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

Costa Rica

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 objective is to develop a platform that allows citizens to monitor public expenditure and follow-up the flow of funds throughout the entire budget cycle. The SAI is one of the responsible actors in charge of this commitment. (See Costa Rica Action Plan here)


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 Philippines

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:

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TPA Initiative – ACIJ (2011): “Diagnostic Report on Transparency, Citizen Participation and Accountability in Supreme Audit Institutions of Latin America”

TPA Initiative – ACIJ (2013): “Audit Institutions in Latin America. Transparency, Citizen Participation and Accountability Indicators”.

Cornejo, C., Guillan, A. & Lavin, R. (2013): “When Supreme Audit Institutions engage with civil society: Exploring lessons from the Latin American Transparency Participation and Accountability Initiative”, U4 Practice Insight Nº5, Bergen, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre - Chr. Michelsen Institute.

O´Donnell, Guillermo (2001): “Horizontal. Accountability: The legal institutionalization of mistrust”, Buenos Aires, PostdataN°6, pp. 11-34.

OECD (2013): “Citizen Engagement and Supreme Audit Institutions” (Stocktaking Report: DRAFT).

UN (2013): “Citizen Engagement Practicesby Supreme Audit Institutions”, Compendium of Innovative Practices of Citizen Engagementby Supreme Audit Institutions for Public Accountability.

INTOSAI (2013): “The Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions – making a difference to the lives of citizens”,ISSAI 12.

INTOSAI (2013): “Beijing Declaration”.

OLACEFS (2013): “The Santiago Declaration”.

INTOSAI (2010):“Principles of transparency and accountability”,ISSAI 20.

INTOSAI (2010):“Principles of Transparency and Accountability - Principles and Good Practices”, ISSAI 21.

INTOSAI (2007): “The Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence“, ISSAI 10.

OLACEFS (2009): “Asuncion Declaration”.

INTOSAI (1977): “Lima Declaration”.

UN (2011): Resolution A/66/209 “Promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration bystrengthening supreme audit institutions”.

UN (2003): “United Nations Convention against Corruption”.