SAI Organization and Development
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Supreme Audit Institution Organization and Development

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) or Auditors General, oversee the management of public finances. Traditionally, the role of SAIs has been seen as promoting public sector transparency and accountability within a wider climate of good governance. Whether structured on the Westminster or the Court model or some variant of these, SAIs are national-level agencies responsible for the audit of government revenue and expenditure. By scrutinising public financial management and reporting they provide assurance that resources are used as directed by national governments in an - economic, efficient and effective manner.

The SAI, as external independent auditor of government finances, is only one of the institutional pillars (alongside parliament, the executive, judiciary, electoral management bodies and perhaps even certain traditional cultural institutions) upon which should rest the strength of a state’s integrity. These pillars are interdependent. Any weakening in the effectiveness of one can place a greater strain on the others. It is the collective strength of these institutions that will ultimately provide effective safeguards against corruption. Where weaker institutions allow corruption to thrive then the strength of the whole is undermined including the rule of law, quality of life and sustainable development. Strengthening any of the institutions, including the SAI, promotes better governance across all aspects of society, and helps to fight corruption.

In developing countries SAIs frequently have a central role in combating corruption through the promotion of sound financial management and the encouragement of robust internal control mechanisms in public bodies. In particular, strong financial management systems, based on effective financial reporting and the disclosure of any deviations, have a dissuasive and deterrent effect on those who might otherwise engage in corruption. The role of SAIs in fighting corruption therefore is largely and primarily an indirect one, centring on deterrence and prevention. In some conflict or post-conflict states, where there may be extensive fraud and corruption SAIs may need to take a more proactive approach.

Breckenhill is proud of its highly experienced team of SAI professionals all of whom have held executive positions in major Supreme Audit Institutins including the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom. We have world class expertise in:

  • Drafting SAI enabling legislation
  • Developing administrative and audit policy
  • Implementing INTOSAI Standards as well as public sector accounting standards
  • Organizational design for an effective and efficient SAI
  • Parliamentary liaison including policy and related training of elected members
  • Communications strategy development including reporting, message management and media
  • Technical training in financial, regulatory and compliance auditng
  • Audit methodology, including results-based comprehensive auditing
  • Specialised auditing of state-owned enterprises
  • Public Financial Management and performance measurement

We have consulted to SAIs in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Latin America on projects funded by USAID, the World Bank, CIDA, DFID and other donor agencies.