International Program: Highlights from a Successful Spring
CCAF's international program has completed a busy season, filled with capacity building events abroad and in Canada. This included activities with each of the four countries that participate in CCAF's International Legislative Oversight Program, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).
In addition to the 2014-15 Fellows' graduation in May, highlights from recent months are:
Ghana: Environmental auditing workshop
Working with a team of environmental audit experts and a learning and development specialist, CCAF developed a new environmental auditing workshop this year. Lawrence Ayagiba, an Assistant Auditor General in Ghana and CCAF graduate Fellow, contributed to the design and planning of the course as part of his CCAF senior management internship in January 2015.
In March, Yves Gauthier and John Reed of CCAF, Jean Cinq-Mars, Sustainable Development Commissioner at the OAG of Quebec, and Morris Sydor, Assistant Auditor General at the OAG of British Columbia, delivered the course in Ghana. Twenty performance auditors from Ghana participated, as well as three auditors from Cameroon and three from Tanzania. Participants learned about global and African environmental trends, ecology concepts, and how they can conduct high-impact environmental audits that lead to changes in practices and systems and raise awareness among managers, legislators and the public. The workshop focused on four topic areas, selected by the Ghana SAI: water, forestry, waste management and mining.
At the opening of the workshop, Auditor General Richard Quartey spoke about environmental challenges, in Ghana and globally, and the importance of environmental auditing. "Such a workshop could not have come at a more opportune time" for his office he said. By the end of the week, participants felt they had learned a great deal and were excited to work on environmental audits. "I feel a lot more empowered as an individual and as an auditor to make a change to save our environment," said one Ghanaian participant, Monalisa Lotsu. Following this workshop, the three participants from Cameroon began an environmental audit on quarries.
Vietnam: Legislative study tour in Canada
The SAI of Vietnam has recently established a Performance Audit Division and is now beginning to conduct its first performance audits. In addition to performance audit training and mentoring for the SAI, CCAF is providing support to help the National Assembly consider how it will receive and review performance audit reports.
In March, CCAF organized a study tour for a small delegation from the National Assembly and the SAI, with sessions in Victoria, Edmonton and Ottawa. This tour was designed to inform the delegation about the cooperative relationship between audit offices and oversight committees in Canada and the role of the oversight committees in receiving and reviewing performance audit reports.
The study tour included meetings with:
- Carol Bellringer, Auditor General of British Columbia, and senior staff of the OAG
- Members of the British Columbia Public Accounts Committee, as well as the Deputy Clerk and the Manager of Committee Research Services
- The Auditor General and Assistant Auditor General of Alberta, Merwan Saher and Eric Leonty
- Michael Ferguson, Auditor General of Canada
- Alex Smith, researcher for the Public Accounts Committee of Canada
As well, the delegation attended a hearing of the federal Public Accounts Committee, observed question period in British Columbia, and visited the Alberta Legislature Building. CCAF delivered sessions for the delegation on the performance audit process, international standards, the INTOSAI Performance Measurement Framework for SAIs, and the attributes of an effective oversight committee.
Cameroon: Advanced performance auditing workshop
CCAF is planning a series of workshops and mentoring sessions in Cameroon, to be delivered as the SAI undertakes four performance audits this year. In March, Yves Gauthier of CCAF and Véronique Boily of the OAG of Quebec met with senior management at the SAI and held a one-day workshop for 30 participants, launching the initial work on these four audits and providing guidance on planning performance audits. Participants then began to work in teams to prepare audit plans for review at the subsequent workshop.
In April, Yves returned to Cameroon, with François Gagnon, the Auditor General of Quebec City, and CCAF Associate Richard Flageole, to deliver the CCAF Advanced Performance Audit workshop and review the work accomplished so far on the audits. Freddy Djemba, Célestin Ankamtsene, Alain Roger Memvuh, Noëlle Medemeze, and Pauline Kane Fortune, all CCAF graduate Fellows, were part of the facilitation team.
This workshop focused on the review of the audit plans, as well as teaching on supervision, leadership and quality control. There were 33 participants from the SAI of Cameroon and three from the SAI of Burkina Faso. The workshop was delivered in the context of officially launching the four performance audits. Henri Eyebe Ayissi, head of the SAI of Cameroon, made a formal statement at the workshop about the SAI's firm commitment to conduct these four audits in 2015. The Canadian High Commissioner to Cameroon, René Cremonese, made a presentation at the closing of the workshop recognizing the value and good timing of this workshop, as well as the SAI's commitment towards performance auditing.
Tanzania: Regional AFROSAI-E performance audit course
CCAF is partnering with AFROSAI-E and the Netherlands Court of Audit to jointly deliver the AFROSAI-E three-module regional course on performance auditing in Tanzania. The course includes a mix of classroom training and mentoring and requires participants to plan, conduct and report on a real performance audit.
Kim MacPherson, the Auditor General of New Brunswick, is co-facilitating this course along with other CCAF facilitators, as well as auditors from African SAIs and from the Netherlands. Alberta Owoo, a CCAF graduate Fellow from Ghana, is the lead facilitator of the workshop and Elisante Mshana, a graduate Fellow from Tanzania, is also part of the facilitation team. Thirty-one auditors are participating, including 19 from Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana.
The Tanzania course has a special focus on auditing extractive industries and has included lectures and mentoring on this topic. Several of the audit teams are working on topics related to extractive industries, such as the management of quarries, natural gas exploration and development, and mining.
At the Module 2 session, held this June, participants received feedback on the work they had completed since Module 1, in February, to plan their audits. They also learned about audit design, data collection and analysis, and audit report writing. The participants are now refining their audit plans and beginning the examination phase of their audits. In February 2016, at Module 3, they will present their draft audit reports for review.
CCAF previously co-facilitated regional deliveries of this AFROSAI-E course in South Africa and Mauritius.
Our thanks to the many partners who contributed to these activities
and to DFATD for the funding to make the international program possible.