Advancing budget credibility through external audits

Impact and strategic considerations
April 11, 2024
8:30 am – 10:00 am EDT

Virtual Event

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) play a crucial role in strengthening the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring that a country’s budget is on track. External audits can play a significant role in strengthening budget credibility as they can assess the ability of governments to meet their expenditure and revenue targets accurately and consistently. Systematic monitoring and follow up to audit recommendations and engaging relevant stakeholders can further amplify the impact of external audits to address budget credibility.

This is the fourth and final session of a webinar series to enable peer learning on the various ways in which Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) may assess and address budget credibility. This session is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in collaboration with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI).

The series follows the launching of “Strengthening Budget Credibility through External Audits: An Auditor’s Handbook”. Drawing on SAIs’ experience in different regions, the handbook explores different approaches to auditing budget credibility and provides a practical overview of existing and potential audit work that can contribute to improving budget credibility. The handbook also aims to support SAIs in enhancing their analyses of the credibility of government budgets.

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Speakers

Anibal Kohlhuber

Office of the Auditor General of the Nation of Argentina,

Mr. Kohlhuber is an auditor in the General Audit Office in Argentina (AGN) and consultant in capacity development for SAIs. He is the former Head of Institutional Relations and Agreements of the General Audit Office of the Nation (AGN) and Advisor to Mr. Jesús Rodríguez (Former President of the AGN). Previously, he was the Deputy Comptroller General of Argentina (SIGEN) and INTOSAI Capacity Development Manager at the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI). He is also a founding member of the Argentine Governance Network and Member of the Brazil Governance Network. Mr. Kohlhuber is a public accountant. He studied and served as Deputy Director General of the Master’s Degree in International Government Auditing at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and has a Masters in Government Auditing and taught Comprehensive Audit I of the Master’s Degree in Government Auditing at the National University of San Martin. He has also been a Professor in the Postgraduate Programs of University of Buenos Aires (UBA), University of Cuyo- Argentina, and FLACSO.

Jeffrey L. Arkin

Director, US Government Accountability Office

Jeff Arkin is a director in GAO’s Strategic Issues team. Mr. Arkin oversees GAO’s work on federal budget issues; states’ and localities’ use of federal grants and other financial assistance; and the quality, transparency, and usefulness of federal spending data. He joined GAO in 2002 and spent over a decade leading reviews of tax policy and administration. His work on identifying ways to improve tax compliance resulted in billions of dollars in additional federal revenue and other improvements to the federal tax system’s operations. Prior to joining GAO, Mr. Arkin worked as a marketing analyst for a satellite communications company and independently for a variety of private and public sector clients. Mr. Arkin has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American History from Middlebury College (Vermont) and a master’s degree from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego.

Mary Ann de Jong-Curet

Secretary General, Court of Audit Aruba

Mary Ann Elizabeth de Jong-Curet’s professional trajectory spans over three decades, during which she held key positions contributing to public financial management of Aruba. Since September 2019 she has been serving as the Secretary-General of the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) Aruba. Prior to occupying this position, she was Head of Budget and Financial-economic Policy for the Government of Aruba. Additionally, she acted as deputy and Interim Director of the Department of Finance.

In addition to her impactful role within SAI Aruba, Mary Ann has actively participated in various committees and projects aimed at promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing and fostering positive change. She initiated the Budget Coordinators’ Meeting (BCO) and chaired it for several years. Her contributions extend to co-developing public finance learning courses and facilitating knowledge exchange programs with international counterparts. Mary Ann also played an instrumental role in organizing the XII CAROSAI Congress in 2022, the first to be held in a hybrid format. In response to INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) programs such as SAI PMF (Performance Measurement Framework) and SPMR, (Strategy, Planning, Monitoring and Reporting) she played a crucial role in guiding Multi-Year Planning & Control Cycle within SAI Aruba.

Josephine Mukomba

Executive Officer - Audit Capacity Building, AFROSAI-E

Josephine coordinates, at a strategic and operational level, the operations and activities of AFROSAI-E audit capacity building, facilitate the integration of Audit and Support related activities, interaction with key stakeholders to ensure desired impact of capacity building interventions.

Special areas of expertise include Audit management, Audit methodology, Management of capacity building programmes.

Archana Shirsat

Deputy Director General, INTOSAI Development Initiative

Ms. Archana Shirsat is a Deputy Director General at INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) based in Oslo, Norway. IDI is an INTOSAI body that works towards effective, accountable, and inclusive Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) for better societies and improved lives. IDI has a strategic focus on sustainability, digitalization, and public trust in SAIs. (www.idi.no)

Within IDI, she is a part of the management team and heads a department that works towards a vision of professionalism and relevance of SAIs. Her team delivers its mandate by supporting SAIs in developing competent SAI audit professionals, effective SAI audit leaders, sustainable SAI audit practices and raising the profile of SAI audits. As a part of supporting SAI relevance her department currently facilitates audits of SDGs implementation, equality & inclusion, digital transformation and climate action for SAIs across the world.

Austin Ndiokwelu

Director of Policy and Global Advocacy, International Budget Partnership

Austin joined the International Budget Partnership in June 2018 and previously served as the Country Manager for Nigeria and the Head of the Africa tax equity initiative. Prior to joining IBP, Austin worked with DFID’s (now FCDO) flagship governance reform and public sector accountability program in Nigeria (Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn, or PERL), where he served as Federal Reform Manager. Austin managed the team that facilitated improvements in the linkages between policy-making, strategic planning, budgeting, and service delivery, and contributed to strengthening inter-governmental coordination between the federal and state governments. Previously, he was the Component Manager for Public Finance Management in FCDO’s Federal Public Administration Reform Program (FEPAR), where he supported budget reforms initiated by Office of the Vice President. Austin was involved in the successful transition from the predecessor SPARC/SAVI/FEPAR suite of FCDO programs to the PERL suite.

Austin’s roots are in civil society, working with the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Lagos state, where he managed a small core team and over 3,000 volunteers. He was instrumental to the emergence of civil society networks and coalitions on accountable governance at the state and local government levels. He founded and edited the Budget-Track Newsletter between 2006 and 2008.

Austin holds an MA in Public Policy and Management from the University of York, United Kingdom. He has a Postgraduate Diploma from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, as well as a B.Sc. from University of Jos – all in Nigeria. He is also a certified Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessor.

David Le Blanc

Chief, Institutions for Sustainable Development Goals Branch (ISDGB), Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), UN DESA,

David Le Blanc joined the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government in UN DESA in 2017. He has led analytical work on public institutions, including the World Public Sector Reports. From 2006 to 2017, he was in the Division for Sustainable Development in the UN Secretariat. While there, he worked in support of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the substantive preparations of the Rio+20 conference, and the high-level political forum on sustainable development. Before joining the UN, Mr. Le Blanc worked at the World Bank as Senior Economist in the Urban and Housing Finance groups, with a focus on projects and technical assistance on housing policy, housing subsidies and housing finance. Earlier in his career, he worked at the French National Statistical Institute (INSEE) as Head of the National Housing Survey and Head of Regional Studies in the Rhône-Alpes regional office of INSEE, and at CREST, Paris as a research fellow.

Claire Schouten

Senior Program Officer, Advocacy, International Budget Partnership

Claire joined the International Budget Partnership in 2014 and specializes in integrity, transparency, accountability, and participation in public resource management. She has worked with civil society, governments, business, and donors on organizational development, action learning, monitoring and evaluation, and policy guidance.  Claire has more than 12 years of experience in governance and development in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Prior to joining non-governmental organizations, Claire worked with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations Volunteers External Relations Group in Bonn and Representation Office in New York, and the Ministry of National Defence in Canada. She has a Masters degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Claire has published research on social accountability in situations of conflict and fragility, drivers of change, and budget accountability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ICT for Open Contracting. Claire is fluent in English and French.

Moderators

Aranzazu Guillan Montero

Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Ms. Aránzazu Guillán Montero is a Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer at the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government in the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (DPIDG /UN DESA).

Before joining DESA, she was a Senior Program Advisor at U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (Norway) with a focus on mainstreaming anti-corruption into sector programs and strengthening people’s engagement in anti-corruption. Previously, she worked for the World Bank, both in operational work and capacity development, on public sector management reform, transparency, access to information and accountability in Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and South-East Europe. Aránzazu holds a PhD in Government and a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University (USA).

Event Resources

SAI budget credibility webinar note Session Four April 11 2024

pdf, 0.30 MB

Strengthening budget credibility through external audits Concept Note Webinar series

pdf, 0.23 MB

Manuel pour les ISC sur la credibilite budgetaire francais version préliminaire

pdf, 3.31 MB

Chapter 7 Presentation by Anibal Kohlhuber

pdf, 0.19 MB

IBP remarks for April 11 2024 webinar-Austin Ndiokwelu

pdf, 0.23 MB

Audit for Budget Credilbility-Archana Shirsat IDI

pdf, 0.09 MB

AFROSAI-E Auditing Budget Credibity-Josephine Mukomba

pdf, 0.47 MB

SAI Aruba-Mary Ann de Jong-Curet

pdf, 0.71 MB

Strengthening budget credibility through external audits - GAO-Jeff Arkin

pdf, 0.08 MB
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