SAI’s capacity to deliver value and benefits

 

SAIs must have a capable and motivated workforce to deliver value and benefits to the lives of citizens through effective and impactful audits. Having competent people to deliver the SAI’s mandate is a critical element of being a professional SAI.[1]

Without the autonomy to decide on all human resource (HR) matters, it is difficult for SAIs to attract and retain competent people. SAIs should be able to take a lead role in ensuring they have the right number of people at the right time with the appropriate competencies to execute their mandates.

Although some SAIs may not have full autonomy, they should still plan for and manage other aspects that affect their workforce to the extent possible under legislative boundaries.

The human resource management (HRM) cycle includes HR strategy, planning, attraction and recruitment, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition, and retention and succession. SAIs can devote attention to such critical issues at the various stages of the HRM cycle while pursuing their full independence in handling all HR matters.

PASAI experience and achievements so far

The results of SAI Performance Measurement Framework assessments between 2016 and 2020 indicated that 90 per cent of the SAIs in the region do not have an HR strategy.

These results informed our decision to develop a comprehensive HRM course for inclusion in our capacity-building programme.

The Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) and AFROSAI-E lent their knowledge to the creation and delivery of the course. Through this partnership we provided technical support to six SAIs (Fiji, FSM National, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, FSM States Pohnpei and Yap) to develop their HR strategies and operational plans.

Of the six participating SAIs, Fiji, Kiribati and Yap have developed and approved their strategies and operational plans. Furthermore, Kiribati established its own dedicated human resource unit staffed by the two auditors who developed its HR strategy and operational plan.

We have since signed a memorandum of understanding with SNAO as there is still a strong need to enhance HR capabilities in this region.

Through our partnership with SNAO, we:

·    help improve participants’ knowledge on human resource concepts and processes,

·    build capabilities of SAI staff to ensure sustainability of lessons learnt and applicability at SAI level, and

·    promote the importance of SAIs taking ownership of decisions and actions required to ensure they have competent people.

What SAIs can do

While SAIs are on a continuous journey to have organisational independence, it is critical they recognise their own role in establishing robust systems and processes to manage HR processes to the extent possible. SAIs should think of having competent people as a fundamental priority because it contributes so strongly to the financial welfare of the country.

When SAIs have a greater understanding of their mandates and the required competencies to execute these mandates, they are better able to plan and manage their human resources effectively.

The INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee’s Guide provides useful information on a typical HRM cycle, which can help SAIs determine appropriate actions that suit their circumstances.

Planning for future HRM support is underway, so we encourage Pacific SAIs to take advantage of these opportunities when they become available.


PASAI welcomes feedback and look forward to hearing about your areas of interest. Please email secretariat@pasai.org.

[1] Developing Pathways for the Professional Development of Auditors in a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI)