Maltese audit office strategy aims to improve impact

By on 11/11/2018 | Updated on 24/09/2020
The audit office strategy was presented to the speaker of Malta’s House of Representatives, a new building designed by Renzo Piano (Image courtesy: Jeff Marquis).

Malta’s audit office has launched a five-year strategy designed to improve its operations and boost its impact, enabling it to better “fulfil its role as the guardian of the public purse”.

The strategy – the first since since the institution became independent 20 years ago – represents the results of a year-long consultation with audit office employees, public service professionals and other stakeholders. It sets out a range of key goals, including improving accountability, transparency in decision-making and value for money.

Deputy auditor general Noel Camilleria said of the National Audit Office (NAO) strategy: “The approach to the development of this strategy was surely a first for us, as it involved months of internal consultation as well as formal and informal discussions with stakeholders,” Public Finance International reported. The strategy focuses the NAO’s direction towards actions that will improve its own performance, whilst striving to become more relevant and above all ensuring that good governance and performance within the public sector prevails.”

Who’s listening?

The strategy argues that due to “complex developments” such as fast-developing technology, the involvement of the private sector and limited resources, auditors need to adapt. And it demonstrates, in a detailed examination of 12 audits undertaken by the body over the last few years, a need to improve the NAO’s impact – ensuring that more of its recommendations drive action across government.

The research, examining reports on organisations including Heritage Malta and the Housing Authority, found that only 47% of the NAO’s recommendations were fully implemented by the ministries and other bodies concerned. A further 38% of recommendations were partly implemented, it revealed, but 15% showed no developments or little progress.

The strategy also sets out the NAO’s goal to become a leader in selected fields of public sector audit, and to be acknowledged as a centre of excellence and expertise within Maltese public administration.

Malta’s NAO became independent in 1997, and audits the financial accounts and transactions of the country’s government departments, public service institutions and non-departmental bodies.

About Glen Munro

Glen Munro is a journalist and ghost writer, who has worked for numerous trade publications and national newspapers during his career. Some of the publications he has worked for include the Daily Express, Independent, Evening Standard and Mail Online. The topics covered during Glen’s career include personal finance, financial markets, travel, international and home news. Glen studied magazine journalism at Westminster University.

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