The GIZ developed the Supreme Audit Institution Information Technologies Maturity Assessment (SAI ITMA). It is a diagnostic assessment tool aimed at holistically assessing the degree of maturity of SAIs concerning the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in external control, including IT audits. The ITMA enables SAIs, development partners, and other interested parties to technically support the best decision-making to strategically strengthen the SAI’s capacity to use ICT.
The Ethiopia SAI ITMA application workshop took place from 20 to 24 February 2023. In applying the ITMA method and tools, SAI Ethiopia aims to transform its organisation and enhance digitalisation and capabilities. A technical consultant and a team of AFROSAI-E moderators facilitated this GIZ-supported workshop.
The following steps will be for the SAI to gather evidence to support the assessment, develop the assessment report and produce action plans to address the identified shortcomings, which can be integrated into the SAI’s existing strategic plan.
Reflections from SAI Ethiopia and the workshop moderators
Assessing SAI’s strengths and gaps should be an essential and prioritised task that aids the SAI and its members in seeing where an improvement is needed to meet the mandates given. Citizens and other vital stakeholders expect the SAI to deliver value-adding services that will positively impact the country. Therefore, the SAI should identify the baseline, set targets, and prioritise strategic plans for those key areas to meet these expectations.
Critical priority areas that SAI Ethiopia identified include IT and IT audit-related activities. To determine the gaps and set the baseline for further advancement, SAI Ethiopia applied the ITMA with the support of the GIZ and AFROSAI-E.
“The SAI ITMA helped us to see how to use ICT to support and enable the audit and other corporate operations to deliver on our mandate by increasing audit quality, ensuring transparency, and strengthening accountability. It also helped us to align the IT audit requirements with other audit types, such as financial, compliance, and performance audits.”
SAI ITMA assessment sets standardised requirements and perspectives derived from key international standards to use technologies that support the audit work meeting the required outputs and outcomes. Geotechnologies are an example of addressing and enabling environmental audits covering the effective use of lands, forestation, deforestation, water coverage, and other areas.” Yigrem Mengesha, SAI Ethiopia
The ITMA application successfully determined the maturity level of SAI Ethiopia by integrating IT auditing, data analysis, and IT use and investigating how to improve the SAI’s overall performance through technology. The participants were well-organised and eager to learn more before the assessment began, making for fruitful deliberations and resolutions. Nonny Nkana, Moderator from SAI Malawi
“The SAI Ethiopia participants did a great job and actively engaged during the workshop. The ITMA facilitated cross-departmental communication and allowed participants better to understand the workings of other departments within the organisation. The group reviews were especially effective in this regard, as reviewers could question each other and gain clarity on why certain assessment questions were answered the way they were. This collaborative approach is essential to achieve a comprehensive assessment of the SAI’s ICT maturity and to identify opportunities for improvement. Overall, I was impressed with the engagement and collaboration displayed by the participants. I look forward to SAI Ethiopia’s progress in implementing the recommendations from the SAI ITMA assessment.” Ivan Mukisa, Moderator from SAI Uganda
“The Planning of the application Workshop, from agenda development (virtually) to onsite application, which involved all stakeholders (GIZ, AFROSAI-E, Moderators, OFAG Focal Point, and Coordinator), was impressive. MS Teams made it convenient for all members to access the tool and the developed templates simultaneously. The SAI Ethiopia team’s commitment was top-notch, and their attendance was encouraging.” Wezzie Lukhere, Consultant from Malawi
“It was encouraging to hear the SAI Ethiopia Deputy Auditor General express appreciation for the role of IT and IT audit units in the organisation and his satisfaction hearing about their existing maturity levels in IT. He is very hopeful that there will be some improvements.” Tauje Mwamadi, Moderator from Zimbabwe
“Undertaking programmes like the SAI ITMA is essential for driving the big digital transformation agenda and data-driven audits in SAIs. The experiences during the Ethiopia SAI ITMA highlighted the fundamental requirements for measuring IT maturity. The five pillars in the tool are expertly configured to measure and improve SAI readiness in ICT, and IT audits. I am especially impressed with the preparedness of SAI Ethiopia as they undertake the exercise, and I hope that more SAIs can participate in the near future.” Aaron Mwandia, Moderator from Zambia