The President of the State Audit Institution (SAI) and Auditor General, Dr. Duško Pejović, officially opened the first Training Center of the State Audit Institution in Belgrade today.
It is an exceptional honor for the State Audit Institution, and for me as its President, to open the first Training Center of the Institution today. We are doing that today, on Sava's Day, which marks the memory of Saint Sava, the great Serbian educator, said Dr. Pejović.
SAI needs its own training center, because training and education of auditors guarantees excellence in work and improvement of audit products, said Dr. Pejović.
I would like to express my gratitude to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the successful partnership we built during the Government Accountability Initiative Project (GAI), and part of the cooperation is the renovation and equipping of this Center, said Dr. Pejovic, and reminded of the cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the United States of America.
According to Dr. Pejović, the Project has supported SAI in important areas in the past four years, such as performance measurement and monitoring of recommendations implementation, performance audits, including training for lecturers, reporting in high-risk areas, improving Methodology for monitoring audit effects.
According to Dr. Pejović, SAI is increasing the number of compliance audit reports and performance audit reports, and at the same time it is reducing financial statements reports .
We are approaching the line that annually speaking, soon we willhave published 60 percent of compliance audit and performance audit reports, and 40 percent financial statement reports, Dr. Pejović pointed out.
As Dr. Pejović emphasized, in the SIGMA Assessment Reportregarding the principles of public administration of the Republic of Serbia for 2021, external audit is the best rated area in Serbia with a score of 4.5 compared to the highest score of 5.0, with the greatest progress compared to 2017 when it was rated 3.5.
In the area of external audit, i.e. indicators related to the effectiveness of the external audit system, Serbia is far ahead of the regional average in this area, which stands at about 3.3, according to the SIGMA Report. Rankings in other areas in Serbia range from 3.0. to 3.6, explained Dr. Pejović.
Regarding Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment Report (PEFA), the State Audit Institution achieved grade A in three dimensions (audit scope and standards; response to external audit reports; independence of SAI) and grade B in one dimension - submitting audit reports of the legislative power, Dr. Pejović pointed out.
Chief of Party of the GAI Project, Jacqueline Williams-Bridgers, praised the commitment of all auditors to learn and apply new skills and knowledge in their daily work, working diligently to strengthen oversight of public spending in Serbia.
Shanley Pinchotti, Director of the Office for Democratic and Economic Growth of the USAID Mission, recognized the importance of cooperation with the State Audit Institution and announced another five years of USAID support.
The opening of the Center was attended by the Council and the Secretary of the SAI, Supreme State Auditors and team leaders, as well as the project manager Milena Jenovai.
Over the past four years of support and technical assistance to the State Audit Institution, the GAI Project has supported the training of more than 200 performance auditors, worked with SAI management and auditors to improve and adopt multiple policies, mechanisms, and evaluation methodologies to support the expansion of performance audits across the Institution. During the Project, experiences were exchanged with US auditors in the areas of risk assessment and strategic planning; research and data analysis methodology; fraud risk assessments; assurances on the quality of the audit; effect measurements; monitoring of implementation of recommendations; reporting and communication with various stakeholders. The GAI project also provided training for trainers and prepared materials for almost 40 trainings for performance audit, methodology and data analysis.