Purchase of Province-Guaranteed Bonds by the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund
Report ID: 352

From March to October 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) and the Court of Audit of Carinthia carried out an audit of the agreement on the purchase of province-guaranteed bonds by the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund (Kärntner Ausgleichszahlungs-Fonds) pursuant to Section 2a of the Financial Market Stability Act (Finanzmarktstabilitätsgesetz). In this context, the provincial parliament of Carinthia addressed an audit request to both the ACA and the Court of Audit of Carinthia.

The audit institutions performed the audit jointly in order to prevent a duplication of efforts. The audit aimed at presenting the initial situation and at assessing the development and structure as well as the approval, financing and implementation of the second offer. The auditors furthermore looked into the costs and the remaining economic risks. The audited period essentially spanned the years from 2015 through 2017. 

Central recommendations

  1. The Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund should step up its efforts in order to attain an adequate premium reduction for the liability insurance of the executive board.
  2. In the interest of encouraging competition and compliance with the principles of economy and efficiency, the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund should award service contracts only via a public procurement process or after at least three reference offers have been solicited.
  3. As regards the negotiations with the Heta Asset Resolution AG (HETA), the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund should, against the backdrop of the interim distributions that have in the meanwhile taken place, carry out a legal assessment of a rapid and appropriate write-down and the possibility of withdrawing the HETA securities in order to achieve a subsequent reduction in custodian fees.
  4. The province of Carinthia and the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund should carry out an analysis of possible further steps of the hold-outs or other creditors, taking into consideration the cost-benefit ratio, or commission suitable lawyers or experts to ensure best possible pre-paredness for such judicial or extrajudicial steps.

Source: https://www.rechnungshof.gv.at/rh/home/news/news/news_1/Erwerb_von_landesbehafteten_Schuldtiteln_durch_den_Kaerntne.html

Coastal and Marine Environments in Africa: A Cooperative Audit by the African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E)
Report ID: 240

In 2017, AFROSAI-E initiated a cooperative project to audit coastal and marine environments in Africa. Six Supreme Audit Institutions from the region participated. This publication expands on the process followed and the common findings among the participating countries.

AFROSAI-E (African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions), with the support of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), initiated a project in 2017 to capacitate SAIs of countries with coastal areas, to conduct audits to:

  • Assess the state of coastal ecosystems;
  • Understand the significant issues and coastal zone management risks for coastal communities;
  • Make recommendations for improvement.

The AFROSAI-E region has 16 member countries that are coastal states, two of which are island states. Six SAIs agreed to participate in this cooperative audit using a mix of both performance and compliance audit principles and methodology. The six SAIs are Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Sudan and Tanzania.


Lack of public awareness of coastal environmental issues: Three of the participating SAIs found that there is limited general awareness and understanding by the public of the importance of the marine environment and related pollution and degradation issues.

Outdated and insufficient legislation/ policies and poor alignment with international commitments: Almost all the participating SAIs found that legislation, policies and plans related to coastal management and protection are outdated and insufficient to address many of the current environmental risks.

Inadequate human and technical resources: Two SAIs found that there are inadequate human and technical resources (satellite surveillance systems, vessel monitoring systems, boats for inspections etc.) to manage and monitor coastlines and marine environments. Human resources also lack the necessary competencies and understanding of marine-related environmental risks and issues. Technical resources and infrastructure essential to the guarding of the coastal zones are scarcely available.

Too many silos and too little coordination: Three of the six SAIs found that the relevant sector (coastal/marine environment) policies are fragmented. Limited or no cooperative arrangements and coordination exist among the various spheres of government and relevant stakeholders, to manage and protect coastal regions and related resources.

Inadequate data, statistics and information systems: Three of the participating SAIs found that national data, statistics and information systems that inform decisions and coastal programmes are inadequate or completely unavailable. For example, statistics on threatened marine species and fishing activities as well as data on the health status of marine environments and the levels of coastal degradation are not available.

Inadequate monitoring of coastal resources and poor enforcement of legislation: All six SAIs found that monitoring of coastal resources and enforcement of legislation are inadequate.

Ineffective performance indicators to monitor progress: Two SAIs found that either no key performance indicators are being implemented to measure progress in achieving objectives on the management and condition of coastal and marine resources, or the indicators used are ineffective.

Insufficient coastal response strategies specific to climate change risks: Almost all the participating SAIs found that climate change response strategies related to coastal environments are insufficient or non-existent.

Are adequate mechanisms in place for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas within the Mediterranean Sea?
Report ID: 241

The cooperative audit identified that the necessary mechanisms for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Mediterranean Sea were not always in place to achieve the desired equilibrium between the sustainability of Marine Protected Areas and blue growth.

This cooperative audit based its findings and conclusions on seven individual national audit reports, which were compiled by the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Albania, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. These national reports considered MPAs to entail a delineated marine site, which may have been already designated or is to be designated as such under international, regional or national legal frameworks and policies. The main objective of a MPA is to conserve and nurture the marine biodiversity while striking a balance with any economic activity permitted in the area. This definition includes, but is not restricted to, Natura 2000 sites, Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) designated under the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity of the Barcelona Convention, artificial reefs or designated Marine Parks.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to determine the degree to which countries in the Mediterranean region are effectively conserving marine biodiversity to attain the targets set in national legislation and international protocols. To address this aim, the participating SAIs compiled an audit design matrix based on issues relating to the regulatory framework, strategies, site’ assessments undertaken, management plans drafted and national surveillance efforts. The analysis of these five key areas, led to these main findings:

a. The legal framework regulating MPAs is sufficiently robust and mandates national authorities to ascertain the sustainability of the marine environment. However, it does not provide a common definition of what constitutes a MPA. In addition, overlapping and in some instances conflicting provisions were identified within the national regulatory frameworks.

b. National strategic frameworks, generally, reflected the political will and aimed to outline the relevant outputs as well as outcomes through the designation of MPAs. However, in three of the participating countries no comprehensive sector specific strategies are in place, while all SAIs identified the potential of strengthening national strategic frameworks, so as to optimize their impact.

c. Participating SAIs noted that national authorities have carried out the relevant site assessments to designate MPAs. Nonetheless, the scope of these assessments was not always appropriately broad, either due to resource and technical expertise limitations, or to diplomatic issues when the site assessments concerned joint jurisdictions or the high-seas.

d. While it is recognised that management plans are key to the implementation of measures to ensure the sustainability of MPAs, most participating SAIs reported that site-specific plans are not yet in place. Moreover, other technical and logistical limitations, such as coordination issues and the non-deployment of resources, influenced the degree to which participating countries could implement specific measures to ascertain the conservation of protected species within MPAs.

e. SAIs reported that site-specific management plans, administrative capacity weaknesses and coordination limitations between stakeholders are the key elements that hindered adequate monitoring and enforcement of measures in MPAs. Monitoring and enforcement shortcomings do not guarantee that MPAs and therefore the biodiversity they aim to protect are being managed, as well as utilised, in a sustainable manner.

Governments’ responsibilities in designating, managing and enforcing the regulatory framework concerning MPAs is a complex endeavour. This audit has noted that more needs to be done to find a balance between the protection of the marine environment and the economic activities within. Within this context, site-specific plans and the deployment of the appropriate level of resources are a prerequisite to effective management, regulation and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas.

The equilibrium between marine conservation and blue growth also necessitates cross-border cooperation. To this effect, the strengthening of bi-lateral and multi-lateral frameworks of cooperation in this area between Mediterranean countries is critical to the sustainability of this biodiversity and socio-economic rich sea.

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.

Auditoría Iberoamericana de Género
Report ID: 246

En el año 2014 se dio inicio a la primera auditoría coordinada en materia de igualdad y equidad de género en la OLACEFS, que contó con la participación de las EFS de Chile, Costa Rica y Puerto Rico. La XXVI Asamblea General de OLACEFS, del año 2016, aprobó la propuesta de la CPC (liderada por la EFS de Paraguay) para llevar adelante una nueva auditoría sobre género.

La auditoría se realizó en la modalidad de coordinada y tuvo como objetivo evaluar la preparación de los gobiernos nacionales de Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, España, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela y del gobierno local de Bogotá, Colombia, para implementar el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 5.


Como objetivos específicos de la auditoría se definieron 3 objetivos específicos:

1. Verificar que los gobiernos evaluados hubieren efectuado acciones para adaptar el ODS 5 al contexto nacional;

2. Verificar que los gobiernos hubieren identificado y garantizado los recursos y capacidades (medios de implementación) necesarios para alcanzar las metas del ODS 5; y,

3. Verificar que los gobiernos hayan establecido mecanismos para dar seguimiento, examinar y presentar informes sobre el progreso en la implementación del ODS 5 en sus países.

Para cumplir con los objetivos propuesto se generó una escala de evaluación de gobernanza en materia de igualdad de género (ODS 5) que orientó el actuar de los equipos auditores, a través de una herramienta de medición de eficacia denominada “Índice Integrado de Género”. La herramienta permitió evaluar si los esfuerzos de los gobiernos están alineados y coordinados para proporcionar respuestas integrales a las necesidades y prioridades que permitan alcanzar la igualdad entre los géneros y empoderar a todas las mujeres y las niñas.

Con base en el índice integrado de género se concluyó que a nivel de América Latina y el Caribe, considerando la evaluación de los 3 ejes para los 15 gobiernos nacionales, éstos han alcanzado un grado de eficacia del 65% en la preparación de la implementación del ODS 5, igualdad de género,  se encuentran en una etapa de desarrollo respecto de la adopción de procesos y mecanismos, e identificación de recursos y capacidades necesarias para asegurar la implementación del ODS 5.