The 2011-12 CCAF Fellows, now halfway through their ten-month study of performance audit methodologies in Canada, are making excellent progress. While they are gaining practical experience as members of audit teams at the Offices of the Auditors General of Canada, Québec and Alberta and participating in a variety of professional development courses, the Fellows are also actively working on their Strategy Papers.
|The Fellows in December, at one of two workshops CCAF delivered for them on the performance audit planning process.
Back row: Charles Flowers, workshop facilitators Barry Leighton and Michael McLauglin, Carlisle Marshall, and Ibrahim Baba-Moussa.
Front row: Célestin Ankamtsene, Joyce Ndung'u, Tuyet Nguyen, Hong Han, Angela Karwal of the OAG Alberta, and Elizabeth Augustino.
For the Strategy Paper assignment, the Fellows are developing plans for performance audits that they will carry out when they return home to their supreme audit institutions (SAIs). In consultation with his or her auditor general, each Fellow selected an audit topic that is aligned with the SAI's plans and that has a strong focus on one or more of the priority themes of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Fellows described to CCAF the reasons for selecting their topics:
Fellows at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada
SOURCES OF SUPPORT
In Canada: Each Fellow has been matched with a mentor at the host audit office. This senior auditor coaches the Fellow and offers regular feedback on the Strategy Paper, which the Fellows all find extremely valuable.
At home: Each Fellow’s SAI has assigned a member of their performance audit team to act as the primary contact at the office, providing the Fellow with information and documents from his or her home country as needed.
Solid Waste Management Authority Project in Belize – Charles Flowers
The Government of Belize is undertaking a sanitary landfill project to improve solid waste management practices and thereby support the goals of environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and protection of public health, safety and welfare. This multi-phase project, now underway, is being carried out with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank. "This project is of high importance to the Government and thus we want to report on whether it is well managed," Charles said. This will be the SAI's first audit of an ongoing project.
Maternal Health in Kenya – Joyce Ndung'u
Improving maternal health is among the objectives in Kenya's national development plan, Kenya Vision 2030, which includes the specific goal of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2015. This audit, which will be the SAI's first on the subject of maternal health, will seek to identify the progress being made towards achieving the maternal health goals and make appropriate audit recommendations based on the audit findings.
Centre for At-Risk Youth in Saint Lucia – Carlisle Marshall
|The Fellows delivered individual presentations on their Strategy Papers during the interactive CCAF workshops.
For his Strategy Paper, Carlisle is planning for a performance audit of the management of the Boys Training Centre and the effectiveness of its services. The centre, which is Saint Lucia's only juvenile detention facility, houses, educates and rehabilitates boys charged with criminal offences and boys under the state's care and protection. Several media reports have raised public concerns about the centre. In 2009, the government announced plans to construct a new 25-acre facility in a new location, at a cost of EC$7 million (Eastern Caribbean dollars) that was to start in 2010.
Wildlife Management in Tanzania – Elizabeth Augustino
Tanzania's wildlife, Elizabeth says, "is a natural and cultural resource that requires ongoing protection to ensure diversity." Diverse wildlife provides a basis for research and education, as well as tourism, which generates revenue for the country and creates jobs. This audit will review the government's efforts to manage and conserve wildlife and its habitat, to support the sustainability of this resource.
Fellows at the Vérificateur Général du Québec
|CIDA PRIORITY THEMES:
CIDA CROSSCUTTING THEMES:
- Increasing food security
- Securing the future of children and youth
- Stimulating sustainable economic development
- Increasing environmental sustainability
- Promoting equality between women and men
- Helping to strengthen governance
National Micro-Credit Program in Benin – Ibrahim Baba-Moussa
Through the National Fund for Microfinance, the government operates a program intended to provide micro-credit to Benin's poorest citizens at a very low interest rate. Ibrahim and his SAI chose to plan an audit of this program because there is, he says, a great deal of "national interest in the political, economic and social issues" involved, and it is therefore important that the government and the public have assurance of whether the program is well managed.
National Vaccination Program in Cameroon – Célestin Ankamtsene
Célestin is preparing his audit plan on the topic of Cameroon's Programme National Élargi de Vaccincation (National Extended Vaccination Program). This program is of national interest and is included among the human development priorities identified in Cameroon's strategic plan for growth and employment. The vaccination program, and public health programs in general, are also of great significance for the SAI because of the large amounts of funding they receive from the government and international donors. Furthermore, the implementation of an audit of the National Extended Vaccination Program will support the SAI of Cameroon's strategic plan and its practice of performance auditing.
Fellows at the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta
When they return home to their SAIs, the Fellows will carry out their audits, putting into practice the range of performance audit skills they learned through their Fellowships and sharing this knowledge with the other members of their audit teams.
Safety of Street Vendors' Food in Vietnam – Han Thi Bich Hong
Hong says that "food safety is an area that receives significant attention from both the government and the public," and noted that "a survey in 2008 found that Vietnam had 250-500 incidents of food borne illness annually, affecting 7,000-10,000 people and resulting in 100-200 deaths." Her SAI decided to do a performance audit of the safety of food sold by street vendors because it is very popular in Vietnam and a part of traditional food culture, yet this food is very often prepared and sold under unhygienic conditions.
Vocational Training in Vietnam – Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet
This audit will look at vocational training, focusing primarily on programs administered by the Ministry of Labour, Disabled Persons and Social Affairs. Tuyet believes this is an important topic because "vocational training is considered a top national policy, one of the innovative solutions of the economic development strategy, and it plays an important role in creating jobs, increasing incomes for workers, and reducing poverty. Proper management of vocational training will help improve the standards and quality of vocational training to better meet the human resource requirements of the industries, and contribute to the country's economic growth and development."
|The Fellows with co-facilitator Barry Leighton, Yves Gauthier of CCAF, and Adriel Gionet of the OAG of Canada
during the workshop on audit planning
In December 2011, the Fellows held mid-term meetings at home with their auditors general and senior managers to confirm the direction of their audit plans and discuss how the audits will be carried out. The Fellows were also able to meet with their audit teams and with management of the audit entity during their visits home.
Now back in Canada for the second half of their Fellowship placements, the Fellows continue to work on their audit plans with ongoing support from all partners—their Canadian host offices, their SAIs, and CCAF—and will complete their Strategy Papers by May. The Fellows will then return to their SAIs to carry out their audits, with the International Program's post-graduate support in areas such as evidence gathering and analysis, audit report writing, and working with parliamentary oversight committees. The Fellows' SAIs have committed to undertake these audits within two years of the Fellows' return home.
CCAF and the Fellows would like to thank the mentors at the Offices of the Auditors General of Canada, Québec and Alberta for their guidance and support. Thanks also to Adriel Gionet of the OAG of Canada and to Peter Akullo and Angela Karwal of the OAG of Alberta for participating in the workshops on audit planning; their contributions, which reflected the performance audit practices in their offices, enriched the discussions.