1 October 2015 Presentation on “Building a productive relationship between the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution”

1 October 2015 Presentation on “Building a productive relationship between the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution”

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Presentation on “Building a Productive Relationship between the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution”

Today, at the National Assembly House, the members of the Subcommittee for Reviewing Audit Reports of the State Audit Institution attended the presentation on “Building a productive relationship between the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution”.


Joseph Christoff, former Director of International Affairs at the US Government Accountability Office, spoke about the US experience, the relationship between the parliament and supreme auditing body and the role and importance of audit expediency.

Opening the gathering, National Assembly Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Subcommittee for Reviewing Audit Reports of the State Audit Institution Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic said that the presentation is an excellent experience for the members of the Subcommittee and an opportunity to learn about the good governance practice in the US and its decades-long tradition of budget controls, audits and controlling public finance. Economic reform, public sector reform and cooperation with independent institutions, especially with the State Audit Institution, are the key to Serbia’s development, said Marinkovic.

“We hold the work of the State Audit Institution as sacrosanct, that is the citizens’ money and it is our duty to use it judiciously”, concluded Marinkovic.

Joseph Christoff, former Director of International Affairs at the US Government Accountability Office, commended the establishment of the Subcommittee for Reviewing Audit Reports of the State Audit Institution at the National Assembly, introduction of programme budgeting in Serbia and the State Audit Institution launching new initiatives. He mainly focused on the role of supreme audit institutions, types of audit services, use of audits and partnership with the parliament.

Speaking of the types of audit services, Christoff emphasised the importance of the audit of expediency, illustrating it with the examples of Indonesia, Serbia and the US. In Indonesia, whose Supreme Audit Institution was set up in 1947, 20% of audits are audits of expediency, and 80% are financial audits. In Serbia, the audits conducted by the State Audit Institution, established in 2006, are mainly financial (95%), while only 5% are audits of expediency. The US has had its supreme audit institution since 1921, 10% of whose audits are financial, and 90% audits of expediency. The benefit of the audits are independent assessments based on facts that inform and influence, facilitate supervision, save money and improve the efficiency of the public authorities, said Christoff. He said that the audit reports affect both the decision-makers and knowledge-bearers, and facilitate parliamentary oversight.

In the ensuing debate, the participants exchanged experiences relating to audit procedures and standards, similarities and differences between the US and Serbian audit institutions, relationship between the State Audit Institution and the National Assembly, US audit institution’s modus operandi etc.

The presentation was organised by the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending in cooperation with USAID Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project.



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