Good Financial Governance in Africa

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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News | The joint side event on the role of Supreme Audit Institutions in the prevention and combat of corruption

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Jul, 20

The joint side event on the role of Supreme Audit Institutions in the prevention and combat of corruption

By Otsile Malebaco.

The African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) and African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) hosted a joint side event on Illicit Financial Flows and Corruption in Mauritania, supported by the GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme. The joint side event was parallel to the African Union 31st summit, under the theme “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.

The joint side event highlighted the role Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can play in combatting Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) in Africa and how these institutions can strengthen Public Finance Management systems to enhance effective spending of public funds free of corruption. During the panel discussion, the GFG in Africa Programme manager, Dr Barbara Dutzler emphasised the fact that the African Union with SAIs had a powerful instrument in their hands. As SAIs are key actors in the national accountability context, with an in-depth insider knowledge of their respective governance systems, once they join forces through the means of a cooperative audit, they can give impactful insights on the effective and efficient use of public funds across the African region.

In 2017, members of the AFROSAI from South Africa, Senegal, Togo, Tanzania, Kenya, Niger, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia undertook a coordinated audit, focusing on corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows, especially on Asset Declaration and Public Procurement Systems which was completed in April 2018. Mr Edward Ouko: The Auditor General of Kenya, representative of AFROSAI and chair of the AFROSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee, presented the report to the attendees and stated that while the AU Convention for Prevention and Combating of Corruption had resulted in AU member states adopting a good legislative framework, the implementation of these regulatory frameworks lagged behind, in the areas of asset declaration and procurement.

Mr Ouko further explained that Supreme Audit Institutions were keen to cooperate in the future with AUABC on the implementation of the Convention, but in order to do so effectively, they required independence. Additionally, he called upon the AU to issue a resolution similar to the UN Resolution A 66/209 from 2011 to increase awareness and create a positive momentum for SAI independence.
The AUABC Chairman Hon. Begoto welcomed the contributions of AFROSAI and expressed the wish to cooperate more with AFROSAI in the future, both on the current areas of asset declaration but also on the monitoring of the Convention. A follow up meeting in Addis Ababa, will be convened once the regional report on the Audit Findings and Recommendations is finalised.

Overall conclusion of the AFROSAI 2017/18 Coordinated Audit on Corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows:

  • The Governments audited have made substantial progress in putting the asset declaration and procurement systems required by AUCPCC and UNCAC in place. It is now imperative to improve their operations.
  • As an overarching finding, it is imperative to strengthen the controls of these systems, whether it is the verification of asset declarations, the procurement audits by oversight bodies or the control of declarations of conflict of interest in procurement. These controls combined with adequate sanction regimes must be put in place to prevent impunity.
  • Supreme Audit Institutions are essential actors in providing recommendations for improving these and other public finance systems. Their role in national governance systems should therefore be strengthened.

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