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Samoa SAI responds positively to Media

Read an article by the Samoa Controller and Auditor General, in response and clarification to the Samoa Observer Editorial (media) on the status of Samoa's Public Accounts and Audit Reports.

It is important for the public to understand and be very clear on the Audit Office or Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) mandate and the work they do.  This is not always clear and one way to achieve this and clarify the work of SAIs is to engage positively and collaboratively with the Media, also a key stakeholder. 

This is a good example of how Heads of SAI or Auditor General's can respond to the media and advocate the work they do.

 

Refer to this full article via the link below

http://sobserver.ws/en/12_12_2017/local/27729/Controller-and-Auditor-General-Fuimaono-Taimalelagi-explains.htm

 

Invitation to all PASAI members to attend "International Meeting Performance Audit Critical Thinkers (IMPACT)" in 2018

The Auditor-General of New South Wales in Australia, Ms Margaret Crawford, and on behalf of the Australasian Council of Auditors-General (ACAG) is extending a warm invitation to all  PASAI members to attend IMPACT 2018, the International Meeting of Performance Audit Critical Thinkers, on March 19-20 2018, in Sydney Australia. 

IMPACT is the biannual conference of performance auditors.  The focus of IMPACT 2018 is on the future of performance audit and how performance auditors can respond to a changing government and public sector. 

IMPACT 2018 is expected to attract around 200 people: public and private sector performance auditors and also the public servants who interact with them.  

Further information about the conference, including registration instructions, is available at this link:  http://www.impactconference2018.com/.  I am available to answer questions, or contact the IMPACT 2018 organising committee directly at impact2018@audit.nsw.gov.au

This is a great opportunity for our PASAI members to gain further insight, capacity building and training relating to performance audits.   

 

 

IDI is hiring -Strategic Advisor (Strategy, Governance and Communications)

This is an exciting opportunity to work at a global policy level to enhance financial accountability and transparency in all developing countries, through strengthening Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).
 

The INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), based in Oslo, is recruiting a dynamic, free thinking individual as a strategic advisor to work with the IDI senior management team. IDI works with audit institutions in all developing countries, regional and global audit and accountability networks, and the international development community to strengthen the performance of SAIs, promote government accountability and transparency, fight corruption, and improve the lives of citizens. The successful candidate will support development of IDI’s new strategic plan, gathering of global evidence to formulate global policies, set up new global and regional partnerships, lead on the development and delivery of a new communications strategy, and ensure IDI leads by example in its corporate governance systems.

Deadline for application is the 9th of October

Questions regarding the position can be directed to Mr. Martin Aldcroft Email martin.aldcroft@idi.no

More information can be found per link below: 

https://www.webcruiter.no/WcMain/advertviewpublic.aspx?oppdragsnr=3569668907&company_id=1905176809&culture_id=EN

 

Auditor’s Report shakes the House

Pubiished on Matangi Tonga (http://matangitonga.to)

When confronted with revelations in the 2015-16 Annual Report of the Auditor General of unpaid debts, unrecorded assets, improper record of revenues and even separate bank accounts of government ministries, the Tongan Parliament was thrown into turmoil when it resumed its 2017-18 session on 1 August. 

The Auditor General's report was among four other annual reports of government ministries that were tabled into parliament on 1 August.

According to experienced members of parliament this Auditor’s report was the most transparent and revealing report that had ever been presented to parliament.

The former Minister of Finance, ‘Aisake Eke and the Tongatapu No. 5 People’s Representative praised the Auditor General for his report, which pointed out the wrong doings in 13 government ministries, including the Ministries of Justice, Police, Prisons, Education, Health, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Public Enterprises, Labour and Commerce, Marine and Ports. The main problem, he said, was that they did not follow the due process that had been set out by the Ministry of Finance. This led to government ministries having:

  • accumulated unpaid debts;
  • no records of their assets;
  • no records of revenue collected;
  • advance payment of salaries of board directors;
  • over-payment of per diems;
  • delay in the depositing of revenue in the bank;
  • not keeping birth and death certificates in order.

He said that most unusual also was the fact that the Ministry of Justice has its own Bank Account.

The former Minister of Finance reminded the House that legally, government ministries cannot establish an account without the approval of the Minister of Finance.

With regards to Public Enterprises he queried why the Tonga Development Bank and Tonga Power have independent auditors, and are not audited by the Auditor General, and why the salaries of the directors of the Water Board are paid in advance.

He suggested for the annual reports of Government Enterprises to be submitted to the House as had been the practice in the past.

PM's response

A shocking surprise, was how Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva described the report which showed the very poor service that is offered by his government ministries, and how they are mismanaging government properties and finance.

He called on Cabinet Ministers to return to their ministries and call a meeting with their CEOs to address the problems that were pointed out in the report.

Lord Nuku pointed out to the PM that wrongdoing had been committed and a drastic measure should be taken.

The PM however insisted that what he was proposing was for the Ministers and their CEOs to put an end to all these wrong and illegal activities.

Lord Nuku repeated his point that wrongdoings had taken place, and the PM wanted his ministers to go back and put them right.

Lord Tu’ilakepa suggested that since the Auditor General had come under the Speaker and the Legislative Assembly, they should proceed and take legal action against the wrongdoings within government. He reminded the House that in the past, a Cabinet Minister lost his ministerial because he deposited government money into his own personal account.

Lord Tu’ilakepa also queried why the report did not report the case concerning a former Cabinet Minister who was penalised by the Prime Minister for wrongdoing, and was supposed to work without pay for five months. He wondered if the Prime Minister had actually punished the Cabinet Minister as he told the House.

The PM corrected the member that the Minister that he was referring to did not work without pay. He said that the suggestion was only a motion, but it was rejected by the House.

“That is an out-right lie,” Lord Tu’ilakepa said, and reminded the house that the PM said he would punish the minister, and he would work without pay.

The Prime Minister insisted that the motion for him to punish the Cabinet Minister was rejected by the House.

Lord Tu’ilakepa insisted that the motion was passed by the House and it was broadcasted on the radio.

The Minister of Police, Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu reminded the Chairman that they were debating over the 2015-16 Annual Report of the Auditor General, and there were a lot of issues for them to get into, but instead they were dealing with an issue that was not in the report.

Lord Tu’ilakepa reminded the Minister that the case he was referring to took place in 2015.

The House on the following day 2 August voted 17-0 for the Annual Report of the Auditor General to be forwarded to the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts of the House to work on then report back to Parliament.

Wild accusations

However, before the House voted on the Annual Report, there were a few wild exchanges between Lord Tu’ilakepa and, Light of Day Taka and the PM.  

It started off because the PM expressed his concern over the misuse of government vehicles.

Lord Tu’ilakepa said that he had spotted the vehicle of the Chairman of the Whole House Committee, Light of Day Taka, at night at a kava club in their area.

Light of Day said he was there on a church mission to see who was drinking kava.

The PM, however, shifted the topic to remind the House of a cocaine smuggling case with rumours that Lord Tu’ilakepa knew something about. The case was terminated.

Lord Tu’ilakepa responded to the PM, by telling him that he should resign - health wise he is not well and he should go home. “It is not right for you to continue as a Prime Minister!”

Author: Pesi Fonua

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Tonga Government needs to address audit issues on MDA’s 2015/2016 report

THE Public Accounts Standing Committee (PAC) is considering the common audit issues arose during the audit conducted on Government Ministries, Departments and Agency (MDA) in the financial year 2015/2016.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

After 6 years, Marshall Islands govt files an audit on time

For the first time in six years, the Marshall Islands government has completed its annual financial audit on time, confirming improvements in the financial accountability system at the Ministry of Finance.

For the full article, CLICK HERE
By Giff Johnson, RNZ Pacific correspondent in Majuro.

OFFICE OF THE FSM PUBLIC AUDITOR - Annual Financial Audit on the Caroline Islands Air, Inc. for Fiscal Year 2016

The Office of the National Public Auditor (ONPA) announces the release of the financial audit on the Caroline Islands Air, Inc. (CIA) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. This is a part of the Single Audits for the FSM Government, which is outsourced to Deloitte & Touche under the oversight of the ONPA. A digital copy of the audit is available for public review online at www.fsmopa.fm and printed copies are available at the ONPA in Palikir, Pohnpei.

Background

CIA, a component unit of the FSM National Government, was established by Public Law 10-72 in December 1997, for the purposes of (1) providing air transportation services throughout the FSM, (2) contract with domestic and foreign persons and corporations for the provisions of aircraft and services, (3) operate domestic air transportation, (4) train citizens in professions related to aeronautics, (5) act as a "freely associated state air carrier" within the meaning of the Federal Program and Services Agreement concluded pursuant to the Compact of Free Association, (6) engage in support activities, included but not limited to, freight terminal and delivery activities and passenger services, and (7) enter into joint ventures with other entities in order to effectuate its operations.

It is governed by a six-member Board of Directors. Each of the four state governors recommends a representative. All Board members are appointed by the President with the consent of the Congress. The CEO serves as an ex-officio on the Board.

Financial Results

Based on the audit, the total operating revenues for CIA totalled $674,069. This is an increase of approximately $241,315 compared to prior year. This increase is due primarily to the increases in charter services and passenger airfare.

The total operating revenues comprised of $354,368 (52.6%) from charter services, $250,179 (37.1%) from passenger airfares, $49,668 (7.4%) from baggage fees, $17,844 (2.6%) from freights, and $2,010 (0.3%) from other services such as service fees and drums.

CIA's total operating costs for FY16 totalled $527,139. Of this amount, $331,288 (63%) came from maintenance and operations, $133,565 (25%) from salaries and housing, $27,537 (5%) from insurance, $14,911 (3%) from taxes, and $19,838 (4%) from other costs such as rent and depreciation.

Gross profit for CIA after deducting the operating costs from operating revenues amounted to $146,930, compared to $102,307 in prior year.


The following table summarizes the financial condition and operations for CIA for FY2016, FY2015 and FY2014:

Audit Findings and Opinion

Findings: There were no unresolved audit findings from the prior year audits for CIA.

Opinion: CIA, Inc. received an UNMODIFIED opinion on its 2016 audit. An unmodified opinion means that the entity's financial statements were fairly presented, in all material respects, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the US.

Deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting were identified during the course of the audit, which included the following:

1.     Written employment contracts were not utilized for several employees.

2.     There were numerous audit adjustments which impacted a significant number of accounts. Many of the adjustments related to the lack of year-end closing entries.

3.     Board meetings have not been held since October 2015 because the members' terms have expired. Board members are still involved with CIA's operation since the new members have not been appointed.

Management:

Alex Tretnoff, CEO/Pilot/Chief Mechanic and Mary Tretnoff, CFO

The 2016 financial audit for CIA was conducted by Deloitte & Touche under a contract awarded by the Office of the National Public Auditor. The deadline for this audit is June 30, 2017. The full copy of the audit report can be accessed on our office website at http://www.fsmopa.fm/.

The INTOSAI Journal Special INCOSAI Edition


The special INCOSAI edition of the International Journal of Government Auditing is now available online at www.intosaijournal.org.

You can also download the Journal here!

This issue is dedicated to INCOSAI XXII in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and we ask you to follow us on INTOSAI’s journey to success!

Inside you will find features on the INTOSAI Strategic Plan 2017-2022, as well as Achieving Global Sustainability and Professionalization.

Additional highlights include articles on how working together can help cultivate success, such as the multi-lateral exchange of knowledge and ideas that led to the endorsement and approval of the Working Group on Big Data.

Throughout this edition of the Journal, you will find tons of photos along with inspirational quotes and video interviews on what success for INTOSAI looks like to some of our delegates.

In addition to the Journal’s website, you can find audit community news and images through our Facebook postings www.facebook.com/intosaijournal, Twitter feed www.twitter.com/@INTOSAIJournal and Instagram photos www.instagram.com/intosaijournal.

Haiying Jiang, Director-General of International Cooperation of the National Audit Office of China: Learn and Progress with Friends

Haiying Jiang, Director-General of International Cooperation of the National Audit Office of China

Haiying Jiang, Director-General of International Cooperation of the National Audit Office of China

China’s first Auditor-General, Mr Yu Mingtao, is turning 100 years old in 2017. He was appointed Auditor-General in 1983 when the National Audit Office of China was established. In a recently published book, he recalled the early days when he, as the new Auditor General heading a new SAI, found the biggest challenge being that “there was no professional capacity to rely on, no working experience to borrow from and no ready laws or regulations to follow, not even theoretical books about auditing was to be found.” Starting from scratch, the National Audit Office of China on the one hand, actively explored ways of audit based on Chinese reality; and on the other hand, intensified international exchanges with foreign SAIs to introduce useful experiences to China. Mr Yu said: -“Experiences of various countries are valuable for us to learn”.

As a matter of fact, even before the SAI was established, China started to learn from SAIs in other countries. In September 1981, Mr Servando Fernandez-Victorio y Camps, then President of Tribunal de Cuentas del Reino of Spain, visited China. As the first head of a SAI visiting China, he talked to a Chinese audience on government auditing, a session the audience described as enlightening. The National Audit Office of China was formally established in September 1983 and joined INTOSAI in the same year, then ASOSAI in the following year. After joining these international organizations, exchanges with foreign SAIs were widely conducted on the platform of international auditing organizations and on a bilateral level. Through these exchanges, Chinese auditors broadened their views, learned and benefited greatly from good practices of other SAIs. Many SAIs provided support and assistance in capacity building to SAI China in this period, such as the SAIs of Spain, Canada, Germany, Australia, Sweden, France, UK, the Netherlands, India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, to name just some of them. Chinese auditors were sent to study audit practices in foreign SAIs and audit experts from these SAIs were invited to China to train Chinese auditors.

The former Auditor-General of Australia Mr Ian McPhee, once visited China in the 1980s, as a trainer for an audit training programme. When he visited China again in 2011 as Auditor-General of Australia, he brought with him photos of the training programme participants, taken in China. Some of the participants, still working with CNAO, could confirm what an important learning experience this programme had been for them and how they had used the techniques they learned, in their audit projects and therewith achieved better results. With this valuable support and help, the National Audit Office of China made fast progress in government auditing. And the learning helped greatly, not only the National Audit Office of China, but also Chinese local audit institutions. Mr Liu Jiayi, Auditor-General of China, believes that audit theory and practice in China is open and inclusive, and has achieved development by drawing on the experiences and practices of auditing of other countries.

In the National Audit Office of China, we never forgot the assistance we received from other SAIs. At seminars on audit practices, in seminar papers, in books about auditing, authors and auditors, and even past Auditor-General like Mr Yu, mention from time to time, how much we benefited by learning from other SAIs. Successful technical assistance projects with SAIs of Spain and Germany were told by older generation of auditors to the younger generation auditors at their induction training programme in the Office. The National Audit Office of China knows well the value of helping each other and the importance of being open and sharing ideas with others in developing audit practices.

As an ancient Chinese poem says: “We get what we need from others, we should also give what we have to others in need”.

We are very happy to share our good practices with other SAIs. Now the National Audit Office of China maintains friendly exchanges with many SAIs worldwide. CNAO has helped train auditors at the request of some SAIs, including seminars, workshops and training programmes. Initiated by the Auditor-General, the National Audit Office of China also cooperated with the Nanjing Audit University to operate a Master Programme for international auditors to study in China under a Chinese Government scholarship. There has been increasing attention on Chinese audit practices such as IT auditing, accountability auditing, real time auditing, public works auditing and environmental auditing et al. Delivering presentations at seminars or attending discussions with auditors from other SAIs, Chinese auditors have learned a lot from other auditors. As the Head of International Relations, I am often told by my colleagues how they have enjoyed attending and lecturing international training programmes, because interactions with the participants is also a good learning experience for the trainers. The truth is that learning is never one way, the more you share with others, the more you learn.

Over 2000 years ago, a Chinese scholar once said: -“Learning alone without any friends, one is cut off from the world and knows little”.

George Bernard Shaw said something similar “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you exchange ideas, then each of us will have two ideas”. This is exactly how we should learn, learn by sharing with friends and peers, learn by exchanging ideas. The audit community knows this better than many others, for what INTOSAI promotes exactly, is - “Mutual Experience benefits all”. 

Achieving Impact and Reinforcing Accountability – Sierra Leone's Perspective

Achievements At A Glance

  • Successful capacity development in a post-conflict environment
  • Improved transparency through unprecedented publication of audit reports, and PAC hearing broadcasts
  • Improved accountability for use of public funds through 21% increase in audit coverage
  • Real-time audit of Ebola funds strengthened accountability and financial management
  • National Integrity Award for stance against corruption
  • Demonstrating SAI improvements, through repeat performance assessments

The Challenge

The Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) became an operational independent organization in 2004. In a country context marked by a post-conflict legacy, high youth unemployment, poverty, corruption, weak governance structures and fragile legal environment following the end of the civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone is considered to be among the 10 poorest countries in the world according to the 2015 United Nations Human Development Index.

ASSL faced internal challenges early on. The lack of a strategic plan and audit manuals; low audit coverage; limited human and financial resources, as well as little to no information technology facilities and infrastructure were just some of the obstacles they encountered.

Externally, audited public institutions were without basic systems and documentation, which hampered ASSL´s ability to perform audits.

Parliament was not reviewing audit reports. In fact, audit reports were not published nor were audit recommendations considered. The SAI’s role within the Public Financial Management (PFM) system was weak, particularly given the lack of tools designed to provide oversight regarding the effective utilization of public monies.

The Response

Once fully operational, ASSL immediately embarked on comprehensive capacity development programs led by the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID). The goal: strengthen ASSL’s institutional and professional capacity and fulfill its mandate within demanding national limitations.

As of 2016, ASSL’s picture has drastically improved in part as a result of the following activities which are aligned with the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation principles:

  • Strong SAI Leadership. This has distinguished the organization with country stakeholders, as well as development partners, leading to high levels of SAI ownership when planning capacity development.
  • Long term and scaled-up support. DFID has backed ASSL through organizational, institutional and professional capacity development technical assistance. DFID’s leading role has evolved over the years into a facilitative one, where it now supports ASSL-led initiatives in developing guidance and capacity in financial, compliance and performance audits. ASSL has also benefited from support provided by other development partners, including the African Development Bank; the European Commission; and the World Bank, all of which have harmonized efforts in accordance to ASSL’s strategic plans and core programs.
  • SAI participation at the international arena. ASSL has been capitalizing on INTOSAI global public goods and regional capacity development programs by AFROSAI-E region and IDI.
  • ASSL underwent two assessments under the SAI Performance Measurement Framework (PMF), one in 2012 and one more recently in 2016, producing evidence-based measurements over a period of time that continue to identify areas for improvement.
  • ASSL will also receive support from the SAI Capacity Development Fund (CDF) financed by SECO (Switzerland) and administrated by the World Bank, towards strengthening professional capacity.
  • Public Financial Management (PFM) Reforms. PFM reforms have promoted timely and regularly published reports by the Auditor General. The “2014- 2017 PFM Strategy of Sierra Leone” incorporates ASSL observations.

The Results

Comparing ASSL´s performance in 2002 to 2016 shows tremendous improvements attributed to various capacity development activities.

  • ASSL has implemented sound strategies and policies addressing core audit processes and organizational structures including strategic planning, professional training and stakeholder management, leading to the delivery of significant results despite limited human and financial resources.
  • Repeated PEFA assessments indicate the scope, nature and follow-up of external audit has consistently improved since 2007, including a 21% expansion in audit coverage; enhanced quality of financial and compliance audit work; and the establishment of performance audit as an audit area.
  • Strengthened ASSL-Public Accounts Committee (PAC) relationships have led to improved parliamentary scrutiny of audit reports; public access to ASSL´s reports; and publicly broadcast PAC hearings.
  • Budget support development partners extensively use ASSL’s outputs to monitor fiduciary risk and incorporate into dialogue with Sierra Leone’s government.
  • ASSL’s impact includes the office’s prompt audit on the 2015 Management of Ebola Resources. The report on mismanagement and corruption in the use of Ebola aid funds allowed for strong debates among stakeholders and resulted in increased pressure for accountability.
  • In 2015, the Auditor General was awarded with the National Integrity Award by the Anti-Corruption Commission for her distinguished service in the protection of the national resources and strong stance against corruption.

ASSL must remain steadfast in its efforts to combat obstacles and achieve a positive impact on accountability, good governance, and transparency. ASSL continues to develop. According to the 2014 PEFA assessment, ASSL needs to remain focused on increasing audit scope, further cultivating specialized audit areas and ensuring that its reports are being acted upon. PAC follow-up on recommendations is still a challenge.

We have embraced the sustained support given by our development partners and harmonization development programs with our strategic plans. We hope the intense development assistance to ASSL can continue until we reach a level of matureness where we can make an impact based on our own sustainable capabilities.–Mrs. Lara Taylor-Pearce, Sierra Leone Auditor General

 

The story in other languages:


The Intosai-donor Cooperation

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation is a strategic partnership between donors and the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) community.

Purpose: to improve SAI performance in developing countries through scaled-up and more effective support.

Guiding Principles: development of country-led strategic plans; donors respecting SAI country leadership; and improved coordination of support.

Members: To date, 23 donor organizations and INTOSAI

(who comprise the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

For more information, visit us online at www.idi.no/en/intosai-donor-cooperation.

SAI Bhutan Responding to Emerging Challenges

Achievements At A Glance

  • Enhanced SAI credibility and audit quality through applying international standards
  • Audit report on public debt management debated in Parliament:
    • Public debt policy and debt-thresholds established
    • New Finance Department to ensure public debt levels remain sustainable
  • Leading by example in accountability, through publishing assessment of its own performance
  • New strategic plan to further enhance public confidence in the SAI

The Challenge

For roughly 45 years, Bhutan has been on the United Nation’s list of least developed countries that face severe long-term structural impediments to growth. The country was established as a democratic constitutional monarchy in 2008. While the country has experienced some advancement, challenges remain namely from risks associated with:

  • High external public debt
  • Projected large hydropower-related revenues

The Royal Audit Authority of Bhutan (RAA) was established as an autonomous public audit body in 1985. With a broad mandate and strong legal framework for enforcing audit recommendations, the RAA is also backed by the nation’s constitution that stresses the entity’s importance in conducting performance audits.

Yet, despite these significant advantages, recent performance assessments show that the RAA still experiences difficulty in conducting audits that meet quality standards expected from the international audit community and making a difference to the lives of citizens.

The Response

The RAA has initiated several development programs in an effort to address the challenges. Upon adopting the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) framework in 2010 when it was approved at INCOSAI, the RAA has received support through several mechanisms developed by the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation:

  • Global Stocktaking. The 2010 Global Stocktaking of needs and support provided to the SAI Community resulted in the World Bank’s funding of the 3i Program, where RAA completed Phase 1 in December 2014. The program, implemented by the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) aims to support SAIs in ISSAI implementation. As part of the 3i Program, the RAA carried out ISSAI Compliance Assessments (iCATs) to identify gaps, as well as raise awareness of ISSAI requirements.
  • Global Call for Proposals. Following the Global Call for Proposals in 2011, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) backed the RAA’s project proposal designed to enhance professionalism in the delivery of audit services. As part of this project, to be operational from 2012-2017, several audit manuals and policies have been developed, among them a policy document on auditing from a gender perspective.
  • SAI PMF Assessment. The Office of the Auditor General of Norway and the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat conducted a peer review in 2014 using the pilot SAI Performance Measurement Framework (PMF). Afterwards the final report was published.
  • SAI Capacity Development Fund (SAI CDF). The RAA has support from the SAI CDF, financed by SECO (Switzerland) and administered by the World Bank to further enhance ISSAI implementation, focusing on improving audit quality in all audit streams.

The Results

In 2013, the RAA, with support from ADA, conducted three pilot audits following the new ISSAI framework. According to the SAI PMF assessment, the pilot audits scored significantly higher than other reviewed audits, providing evidence of the program’s success and RAA’s performance improvement. The SAI PMF assessment also provided input toward the RAA’s new strategic plan for 2015 - 2020, which was finalized and published in 2016

The impacts associated with professionalizing audits has extended beyond the SAI, particularly in the realm of public debt, which is a key national challenge. The RAA participated in the IDI public debt auditing program funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The RAA’s audit report on public debt management, completed in 2014, was debated extensively in the Parliament of Bhutan and received positive feedback by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

External support has been instrumental in enhancing the institutional capacity of our audit office.–Dasho Tshering Kezang, Auditor General of Bhutan

Based on the audit recommendations, the MOF developed a Public Debt Policy that was put into effect August 18, 2016, and provides both a single overall threshold, as well as sector-specific thresholds for external debt. This new policy specifies total external debt should not exceed 25% of total goods and services exports.

Shortly after the policy’s implementation, the MOF established a new department of Macroeconomic Affairs, whose mission is to "maintain a sustainable level of public debt".

Bhutan’s Auditor General has emphasized the importance of internal ownership to development projects. As a result, the activities are primarily carried out by internal staff, ensuring RAA project ownership and product usefulness. External support has also been aligned behind RAAs strategic plan.

All of these factors have contributed to the positive results in Bhutan.

Implementation of ISSAIs is a long term endeavor, and the RAA recognizes more work is needed to ensure audits are performed coherently across the organization and to make the changes sustainable. The RAA has, therefore, included ISSAI-implementation as one of the goals in its Strategic Plan for 2015-20.

The story in other languages:


The Intosai-donor Cooperation

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation is a strategic partnership between donors and the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) community.

Purpose: to improve SAI performance in developing countries through scaled-up and more effective support.

Guiding Principles: development of country-led strategic plans; donors respecting SAI country leadership; and improved coordination of support.

Members: To date, 23 donor organizations and INTOSAI

(who comprise the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

For more information, visit us online at www.idi.no/en/intosai-donor-cooperation.