Belgrade, 10 March 2021 - Within the support to the public finance management reform in the Republic of Serbia, the Government of Sweden and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have donated 120 computers to the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) today. These computers will replace a part of the equipment that has been used so far, and are intended for everyday work of the state auditors so they continue with their effect audits of budget funds spending.
“In cooperation with the UNDP and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the State Audit Institution has significantly improved its auditing capacities. These 120 new computers, donated within the Project “Platform for Accountable Public Finance Management” intended for everyday work of the state auditors, will also contribute towards the improvement of its capacities. Computer donation represents a part of the main Project activity, specifically, roll-out of the system for automated digital audit conduct and follow-up, so called AMS”, as PhD Duško Pejović, President of the State Audit Institution and Auditor General, has stated.
A new software for audit management system (AMS) is currently under the design stage, and will be piloted by the state auditors by the end of March 2021, so as to adjust it further to their specific needs. A new software and donation of computes will ease the conduct of audits, data collection and storage, reporting, improve teamwork, as well as on-line cooperation, which will enable the Serbian state auditors work in line with the highest international auditing standards.
“Accountable public finance management, both at the central and local level is of critical importance for the creation of the environment wherein human rights of all citizens would be respected and wherein the rule of law would ensure equal treatment of all members of the society. For the creation of such environment, internal and external control mechanisms pay an important role, and one of the most important is definitely the State Audit Institution which has been supported by the Swedish Government through this program for several years. In the course of that period, the SAI has significantly improved its work. It is our pleasure to be a part of this programme, and we hope to further improve our cooperation,” Ola Andersson, Head of Development Cooperation within the Swedish Embassy in the Republic of Serbia.
The UNDP has been continuously providing support to the State Audit Institution ever since its establishment back in 2005, as an independent and the highest authority for auditing of public funds in the Republic of Serbia. The UNDP has, among many initiatives, also supported the adoption of the legal framework for the operations of the SAI; development of the certification programme for state auditors; improvement of audit quality through training sessions dedicated to state auditors and roll-out of the audit management system, as well as increase in visibility of the SAI operations among the public via web page wherein audit findings are posted, organisation of press conferences and workshops for media representatives focusing on audit findings, conclusions and recommendations by the SAI.
“With the support of the Government of Sweden, we continue to strengthen the capacities of the State Audit Institution, so it continues to issue timely and quality audit reports on spending of public funds. Bearing in mind that almost 11,000 of budget beneficiaries in the Republic of Serbia are potential SAI’s auditees, it is clear that the IT equipment, that we have delivered today, is more than indispensable. We expect that with its support, the SAI would work more efficiently, which will impact on both increase in transparency and accountability in budget funds spending. Citizens, being taxpayers, have the right to expect accountable public finance management, for it is a necessary prerequisite for an efficient provision of public services,” Francine Pickup, Resident Representative of the UNDP, has stated.
It is planned to have, by the end of this year, a new State Audit Institution web page designed, which would additionally improve informing of the citizens about the audits’ results.
The donation of 120 computers to the State Audit Institution is one of the activities within the Project “Platform for the Accountable Public Finance Management”, which is funded by the Government of Sweden in the amount of 3 million dollars, and is implemented by the UNDP. The aim of this initiative is to improve the operations of the public authorities in charge of the implementation of the public finance reform.