Lead authors: Renzo Lavin & Carolina Cornejo (ACIJ)
Contributing authors: Sruti Bandyopadhyay (World Bank)
- Module 01
- International Legal Framework
Global initiatives supporting SAI-Citizen engagement
The Open Government Partnership and SAIs
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative launched in 2011, currently involving over 60 countries, that encourages governments and civil society to work together to develop and implement reforms that lead to more open, accountable, and responsive governments.
Audit bodies do not have a specific role acknowledged within the OGP. However, they can benefit from country action plans and government commitments to increased transparency and accountability. OGP and SAIs share the mission of strengthening oversight, transparency, and accountability to ensure and improve service delivery and government responsiveness to citizens.
How can SAIs engage with the OGP?
- Direct reforms enhance SAI’s effectiveness: A SAI can voluntarily participate in the country’s openness strategy and actively work with the government to implement reforms and strengthen its oversight capabilities.
- Executive empowers SAI: The executive branch can voluntarily implement policies to empower the SAI to be more effective.
- SAI benefits from other reforms: The executive branch makes the SAI’s job easier by implementing reforms to its own internal audit and governing processes and opening channels for public engagement.
- SAI benefits from overall data transparency: Data transparency is another way to increase SAI effectiveness. By having government agencies put up key data sets on an open platform, SAIs (with help from citizens) can analyze the data to identify possible gaps in government expenditure patterns and service delivery.
OGP Commitments addressing SAIs and Citizens
The goal is to strengthen the National System of Service Audits by a dissemination campaign on its duties, customer service offices in state agencies, and mechanisms available to citizens for submitting complaints, claims, and suggestions.
The government has developed a strategy for social control through “visible audits,” which seek to provide local follow-up to the investment of royalty funds, promoting good practices through forums with the beneficiary communities and actors involved in the execution of audits.
The e-Government program, along with the control agencies (General Prosecutor, Comptroller General, Auditor General), will seek to unify information systems for fiscal control (at the national and regional levels) to generate better opportunities for electronic participation by civil society with regard to disciplinary and fiscal control. The Auditor General took a leading role in planning that process.The definition of a unified model will take into account best international, national, and regional practices. (See Colombia Action Plan here)
The Commission on Audit will create an internal unit to institutionalize the engagement of civil society organizations in conducting participatory audits of government projects. For 2014, the commission will jointly conduct four pilot audits of infrastructure projects with partner civil society organizations. (See Philippines Action Plan here)
The State Audit office will upload related statistics and finance information about political parties to its own website and make it available in machine-readable format to the public. The objective is to ensure transparency and publicity of political finances. (See Georgia Action plan here)
For more examples of OGP commitments focused on SAIs and citizens, please select any of the following links:
- Guatemala: Implementation of a transparency school. (See Guatemala Action Plan here)
- Peru: Strengthening the National Grievance System. (See Peru Action Plan here)
- Brazil: Participatory Audits on Construction by Brazilian host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (See Brazil Action Plan here)
- South Africa: Partnerships with civil society. (See South Africa Action Plan here)
- Tanzania: Improvement of SAIs’ website and public visibility. (See Tanzania Action Plan here)
- Ghana: Implementation of audit recommendations. (See Ghana Action Plan here)
- Sierra Leone: Increasing compliance with audit measures. (See Sierra Leone Plan here)