The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Auditing and Public Finance Management

January 2005 | by Vivek Ramkumar and Warren Krafchik, International Budget Partnership

This paper argues that greater collaboration between supreme audit institutions (SAIs) and civil society organizations can assist SAIs in overcoming some of the challenges that they face. An enhanced partnership between SAIs and civil society organizations will also help to insert the practice of a public examination of government accounts into public auditing. The paper does not intend to suggest that civil society organizations can replace formal audit institutions, but instead proposes that greater interaction between SAIs and civil society organizations is likely to lead to stronger budgetary oversight by both sets of institutions, and that this interaction will strengthen a country’s governance framework and the effectiveness and efficiency of its antipoverty programs. The argument is supported by a set of case studies which highlight the innovative work of civil society organizations around the world in complementing the work of SAIs.


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Vivek Ramkumar

Senior Director of Policy,

Vivek Ramkumar joined the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in 2005 and currently is Senior Director of Policy. In this capacity, he oversees IBP’s research and advocacy efforts to expand the adoption of transparent and accountable budget systems around the world. As Senior Director, Vivek stands-in for the Executive Director, as requested. Vivek previously worked with the MKSS – an organization that pioneered the Right to Information movement in India. He also worked with a Mumbai-based nongovernmental organization called SPARC, which is part of the Shack/Slum Dwellers International. Vivek is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an MA from the London School of Economics.

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