Auditing the End-Year Accounts or State Budget
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have a crucial role to play in strengthening the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring that a country’s budget is on track. Checking and reporting on the legality and accuracy of public accounts, as well as the credibility of budgets, can be instrumental in governments delivering on their sustainable development promises and realizing the SDG targets. The importance of budget credibility is recognized in SDG indicator 16.6.1 and is relevant across all SDGs. Lack of credibility of the planning and budgeting processes can compromise the delivery of critical services necessary for attainment of the SDGs, and more broadly inhibit the transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.
“Strengthening Budget Credibility through External Audits: An Auditor’s Handbook” – the output of a two-year collaboration between Supreme Audit Institutions, civil society, international organizations, and other public finance experts – explores different approaches to auditing budget credibility. Drawing on SAIs’ experience in different regions, the result is a practical overview of existing and potential audit work that can contribute to improving budget credibility.
This webinar series creates a platform where SAIs and other stakeholders can share knowledge and experiences on budget credibility, and discuss the strategies and practical ways in which the approaches illustrated in the handbook can be implemented and institutionalized.
A credible budget is one that is executed according to the plan approved by the legislature at aggregate and detailed allocations. Budget credibility is about upholding government commitments and understanding why governments deviate from these commitments. The credibility of government budgets is a key driver of effective service delivery and public trust in government systems. When budgets are not implemented as planned, spending priorities can shift, deficits may exceed projections, and critical services may be compromised. Budget credibility risks can occur at any stage of the budget process at the whole-of-government level and during the execution of the budget by entities and in specific programs.
This session will focus on budget credibility risks at the whole of government and program/entity levels, and their interlinkages. Building on the experience of different SAIs, the session will discuss how auditors can contribute to identify budget credibility risks at the whole-of-government government and program level and how these risks can be addressed to enhance budget credibility. The session will also provide some key recommendations to advance SAI work in this area.