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In the next paper, Andy Wynne considers the key issue of independence for supreme audit institutions (auditors general in English speaking countries). Models of public sector ‘external’ audit type institutions are described for English and French speaking African countries. Neither approach can claim to fully meet international standards for independence, but different approaches to the provision of audit type services are considered to be acceptable. This emphasises the need to understand existing systems before external models are adopted as part of a reform process.