Joint report on parallel audit of Procurement of public building and corruption prevention
Report ID: 41

In January 2011, the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic (Czech SAI - NKÚ) and the Bundesrechnungshof of Germany (German SAI - BRH) agreed to conduct parallel audits both of the EU-wide awarding of building contracts and of corruption prevention.

The audit focused on the application of EU procurement law as transposed into national law and corruption prevention of contracts for building construction and road construction and/or transport infrastructure. The audit also covered contract awards below the EU thresholds with a view to corruption prevention.

The working groups of the two SAIs compared the legal frameworks and administrative regulations in the Czech Republic and in Germany and the results of their parallel audits which they conducted specifically in the fields of building construction and road construction.

The two SAIs´ audit findings are summarised in the joint report.


Report on public procurement for building works in the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany
Report ID: 63

The procurement of goods and services by public-sector contracting agencies is of great importance both for the government and for the business community. The government’s task is to use public resources as efficiently and economically as possible and to ensure fair and regulated competition.

In the European Union (EU), public contract awarding is key to the success of the single economic area. In order to ensure a largely unrestricted competition in the field of crossborder procurement, awarding authorities also have to meet certain requirements imposed by the EU in awarding contracts where the contract value exceeds certain thresholds. To this end, the EU Member States have to transpose EU
procurement law into their national law and apply it. This has already happened both in the Czech Republic and in Germany. For contracts worth less than the EU thresholds, regulating public contract awarding procedures remains a matter for the individual countries.
Moreover, the contract award procedure is, as a rule, vulnerable to corruption. In view of the generally high damage potential, awarding authorities are obliged to take reasonable action to fight and to rule out corruption and abusive favouritism in their contract award procedures (corruption prevention).

Parallel Audit on railway construction Zalalovo Bajansenye - Hodo Murska Sobota
Report ID: 189

The Hungarian-Slovenian railway link - between the Hungarian Zalalövő and the Slovenian Muraszombat (Murska Sobota) - was built between 1999 and 2001 as part of the V. European transit corridor.

Since the two countries adopted an agreement on co-operation when planning and realising the investment, in 2001 the Supreme Audit institutions of Slovenia and Hungary decided to carry out a parallel audit of the investment.

Both supreme audit institutions reviewed apart from regularity of planning the investment public procurement process and financing the investment, also the ecological aspect of railway construction and other impacts of the investment.

The joint report presents the activities referred to railway construction undertaken by both countries and it will show some comparable audit results (data on railway construction costs and the answer to the question: which country was more cost efficient), and present an assessment of effectiveness of the investment referred to achievement of planned objectives.


The AFROSAI 2017/18 Coordinated Audit on Corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows
Report ID: 234

In 2017, members of the AFROSAI from South Africa, Senegal, Togo, Tanzania, Kenya, Niger, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia undertook a coordinated audit, focusing on corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows, especially on Asset Declaration and Public Procurement Systems which was completed in April 2018. 

On the topic of Asset Declaration Systems, the audit revealed that:

  • Systems have been put in place in all but one country, but they differ substantially.
  • There is a need to revisit the regulatory frameworks.
  • The sanction regime needs to be strengthened and fully applied.
  • In most countries, the verification of declarations needs to be urgently improved.
  • Public accessibility of declarations needs to be reconsidered.

On the topic of Asset Declaration Systems, the audit revealed that:

  • Systems have been put in place in all countries with regulatory frameworks that provide for transparency.
  • Public procurement systems need to deliver on competitiveness and efficiency.
  • Conflicts of interest in public procurement need to be better managed.
  • Inclusion of procurement officials in asset declaration regimes is essential.
  • Corruption reporting mechanisms need to be made fully operational.
  • Oversight over procurement, including follow up and sanctions, must be strengthened.
  • Capacity for implementation of procurement laws and regulations is weak.

The overall conclusion of the AFROSAI 2017/18 Coordinated Audit on Corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows:

  • The Governments audited have made substantial progress in putting the asset declaration and procurement systems required by AUCPCC and UNCAC in place. It is now imperative to improve their operations.
  • As an overarching finding, it is imperative to strengthen the controls of these systems, whether it is the verification of asset declarations, the procurement audits by oversight bodies or the control of declarations of conflict of interest in procurement. These controls combined with adequate sanction regimes must be put in place to prevent impunity.
  • Supreme Audit Institutions are essential actors in providing recommendations for improving these and other public finance systems. Their role in national governance systems should therefore be strengthened.

Collection of Works on Results of the 1st Cooperative Compliance Audit – Public Procurement in the Pacific
Report ID: 243

The audit was a joint initiative between PASAI and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI). Lead by PASAI’s Director of Technical Support, A’eau Agnes Aruwafu and Mr. Shofiqul Islam, IDI’s Manager of Capacity Development, PASAI’s team of facilitators included two officers from Audit NZ, one auditor each from SAI Cook Islands, Samoa, Norway and Maldives, and PASAI’s Director of Practice Development, Sinaroseta Palamo-Iosefo who helped with design, planning and quality reviews. The whole team met in Oslo to design the program followed by a two-week planning workshop in Auckland, NZ, in 2015, and another week of reporting in Samoa, in Dec 2016. Quality assurance of the reports was done in Dec 2017, with the SAIs’ reports being made public for most in 2018.

It was a long-term activity but a successful one, and this report highlights not only the results of the audits themselves, but also the lessons learnt in being the first region to carry out a cooperative compliance audit, on this particular topic. This report sits in the PASAI suite of information-sharing regional reports as PASAI continues to support its SAIs as Learning and Knowledge organisation (and we’ll soon be following up with a regional report on the cooperative performance audit of preparedness for implementation of the SDGs).

Key Audit Issues

There were many audit issues identified during these audits which are recurring and all-too-common problems in the Pacific region. For instance:

  • Procurement legislation is out of date and need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the purchasing practices are up to date, efficient, effective and that the seven principles of procurement are met;
  • There is poor implementation of the procurement life-cycle phases relating to planning and monitoring or evaluating contracts, which is largely due to the lack of focus or training in these areas for procurement staff and disagreement with those charged with governance;
  • There is a lack of procedure and guidance for some aspects of the procurement life-cycle; and
  • Public Officers responsible for the use of public funds through procurement practices must be reminded of maintaining high ethical standards with integrity and honesty.

However, this regional programme identified new issues that need to be addressed to improve public procurement practices in the pacific region and hopefully reduce the ongoing recurring audit issues identified:

  • Responsibilities for public procurement have traditionally been seen as an administrative service function carried out by staff who have not been trained properly in the procurement lifecycle. There needs to be a change from this being an administrative role to becoming a more proactive and strategic one. Building professional procurement expertise in governments will meet the development challenges faced as a result of weak procurement practices;
  • Many of the procurement units or officers responsible for procurement practices did not have a good grasp of the entire procurement cycle including the seven principles of procurement. These are written in legislation and some procedures, but not embedded in daily practice to constantly remind all officers of their responsibilities. Training is required across all government agencies involved in procurement to remind them of the importance of accountability and transparency;
  • This compliance audit methodology has really fine-tuned the focus of auditors to really highlight how non-compliance with procedures, legislation and processes increases the risks of fraud, theft and misappropriate of government resources (assets and cash). However, if the audit results are not followed through with actions by government/ministries to improve on these procurement processes, then there will be no change;
  • Development partners in the region provide training on procurement in-country; however, these are usually in relation to their own procurement requirements. There needs to be an alignment to the government processes to try and improve procurement processes of governments/implementing agencies at the same time. The underlying principles of procurement will always be the same across the globe, so this is a good starting point for all training provided.