Strategic Communication of State Audit Institution Audit Reports
March 11, 2021
Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) supported State Audit Institution’s strategic communication to external stakeholders, by facilitating another press conference to report the results of audits conducted in 2020. The final event was held on February 18, with three performance audit reports presented – Information Security in Health Information Systems, Internal Financial Control in Health Care Institutions and Efficiency of the Energy Management System in the Public Sector.
Information Security in Health Information Systems – SAI reported that there is a need to enhance information security measures and make more reliable health information systems in the Republic of Serbia. SAI directed recommendations to the Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut” and Vojvodina Provincial Secretariat for Health to ensure data availability, confidentiality and integrity of the Integrated Health Information System (IHIS). This requires among other tasks the adequate organization of IT security, and regulation of contracting processes for service provision and establishment of the reliable system of handling data.
Internal Financial Control in Health Care Institutions – SAI reported that in order to achieve more economical, efficient and effective spending of the funds allocated for the provision of healthcare services, it is necessary for healthcare institutions to establish an efficient system of internal financial control, with education and raising awareness of all employees about responsibility for this process. In its audit, SAI cconcluded that healthcare institutions have insufficient understanding of obligations, needs and ways for establishing the FMC system. The principal cause is that employees in healthcare institutions failed to attend trainings in the area of financial management and control.
Efficiency of the Energy Management System in the Public Sector – SAI reported that there was no significant improvement in the energy management system, as a result of the lack of commitment of all public sector entities. The majority of selected reporting entities have appointed an energy manager, but have failed to adopt the planning documents, which would define the policy for efficient use of energy. Energy consumption management was not fully established to include continuous planning, monitoring, analysis, reporting and supervision. Ministry of Mining and Energy has not conducted inspection control of the energy management system. SAI concluded that supervision over the management of projects in the area of efficient use of energy should be intensified.
The presentations were held via Zoom and optimized SAI’s strategic outreach to civil society organizations active in the areas discussed. CSOs participating included: Transparency Serbia, Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities, the Serbian Association of Accountants and Auditors, the Chamber of Certified Internal Auditors, Centre for European Policy, CSO Pakt, Toplički centar and Bum-Bečej. The Network for Rural Development, part of EU Convent, working in the area of rural development also participated online. Representatives of public administration and audited entities also participated: National Academy for Public Administration, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and some LSGs. The event was broadcasted live for a wider audience on the UNS Press Center YouTube channel, with over 50 participants following the live YouTube broadcast.