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The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the SAIs of the Middle East countries discuss increasing efficiency of public administration

The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the SAIs of the Middle East countries discuss increasing efficiency of public administration

On April 20, 2023 the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation hosted a multilateral experience-sharing seminar on “Public Administration Audit” with the participation of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of the countries of the Middle East.

Representatives of SAIs Oman, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates took part in the event via videoconference.

Participants discussed the role of public audit in combatting corruption in the state administration system, as well as the prevention of corruption offenses within the SAIs.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Timur Makhmutov, Director of the Department for International and Regional Cooperation of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, stressed that the Accounts Chamber develops fruitful cooperation with the SAIs of Middle Eastern states in the field of countering corruption and audit digitalization.

The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was represented by Ms. Svetlana Orlova, Auditor, Member of the Board. She underlined the similarity of interests of Russia and the states of Middle East in new geopolitical environment where financial and technological sovereignty as well as strengthening multipolarity are of utmost importance.

In her report Ms. Svetlana Orlova focused on the promotion of anti-corruption competencies and the Accounts Chamber’s contribution to the development of the best international practices for countering corruption, namely within INTOSAI, as well as on enhancing openness and transparency of government institutions. Special attention was paid to digital technologies applied in Russian Federation to prevent and detect corruption offences.

Presentation by Mr. Abdulameer Sabah Al-Lawati, Director of Information Technology of the State Audit Institution of the Sultanate of Oman, dealt with the impact of information systems on the development of anti-corruption measures. He shared SAI Oman’s experience in applying data analysis in audits to identify suspicious transactions and highlighted the advantages of the electronic procurement systems for prevention of infringements.

Application of new technologies in public administration audit in Saudi Arabia was addressed by Mr. Sultan Alotaibi, General Manager for International Relations of the General Court of Audit of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He described a number of digital tools, in particular, the Shamel system used by the SAI to communicate with the auditees, information systems for statistical planning, the Manhajyah System of digital methodologies which simplifies the compilation of audit reports, as well as an electronic archive of audits conducted over the past 50 years.

Ms. Sumaya Al Marzooqi, Strategic Relations Manager of the Supreme Audit Institution of the United Arab Emirates, underlined the synergy in approaches of Russia and the Middle Eastern states to combatting corruption in public administration. Ms. Al Marzooqi outlined the measures of the SAI UAE in this area, including comprehensive risk analysis of all public sector structures, development of legal regulations and jurisprudence, cooperation with law enforcement bodies, promotion of an anti-corruption culture in regional audit institutions and the use of mobile applications for whistle-blowing. The speaker stressed the importance of education and professional training for inspectors regarding the use of digital technologies.

During the discussion, Elena Boytsova, Deputy Head of Office of the Accounts Chamber, underlined the attention given to corruption risks in the methodology of the Accounts Chamber and touched upon the development of the IT audit and compliance audit practices. The speaker noted that the Accounts Chamber’s best anti-corruption practices are used in the audit of international organizations as well.

Seminar participants agreed to continue sharing the experience on countering corruption and other issues of mutual interest.

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