Support to ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions

Project description

Title: Support to ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: All 10 ASEAN member states
Lead executing agency: ASEANSAI Secretariat
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

Context

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) make a vital contribution to enhancing the transparency of public finances and improving the control of governmental action. As external financial control institutions, they help ensure that public funds are used efficiently and effectively for the provision of public services. They are an essential element of good financial governance (GFG) and therefore good governance.

ASEANSAI (ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions) was founded in November 2011 under the umbrella of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As the regional organisation of SAIs of ASEAN member states, it aims to promote the exchange of experience among its members and foster their skills and performance capacity.

By strengthening audit institutions in the ASEAN region, the transparency of public financial systems is to be enhanced, government accountability and good governance in the region promoted, and the basic conditions for the further economic integration of the ASEAN region improved.

ASEANSAI is thus integrated into the institutional framework and objectives of ASEAN. In their efforts to follow the example of the EU and establish an economic community, the ASEAN member states have prioritised the promotion of good governance. With this in mind, the action plan for economic and political integration (a rules-based community of shared values and norms), which runs to 2015, includes the aims of strengthening transparency and accountability and participatory and efficient governance. The establishment of ASEANSAI is therefore an important factor in the successful implementation of the ASEAN Charter.

Objective

ASEANSAI fulfils its mandate as the regional organisation of SAIs of ASEAN member states.
The supreme audit institutions of the CLMV countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam, are technically and institutionally able to implement joint activities.

Approach

The organisation’s main focus is on regional cooperation. The ten SAIs of the ASEAN member states exchange knowledge and experience to sustainably enhance their ability to act and shape their environment. To fill existing gaps, emphasis is placed first and foremost on exchanging knowledge within the ASEAN region. Only when this is not possible should participants then look to knowledge from outside the region. The project therefore strengthens the structures of the ASEANSAI regional organisation, enabling it to fulfil its role as the institutional framework for regional cooperation.

The project supports, in particular, the SAIs of the CLMV countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam, with the aim of ensuring that they develop the skills and resources necessary to successfully participate in the work of the ASEANSAI regional organisation.

The project supports the relevant implementing organisations by providing technical, organisational and process advice.

With its single economic area and growing political community, ASEAN offers a wide variety of possible audit areas. Other key actors, such as representatives of the national parliaments and civil society, are also involved in dialogue activities with the SAIs. This helps to establish and strengthen learning and cooperation processes in the partner structures.

Results

ASEANSAI now supports the Southeast Asian audit institutions in implementing the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI). This involves intensive knowledge exchanges and the creation of a pool of experts.

Employees of all ten member institutions have been trained in teaching methodology, in order to improve the standard of instruction on specific topics across the region.

In Cambodia and Laos, cooperation has improved between the respective audit institutions and parliaments.

In five states of the Mekong Basin, the audit institutions have begun a cooperative audit of biodiversity management for the Mekong region.

General Assembly of the ASEAN SAIs in Brunei Darussalam in 2013. © GIZ