‘Audits are conducted based on the mandates of the SAIs. We carry out audits year after year, not really focusing on what we are really trying to achieve in the end. While the audit objectives are there, we have not really thought of looking at the outcome of the audit or the impact that the SAIs create on the citizens, community, and the nation. While there could be some SAIs who could already be doing this, isn’t it time for rest of us to reflect upon and think of the impact and accordingly work backwards from the Strategic Audit Plan to Annual Audit Plan and individual Audit Plan? It’s time to act before someone questions the difference created by SAIs in the lives of the citizens and wellbeing of the nation’.
So said Dasho Tashi, Auditor General of Bhutan, at the IDI-ASOSAI Facilitating Audit Impact (FAI) Workshop for SAI leaders and key stakeholders, which was held in Manila from 17-19 October.
In a packed agenda following opening remarks from ASOSAI Capacity Development Administrator – Board of Audit of Japan; Mr. Roland Café Pondoc, Commissioner, Commission on Audit of Philippines, and Ms. Archana Shirsat, Deputy Director General of IDI, eight SAIs and representatives from ADB, IBP, ASOSAI Secretariat and citizen partners of SAI Philippines considered a number of vital issues on audit impact.
These included Understanding and planning SAI audit impact and establishing and growing robust follow-up mechanisms and strong stakeholder coalitions to embed audit impact.
Attendees were then introduced to the FAI checklist for Audit of SDG preparedness, Audit of SDG Implementation (3.d Audit), TAI Audit, IDI-ASEANSAI ISSAI-based financial audit, while being encouraged to focus on ‘Looking beyond meeting the requirements of standards in an audit’.
"Strong collaboration between SAI and PAC is needed for effective follow up of audit recommendations to contribute to audit impact." Hon’ble Ugyen Tshering Public Accounts Committee Chair, Parliament of Bhutan
This was more than a discussion session, however, and participants took action to consolidate and commemorate their own commitment to facilitating audit impact. Eight SAIs from the ASOSAI region - Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Kyrgyz Republic - signed Statements of Commitment (SoC) to develop and implement FAI actions for IDI-supported cooperative audits. These are the Performance Audit for Preparedness on the Implementation of SDGs, Performance Audit of Strong & Resilient National Public Health Systems (linked to SDG 3.d), Compliance Audit of Transparency, Accountability and Inclusiveness of Use of Emergency Funding for COVID-19 (TAI Audits), and Financial Audit of Government Accounts.
Based on their participation in the given cooperative audits, IDI consulted with each SAI on the audits in which they would be committed to develop and implement FAI actions, and agreed the plans for which IDI will provide extensive support such as online education for SAI teams, guidance for engaging with stakeholders and exploration of options, and support during the process of developing FAI actions. IDI plans to build a pool of facilitators from the region to provide support to SAI teams.
To find out more about Facilitating Audit Impact, go to the FAI section on IDI's website.