EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signed a contract for the funding during the High Level Political Forum in New York, with the Development Initiative of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. These institutions, also known as SAIs, fulfil a crucial democratic role, exercising external oversight over government accounts, As such, they form a critical link in a country’s accountability chain and can provide insights into improving policy formulation and service delivery for people.
The funding will help build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions (in line with SDG target 16.6). More capacity-building will make for better quality audits and equip SAIs to face new challenges, such as preparedness to implement the SDGs or fully gender-relevant audits.
Sustainable development needs effective institutions to mobilise sufficient domestic revenues and implement national policies for poverty reduction. This is laid out in the “collect more, spend better” approach. Oversight of government action by the country’s external audit institution and by civil society leads to greater transparency and accountability. Effective oversight also contributes to improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public goods and services. External audit is a major factor in the fight against corruption and fraud, and against mismanagement of public procurement and investments.
However, SAIs across the globe face many challenges in strengthening their capacity and performance to deliver value and benefits for citizens. They often operate in constrained environments where basic transparency and accountability systems are lacking. SAIs in developing countries often lag behind, while least developed countries – including many fragile states – are significantly behind in most areas.
More information on actions supported by the European Commission:
The EU provides budget support in over 90 countries. It is the most advanced form of support in terms of country ownership, alignment and use of country systems. Through budget support, the EU contributes financially and qualitatively to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
EU budget support involves financial transfers to countries engaging in relevant and credible reforms. Reliance is placed on the audited national accounts prepared by the country’s own Supreme Audit Institution. Strengthening this function, as well as the internal audit and control institutions, is typically a significant part of any policy dialogue and capacity development connected with budget support.
In addition, the EU supports a number of projects for individual SAIs.
The contract with the INTOSAI Development Initiative will complement these bilateral actions on a global level, facing global challenges and synergies. This action is part of the EU’s “collect more spend better” approach.