International Journal of Government Auditing – Winter 2016
Institutional Strengthening Project in Samoa
When the International Journal of Government Auditing invited me to contribute an editorial for the Winter issue I thought long about what it is that will convey a story or message. I determined that it would have to be a story or message that describes the SAI Samoa’s progress. Our inspiration has come from the Lima and Mexico City Declarations, various UN Resolutions, and INTOSAI’s Principles of Independence. I’d like to share the story of recent developments at the SAI Samoa as a testament to the progress that can be made over a relatively short timeframe through insti- tution strengthening, capacity building, and knowledge sharing. Th is a story of the SAI Samoa’s achievements in partnership with the broader INTOSAI Community and donors. It is a testament to the INTOSAI motto – Mutual Experience Benefits All.
I joined SAI Samoa in 1996 at a time when there were only nine professional staff Th average backlog in audits and accounts at that time was between 5 and 10 years while reports to parliament had a 4 year backlog.
Ten years later, in 2006, I was appointed the Deputy Controller and Chief Auditor and given the responsibility of coordinating our Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP) which ran from 2006 until 2011. Th project was designed to review and modify project management and major technical components of SAI Samoa. Th included targets related to:
- Overhaul and Implementation of Audit Office Management & Governance Systems
- Rebuilding / Strengthening of Financial Auditing Capability
- Establishment of a Performance Audit Function
- Revision and updating of the Legislative Framework governing the Audit Office
- Strengthening of Human Resources / Organisational Structure
- Implementation of Audit Offi computer network and IT Infrastructure
- Project Management