Cooperative Audit on Sustainable Public Procurement using Data Analytics (CASP; linked to SDG 12.7)
SDG target 12.7 talks of “promoting public procurement practices that are sustainable, following national policies and priorities”.
In many countries, procurement is one of the most significant expenditure segments in the public sector, and SAIs from OLACEFS have historically considered public procurement to be an area of major interest. A transparent and efficient public procurement practice helps optimise the use of scarce public resources and contributes to a country's sound public financial management.
In recent years governments, legislation and tendering processes have also taken into account the sustainability angle of public procurement - economic, social and environmental. Add to that the unprecedented health, humanitarian and economic crisis that the world and the region faced due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, and the crucial role that procurement systems play, and it became highly relevant to consider the resiliency of such systems.
The immense relevance of strong and resilient public procurement systems, the importance of an integrated approach, the sharpening of inequalities during the pandemics and fears of vulnerable sections being left behind are all issues that require SAI enquiry. One of the ways in which SAIs could provide a relevant audit response to these challenges was to examine government efforts to strengthen capacities for developing strong, resilient and sustainable public procurement practices (SDG target 12.7).
The use of IDI SDG Audit Model (ISAM) and use of data analytics in the audit process were both in keeping with OLACEFS Training Plan 2019 – 2021, which states that the region is keen to use innovation in audit processes. This also fits in with IDI’s strategic priorities of supporting SAIs in using innovative audit practices and leveraging technological advancement. IDI, INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC) and OLACEFS agreed to partner with other key stakeholders to support a cooperative audit of sustainable public procurement using data analysis (linked to SDG target 12.7).
The main objective of this audit is to contribute to strong, sustainable and resilient public procurement systems. Within this overall objective, key outcomes would be to see a shift in the procurement regulations and practices towards sustainability, considering its three dimensions (economic, social and environmental), an extended use of the life cycle procurement concept – as opposite to the lowest price traditional approach – and prioritization of vulnerable venders and suppliers businesses e.g. ran or integrated by women, people with disabilities, indigenous groups, etc.
INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee, OLACEFS, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), German Cooperation Agency (GIZ)