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#We too: PASAI's August newsletter is an all-female edition

Welcome to PASAI’s special August newsletter – an all-female issue which celebrates 125 years of women’s right to vote in New Zealand, and gender balance initiatives world-wide.

As NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, declared at the UN, “It seems surprising that in this modern age we have to recommit ourselves to gender equality, but we do. And I for one will never celebrate the gains we have made for women domestically, while internationally other women and girls experience a lack of the most basic of opportunity and dignity. Me Too must become We Too.”

Absolutely. Which is why we’re thrilled to announce that every article in this edition of our newsletter is either contributed by or features women from our SAIs and beyond.

As they lead change and positive shifts around the region and across each of PASAI’s strategic priorities, they are empowering other girls and women to follow in their footsteps. Read about some of the PASAI women showing us the way, not just in the Pacific region, but around the globe.

PASAI’s All-Female August Newsletter



Strengthening PFM for Better Service Delivery: PFM Symposium in Tonga, 4-6 Sept 2018

 Joint Media Release

11 September 2018

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The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI), together with the Tonga Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MFNP) and Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC), held a Public Financial Management (PFM) Symposium in Tonga from 4 – 6 September 2018. Australia was pleased to provide financial support to PASAI for the event.

The theme of the Symposium was ‘Strengthening PFM for Better Service Delivery’. The event brought key stakeholders together to review progress against implementation of the Tonga PFM Roadmap 2014/15 – 2019/20.

Hosted by Tonga’s MFNP and co-facilitated by PASAI and PFTAC, the Symposium was attended by over 60 participants representing Government Ministries, Parliament, National Reserve Bank of Tonga, public enterprises, faith-based and civil society organisations, media entities, regional institutions, and development partners. Speakers shared valuable perspectives on Tonga PFM reform through presentations and/or panel discussions.

Lively discussions centred on how PFM can help Government to provide more efficient and effective service delivery in a transparent and accountable way, and these valuable inputs will be incorporated into an update of the Tonga PFM Roadmap. This process helped participants understand that the Roadmap is a living document that should be reviewed and updated regularly. These ‘lessons learned’ will be used across all other Pacific countries that have PFM Roadmaps in place.  

The MFNP will reactivate its PFM Steering Committee to propel the way forward for reform. The PFM Symposium has also highlighted the need to re-institute a regional PFM forum, with Pacific PFM institutions coming together more often to hold regular meetings and obtain updates on PFM issues.

HE Andrew Ford, the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, emphasised in his opening remarks the importance of PFM to achieve efficient and effective allocation of public services and build public trust in government. This was followed by the opening address of the keynote speaker, Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu, Acting Minister for Finance and National Planning, who stated: “We need to speak with one clear voice and everyone is responsible.” This became a recurring theme throughout the three days, underlining the need for all delegates to work together, collaborate, communicate and coordinate to achieve the outcomes of the Roadmap and improve the government service delivery to the people of Tonga.

Closing the Symposium, the Speaker of Tonga Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua, summed it up. “This is an ideal platform for stakeholders to share strategies involved in PFM reform initiatives. This symposium is a testament and commitment to move forward”.  The way forward will be the responsibility of all stakeholders and it is hoped implementation will result in positive outcomes for the citizens of Tonga.

PASAI would like to thank and acknowledge the ongoing support of Australia DFAT and NZ MFAT, and the great collaborative working relationship with Tonga’s Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Tonga’s Office of the Auditor-General, PFTAC, development partners and local PFM experts in delivering this Symposium.

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PASAI's 21st Congress & Signing of MOA, 28 - 30 August 2018 Queensland Australia

Media Release 4 September 2018

Embracing the Digital Future at PASAI's 21st Congress in Canungra, Australia

The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) held their 21st Congress at O’Reilly’s in Queensland, Australia from 28 – 20 August 20-18.

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Attending the Congress were over 60 participants representing 19 member SAIs, development partner organisations and international bodies supporting the work of PASAI in meeting its strategic plan, and PASAI’s Secretariat along with other observers. The Governing Board of PASAI held their 19th meeting on 27 August 2018 before Congress began, with chairmanship handing over from Tuvalu’s Auditor-General, Eli Lopati, to Grant Hehir, Auditor-General of Australia.

The central theme of the Congress was ‘Embracing the Digital Future’. The topic provoked lively discussions throughout the three-day event, most particularly about the importance of storing, accessing, sorting and presenting data in the most effective and efficient ways to achieve transparency and accountability in auditing. As stated by keynote speaker Senator Dean Smith, a Western Australia Senator and Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit: “efficiency is not the sole criteria. Scrutiny is the key.”

Attendees heard from SAIs and innovators from around the region on the many initiatives being undertaken to gather and analyse data in practical, useable ways, from the visual management of critical medical data in the Tuapai Project as presented by Dr Michael Nunan to the suite of tools being used by Queensland Audit Office to filter, analyse and present information in their audit reporting. The Pacific SAIs were represented by Samoa and Fiji, who both demonstrated that the progress, challenges and issues faced by small Pacific islands were the same as those faced by the more developed SAIs in Australia and NZ.

From the international SAI perspective, IDI’s Archana Shirsat presented the INTOSAI Professional Education for SAI Auditors (PESA), and spoke of the wider use of e-learning technology in global programs that can be utilised effectively within SAIs to avoid costly travel and lack of connection. Chuck Young of the INTOSAI Journal underlined this further, describing how ‘The communications field is rapidly changing, and the deluge of information demands that we present our work in a clear and concise way’ with an introduction of the Journal’s ‘Fast Facts’ initiative. 

Congress delegates discussed their own local challenges and triumphs. They agreed that, while they are all at different stages in this journey into embracing the digital future, the mutual sharing of data analysis experience will benefit all SAIs. By allowing them to ‘leapfrog’ older, slower pathways, this shared learning could enable them to identify effective strategies and contemporary data analysis tools so that SAIs remain relevant in this challenging age of digital transformation. In turn, this could strengthen accountability and transparency across the region. 

Oher main strategic issues that were discussed include progress of SAIs in conducting SAI PMF assessments and reports, status of Financial Statement of Government audits, and quality assurance program for SAIs. There was also an opportunity for members of ACAG and PASAI to hold their own meeting to discuss and collaborate on future twinning opportunities.

Hosted by the Australian National Audit Office, Congress and Governing Board participants enjoyed true ‘Aussie’ hospitality, including a traditional ‘barbie’, a lyrical and traditional welcome from Aboriginal leader Luther, and close contact with some Australian wildlife – including a tall Kangaroo, in the form of Australian NRL legend, Petero Civoniceva, who broke the record for the most international matches for Australia of any forward in history.

PASAI looks forwards to next year’s 22nd PASAI Congress to be hosted by Fiji SAI in Nadi Fiji. Meanwhile, the full communiqué from Congress 2018 can be viewed here.

 

PASAI AND ADB WORKING WITH SAIS OF NAURU AND PNG

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During the Congress, there was an opportunity for Heads of the SAIs of Nauru and PNG to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PASAI and ADB (Tuesday 28 August 2018).

One of PASAI’s Strategic Priorities is to work with Pacific SAIs to achieve high quality audits, particularly Financial Statements of Government (FSG). With the particular support of ADB, PASAI has been able to design a suite of programs and interventions for the two SAIs to achieve this.

The technical support includes a South-South cooperation initiative to Nauru SAI called “Financial Audit Secondments Technical Support” or “FASTS program”. Three secondees from PASAI Pacific members each spend a month in Nauru providing support, capacity building and mentoring to Nauru Staff to complete the FSG audit of 2015/2016. Further training in fundamental auditing and a SAI Performance Measurement Framework assessment will also be delivered by PASAI to Nauru SAI.  

Priority targets identified for PNG SAI include a revision of the audit methodology for the audits of FSGs. To reinforce sustainability and compliment this technical support, short-term Consultants will be engaged in both Nauru and PNG.

The Head of SAI of Nauru said, “This technical support to my office is much needed and very valuable, to help me train many staff I have recruited this year who are very new to auditing. I am confident the Whole of Government accounts of Nauru will be up to date with this technical support from PASAI, so we can focus on areas to improve Nauru’s government accountability and transparency.”

PASAI acknowledges the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their valued support with PASAI’s 21st Congress, the ongoing support of DFAT, MFAT and ADB over the years to assist with the implementation of PASAI’s strategic plan and ANAO for planning and organising an outstanding event for Congress 2018.

 Photo of signing ceremony of MOA between PASAI, ADB, Nauru SAI, PNG SAI:

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Tiofilusi Tiueti, PASAI Chief Executive; Manoharan Nair, Auditor General, Nauru Department of Audit; Flordeliza Assistin ADB Senior Operations and Institutional Coordination Officer, Pacific Department; Gordon Kega, Acting Auditor General, PNG

 

 

For more information, please contact Jill Marshall, PASAI’s Communications Advisor, on jill.marshall@pasai.org or go to www.pasai.org

 

 

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 Governing Board Chairmen, Eli Lopati, Tuvalu, with Rona Mellor and Grant Hehir, ANAO

Governing Board Chairmen, Eli Lopati, Tuvalu, with Rona Mellor and Grant Hehir, ANAO

 Senator Dean Smith

Senator Dean Smith

 Terence Su'a, SAI Samoa

Terence Su'a, SAI Samoa

 Karen Johnson, QOA

Karen Johnson, QOA

 Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo, PASAI Secretariat

Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo, PASAI Secretariat

A global focus on SAIs’ implementation of SDGs

A global focus on SAIs’ implementation of SDGs

PASAI's Tiofilusi Tiueti presenting UN/IDI SDGs conference July 2018

PASAI was honoured to present the region’s extensive experience in cooperative audits of preparedness for SDG implementation at last week’s IDI/UNDESA SAI Leadership and Stakeholder meeting on the Contributions of SAIs to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs (9-30 July 2018, UN Headquarters, New York). Around 150 participants attended from various INTOSAI Communities, UN agencies and other stakeholder organisations.

With a focus on how to strengthen SAI capacities for auditing SDGs, conference discussions included the challenges and opportunities for improving SAI capacity, strategic planning and performance to respond to governance changes related to SDG implementation.

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PASAI had the opportunity to share its experience on cooperative audits and the specific challenges that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face in the context of the 2030 agenda. Using examples across the member states involved and with particular reference to the Solomon Islands, PASAI Chief Executive Tiofilusi Tiueti shared the emerging findings and lessons learned from the audits of preparedness for SDG implementation in SIDS in the PASAI region, in what was agreed on social media to be a very useful insight into key factors for SIDS to consider.

In summing up, Mr. Tiueti stressed the importance of carrying out cooperative audits effectively, stating that ‘Individual SAI audit reports will identify gaps in national system preparedness and provide practical and achievable recommendations to their governments on how to improve their institutional arrangements to achieve the needed economic, social and environmental outcomes.’

You can see PASAI’s full presentation here.

 

 

 

 

 PASAI's Chief Executive, Tiofilusi Tiueti, presenting at UN/IDI conference on SDG implementation

PASAI's Chief Executive, Tiofilusi Tiueti, presenting at UN/IDI conference on SDG implementation

 UN/IDI on supporting SAIs to strengthen capacities for auditing SDGs

UN/IDI on supporting SAIs to strengthen capacities for auditing SDGs

 Tiofilusi Tiueti with PASAI's representatives from Fiji's SAI

Tiofilusi Tiueti with PASAI's representatives from Fiji's SAI

Award-winning reports from the Audit Office of New South Wales

Congratulations to the Audit Office of New South Wales who were recently recognised for excellence in annual reporting, winning in three categories for their 2016/17 annual report at the recent Australasian Reporting Awards in Sydney.

-        Gold award for reporting excellence

-        Award for best online annual report

-        Award for best governance reporting

Last year the Audit Office of New South Wales won the overall ‘Report of the Year’ category.

You can view the Audit Office of New South Wales 2016/17 Annual Report here.

 

 (From L-R) Trevor Tye and Renee O’Kane, members of the Communications team, Margaret Crawford, Auditor-General for New South Wales and Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General

(From L-R) Trevor Tye and Renee O’Kane, members of the Communications team, Margaret Crawford, Auditor-General for New South Wales and Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General

Congress is coming ... PASAI's Congress on 28 - 30 August, in Queensland, Australia

PASAI's 21st Congress is coming up soon, on 28 - 30 August 2018, hosted by the Australia National Audit Office (ANAO) at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, nestled in the world heritage listed Lamington National Park in Queensland, Australia.

The Congress is PASAI’s supreme authority and consists of all PASAI members and has been held annually since 2006, with a different theme underpinning the discussions at this meeting of all the member SAIs.

The theme of the 21st Congress is Embracing the Digital Future.

Advancing technology is changing the ways in which we communicate, as well as how we collect and analyse audit data. Congress discussions and workshops will share experiences, success stories and lessons learned about reliable and emerging technologies – and resources that support efficient, quality audit services and products.

Members already have their travel plans underway, and all are looking forward to a fruitful set of discussions at the three-day event. 

For more information, please email pasai2018@anao.gov.au or follow this link:

 

 

 

 Members at PASAI's 20th Congress in August 2017, Tuvalu

Members at PASAI's 20th Congress in August 2017, Tuvalu

Nauru Audit Office's performance is assessed against international standards

Nauru Audit Office’s performance assessed against international standards

Using the INTOSAI SAI Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF), the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) and the INTOSAI Development Initiatives (IDI) have continued their collaboration to measure the performance of the Nauru Audit Office (NAO) against INTOSAI Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs). The assessment team consisting of Ms Irina Sprenglewski, SAI PMF Advisor from IDI and Mrs Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo, PASAI’s Director of Practice Development conducted the assessment on 25 June to 5 July 2018.

The SAI Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF) is a performance measurement framework specifically developed to assess the performance of SAIs. It is a holistic and evidence-based framework for voluntary assessments of SAI performance against the ISSAIs, as well as other established international good practices for external public auditing. SAI PMF is a multi-purpose, universal framework, and can be applied in all types of SAIs, regardless of governance structure, mandate, national context and development level.

The SAI PMF examines both the internal processes of the SAI’s audit and non-audit functions in relation to its legal foundations and environment. This holistic overview provides the SAI with an objective basis to demonstrate ongoing relevance to citizens in line with the objectives in ISSAI 12 “Value and Benefits of SAIs – making a difference to the lives of citizens”.

While the NAO - also known as the supreme audit institution in the global community of public sector or government auditors - measures the performance of other government entities, it was also critical that the performance of NAO was measured at some point. The role of the SAI is critical in strengthening accountability and transparency in Government. Assessing the performance of public auditors helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses and areas where improvement is required, so that necessary actions are taken to strengthen the NAO’s capabilities to enable them to deliver value and benefits to Nauruan citizens, through the audits they are required by legislature to conduct.

The purpose of this specific assessment is to evaluate the performance of the NAO and to determine whether the NAO is achieving its goals. Furthermore, the assessment will document benefits of the work done by the NAO and constraints to providing services to audit clients, to help identify areas that need improvement. While the NAO has not officially adopted the ISSAIs, it has the objective to do so in the future and therefore wishes to benchmark its performance against the ISSAIs and other good practice.

  Nauru Auditor General, Manoharan Nair and Irina Sprenglewski of IDI

Nauru Auditor General, Manoharan Nair and Irina Sprenglewski of IDI

Mr Manoharan Nair, Auditor General of Nauru welcomed the assessment and is looking forward to using the results to help his Office identify areas of their operations that requires improving. Mr. Nair is confident that after the assessment report is in hand, his SAI could work towards overcoming its   flaws, if any, and would be in a position to work further to promote good governance by strengthening internal control and auditing standards.

He also expressed his gratitude to Asian Development Bank (ADB) for funding for the project, IDI for extending technical assistance and PASAI for advocating the gauging of the SAI. This assessment is supported by the ADB as part of the Technical Support programme delivered by PASAI for the Nauru Audit Office. IDI funded the technical support through Ms Sprenglewski’s participation as a member of the assessment team.

  Nauru Audit General and staff with SAI PMF assessment team and PASAI FASTS Programme Secondee, Ms Sisilia Feiloaki (2nd from left)

Nauru Audit General and staff with SAI PMF assessment team and PASAI FASTS Programme Secondee, Ms Sisilia Feiloaki (2nd from left)

Download the media release here

TOAG Performance Auditors push forward with ISSAI implementation

TOAG Performance Auditors catch up on ISSAI implementation

2 – 6 July 2018

In a week-long workshop facilitated by Maria Lúcia Lima, from SAI Brazil and INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), and Eroni Vatuloka of PASAI, the Tonga Office of the Auditor-General (TOAG) is currently moving onto the next phase of their implementation of international standards on performance audit, as part of a pilot involving only a few SAIs around the world.

The first phase of the implementation of the ISSAIs - mapping the current performance audit practice to determine the ISSAI implementation needs - was completed earlier in the year. Components relating to financial and compliance audits were then carried out in May 2018.

  The TOAG workshop participants with the Facilitators and the Tonga Auditor-General.

The TOAG workshop participants with the Facilitators and the Tonga Auditor-General.

This week’s workshop prepares the TOAG staff for the second phase of the ISSAI implementation which focuses on the adoption of the ISSAs compliant audit methodology and the conduct of the pilot audits. Once this is completed, the pilot audits will go through a quality assurance process (phase III), to ensure that the audit results have complied with the ISSAI.

‘This workshop will ensure that the TOAG obtains the full complement of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs), now that the methodologies of the three types of audit (compliance, financial and performance) can be adopted by the audit office,’ states the Auditor-General, Sefita Tangi. ‘The TOAG is very fortunate to have undertaken this project ensuring full compliance with ISSAIs and meeting the needs of the Legislative Assembly, especially the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts, the executive government and the public entities.’

It is hoped that these pilot audits will open up more performance audits of government programmes to report on economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the execution of government budgets.

PASAI acknowledges the kind contribution of the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and IDI in the programme.

 

 

 

OPNA releases FSM's 2017 Single Audit Reports



ONPA Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Single Audit Reports on all FSM Governments and Component Units


The Office of the National Public Auditor (ONPA) announces the release of the Fiscal Year 2017 Single Audit Reports. The Single Audits for the FSM Government was outsourced to Deloitte and Touche under the oversight of the ONPA. The audits are completed in compliance to the U.S. Single Audit Act as a requirement of the Compact of Free Association.

A total of 24 reports cover these entities and component units:


FSM National Government Kosrae State Government
Caroline Islands Air, Inc. Kosrae Housing Authority
College of Micronesia-FSM Kosrae Port Authority
FSM Development Bank Kosrae Utilities Authority
FSM Petroleum Corporation
FSM Social Security Administration Pohnpei State Government
FSM Telecommunications Corporation Pohnpei Port Authority
MiCare Plan, Inc. Pohnpei Utilities Corporation
National Fisheries Corporation Pohnpei State Housing Authority
Chuuk State Government Yap State Government
Chuuk State Public Utility Corporation The Diving Seagull, Inc.
Chuuk State Health Care Plan Yap State Public Services Corporation
Yap Visitors Bureau

Digital copies of the audits are now available online at www.fsmopa.fm. Printed copies are available upon request at the ONPA Office in Palikir, Pohnpei.
 

For more, contact:


Office of the National Public Auditor
P.O Box PS-05
Palikir Pohnpei, FM 96941
Phone: 691.320.2862/2863; Fax: 691.320.5482
Hotline: 691.3206768; Website: www.fsmopa.fm

MEDIA RELEASE - IDI/PASAI 6th Cooperative Performance Audit, Review Meeting, Fiji

The INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit
Institutions (PASAI) conducted an audit review meeting for the 6th Cooperative Performance
Audit (CPA) of Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Twenty-nine performance auditors from 13 Pacific Audit Offices attended this meeting from
11 to 15 June 2018 in Nadi, Fiji.

In the five day meeting, SAI teams presented their preliminary findings and shared their draft
audit report with the IDI, PASAI and peer teams participating in the programme. Performance
audit experts and mentors from the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), PASAI Secretariat
and the audit offices (SAIs) of Papua New Guinea and Samoa guided the teams on how to
make the audit report on the preparedness for SDGs implementation as per International
Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs).

The primary objective of this cooperative audit is to support audit offices (Supreme Audit
Institutions (SAIs)) in conducting ISSAI-based cooperative performance audits of
preparedness for implementation of SDGs in their national context. IDI and PASAI envisage
this audit as one of the SAI’s first responses in contributing to SDGs implementation by
providing independent oversight of the government’s efforts in implementing of SDGs
programs and activities. In a collaborative partnership between PASAI and the INTOSAI
Development Initiative (IDI), this programme coincides with and contributes to INTOSAI
Global Auditing SDGs programme by supporting SAIs in conducting high-quality audit of
SDGs.

Before this meeting, the attending SAI teams completed the eLearning course, developed
audit plans and participated in the audit planning meeting in Suva, Fiji in November 2017.
After the audit planning meeting, the SAI teams conducted the ISSAI based cooperative
performance audit and finalised respective draft audit reports. Constructive feedback was
provided to each SAI team from an allocated peer team and also from the programme
mentors for the purpose of improving the content and quality of the draft report and peer
learning.

A review team comprising of Mr. Shofiqul Islam, IDI Manager Capacity Development, and
Ms. Claire Kelly, PASAI Performance Audit Advisor, supported by one of PASAI sub-regional
representatives, Ms. Oceanbaby Penitito, Manager, Performance Audit division, Samoa
Audit Office facilitated the meeting.

PASAI acknowledges the support of IDI and also the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
 

For more information contact:
Tiofilusi Tiueti
Chief Executive, PASAI Secretariat
Email: tiofilusi.tiueti@pasai.org
Telephone: +64 9 304 1275
Website: www.pasai.org

A’eau Agnes Aruwafu
Director, Technical Support, PASAI Secretariat
Email: agnes.aruwafu@pasai.org
Telephone: +64 9 304 1275
Website: www.pasai.org

Md. Shofiqul Islam,
IDI Capacity Manager
Email: shofiqul.islam@idi.no

 

Attendees of the IDI/PASAI 6th Cooperative Performance Audit Programme Review, June 2018

PASAI's Claire Kelly facilitating at the 6th Cooperative Performance Audit Programme Review

Participants from the Samoa Audit Office in the IDI/PASAI Review Workshop

 PASAI participants at the IDI/PASAI 6th Cooperative Performance Audit Programme Review in Nadi, Fiji, June 2018

PASAI participants at the IDI/PASAI 6th Cooperative Performance Audit Programme Review in Nadi, Fiji, June 2018

'Greening' PASAI - ACAG/PASAI Regional Working Group on Environmental Auditing, May 2018

Working together to increase awareness, capability and knowledge-sharing in environmental auditing, the 10th meeting of the ACAG/PASAI Regional Working Group on Environmental Auditing (RWGEA) was hosted by the Queensland Audit Office in Brisbane, Australia, during May 2018. 

Read the findings of the meeting here ...

 Attendees of the RWGEA May 2018

Attendees of the RWGEA May 2018

Twinning Support to Office of the Auditor-General Solomon Islands Phase 3


Honiara, Solomon Islands

The New South Wales Audit Office (NSWAO) and the Office of the Auditor-General of Solomon Islands (OAGSI) conducted a phase 3 training under the twinning arrangement to support the OAGSI. The training was aimed at building and enhancing the capacity of staff on audit from planning an audit to execution and reporting. Part of the training was using on-live audits in TeamMate (auditing software).

Key Focused learnings were:
• Planning the audit effectively in TeamMate using relevant PASAI templates
• Setting materiality
• Identifying audit risk
• Responding to audit risk in the audit programs
• Efficient and effective reviewing of work papers in TeamMate.
• Strategies for effectively leading audit engagement
• Develop understanding of the risks of auditing valuations
• Oversight Contract Audit Agents

Fourteen Auditors of the OAGSI attended this training meeting from 16 to 27 April 2018.
The ten day training provided these auditors with the opportunity to share ideas and experiences, do team presentation on the topics learnt each day and receive guidance on ‘how to’ plan the audit effectively, identify key risks and different sampling methods. Two experts from the NSWAO) provided this guidance.

On the final day, auditors were allowed time for questioning and comments on areas covered during the ten days training. The auditors have gained new technical skills and enhanced the current auditing skills to carry out their work effectively.

The workshop was facilitated by two Audit Managers Ms Roopal Rachna and Mrs Farisha Ali. It was supported by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
OAGSI acknowledges the support of NSWAO and also the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

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A Success Factor for both International Capacity Development Programs and International Organization's Meetings

by Keisuke Kato
Deputy Director, Office of International Affairs
Board of Audit, Japan

When conducting international capacity development programs, we need to consider how to overcome differences in systems, languages and cultures between the participating countries. If I were in charge of such international programs, I would attach importance to the following principles:

When introducing a SAI’s audit methodology/case to the participants, it should be introduced objectively as an example. It should not be introduced as being better than any other SAI’s audit methodology/case. Also, we should not force the participating SAIs to adopt it.

Each country has its own distinctive system, which has been created through a unique process based on its unique historical background. We should respect each other’s systems and not see subjectively that the country A’s system is better than the country B’s system. For example, SAI Japan conducts a seminar where we simply introduce SAI Japan’s experience and methodology on public construction works audit, not intending to demand the participating SAIs to adopt our audit methodology. We fully understand that our audit methodology has been created under Japan’s unique environment, under which natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons etc. occur frequently, thus our public construction works system has been developed so that our infrastructure should withstand against such natural disasters. Our audit methodology would not work without Japan’s public construction works system. Thus, seminar participants would not understand our audit methodology/case correctly without understanding Japan’s unique environment. For these reasons, we explain Japan’s unique environment, our unique public construction works system and our unique history that have developed our audit methodology. Our seminar’s main purpose is to make the participants fully understand our public construction works audits. It depends entirely on the participants whether they would like to adopt our audit methodology or not. We do not force them to do so.

When conducting international seminars, our main focus is on how to provide a platform for the participants, where they all can understand other SAI’s experiences. In order to achieve this goal, we try to provide an environment in which all participants can join the discussion.

As SAI Japan is in charge of ASOSAI’s capacity development activities, I have had the opportunity to plan and organize knowledge sharing seminars for ASOSAI’s members. In this role I soon realized that the systems of ASOSAI’s members are very different from each other. For example, if the theme of a seminar is performance audit, the gap between each SAI’s experiences on performance audit is so big that it seems meaningless to discuss it with each other. Some SAIs may have experience from performance audit since over 20 years, while some SAIs have just introduced it, or other SAIs have not introduced it yet. Despite such huge differences, however, it is meaningful to discuss the same topic among the member SAIs. You will find out some SAIs may benefit from your SAI’s experience, while your SAI may also benefit from other SAIs’ experience in spite of huge differences.

To understand other SAIs’ situations, organizers need to create an environment where each participant can talk freely about his/her SAI’s system and audit situation, while other participants listen. In this regard, I would like to mention failures that I experienced in a seminar some years ago. In that seminar, since there were only about ten participants, I set a discussion session among all the participants in order to collect their thoughts and views and then finalize the seminar. At that instance, my colleague from another SAI who was invited to attend the seminar as instructor, gave me the following advice: “- The next time, you could divide the participants into small groups, ideally, each of which consists of only 3-4 people. It is better to discuss in the small group first, and then make all the participants gather in a discussion where the leader of each group presents his/her group’s comments/thoughts to all the participants.” Since then, I always make it a habit to introduce a small group work session, followed by a discussion by all the participants together. I have found that, if the discussion is done with many people from the start, only some people present their views while people who are shy or are non-native English speakers tend to be quiet, left without an opportunity to make their views heard. In recent seminars, I have been happy to find that participants who are shy or are non-native English speakers do present their views well in the small groups.

As I am also a non-native English speaker, I understand fully how difficult it can be to keep up with the discussion in international seminars where English is the official language. Therefore, when we are in charge of international programs, we make it a habit to provide sufficient preparatory time to the participants and give them the seminar’s documents well before the seminar starts. If we did not do that, the participants from non-English speaking countries would not be able to participate fully in the seminar because they would not be able to understand its contents, not being able to prepare before the seminar. If they were given the chance to read the documents well before the seminar, they would understand its contents.

Having experiences from attending both international capacity development programs and international organization’s meetings such as ASOSAI/INTOSAI Governing Board meetings, I have found that the key factor for the success of these events is the same. It is to create an environment where all members feel that they are provided equal opportunities, that they can express their views freely and that their opinions are treated as important input. This way the efforts made in both capacity development activities and international organization’s meetings would reach further and make a difference to many more SAIs.

 

PASAI Audit Institutions Develop Strategic Plans

The audit institutions in the Pacific region attended a workshop in Nuku’alofa, Tonga on 23 - 27 April 2018 to develop their strategic plans and related operational plans. The plans were based on the results of the evaluation of their offices through the INTOSAI performance measurement framework (SAI PMF). The workshop covered the whole strategic planning process which is part of the INTOSAI global programme on Strategy, Performance Measurement and Reporting (SPMR). The SPMR programme not only focuses on the strategic planning cycle but on the strategic management cycle, including performance measurement and reporting.
Twenty-six participants from 11 government audit offices (or SAIs) attended the workshop from Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia – National Office and the state audit offices of Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Guam, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu. All but two of the audit institutions were also represented by their Auditors-General or Public Auditors.
The workshop was facilitated by Freddy Yves Ndjemba, Dafina Dimitrova, and Shofiqul Islam from the INTOSAI Development Intiative (IDI), assisted by Sarah Markley from the New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General, and Tiofilusi Tiueti, Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo and Eroni Vatuloka from the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI).
Photo: The Strategic management workshop participants from SAIs of the pacific region with the facilitators.
The Pacific is one of the two INTOSAI regions piloting this global programme whose objective is to ensure audit institutions develop and maintain a strategic planning and management process, that enables them to achieve strategic outcomes and deliver value and benefits to the citizens.
Participants appreciated the importance of a strategically managed SAI in its mission to lead by example and add value to society, making a difference to the lives of citizens.
The participants will meet again in October 2018 to evaluate their draft strategic plans to ensure development outcomes are realistic and can be supported by their governments and development partners.
PASAI acknowledges the financial support by the IDI, Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to conduct this strategic management programme for SAIs in the Pacific region.
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For more information contact:
Mr. Tiofilusi

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Tonga Office of the Auditor-General gains momentum in the adoption of ISSAIs

 

The Tonga Office of the Auditor-General (TOAG) on Monday 30 April 2018 commenced a workshop on Stage II of the implementation of the international auditing standards called the ISSAIs (International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions). The week-long workshop is one of the activities of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)-funded project called “Support for the External Oversight Function of the Public Financial Management (PFM) System in Tonga”. The project provides support to the TOAG as well as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislative Assembly of the Kingdom of Tonga.  The objective of the workshop was to discuss the ISSAI based compliance and financial audits methodology, as well as prepare the TOAG audit teams for pilot audits.

The workshop was facilitated by Karma Tenzin and Shofiqul Islam of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo and Eroni Vatuloka of PASAI. TOAG, IDI and PASAI have signed an agreement to achieve the objectives of the stage II support and timely completion of the activities.

The Australian High Commissioner in Tonga, His Excellency Mr. Andrew Ford, in opening the workshop stated that he was happy to hear about the results of the first stage of the ISSAI implementation – which was mapping the current audit practices to ascertain the implementation needs. He added that this second stage, the adoption of the ISSAI compliant audit methodology and conducting pilot financial and compliance audits, is important in the adoption of the international standards.

The High Commissioner hopes that SAI Tonga (TOAG) will have progressed with the adoption of the methodologies for financial and compliance audits by the end of the workshop and looks forward to them using the ISSAI methodologies in the pilot audits. He reiterated the Australian government’s commitment to accountable and transparent Pacific island states, as government ministries and departments pursue their development outcomes.

The Auditor-General Mr. Sefita Tangi thanked the Australian government for their continued support to the TOAG.

PASAI acknowledges the financial support from both DFAT and the IDI to the implementation of ISSAIs in the TOAG.

 

 

 

  

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