The seminar on developing and renewing audit operations – auditing over preparedness of implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs)” : SAB Kuwait

The seminar on developing and renewing audit operations – auditing over preparedness of implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs)” : SAB Kuwait


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Introduction

A seminar under the theme of “Developing and Renewing audit operations – auditing over preparedness of implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” was held in Kuwait, from 10-14 December, 2017. The meeting was attended by 32 representatives from different SAIs member countries.

The meeting was presided over by Mr. Adel Al-Sarawi, the State Audit Bureau Acting President, who emphasised the role of the sustainable development goals, the auditing process and assessing the preparedness of governments to implement these goals as well as introducing the main mechanisms that develop and improve the audit matrix phases for quality assurance.

The seminar aimed to diversify the knowledge and cooperation between all SAIs member countries. which would result in maximizing their efficiency and productivity through continuous education, training programs and experiences in various auditing areas.

The Meeting began with two main sessions where participants shared their country papers and experiences on the issue. The first session introduced the concept and main features of development, improvement and renewal of audits in the whole audit process describing planning, examination, conducting, reporting and follow-up.

The second session discussed the importance of integrating the sustainable development goals (SDGs) within audit process for examining preparedness of all organizations, partnerships for implementing these main goals and explaining the role of main strategies that SAIs will adopt to ensure SDGs implementation.

The program concluded with – recommendations and findings that highlighted the importance of developing and renewing audit operations as well as auditing preparedness for implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs).\

1. Developing and renewing audit operations:

In the first session, participants discussed the best audit practices through the audit process describing audit planning, conducting, reporting, and follow-up phases. The participants were divided into four groups to discuss four main areas of audit operations.  Group-1 introduced the framework of audit planning. Group-2 discussed how to improve and renew the implementation of audit examination phase. Group-3 discussed the improvement of audit reports and its adherence to the international SAIs standards; and  Group-4 discussed the follow-up and review framework and operations.

The following are the main recommendations and conclusions:

  • Building up an IT-based audit system to support the audit process. This will result in allowing easier access to data for stakeholders (Legislature, Academics, SAI members) of the audit examined topics. This mechanism will improve the productivity and enhance the connectivity with all partnerships and organizations.
  • The use of different data analytical tools (e.g. Excel, Excel Active Data, and ACL) will allow more efficient and effective audit system. These tools will lead to more accurate audit findings that help auditors in analyzing the data obtained from external organizations.
  • Developing a comprehensive audit strategy in the stage of audit planning to minimize all audit risks and challenges that auditors might face during audit process. This will ensure the performance of the whole audit process in an effective and efficient manner according to the planned program.
  • The whole audit reports should be conducted in accordance with international standards (SAIs), this will ensure the quality and efficiency of the final audit results.
  • SAIs should qualify and enhance professional and institutional capacities of their auditors through applying well-designed training courses, including writing, reporting, examination and evaluation. As well as being familiar with financial and local regulations, and CAATs programs.
  • The use of professional frameworks and guidelines in accordance with international standards of SAIs as a basic reference for all auditing operations according to the founding principles and initial requirements of the framework of SAIs.
  • SAIs need to create a separate unit/department that assures the compliance of quality control and assurance to be applicable for specified standards of auditing process and its findings.
  • Publishing audit reports via website, media such as newspapers, etc. will engage partnerships and create public pressures that will work effectively in increasing the implementation rate of audit recommendations.
  • In the perspective of implementing audit results effectively, efficient follow-up of all audit results and recommendations is essential.
  • Global indicators should be used to measure follow up, reviews and progress forward.

2. Auditing preparedness of implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs):

In the second session, participants discussed and reviewed the role of SAIs in monitoring the objectives of sustainable development goals (SDGs) which covers 17 goals that pursue all dimensions of sustainable development agenda 2030. The preparedness of governments in implementing these objectives can be effectively evaluated through sharing the best experiences and practices in this field. The following are the recommendations and conclusions that have been suggested during this session:

2.1     The importance of promoting the concept of sustainable development objectives, guidelines and methodology within the audit process. This will play a role in improving good governance, maintaining public funds and improving the results of development plans, thereby restoring confidence in governments.

2.2     Due to modernity of the concept of sustainable development plan, the auditing system has to respond for such changes. In this regard, various training programs with highly qualified experts are required to upgrade the auditor’s skills and knowledge through adhering to the approach of sustainable development goals.

2.3     The collaboration between SAIs member countries is necessary in achieving the goals of the 2030 sustainable development agenda and setting in the mechanisms and guidelines of the audit reports on the commitment on implementing the sustainable development goals.

2.4     Specialized methods, techniques, and skills need to be implemented in the whole audit process to ensure a good understanding of sustainable development goals (SDGs)

2.5     In addition, data-based system should be applied to enhance the connection between different SAIs member countries and organizations sharing data raised on this perspective.

To conclude, the seminar on “developing and renewing audit operations auditing over preparedness of implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs)” made a number of important decisions and recommendations to ensure successful and effective auditing results. The wide participation by the SAIs member countries reflects the importance and appreciation of such meetings being organized at State Audit Bureau of State of Kuwait. We would like to thank all SAIs member countries for participating and hope to work on such meetings in the future.

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