How can independent SAIs contribute to good governance?

SAI Independence Resource Kit

How can independent SAIs contribute to good governance?

Effective and independent supreme audit institutions help citizens and external donors realize their goals of more transparent and accountable governance.

How does government audit relate to PMF and good governance?

Strong government audit can be a catalyst to continual improvement in PFM, to strengthening Good Governance, government performance and quality service delivery. Research shows that good government auditing has a positive effect on the performance of the public sector and on national levels of public sector corruption. In addition, with public resources increasingly under pressure, SAIs’ assessment of whether public resources are effectively and efficiently spent, along with their recommendations to improve public governance, are indispensable. UN General Assembly resolutions such as A/66/228, highlight the central role of SAIs in Good Governance and in promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency of public administration and the need to strengthen SAIs.

How do SAIs strength the formal accountability chain between state and society?

SAI work supports the core functions of the state and the basic building blocks which all states need to function effectively.

SAIs accomplish this by:

  • Improving domestic resource mobilisation, including the efficiency of the collection of state revenues and management of natural resources
  • Ensuring public funds are utilized in accordance with the law
  • Integrating issues of inclusiveness and gender
  • Ensuring the opportunity for parliaments to scrutinize government performance and
  • Strengthening the financial control environment to reduce the occurrence of corruption, which can otherwise undermine state legitimacy.

With a declining trust in governments in many countries, the role of professional, relevant, well- governed and independent SAIs in public sector audit is increasingly recognized as a key factor in regaining public confidence in governments and national systems, and in strengthening state-society relations. Once audit results are made public and SAIs share their insights and make recommendations, legislatures, government and opposition leaders, citizens, the private sector and development organisations are enabled to make decisions and act.

How do SAIs support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The strengthening of public sector oversight and accountability mechanisms (including SAIs) is recognized as an important tool for reducing poverty and reaching the SDGs in its entirety, and SDG 16, focusing on building “effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels" in particular. SAIs can also make significant contributions towards the achievement of the SDGs through their audits by suggesting how public-sector entities can improve their service delivery to citizens, for example by applying an inclusiveness and gender lens.

How do SAIs help development and donor partners manage fiduciary and development effectiveness risk?

When development funds are channeled through partner government systems, development partners rely on government audits to check whether funds are being used for the purposes intended and are achieving the expected results.

With support from INTOSAI and development partners, SAIs have been sustainable enhancing their performance and capacities to fulfill this role and serve as a valuable partner to development and donor organizations operating in their country.

Donor Resource Kit