The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme promotes transparency and accountability in public financial management and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its objective is to foster Good Financial Governance in Africa, more specifically to equip decision-makers in African public finance to use region-specific services, products and further education to improve financial governance.
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The GIZ Good Financial Governance (GFG) in Africa Programme together with its partner the African Organization of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) is supporting the Malawi National Audit Office (NAO) to be prepared for three distinct challenges of the 21st century: firstly, the issue of digitalization, secondly implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thirdly, disaster preparedness.
The GIZ GFG Sector Programme in Bonn, Germany has developed the Supreme Audit Institution Information Technology Maturity Assessment (SAI ITMA) tool in 2019. GFG in Africa Programme and AFROSAI-E have now supported Malawi NAO to implement the assessment. SAI ITMA is a diagnostic assessment tool with the objective of drawing attention to those IT related areas in the SAI, such as IT audit capabilities, IT infrastructure and internal IT processes that need to be strengthened and may require support from external parties (e.g. development partners). The first steps of the assessment commenced in September 2021and in November 2021, the team in the SAI wrapped up the assessment and started the development of action plans to immediately take up the results from the assessment. SAIs with strong IT capacities and capabilities are paramount in ensuring oversight on the use of public funds in an increasingly digitized public sector. GFG in Africa Programme together with AFROSAI-E are planning two additional rollouts of the SAI ITMA in the region in 2022.
The Public Financial Management Reporting Framework (PFM RF) was developed by the GIZ GFG in Africa Programme together with its partner AFROSAI-E to address two of the afore-mentioned challenges: enabling SAIs to make a meaningful contribution towards realizing the SDGs as well as ensuring the resilience of a country’s PFM system for disasters.
The PFM RF is a diagnostic excel based assessment tool that allows auditors to audit the entire PFM system along the budget cycle with the objective to verify its ability to support the implementation of SDGs and guarantee disaster preparedness. So far, it has been rolled out in 14 countries, Malawi being the 15th country to join the ranks. In November 2021, a team of auditors from Malawi NAO were successfully trained in the application of the tool. Moreover, stakeholders, such as core PFM institutions (Ministry of Finance, Malawi Revenue Authority and Parliament) as well as selected Ministries were briefed on the tool. Stakeholders welcomed the initiative of Malawi NAO to implement the PFM RF in Malawi as a significant value addition to the country’s PFM system. All activities were implemented in close liaison with and continuous support from the bilateral GIZ Programme “ Strengthening Public Financial and Economic Management (PFEM)” in Malawi.