SAI Receives the Highest Scores from the World Bank in the Field of External Audit

31 January 2022.
SAI Receives the Highest Scores from the World Bank in the Field of External Audit

In the fourth evaluation of the National Public Financial Management System in Serbia, ie Impact Assessment Report of "the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability" (PEFA) in the field of external audit, and after three previously conducted PEFA evaluations at the central level in 2007, 2010 and In 2015, the State Audit Institution achieved significantly higher assessments compared to the previous report.

In the latest report from the World Bank, the SAI received the highest score A in three dimensions - audit coverage and standards, response to external audit reports, as well as in the area of ​​SAI independence, and grade B only in one dimension - submission of audit reports to the legislature. The SAI received a grade of B due to unnecessary retention of the report on the audit of mandatory social insurance organizations from 2017, said Dr. Dusko Pejovic, President and Auditor General.

"SAI is an independent institution and conducts audits in accordance with the annual audit program and international standards. In addition to the audits that are mandatory each year under the SAI Law, risk-based audit planning allows SAI to prioritize among its 11,000 potential audit entities,” the report said.

World Bank experts also stated that "all audit reports are published soon after the audit is completed."

"Procedures and practices for auditing the annual budget have been established appropriately, while the review of government financial statements, ie final accounts, has been improved," the World Bank said in a statement. "Further standardization of audit practice and increased efficiency is expected in 2021 after the introduction of integrated audit management software."

The report points out that "despite limited resources, the SAI conducts annually a wide range of audits of financial statements, compliance audits and performance audits. Methodologies are constantly evolving to further align with the revised INTOSAI ISSAI framework. An effective system for monitoring audit recommendations by audited entities is provided for in legislation and is respected in practice. "

It also states that "SAI manages a comprehensive database on the status of implementation of recommendations issued to the executive branch".

The assessment given by PEFA covered the central level of the state, and also all direct and indirect users of budget funds were analyzed. The assessment included the last three completed fiscal years, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

This assessment provided useful information for the preparation of the new Public Financial Management Reform Program, which covers the period from 2021 to 2025. Since the establishment of the Public Financial Management Reform Program, the system of external oversight of public finances has been established through partnership work of two independent bodies, SAI and the National Assembly through the Committee on Finance, Republic Budget and Control of Public Expenditure. The activities of the State Audit Institution in this Program will significantly contribute to the supervision and control of the spending of allocated budget funds, which is one of the main elements of a transparent and efficient public finance system.

The PEFA AssessmentReport for 2021 may be found here.