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Practice Guide to Auditing Efficiency

Sample Criteria with a Results Emphasis

If the objective for an audit of the efficiency of an application-processing or licensing function is focused on results, auditors should refer to the Practice Guide section Developing criteria for an audit with a results emphasis. The criteria listed for performance monitoring and reporting in Table 5 are also relevant. Table 6provides examples of criteria for an audit with a results emphasis.

Table 6 - Examples of Criteria for Audits of Efficiency of Regulatory Inspection and Enforcement Function with a Results Emphasis

Criteria for Audits with a Results Emphasis

1. Reliability and other qualitative characteristics of information. The organization uses timely, relevant, reliable, and complete information to assess its efficiency.

2. Choice of benchmarks. The organization has selected relevant and reasonable benchmarks to assess its efficiency performance.

3. Performance meets targets or standards. The organization meets the efficiency targets set out in its annual operational plan or recognized sectorial efficiency standards. Where performance is below expectations, the organization identifies the root causes underlying the sub-standard performance.

4. Conclusions are supported by data. The organization draws appropriate conclusions on its efficiency based on performance data and benchmarks, baselines, or performance targets.

5. Reporting on efficiency initiatives. The organization periodically reports on progress against its efficiency objectives and initiatives.

  • The reports include information on the efficiency gains that have been achieved from individual projects and on how these gains have improved the inspection and enforcement services delivered by the organization.


6. Reporting efficiency savings. In reporting efficiency savings, the inspection and enforcement organization:

  • Reports consistently over time, using valid and reliable measures and indicators.
  • Compares current values against baseline data.
  • Explains how efficiency savings are affecting cost, quality, and level of service, to show the full impact of changes.
  • Is transparent about the upfront investments and recurrent costs incurred in delivering increased efficiency.


7. Benchmarking process. [2]

  • Planning for the benchmarking process includes identification of appropriate benchmarking protocols.
  • Benchmarking data is collected and analyzed according to the protocols.
  • Performance gaps are identified.
  • Benchmarking findings are communicated to senior management (and the public if appropriate).
  • Targets are set for addressing identified gaps.
  • Progress in achieving targets is monitored.
  • There is a continuous improvement process for the benchmarking process itself.


[2] Source: Business Process Improvement Resource, 2008, Benchmarking.