June 27 2018
How Sharing Canadian Expertise Helped to Strengthen Performance Audit and Oversight Overseas
Working with our Canadian partners, we helped supreme audit institutions (SAIs) and parliamentary oversight committees improve their knowledge and skills, so they can better hold governments to account for the use of public resources and delivery of public goods and services.
Our five-year International Legislative Oversight Program, which was funded by Global Affairs Canada, officially wrapped up March 31, 2018. The program contributed to advancing legislative performance audit and oversight in four countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Vietnam.
The program’s activities included Fellowships, in which performance auditors came to Canada for nine months for training and on-the-job learning with a legislative audit office; internships, in which SAI managers came to Canada to develop projects addressing strategic needs of their office; in-country and regional workshops for SAIs and oversight committees; and developing and providing methodology and guidance. Training and mentoring activities were often directly linked to participants’ audits. In these activities and throughout the program, we emphasized how performance audits can contribute to gender equality, environmental sustainability and the Government of Canada’s other priority themes for international development, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Highlights of the Program’s Results
This training and mentoring, and the efforts of the participating SAIs, led to improvements in all four countries. For instance, as a result of this program, the SAIs of Cameroon and Vietnam have begun conducting performance audits and developed performance audit and quality control manuals to guide their work. The SAIs of Ghana and Tanzania report they have further improved their performance audit practices, continuing the success of our previous program. The program also supported improved communications and collaborations between the SAIs and oversight committees in Ghana and Tanzania, shared good practices with these oversight committees and the National Assembly of Vietnam, and worked with the SAIs of Cameroon and Tanzania to develop new stakeholder communications strategies.
Thank You to Our Partners!
Many Canadian audit offices, organizations and individuals contributed to the program, volunteering to share their knowledge and experience with our international participants. “Our partners—the people—were central to the success of the program,” said John Reed, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “Collaborating with the Foundation’s members and other Canadian institutions is a unique strength of our international programming and offers a tremendous benefit to our participants. On behalf of the Foundation and our international participants, thank you to all our partners for your generosity and dedication to advancing performance audit and oversight. You’ve exemplified the ‘Canada brand’ and truly helped make a difference in these countries.”
Partners’ contributions included:
Fellowships – The Offices of the Auditors General (OAGs) of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Quebec hosted Fellowships. They invited Fellows into their offices, integrated them into audit teams and mentored them on their audit plan projects, providing a learning experience that will benefit the graduates for the rest of their careers.
Meetings and presentations – Several OAGs and other institutions welcomed Fellows, SAI manager interns and study tour delegations to their offices for meetings and presentations on their work, teaching participants about leading Canadian practices.
Workshops and events abroad – Seventeen individuals—senior representatives of audit offices or members of parliamentary oversight committees—travelled abroad with our program to co-facilitate training workshops or take part in events like quality reviews of the SAIs. By sharing their perspectives and experience, they enriched the training and mentoring for participants.
Methodology and guidance – Many Canadians took part in the design and development of our resources, such as courses, Practice Guides and Discussion Papers. They helped us to share good practices and develop guidance based on their experience and insight.
Our thanks also to the staff at Global Affairs Canada and to the high commissions and embassies of Canada and our four partner countries for their support of the program. Their advice, assistance and involvement in the program were greatly appreciated!