Advancing Public Participation in the Audit Process in Georgia - audit report
Date modified: 07:12:2016
The State Audit Office of Georgia executed World Bank’s financed project “Advancing Public Participation in the Audit Process” #TF0A1357 form 10th of November 2015 till 30th of June 2016.
BDO LLC conducted audit of the project, which deals with the assessment of the degree of the project compliance with the grant agreement #TF0A1357 and appropriate regulations. BDO LLC issued unqualified opinion. For more information, see attached audit report.
TWINNING PROJECT:INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING OF THE STATE AUDIT OFFICE OF GEORGIA”
Twinning is an instrument for the cooperation between Public Administrations of EU Member States and of beneficiary countries. Beneficiaries include candidate countries and potential candidates to EU membership, as well as countries covered by the European Neighborhood Policy.
The German-Polish consortium led by the German Supreme Audit Institution -Bundesrechnungshof (BRH) in association with the Polish Supreme Audit Office -Najwyższa Izba Kontroli (NIK) will work on a common project with State Audit Office (SAO) during 24 months. The implementation of the project started 1 October 2014.
The project will transfer knowledge and skills so that SAO will be able to improve the professional and transparent working structure of a modern Supreme Audit Institution with highly qualified staff and modern management systems and processes.
The project provides assistance under the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) supporting democratic development, rule of law and good governance. It directly corresponds with the sub-article 1.2 of the Georgia-EU Association Agreement aiming “to contribute to the strengthening of democracy and to political, economic and institutional stability in Georgia”.
Overall Objective of the Project
To improve the accountability for the use of public funds in the Georgian public administration.
To strengthen the management and technical capacity of the SAO to plan and carry out audits in line with EU and international standards and methodologies.
Through three components, the Twinning Project supports SAO in the following:
Component 1: Strengthening SAO corporate and resource management
Project activities for instance: Improvement of organizational structure and reporting lines; develop guidelines and improve the annual report; assist in establishing an annual planning and reporting system; study tour to BRH.
Component 2: Strengthening financial and compliance auditing and reporting
Project activities for instance: Develop and introduce a risk based audit approach to financial audit strategic planning; develop and pilot IT audit capability to be incorporated into financial audits; conduct expert-supported financial audits with SAO staff.
Component 3: Audit staff professional development and performance appraisal
Project activities for instance: Review and revise the professional development strategy; training of auditors e.g. in the fields of organization; project and quality management; study tour to BRH.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is present in the region of the South Caucasus for more than 20 years. It has been supporting Georgia since 1990s in becoming social market economy and adopting rule of law and democracy. Main commissioner of GIZs work in the region was and remains the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The cooperation with Georgian State Audit Office (SAO) (till 2012 “Chamber of Control”) started on behalf of BMZ in year 2003. The first bilateral project - “Support to the Chamber of Control of Georgia” was running during 9 years and ended in 2012. Main objective of this project was institutional development of Georgian supreme audit institution and strengthening of its capacity in field of auditing.
Based on the successful cooperation experience, BMZ commissioned GIZ in 2012, to start new regional programme – “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus”. The first programme phase was designed for two years, 2012–2014. In frames of the first phase, the cooperation with SAO was enlarged and covered following fields:
- Implementation and Development of Performance Audit (PA) function, which included development of audit methodology, training of auditors and assistance in conducting of following PAs: PA of the Public Procurement System in Georgia, PA of the Ambulance system in Georgia, PA of the wine promotion measures in Georgia,
- Improvement of SAO reporting and cooperation with Parliament,which included review and quality assurance of SAOs annual reports and dialog regarding establishment of institutionalized cooperation format between SAO and Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament. In this regard several so called “Round tables” were held in order to clarify the different roles and responsibilities in the external financial control,
- Support of local self-governing bodies audit department, which included assistance in the drafting of two-years report to the parliament, foreseen by the law.
The Second programme phase was launched in summer 2014 and will last till September 2016. The fields of cooperation will be mainly the same as in the first phase, which means:
- Further support of PA implementation - assistance in selecting, planning and conducting of PAs, e.g. PA of Georgian Irrigation System; capacity development measures regarding PA in other audit departments of SAO; quality assurance of PA reports and communication of the reports to the Parliament and other stakeholders; development and production of publications; planning and conducting of awareness rising measures regarding PA etc.,
- Enhancing the cooperation with parliament regarding mandate and independence, which means the legal framework and the establishment of rules and procedures in SAO as well as in the Parliament,
- Support in conducting audits of local entities in Georgia.
A Memorandum of Understanding between GIZ and SAO for the second phase 2014 – 2016 was signed on Sept. 25, 2014.
For delivering support in above mentioned fields, GIZ uses wide range of instruments and approaches, such as: short and long term international and local experts, development of methodological documents and guidelines, pilot and assisted audits, trainings and workshops, conferences and round tables, expert reviews and consulting.
GIZ is a German federal enterprise and its main work concentrates on supporting the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ is active in more than 130 countries worldwide with staff volume of over 16.000.
Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO)
Since 2010, the State Audit Office (SAO) and the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) actively cooperate within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims at the institutional development of the SAO. As a result of 4-year successful cooperation, the extension of the MoU for the period of 2014-2016 was signed on March 25, 2014.
According to the “Project Plan for Institutional Development Cooperation between the State Audit Office of Georgia and the Swedish National Audit Office 2014 – 2016”, the two supreme audit offices have agreed to engage in a bilateral cooperation that aims at developing the capacity of the SAO to conduct and maintain performance auditing in compliance with international principles and standards ISSAI.
Concrete issues for future cooperation are following:
- Support in the implementation of Performance Audit
- Quality Assurance of Performance Audit
- Communication of Performance audit
During the period of 2010-2013 the parties cooperated in the following spheres:
- Financial Audit
- Performance Audit
- Internal and External Communication
- Management of Supreme Audit Institution
- Information Technology Strategy
Development: Support for Improvement in Governance and Management Joint Project of European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation (OECD/SIGMA)
Support for Improvement in Governance and Management Project- EU/SIGMA
The joint project of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Support of Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA) provided support to the SAO of Georgia in the development of its strategic development plan in the period 2009-2011. At the initial stage, trainings related to the external audit strategy development in line with international standards, training system, new role of the State Audit Office, communication with the Parliament and internal and external audit relations were delivered; regular seminars and work meetings were held in order to share experiences of the foreign counterparts.
For the implementation of the Development Plan, a manual was introduced which included identification of priorities, real-time planning and monitoring issues.
The next stage involved consultations with foreign counterparts on preparation of an annual report on state budget execution along with the necessary procedures for future annual budget preparations. In the interim, SAO of Georgia had an opportunity to familiarize itself with the training strategy preparation process, which envisages development of professional training system based on the organizational and individual training needs.
World Bank and the Joint Group of Development Partners (WB)
The PublicSector Financial Management Reform Support Project (PSFMR-SP) of the World Bankand the joint group of Development Partners (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) and UK Department for International Development (DFID))(2006-2012) envisaged development of professional capacity of SAO of Georgia and provision of targeted technical assistance to the Institution. The Project aimed at improvement of public financial management sector of Georgia and included the following components:
- Institutional development of the SAO (planning and implementation of re-organization and restructuring);
- Update of the SAO legal framework;
- Professional capacity building of the SAO;
- oImprovement of Human Resource Management;
oShort and long-term trainings of staff within the country and abroad;
- Development of the financial audit methodology training module and re-training of the auditors;
- Support of the representation of SAO of Georgia in the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and its Regional Working Groups;
- Improvement of public relations of the Institution;
- Development of SAO infrastructure;
- Introduction of modern consumer informational technologies and network infrastructure to the SAO;
- Provision of IT security (licensed office programs);
- Improvement of working environment of the Institution.
European Union Neighborhood and Partnership Project (EU/ENP/ TWINNING)
TWINNING Project is one of the instruments for implementing the European Neighborhood Policy and Partnership, which aims at support of beneficiary countries in the introduction and development of modern and efficient administration, structure, human resources and management skills.
The above mentioned instruments will encourage development process of SAO of Georgia. For the project implementation purpose, with the support of European Program Administration Service, the SAO hosted the British expert, who prepared the Twinning Project document in cooperation with SAO staff. The document defines the project plan, content of the activities in the framework of the project, scope and objectives.
Based on the above mentioned document, the SAO partner country or countries (in case of a consortium), on the competitive basis between the EU member states, will be selected in 2012.