Supreme Audit Institutions and Public Value: Demonstrating Relevance
37 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2016
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have an important role in ensuring public sector accountability; their main activities being managing the audit of public sector entities’ financial statements and assessing probity/compliance, providing advice to parliamentary committees, and undertaking performance audits. Standards issued by the International Organisation of SAIs encourage SAIs to recognise the value they deliver through their activities and to demonstrate that to citizens, Parliament and other stakeholders. The recognition of the need to be democratically accountable for efficiency and effectiveness is one aspect of public value, which is also concerned with the just use of authority (Moore, 2013).
The purpose of this paper is to develop the components of a SAI’s public value and, through a comparative international study, to analyse how SAIs report on the public value they deliver. Analysing reporting against the model developed in this paper indicates that SAIs’ reporting prioritises critiques to increase public sector efficiency and effectiveness, rather than government policy. In addition, it finds SAIs generally fail to discuss any negative consequences of their work. SAIs are encouraged to develop new ways to demonstrate their ongoing relevance.
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