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Presentation by N.Sellami (English), Regional Conference for Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Neighbourhood South Region, June 2018

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Presentation by N.Sellami (English), Regional Conference for Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Neighbourhood South Region, June 2018

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Presentation by N.Sellami (English), Regional Conference for Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Neighbourhood South Region, June 2018

  1. 1. Tunis, TUNISIA – 20-21 June 2018 Regional Conference for Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Neighbourhood South Region The Changing Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in the Light of the Sustainable Development Goals Experience of the Tunisian Court of Accounts
  2. 2. CONTENTS OF PAPER Part 1: Court of Accounts and Auditing SDGs Part 2: Experience of the Court of Accounts in Auditing Preparedness of the Tunisian Government to Implement Agenda 2030 Part 3: Challenges and Difficulties Tunis, TUNISIA – 20-21 June 2018
  3. 3. Part 1 Court of Accounts and Auditing SDGs  Court of Accounts (CA) mandate to audit sustainable development  Experience of the CA in auditing performance of SDG-related areas  Presentation of SDG Agenda 2030 and the role to be played by the CA, as a SAI, in auditing SDG implementation Tunis, TUNISIA – 20-21 June 2018
  4. 4. Mandate of the CA in auditing SDGs  SDG audit has priority order in CA work as attested by:  Mainstreaming SDG requirements in the objectives of auditing the CA audit base, as per amendment of the CA statutes in 2008  Mainstreaming the dimension « a public management more inclusive of SDGs » in the key objectives of Strategic Plans. Tunis, TUNISIA – 20-21 June 2018
  5. 5. Experience of the CA in auditing performance of SDG-related areas As part of its annual work programmes, the CA conducted audit engagements  to review SDG-related policies and programmes, of which, inter alia, the medicines sector, the cleanness and environment protection system (in the Governorates of Sousse and Monastir), quarry management, hazardous wastes and preventive hygiene (in Tunis), public housing, rehabilitation of low-standing neighbourhoods, creation of income- earning activities, improvement of the forestry sector, and the national strategy to develop water resources . . .  to review the management and performance of public entities operating in SDG-related areas, of which, inter alia, the Coastline Protection and Rehabilitation Agency, the National Family Planning Authority, the National Sanitation Authority, the SMEs Financing Bank, the National Provident Fund, and the National Child Care Institute . . . Tunis, TUNISIA – 20-21 June 2018
  6. 6. Presentation of SDG Agenda 2030 and the role to be played by the CA, as a SAI, in auditing SDG implementation  As of September 2015, and like other countries, Tunisia adopted the UN Convention on Transforming Our World: Agenda 2030 (UNGS A/1/70)  The Agenda comprises 17 goals, 169 targets and 230 indicators, covering the 3 sustainable development dimensions: economic development, social integration and environment protection, together with new areas related to justice, peace and good governance.
  7. 7. Presentation of SDG Agenda 2030 and the role to be played by the CA, as a SAI, in auditing SDG implementation (cont.)  The SDG Agenda 2030 aims, inter alia, at achieving the following:  end poverty and inequality  improve health and education  improve economic growth by providing decent work  ensure clean energy, water and infrastructure  develop sustainable cities  protect ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss  combat climate change  promote peace and justice and combat corruption Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  8. 8. Presentation of SDG Agenda 2030 and the role to be played by the CA, as a SAI, in auditing SDG implementation (cont.)  The United Nations Organisation considers that SAIs can play a significant role in SDG implementation  Relevant international and regional organisations (INTOSAI, ARABOSAI, ASOSAI, etc) adopted this view and urged SAIs to design audit work targeted at :  In a first phase: auditing government readiness to implement SDGs – Agenda 2030,  In a second phase: auditing government performance in implementing the Agenda Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  9. 9. Presentation of SDG Agenda 2030 and the role to be played by the CA, as a SAI, in auditing SDG implementation (cont.) - The Court of Accounts (CA) incepted, under the Sharaka (Partnership) Programme with the Netherlands Court of Audit, a audit engagement aimed at reviewing the preparedness of the Tunisian government to implement Agenda 2030 - This engagement is part of the CA endeavour to enhance added value in delivery of its work and to take on board the expectations of its stakeholders, namely the citizen, and this within the scope of its legal mandate Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  10. 10. Part 2 Experience of the Court of Accounts in auditing readiness of the Tunisian government to implement Agenda 2030 This part comprises 5 items:  Audit objectives  Audit methodology  Audit programme and audit questions  Key observations  Best auditing practices Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  11. 11. Overarching objectives of auditing readiness of the Tunisian government to implement Agenda 2030  The audit process aims at assessing:  Extent of commitment by the government to implement SDGs  Extent of stakeholder engagement in setting the objectives and implementing them  Whether there are mechanisms for coordination and monitoring of SDG implementation  Audit engagement timeline (2017 – 2018) Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  12. 12. Methodology used to audit readiness of the Tunisian government to implement Agenda 2030  The methodology used is inspired by that designed by the Netherlands Court of Audit, in cooperation with the European Court of Auditors, and known as the seven-step readiness review, adopted by INCOSAI XXII (1916) held in the UAE  This methodology consists of the following seven steps: Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  13. 13. Methodology used to audit readiness of the Tunisian government to implement Agenda 2030 (cont.) Step 1: State commitment the implement the SDGs Step 2: Raising public awareness and promoting dialogue with all stakeholders, including NGOs Step 3: Assigning responsibility at central and local government, allocating resources and setting up accountability mechanisms Step 4: Designing a detailed plan to implement SDGs at national and local level, and identifying the role of the various governmental and non governmental entities Step 5: Designing and developing SDG measurement and monitoring systems Step 6: Defining a baseline for the various indicators, to allow measurement of progress, through review of indicators before and after SDG implementation Step 7: Monitoring progress and reporting on SDG achievement, as well as engaging all stakeholders. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  14. 14. Audit Programme  Has the government mainstreamed Agenda 2030 into the national policies and is there an interrelation and consistency between SDGs and national strategies and programmes?  Has the government raised public awareness and promoted dialogue with stakeholders, including NGOs, when identifying government choices in prioritising the 17 SDGs, in SDG implementation and progress review, and to what extent have all stakeholders been engaged in the process?  Have the responsilities been assigned at central and local level, have appropriate financial resources been allocated, and have accountability mechanisms been put in place?  Has a detailed plan been designed for SDG implementation at national and local level, and has the role of the various governmental and non-governmental entities been defined? Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018. Has the government committed to SDG implementati on? In view of these seven steps, the Court of Accounts prepared the following audit questions:
  15. 15. Audit Programme (cont.)  Have SDG measurement and monitoring systems been designed and developed?  Has a baseline been defined for the various indicators, to assess progress?  Have mechanisms been put in place to monitor progress and report on SDG achievement, while engaging all stakeholders? Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018. Has a data framework been set up to provide statistical data for monitoring Agenda 2030 implementation ? Again, in view of these seven steps, the Court of Accounts prepared the following audit questions:
  16. 16. Main Findings  The preparedness audit revealed a clear commitment by the Tunisian State to implement sustainable development, in view of the Constitutional principles and of the related legal texts. (Article 12 of the 2014 Tunisian Constitution comprises provisions to the effect that the State shall endeavour to achieve sustainable development, social justice and equality between the regions.)  Clear political and governmental commitment for implementation of Agenda 2030, as attested by mainstreaming SDGs into the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP).  The interrelatedness between the SDGs and NESDP policies, however, is not clearly established. Thus, it cannot be claimed that all goals deriving from the SDGs are taken on board in the NESDP in such a way as to allow for review of their implementation and reporting thereon. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  17. 17. Main Findings (cont.)  No mechanism has been, as yet, put in place to coordinate and monitor SDG implementation, which resulted in a lack of a clear and documented assignment of responsibilities among the various public entities in regard of collection and processing of the information and statistical data necessary for SDG implementation monitoring.  The national priorities in matter of SDGs have not been set, as yet. This situation does not allow for a focus on the set of indicators with a bearing on national priorities, in particular those indicators that have no national equivalents, or where there is a mismatch between the ones available and those set in Agenda 2030.  Lack of a baseline for certain SDG indicators.  Tunisia has not, since the inception of Agenda 2030 and as at end May 2018, submitted to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) a Voluntary National Review (VNR) on Agenda 2030 implementation progress. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018.
  18. 18. Main Findings (cont.)  The Tunisian government invested significant effort in public awareness raising and stakeholder communication and engagement, prior to adoption of Agenda 2030.  In 2014, it organised a nationwide consultation on citizen expectations, with over 10 thousand respondents, which led to eliciting 12 sustainable development priorities and informing the report entitled « The Tunisia We Want ».  However, insufficient effort was invested in informing about SDGs after their adoption by the State.  Lack of a general framework identifying the role of civil society and the private sector in monitoring SDG implementation, providing for review of progress and defining the scope of action for such stakeholders. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  19. 19. Best practices in preparedness auditing  In responding to the audit questions related to the extent of NGO stakeholder engagement in SDG implementation, monitoring and reporting, the audit team undertook to issue a questionnaire to 108 civil society organisations  These organisations were selected based on:  Their area of activity and the stake they have in the 17 SDGs  Geographical distribution  Representativeness of all country regions  The audit team rceived 48 responses. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  20. 20. Best practices in preparedness auditing (cont.) The audit team also designed a Communication Programme  Internal, reaching out to the magistrates of the Court of Accounts, with a view to disseminating information and data about SDGs and offering briefings on the auditing process: presenting the review methodology adopted and the results of the workshops organised with the Netherlands Court of Audit  External, encompassing all stakelders, with a view to informing about the extent of preparedness of the Tunisian government to implement the SDGs, through sharing of the findings of the audit engagement with the government, the members of Parliament, and civil society. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  21. 21. Part 3 Challenges and Difficulties of Auditing Performance in Matter of SDGs – Agenda 2030 Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  22. 22. Challenges and Difficulties Under its medium and long-term work programmes, the Court of Accounts plans to: 1. Follow-up on the recommendations of its report on auditing preparedness of the Tunisian government to implement the SDGs 2. Audit performance of government programmes belonging or related to SDGs Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  23. 23. Challenges and Difficulties (cont.)  The Court of Accounts expects difficulties in auditing performance of the government in Agenda 2030 implementation, in view of the technical and complex nature of its planned audit engagements in regard to SDGs, especially the interrelated goals  There is a need to build capacity of the auditor magistrates and the magistrates leading the audit teams reviewing performance and assessing Agenda 2030 implementation for the coming period  Lack of toolkits to be of assistance and guidance to auditor magistrates, of which unified manuals of procedure in regard of the SDG relevant sectors Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  24. 24. Challenges and Difficulties (cont.)  Lack of government awareness about the role of the Court of Accounts in auditing preparedness for Agenda 2030 implementation  Overlaps in the implementation of some of the 17 SDGs, which requires mechanisms for coordination among the various stakeholders  Insufficient awareness among the public in regard of SDGs. Tunis - TUNISIA, 20-21 June 2018
  25. 25. Thank you for your attention!

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