Project "Strengthening Capacities of the State Audit Institution of the Republic of Serbia Project"

03 December 2012.
Project "Strengthening Capacities of the State Audit Institution  of the Republic of Serbia Project"
The State Audit Institution marked today the beginning of a two-year Twinning Project "Strengthening Capacities of the State Audit Institution of the Republic of Serbia", funded by the European Union with 1.4 million Euros. Goal of the Project, which the Institution will realize with the Netherlands Court of Audit, Office of Auditor General of Great Britain and Slovenian Court of Audit, is to increase accountability and effective management of public funds, as well as to strengthen the State Audit Institution. In the opening speech in the National Assembly, Mr. Radoslav Sretenovic, the President of the State Audit Institution, emphasized that the Twinning Project is expected to be a successful tool for transfer of knowledge. "The Project will help us conduct activities stemming from our competences in compliance with international and European standards and best audit practices. Through strengthening capacities of the State Audit Institution, we will strengthen our skills, knowledge and manner of work, in order to make the Institution more successful," Sretenovic said. He added that the Institution is strategically devoted to making the audit quality its top priority.


Mr. Vincent Degert, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, emphasized that one of the most significant results of the project is increasing visibility of all activities of the State Audit Institution, in order for the citizens to strengthen their confidence in the work done by this crucial Institution. He added that external audit brings variety of benefits to the society, such as increase of accountability of competent entities regarding public funds expenditures, transparency of spending thereof and fight against corruption. However, according to him, in order for the State Audit Institution to contribute to better functioning of the state, it is necessary to be financially independent, to have appropriate business premises and staffing, and to receive the support of the Parliament, Government and other independent institutions and citizens.

Mr. Laurent Louis Stokvis, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Republic of Serbia, emphasized that it was a great honor for the Netherlands to participate in project implementation, for the State Audit Institution had acquired great credibility in such a short time. "I believe that combined experiences during project realization will increase the level of services and performance of the State Audit Institution", Stokvis said. He reminded that the Netherlands Court of Audit has a tradition almost 200 years long.

Mr. Michael Davenport, Ambassador of Great Britain, addressed the audience in the opening ceremony, on behalf of junior twinning partner. He stressed that the State Audit Institution is one of the pillars of democracy. According to him, Great Britain has particularly important experience in audit of financial statements and will assist in manual development and training of staff.
Project leader from the Netherlands Court of Audit, Mr André van Ommeren, said that his Institution is privilaged to have been selected, because over the years the State Audit Institution had been expanding the scope of audit, increasing number of entities and providing greater number of and more thorough recommendations. "State Audit Institution has developed very quickly and for a short time it has reached levels of progress not seen so far. We will take it one step further", Mr. Ommeren said. He announced the new concept of audit, which the State Audit Institution will develop with the support of the Netherlands Court of Audit - performance audit.
Resident Twinning Advisor, who will be residing in the State Audit Institution during the project implementation, is Mr. Brord van Westing.

Through transfer of knowledge, experiences and skills of experts from SAI of EU member states, capacities and audit quality of the State Audit Institution will be improved. The Project will include training, and/or development of financial and regularity audit, as well as introduction of the new concept - performance audit. The two-year cooperation will result also in two methodological manuals - for financial and performance audit. During implementation of the Project, the latest International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions will be used, adopted by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), as well as by its branch in Europe (EUROSAI).

Support to the State Audit Institution on todays ceremony has also been provided by the Committee for Finance, Republic Budget and Control of Public Funds' Spending, EU Integration Office, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Ombudsman, Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Anti-Corruption Agency, Public Procurement Administration, Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, UNDP, USAID and OSCE Mission to Serbia.
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