Since July 1, 2012, the Supreme Audit Institution of Georgia was re-established as the State Audit Office of Georgia (SAO).
Institutional transformation of the State Audit Office dates back to 2008, when based on the new legislation and methodological framework, the mandate of SAO was defined: external audit of public sector, provision of recommendations and promotion of public finance management development.
In the years of 2008-2009, the State Audit Office determined main strategic development directions. Within the above period, long-term corporate strategies and development plans were elaborated facilitating capacity development of the institution in various spheres. In 2010, the institution commenced implementation of the set goals.
It should be noted, that at the outset of the strategic development process, SAO placed particular emphasis on the attraction of young and motivated intellectual resources as a vital prerequisite of successful development of the institution. In the above period, the State Audit Office attracted and recruited auditors possessing extensive working experience in such international audit organizations as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche, both in private and public sectors.
In this difficult period of institutional transformation, support of partner organizations played a very important role for the State Audit Office. The SAO supported development of bilateral cooperative relations with the state international partner organizations and foreign SAIs. In particular, starting from 2009, such international organizations as GIZ, SIGMA, UNDP, USAID, the World Bank have become valuable partners of the State Audit Office. Bilateral cooperative relationships were established with the SAIs of Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland and etc. Cooperation aimed at experience sharing and introduction of best international practices.
In 2010, the SAO also gave emphasis to active participation in the activities of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). The State Audit Office, as a full member of international community, became actively involved in various committees, commissions and working groups. The above supported the State Audit Office in its establishment as an equal partner for SAIs of foreign countries.
By means of the above described various activities, since 2010 the SAO has achieved significant strategic tasks producing a solid platform for successful implementation of institutional reforms. Methodologies of financial and performance audits aligned with international standards have been introduced. Professional training courses have been developed which allowed successful re-training of SAO auditors.
As the next development stage, in 2011 the State Audit Office developed a quality control system, introduced a modern institutional policy and relevant manuals for management, initiated integration of new information technologies into the system and etc.
Along with the enhanced quality of audit activities, SAO has improved its communication with the general public and its stakeholders, such as the Parliament of Georgia, the Executive, the media, civil society and etc. New effective communication tools allow the general public to receive timely, reliable and qualified information on the ongoing activities of the Institution.
Institutional development is a continuous process. In order to ensure sustainable development, the State Audit of Georgia is setting new strategic goals reflected in long-term strategies of the Institution. The SAO strategic goals for 2013-2017 are to support good governance in Georgia and promote effective use of state funds, for the benefit of the nation.
The history of the State Audit Office began with the restoration of the Independence of Georgia.
In 1918, an institute of State Comptroller was established. In the following years 1918-1921, the Parliament adopted a number of legal acts that served as the basis for establishment of the state financial control system. The Constitution of Georgia of 1921, defined the status of the State Audit Office of Georgia as a Supreme Audit Institution of the country. Its mandate involved audit of proper state budget execution, state revenues and expenditures, examination of reports and accounts of the Government and other institutions, as well as examination of finances of local self-governments.
From the very beginning, Georgia has chosen a parliamentary model of the Supreme Audit Institution, the so-called Westminster Model. In accordance with the above model, the State Audit Office was governed by one person elected by the Parliament and accountable to solely to it.
In the years from 1921 to 1991, the State Controller institute stopped functioning due to the Soviet occupation. Under the communist government, supreme audit institution was replaced by the Soviet public control system, titles and functions of which would change over time.
In 1991, upon the restoration of the state independence, the national system of state financial control was restored resulting in the establishment of the Chamber of Control of Georgia (CCG). During 1991-2008, the CCG main functions involved control-inspection activities and response to violation by an imposition of administrative-financial sanctions.
The State Audit Office has been a full member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) since 1992. It joined the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI) in 1993 and the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) in 2004.