Strategic Priority 4: SAI capacity and capability enhanced
The ongoing capacity building of SAIs as institutions and of their staff is crucial to achieve the transparent, accountable, effective and efficient use of public sector resource in the Pacific region. PASAI will build and sustain public auditing capacity by:
Guidelines for standards, practices and methodologies
PASAI will develop best practice guidance and training materials for performance and financial audits, including investigations, operational guidelines such as human resources management, risk management, corporate and strategic management, and peer reviews. The guidance will include materials for planning, conduct, reporting and follow-up as well as templates, sample forms and checklists drawing upon PASAI guidelines developed with IDI and others.
PASAI has appointed working groups to develop manuals, guidelines and training materials. The members of the groups have been drawn from SAIs in the region.
Generic set of job descriptions and competencies
The efficacy of regional training programmes could be improved by matching competencies and designing courses to align with career structures. To that end, PASAI will prepare a generic set of job descriptions and competencies, which will enable the design and delivery of a long-term training program in conjunction with universities, IDI, professional associations, and other training providers.
Support attainment of professional qualification
Personnel face significant barriers in attaining professional accountancy qualifications: tertiary qualifications may not be recognized, practical experience may not be accepted, entrance and ongoing membership fees are high and meeting continuing professional education requirements can be difficult. In this connection, the PASAI Secretariat will work with regional professional bodies to explore ways to reduce these barriers. Moreover, the Secretariat will consider the applicability of international professional qualifications to the Pacific (for instance, internal audit qualifications).
Support peer reviews and institutional strengthening designs
The Capacity Development Plan will also promote best practices and continuous improvement while providing clients, stakeholders and citizens with assurance that the SAI is meeting the highest professional standards and contributing to enhancing transparency, accountability and good governance. It would do this in the area of quality assurance and peer reviews.
Support improved contract management
PASAI will develop a generic model for contracting out and assuring the quality of audits completed by private sector auditors on behalf of the SAI. Guidelines will also be prepared on contract management and engagement of specialists. The PASAI Secretariat will provide direct advice to SAIs on negotiating and managing contracted-out audits.
Provide management and operational support
PASAI will provide advice and support on strategic and corporate planning, records management, internal performance management and reporting, human resources, legal, information technology and communications and funding models. Among other things, PASAI will investigate the use of computer-based audit and performance management software and support the sharing of management expertise from SAIs which have established effective planning and management systems.
Provide technical support
Few SAIs are large enough to establish and sustain in-house technical capacity necessary to respond to the increasingly complex financial reporting and auditing environment. Recognising the benefits of regional economies of scale, PASAI will provide advice to SAIs on technical accounting and audit issues and other related issues.
Facilitate secondments and attachments
PASAI will facilitate secondments and attachments by providing information on opportunities, secondee selection, mobilization and administrative arrangements. The “supporting” SAIs in the Australasian region will be willing to assist, support, and collaborate with other PASAI members in this area.