefly in 2015 and 2016. So, when I received a phone call last summer to serve my country, I was both humbled and thrilled. My initial reaction was to put together a brief plan outlining how to assess critical conditions within the Office of Auditor General (“OAG”). This assessment would indicate how Somalia compared to the global community. 

You can imagine how I felt when I first entered the OAG, with my briefcase in hand, only to find standards below my expectations—the above-mentioned situation playing out. Less than 20 percent of the staff had the credentials and qualifications that were necessary to run the institution. There were not enough desks, and no computers or other accompanying technology.  

Starting from almost ground zero was not easy. I constantly received messages from development partners seeking to assist on various tasks, but each one was unaware of what the previous donor had to offer. While I appreciated the eager attitudes and assistance, the lack of coordination was evident and counterproductive to our objectives in the OAG. Accordingly, I responded to all of the interested donors, informing them that I needed at least one month to make my own assessments of the situation on the ground.

During that time period, I saw an institution that existed by name alone, stuck in the 1990s in terms of work product, human capacity, resources, and infrastructure, striving to fulfil a mandate outlined in an outdated Audit Law. I knew that a prosperous Somalia required a robust public financial management accountability system and that the OAG would play a pivotal role in this reform process. And with the support of the INTOSAI Development initiative we developed a new three-year strategic plan in order to begin this process. 

Subsequently, I invited all of the donor partners to a conference to present the strategic plan to harmonize resources into an efficient and effective manner. We recently commenced our first year of the strategic plan and are now undergoing our operational plan phase. My goal is to employ talented, local Somalis to build up our capable human resources through various capacity building projects. Additionally, we are working to bring in long-term international advisors from the financial and legal sectors to lay the framework and assist the Auditor General to rebuild an effective institution. We want to continue the efforts to modernize the OAG and establish standards equivalent to those of neighbouring countries. Most of all, we want to eventually transfer the knowledge necessary to maintain consistent progress. Over the next three years we will track our progress through annual reports to ensure accountability and maintain the trust of our Parliament, government, donor partners, and citizens of Somalia. 

Somalia is a unique example. The country is undergoing a transformation from a centralized form of government to a federal state system. As such, one must take into consideration the challenges facing the federal government to juggle between the complexities of developing a new political system and reforming federal institutions. While our model is not perfect, it is right for Somalia. In fact, our OAG model is now used as a case study for other fragile states as an example on how to approach development partners in a productive, coordinated, and collective way. 

I am realistic, but that does not mean I should not set attainable goals and continue to push for progress. Somalia will require reasonable change with the proper resources, donor support, and the political willingness to make sure this all works. As the leading accountants and auditors in the government, it is up to us to lead the way and seize opportunities to fulfil the promise that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.

 

H.E. Mohamed M. Ali was appointed Auditor General of Federal Government of Somalia on 3 August 2017. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the public and private sectors where he managed financial operations, audits, resource allocation, small and large contracts, and negotiated disputes. During his tenure in public service, Mr. Ali served in senior positions in the Government of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. He also worked in the private sector in telecommunications industry. Mr. Ali has also cofounded and served as Executive Director of Somalia Forward Group, a consulting and advisory organization that serves leading businesses, governments, non-government organizations, and not-for- profits that are dedicated to rebuilding Somalia. Mr. Ali attained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College, Graduate School of Management and Technology. He also holds a Bachelor of Science from George Mason University where he majored in Accounting.

A Day in the Life of a Pacific Island Auditor-General

Kia Orana,

 

Allen with the Cook Islands Audit Office team

It is indeed my pleasure to share with you my experience of “a day in the life of a Pacific Island Auditor General”. While some may envy my job, working in a small office on a small island surrounded by turquoise-blue lagoons, white beaches, and tropical green forests (or paradise, as some may call it), it may not always be as rosy as we would like to think.

The truth is, as a small Office we face our own difficulties, struggles, unique challenges and setbacks on a daily basis. I would say that there is no such thing as a typical day in the life of an Auditor General. Each sunrise presents us with different challenges, tricky situations, complex audit issues, and many learning opportunities.

I’m Allen Parker. I have been the Director of Audit, which is the head of the Cook Islands Audit Office (CIAO) based in Raratonga for the past 7 years, and I’ve spent over 20 years with the CIAO. The CIAO has three divisions: financial audit division, performance audit and special reviews/investigation division and corporate services. Our Office has 19 staff - 12 in the financial audit division, 4 in the performance audit and special reviews/investigation division and 2 in Corporate Services.

A normal day in my life as Director of Audit could entail meeting with my management team to discuss our strategic priorities, annual business plan, annual work program, divisional operational plans and office policies. Some of our discussions may focus on technical auditing issues or suggested improvements to our audit methodology, or it may be on staff welfare issues. I also spend my days meeting and working with divisional teams and individuals to deliberate on audit assignments, audit plans and to constantly remind them of my expectations of the work to be performed.

Reviewing audit files, audit opinions and audit reports - whether financial, performance or special investigation - is also part of normal day routine work. I devote a lot of my time to reviewing the audit opinions and audit reports we issue, to ensure we got it right and that our audit reports can stand up to scrutiny. After all, these are the end products on which the quality of our work is measured.

I do not attend all exit meetings with clients to discuss audit reports. I would normally attend these meetings only if there are controversial or sensitive audit matters to be discussed, disagreements with clients on audit findings or when we have completed a performance audit or special investigation or review report. Otherwise, this is managed by the Audit Advisor.

On some days, I could find myself sitting in front of a Cabinet Minister or Ministers, providing advice on financial transactions, accounting treatment, conflicts of interest, procurement and tender process or the likely consequences of the decisions they may take. These situations can sometimes be tricky and sensitive, so it’s important to remain calm, independent, professional and firm. I also devote time to working with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to identify significant matters arising from our reports, showing them the evidence to justify our conclusions and assisting them in articulating questions for PAC hearings.

In other cases, my day could involve giving evidence in Court if a public official is prosecuted as a result of one of our special investigation reports. These situations can also be tricky - especially when legal counsels representing the defendant manipulate questions or try to confuse you, so that you make errors in your response. It pays to prepare yourself thoroughly and have a good understanding of the audit report, the details of the audit and the audit evidence.

Like all other Heads of SAIs, I also have to deal with staff issues: recruitment of new staff, staff performances, salary increases and bonuses, and disciplinary measures to deter bad behavior or address poor performance. It is not the most comfortable situation to be in when discussing staff who are under-performing, demotions or terminations of staff. However, to protect the credibility of the office and to maintain the highest standards, I have to make difficult decisions and deal with these awkward situations.

And it doesn’t end there! As Director of Audit, I might also spend the day meeting with other stakeholders. This may include fronting up to the Budget Committee and justifying the office budget, meeting with development partners to discuss project proposals for the Office, or seeing representatives from regional and international organizations concerning either audits that we have completed, or potential audit topic areas that they would like the CIAO to undertake in the future.    

Last but not least, a day in the CIAO is never complete without knowledge-sharing. Besides the day-to-day discussion on audit issues, this role has provided me opportunities to share experience and learn from staff members, our clients and a variety of stakeholders. I have embarked on a learning journey for almost 22 years with the CIAO, 7 of them as the Director of Audit, with new depths of experience, knowledge and technical skills acquired on a daily basis.

So yes, my working day may start and end with a walk on a beach of white sand beneath tropical palms, but for a Pacific Island AG, it’s another day at the office (in this case with a capital O) – and it is my privilege to be there.

Kia manuia.

 

 

Allen Parker (centre) with PASAI AGs at INCOSAI 

Allen Parker (centre) with PASAI AGs at INCOSAI 

SAI PMF Lite Project, Phase II // Mr Stoney Taulung

Transcript for Mr Stoney Taulung, Public Auditor for Kosrae State of FSM

Hi, my name is Stoney Taulung. I am the Public Auditor for Kosrae State.

Before I say a few words, I’d like to say thanks to PASAI, IDI, DFAT and donor agencies for making this workshop possible.

When I received the invitation to participate in this event, I look at the importance of this workshop and respond immediately to PASAI indicating that our Office will be represented by myself and my audit manager, and with some difficulties with visa, my audit manager was not able to attend this meeting.

As I look at the importance of this SAI PMF activity, I see that it is a useful tool that will help us measure our performance. Compared this SAI PMF experience with the APIPA peer review, I think the PMF results will give us a lot than what we have in the peer review. Because in the peer review we only have a limited scope, while in this SAI PMF, we have a number of domains to look at as well as number of dimensions that we have to look at. At first, I thought this experience is too much, too complicated, but when I work and share with my fellow Public Auditors, with the support of the resource person, I have confident that we will successfully implement this task without difficulties.

For sure we will encounter some problems but we will again be dependent on the resource person. So, I already shared and discussed the benefit of this exercise when I go through my budget process informing the review committee that another thing that we will engage on is this exercise, the SAI PMF, an exercise which is very useful to convince our budget and leaders that we are moving forward.

So this is what I can say at this time and thank you very much for providing this opportunity.

Thank you.

SAI PMF Lite Project, Phase II // Mr Haser Hainrick

Transcript for Mr Haser Hainrick, Public Auditor FSM National Office of the Public Auditor

I’m Haser Hainrick Public Auditor for the FSM National SAI and I’m in the beautiful island of Guam to attend the Phase II of the SAI PMF.

First I want to just extend my appreciation to PASAI for taking this SAI PMF now to the Northern Pacific islands where many of the SAIs are also located. And this follows the implementation of Phase I in the South Pacific.

For us at the FSM National SAI, we really do look forward to SAI PMF because we have a strong belief in it; something that we really would like to implement in our operation as a measurement tool of our SAI performance.

It’s much more comprehensive than the peer review that we have been using here and the fact that it covers many other domains and areas within our operation. It’s very comprehensive coverage and we really do look forward to its implementation, to receive an independent assessment of our SAI’s operations and to look forward to the results. We want to use the results to identify our shortcomings and any areas that we may be doing well in, and also that we can establish baseline – this is another critical area that I attach a lot of value to, so that over the course of time, with the baseline establish now we can actually have a much more objective evaluation of how we have performed over time.

We need this in the FSM, we would like to just continue to improve in our operation and hopefully that we can be an example as a model to our country within FSM at the National down to State level.

So, for the past one week – today is our last day in this workshop, things have been going very well. I really appreciate the resource persons that we receive from few of the South Pacific SAIs. They have been very instrumental in helping us here based on the experience that they have gone through during Phase I.

Much appreciation to PASAI Secretariat – thank you so much for the support that you have given to us; as well as to Camilla from IDI, our resource person and main stakeholder in this SAI PMF project. Thank you so much and we really look forward to getting this roll out implemented until we come to the completion of this project.

So thank you, thank you.