USAID Convenes the State Audit Institution and Local Governments to Enhance Transparency and Quality of Public Financing
February 8, 2019
USAID’s Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) in cooperation with the State Audit Institution organized a one-day workshop on preparing and adopting local budgets and improving transparency in financial governance for citizens.
The leadership of six local governments who signed Memoranda of Cooperation with USAID and representatives of three other local self-governments participated in the workshop designed to enable the State Audit Institution to reflect on past audits and share strategies to improve budgeting, avoid financing irregularities, and engage citizens accountable management of public spending. Twenty-two officials including the mayors of Sombor, Novi Pazar and Sjenica as well as their heads of administration, councilors in charge of budget, and internal auditors and the towns of Niš, Pirot and Novi Pazar engaged with SAI leadership during the event.
The workshop was delivered by the President of the State Audit Institution, Mr. Dusko Pejovic and the Supreme State Auditor for Audits of Local Budgets, Ms. Stojanka Milovanovic. Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Pejovic introduced redirection of the State Audit Institution to align its audits with high value-high impact areas of government spending, implemented with GAI support The Institution has adopted a strategic plan to place greater reliance on performance audits and organizational changes to significantly increase its annual local government audit coverage to 75% of total local budgets.
GAI, implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting Inc, supports the State Audit Institution implementation of strategic institutional change to monitor efficiency and effectiveness of government performance with focus on functions and programs at high risk of corruption. GAI also provides technical assistance to local governments to increase public participation in local government decision making. In addition to budgeting, GAI supports local governments nationwide to increase utilization of websites and social media, introduce single administrative points for service delivery, organize of public hearings, and implement whistleblower protection frameworks.