Participation During the Dissemination of Audit Reports

The audit cycle does not end with the draft of a report; its success or failure is ultimately determined by whether or not the audited agency adopts and implements its recommendations effectively.

Although the normative framework establishes institutional mechanisms that govern how audit reports are officially used, evidence shows that formalized external monitoring mechanisms alone are not sufficient to make government bodies accountable. Effectiveness also requires active dissemination policies to enable the public to hold the government and public sector entities accountable. The dissemination of audit reports to the general public and to external stakeholders has proven useful to improve the level of compliance with recommendations, thus strengthening public accountability.

Some mechanisms that could complement the current policy and engage CSOs during the dissemination and follow-up phases of the audit cycle are the following:

Mechanism: Collaborative dissemination of audit results

  • CSOs, the media, and other stakeholders can be replicators of audit reports and broaden the outreach of SAI audience, leading to increased visibility and effectiveness of audit results


Several stakeholders can use SAIs´ communication strategies to disseminate the results of the audit process to increase their effectiveness. SAIs develop an active communication policy.

Who can participate
  • CSOs

  • Journalist

  • Citizens

  • Other oversight institutions and anticorruption agencies

Challenges and responses

Targeting the audience

  • Building upon SAIs’ communication unit´s database

Ensuring effective communication of audit results

  • Writing reader-friendly reports

  • Summarizing conclusions, findings, and recommendations in simple language and through visual tools, such as graphs and figures

  • Drafting press releases

  • Requesting feedback from audit recipients


The Auditor General of South Africa develops an intensive communication policy, under the assumption that the media are a key partner to reach citizens and engage them in public audit. To facilitate working with the media—and with other stakeholders, as well—the AG develops a glossary of auditing terms and publishes brochures on communication and reporting to increase understanding of its audit opinions and processes.

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Mechanism: Public sharing meetings

  • They entail a strong mechanism of SAI accountability, which fosters dialogue and discussion between SAIs and multiple stakeholders regarding audit findings and conclusions.

  • They can trigger collaboration on the follow-up of recommendations.

  • They contribute to enhanced visibility and effectiveness of audit results.


The SAI holds an on-site, public meeting, in which it explains the scope and findings of audits, so as to account for the conclusions, inform the public, and answer questions from the audience with relation to the issues under audit.

Who can participate
  • CSOs

  • Citizens

  • Journalists

  • Legislative advisers

  • Other oversight institutions and anticorruption agencies

Challenges and responses

Targeting the right audience

  • Building upon SAIs’ communication unit’s database to contact stakeholders working on the topic under discussion

Ensuring effective communication of audit results

  • Delivering presentations to back audit results

  • Ensuring time for questions and answers from the audience


  • Requesting feedback to nurture forthcoming audit processes on the same topic

  • The OAG of Nepal has instituted a policy of presenting the results of the annual audit cycle to the media through press conferences.
    “PEER ASSIST PROCESS: Citizen Engagement in the Audit Process in Nepal – Final Report”, May 19-22, 2014.

  • The Slovene Court of Audit issues press releases to accompany the release of audit reports and holds press conferences to highlight the most important audit findings.

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