2019 Technical Update – Model Institutions that Lead by Example

Close to 180 participants gathered in the picturesque city of Cape Town for the 14th Technical Update. In addition to our member- SAIs, representatives from Brazil, Fiji, Portugal, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands were also in attendance along with key stakeholders from the region. For the first time, the Technical Update also included a Marketplace with exhibitions from SAIs, partners and stakeholders.

The four day conference included interactive discussion sessions, voting polls, panel discussions and audio-visual presentations on topics related to SAIs leading by example as model institutions. Highlights of the week included:

Day 1

  • Highlights of the new 2020 – 2024 Strategic Plan for AFROSAI-E and the Institutional Capacity Building Framework (ICBF) as our Theory of Change.
  • An interactive session on Quality Assurance within the region with reflection on both internal QA functions and the regional reviews.
  • Pathways of professionalisation and an update of the African Professionalisation Initiative.

Day 2

  • An address by Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi on good financial governance and the importance of leaving no one behind as we work to achieve Goal 16 of the SDGs “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.
  • An insightful presentation by Dr Sebastiao Helvecio from the Minas Gerais Audit Court in Brazil on the Index of Municipal Management Effectiveness (IEGM).
  • 13 SAIs from both English- and Portuguese-speaking SAIs have implemented the Public Finance Management Reporting Framework tool to date. Three of the SAIs namely, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Portugal, presented on their experience implementing the tool and the impact that’s resulted from their findings and reports.   
  • A panel discussion with representatives from the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA), the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) and the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) on the issue of Combined Assurance and the role and responsibilities for the different assurance providers.
  • SAIs reporting on own performance from an integrated perspective with experiences from SAI Uganda.

Day 3

  • An interactive voting session gave insight on the cyber security risks associated with internet connectivity, passwords and updating of software.
  • Our IT Audit team led a session on the approaches to data analytics and the impact of big data for SAIs. Discussion points included feedback from one of the participants from the first AFROSAI-E IT Audit Champions Programme on the benefits of participation.
  • A presentation from Hayley Barker Hoogwerf from SAICA on changes on the IAASB Quality Management standards.
  • An introduction to the new AFROSAI-E Audit Software which is now available for SAIs in the region to pilot. SAIs can use the system for all types of audits and it includes overall annual audit planning features. With no annual license fees and continuous system improvements included, this software provides SAIs with no systems in place, a cost-effective and efficient alternative.
  • The Secretariat team introduced the final Audit Considerations for Extractive Industries Guideline, which is now available on our website.  The Exposure Draft of the new Guideline on Sustainable SAIs – Leading by example and contributing to the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
  • An especially important presentation on the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements detailed the changes in the names of standards. Josephine Mukomba from the Secretariat and representative on the Forum for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements, highlighted that INTOSAI is also leveraging on other standards such as the IAASB for financial standards. This means that when the IAASB approves financial audit standards on the ISA’s, these standards become immediately effective to the ISSAI’s. She encouraged SAIs to ensure they understand the changes in the framework and what it means when a SAI states that it is doing audits according to the INTOSAI standards. She urged SAIs to visit www.issai.org for detailed information.

Day 4

  • We formally launched the new AFROSAI-E Learning Portal. A step-by-step demonstration enabled delegates to register and access the system during the session.
  • The theme of leading by example came across strongly in the next session which included SAIs and stakeholders presenting on their projects, activities and new innovations.
    • SAI Mauritius presented on their award-winning performance audit report (2018 Best Performance Audit Report).
    • SAI Ghana shared their experience in implementing ‘Citizen’s Eye’, an application that enables citizens to submit issues of public concern to the SAI.
    • SAI Sierra Leone highlighted their Graphic Audit Report and specifically the process they follow to identify key issues and communicate them effectively in an easy to understand graphic format.
    • Aidspan presented on the multi-partner collaborative project they are leading to support SAIs to audit Global Fund grants in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • The Netherlands Court of Audit presented on the regional project currently underway in partnership with the SAIs of Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya and AFROSAI-E on performance auditing in the oil and gas industry.  

We dedicated the final session to recognising excellence with our annual Technical Update awards. The SAIs walking away with awards this year were:

SAI Somalia for their efforts to implement the ISSAIs and publishing their first audit report, using the FAM and CAM methodology, and tabling it in Parliament.
SAI Ghana for developing the best Human Resource Strategy

SAI Sierra Leone for demonstrating innovation in their Communication and Stakeholder Relations activities.

For the 14th year, the Technical Update has proven to be an invaluable knowledge and experience sharing platform. Participation from stakeholders and several countries beyond the AFROSAI-E region demonstrated the regional commitment to ‘mutual experience benefits all’.