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July 27, 2021

Enhancing Accountability through Independent Supreme Audit Institutions

COVID-19 brought into focus the need for greater transparency and accountability in public finances. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), also known as the Auditor General, National Audit Office, Cour des Comptes, Tribunal de Comptes amongst others, in different countries, play the most important role in promoting efficient and accountable public administration and contribute in enabling the achievement of sustainable development goals.

SAIs are responsible for auditing public revenue, expenditure, assets, and liabilities to ascertain the quality and credibility of financial information generated by the executive branch of government, and to contribute to the legislature’s fiscal oversight role. Independence is fundamental for effectiveness of SAIs as key accountability institutions. The absence of adequate independence and capacity can impair a Supreme Audit Institutions​’ ability to support the fight against corruption and to assess the value for money of government programs. How can we strengthen the independence and capacity of SAIs? This led to the World Bank developing the 2021 Global SAI Independence Index to strengthen its ability and other development partners to promote the independence of those institutions globally. 

Join us in launching the World Bank’s Supreme Audit Institutions Independence (SAI) Index, presenting the global and regional trends on various dimensions of SAI independence in 118 countries. During the event, the panel of global leaders will present discuss and share reflections on ways to strengthen transparency and accountability in public sector governance, which is critical as the world emerges out of COVID-19.

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  • "The role of Supreme Audit Institutions during this global crisis cannot be overemphasized. The launch of this index is a significant step demonstrating the World Bank's commitment to building & strengthening sustainable governance institutions & partner countries." 

     —Edward Olowo-Okere, Global Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank Group

  • "The index findings say that independence has no relationship with income level. Income level is not a barrier for a higher level of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) independence. If there is a strong SAI, it doesn't mean no corruption in the country, and vice versa." 

    —Srinivas Gurazada, Global Lead, Public Financial Management, World Bank

  • "How do we create environments in which governments are able to do they best they can with the meager resources at their disposal? How do we bring people around this agenda?" 

     —Mirza Jahani, UK Development Director for Central Asia (FCDO) - Forthcoming

  • "The more transparency there is, the more room there is for the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) to operate effectively. Based on these findings today, the most concrete steps that we can take together is to enhance SAI independence, with an emphasis on financial independence." 

     —Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office

  • "Without an independent Supreme Audit Institution, you do not have an independent Auditor General either." 

     —Helena Lindberg, Auditor General Sweden

Speakers

Global Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank Group

Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office

Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office

Hossam Al-Angari, President of the General Auditing Bureau of Saudi Arabia

President of the General Auditing Bureau of Saudi Arabia

Helena Lindberg, Auditor General Sweden

Auditor General Sweden

Pamela Monroe Ellis, Auditor General Jamaica

Auditor General Jamaica

Mirza Jahani, UK Development Director for Central Asia (FCDO) - Forthcoming

UK Development Director for Central Asia (FCDO) - Forthcoming

Carolina Renteria, Chief of FAD’s Public Financial Management (PFM) I Division, IMF

Chief of FAD’s Public Financial Management (PFM) I Division, IMF

Vivek Ramkumar, Senior Director of Policy, International Budget Partnership (IBP)

Senior Director of Policy, International Budget Partnership (IBP)

Srinivas Gurazada, Global Lead, Public Financial Management, World Bank

Global Lead, Public Financial Management, World Bank

Moderator

Adenike (Nike) Sherifat Oyeyiola, Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice, World Bank

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