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SAI Dominica and SAI Latvia unite towards greater public accountability​

In an exemplary display of international collaboration and commitment to public accountability, the Office of the Director of Audit of the Commonwealth of Dominica (SAI Dominica) has embarked on a transformative journey with the support of The State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia (SAI Latvia). Reflecting SAI Latvia’s own transformation, this dynamic partnership is not just bolstering the capabilities of the SAI Dominica, but also setting higher standards for efficient and fruitful cooperation amongst INTOSAI peers in safeguarding transparency and accountability in the public sector.

In recent years, SAI Dominica recognised the need to enhance its capacities to ensure that audit reports would contribute to the effective and transparent utilisation of public resources. Major attempts were taken by the SAI leadership and staff to improve on audit processes and capacities. It was apparent that SAI Dominica had long needed support to develop quality audit processes and professional competencies, integrate cutting-edge audit technologies, strengthen their independence and improve stakeholder management. These specific needs were clearly identified in the SAI Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF) assessment from 2021.

GSAI Project team engages the entire staff of SAI Dominica in May 2023
SAIs Dominica and Latvia meet with European Commission partners in Roseau in May 2023

To help address these challenges, SAI Dominica was successfully selected to receive support through the Global SAI Accountability Initiative (GSAI). The GSAI was launched by the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation in 2022 and is being implemented by the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI). The INTOSAI and donor community united in this initiative to mobilise effective, holistic and well- coordinated support to SAIs in challenging contexts.

SAI Dominica was paired for peer-to-peer support with SAI Latvia. Since day one, the ongoing two-year project (2023-2025) has showcased efficient communication, productive teamwork, well structured action plans and, most importantly, ensuring the delivery of SAI Dominica’s current strategic priorities, with an emphasis on helping build a sound ecosystem around its work.

Mrs. Maylina Jno Ville, Auditor General of Dominica, explains.

“Embarking on the journey of the Global SAI Accountability Initiative and peer to peer capacity development support has been a transformative experience for the SAI Dominica. The support and collaboration with SAI Latvia have not only enhanced our audit capabilities but have also set a new standard for accountability and transparency in our operations.”

Key to this pairing was SAI Latvia’s own experience of being on the same journey, and their desire to ‘pay it forward’. Says Mr. Edgars Korčagins, Auditor General of Latvia.

“Many years ago, SAI Latvia was a beneficiary, and other SAIs from developed countries helped us to advance professionally by offering their experience and best practices.

In the period after regaining independence, SAI Latvia was subject to serious changes by turning from a post-Soviet financial inspection institution into a modern audit institution that works in accordance with the ISSAIs. We feel it is our moral obligation to support SAIs from other countries, both through bilateral cooperation and in international advisory projects.”

A constant open and honest line of information exchange and communication between partners has enhanced the agile project management style and facilitated the achievement of short-term outputs. In line with their broader efforts to remain flexible and find the right synergies for effective solutions, the project partners also coordinate with the CAROSAI regional secretariat and other partners. Change is led by SAI Dominica with strong and coordinated input from SAI Latvia and the wider support ecosystem.

At the heart of the project lays the ultimate objective of assisting SAI Dominica in complying with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) to be able to provide value and benefits to society. This means the project:

As Ms. Ann Marie George, Auditor, project team member from SAI Dominica states: “We are not just auditors; we are stewards of public trust, and this initiative has increased our ability and confidence to strengthen this role. I am confident that the impact of this collaboration will be felt long into the future.”

The ongoing story of SAI Dominica and SAI Latvia peer support serves as a beacon for others within the INTOSAI community seeking to strengthen their audit capacities via efficient and collaborative peer-to- peer support. Their efforts are not only bringing positive change to Dominica’s mission but also showcasing the power of international partnerships in fostering transparency, accountability, and good governance.

Group work during ISSAI framework training to practise audit skills in December 2023

Says Maylina Jno Ville,

“Building audit skills isn’t just about acquiring technical knowledge; it’s about fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptability within our department. The knowledge exchange with our Latvian counterparts has been invaluable, creating an environment where innovation and best practices thrive. This isn’t just a success story for SAI Dominica; it’s a testament to the power of international partnerships in building a more transparent and accountable world.”

Funding for project activities is provided by the European Union through IDI. The government of Latvia provides technical staff as in-kind support.