When coordination and harmonization make SAI projects a success, the Audit Management System of Macedonia State Audit Office
–The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation is grateful with Macedonia State Audit Office for sharing their success story as an example of effective SAI led initiatives, coordination and harmonization of efforts among its members.
The quality of audit work is closely related to the development of information technology. The importance of application of IT into the audit was recognized in the early stages of Macedonia SAO establishment. In this regard, creation and implementation of an Audit Management System (AMS) was a key priority to ensure sustainable IT capacities in providing consistent and quality support to all SAO operations. The INTOSAI–Donor Cooperation with its Global Call for Proposals 2011 seemed to be an excellent opportunity for Macedonia SAO to seek a partner for realization of this goal.
Following Macedonia SAO application for additional capacity development, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed interest in supporting activities in favor of good governance in the Republic of Macedonia. The Office of the Auditor General of Norway offered technical assistance for implementation of such project. In September 2012 SAO and OAGN signed Memorandum of Understanding, marking the beginning of a five-year cooperation between the two SAIs.
The overall project objective was to improve the quality of SAO audit processes by further development of SAO IT system, and thus improve the professional and efficient management of tax payers’ money and financial discipline and accountability in the public sector. The intended outcome is to improve the quality (standardize audit processes in line with standards/guidelines, unify audit documentation, ensure security and confidentiality of information) and efficiency (reduce time for documenting and reviewing audit papers, increase overall productivity of audit processes) of audit work.
Having the role of a grant recipient, Macedonia SAO formed a core team of IT specialists and staff members from different departments. Auditors were also included in the project activities, in particular during the mapping of audit processes and creating audit flow for both regularity and performance audit. With strong commitment and support by SAO management, the project team completed all project tasks – draft feasibility study, upgrade SAO IT infrastructure, produce tender documents for AMS solution and select contractor to develop AMS solution, develop and implement IT security policies, prepare procedures for daily use and maintenance and technical system documentation, conduct pilot audits with AMS, evaluate and adjust AMS, implement training programme for using and maintenance of AMS.
The successful accomplishment of the project would not have been possible without the selfless support and professional guidance from the colleagues from OAGN, who were with us during the whole process.
AMS was put into operation with 2017 Annual Work Programme. The system serves as document management, audit workflow and knowledge sharing tool that provides guidance for the auditors through the entire audit process.
Several regional SAIs already showed interest in the AMS and bilateral meetings were held for introducing the system to the management of these SAIs. AMS was also introduced to a wider audience during the second and third YES Conference.
Auditors’ input on the application and functioning of the AMS will be used for further adjustments and continuous improvement of the system in the future.
SAO Project Team
State Audit Office of the Republic of Macedonia