The Swedish NAO has been tasked by the Riksdag to run international development cooperation projects on audit-related activities. The Swedish NAO is now embarking on a collaboration with the Supreme Audit Office of Afghanistan (SAOA) to help strengthen its ability and capacity.
At the end of August, Mr. Magnus Lindell, Head of the Swedish NAO’s international operations, and Dr. Mohammad Sharif Sharifi, Auditor General of Afghanistan, signed a cooperation agreement which will remain in force until 2020.
The aim of the project is to provide institutional support to the development of the Supreme Audit Office of Afghanistan (SAOA), and thus enable the SAOA to perform audits in line with international standards.
– The SAOA has statutory independence but works in a complex environment beset by huge challenges. This project will contribute to the development of both the audit work and the institution as a whole, says Magnus Lindell.
– I’m really pleased that we now have a cooperation agreement with the Swedish National Audit Office and the opportunity to improve the quality of our audit work, says Mohammad Sharif Sharifi.
The security situation in Afghanistan means that training and workshops will be held in a third country and that coaching in the intervening period will be provided via Skype or similar media.
– This project is going to present an exciting challenge that will require us to develop new methods of working, not least in terms of meeting and communicating. We have already found out how hard it is for the Afghan delegations to obtain a visa for other countries, including Sweden, says Magnus Lindell.
The assignments given to the Swedish NAO include representing Sweden in its capacity as the national audit body and running international development cooperation projects. The aim is to support the development of independent and professional national audit bodies, contribute to the development of democracy and strengthen parliamentary control in the cooperation countries. These areas of focus are in line with Swedish aid policy and international practice. Apart from the new collaboration with Afghanistan, the Swedish NAO works in collaboration with audit authorities in Africa, the Western Balkans and Asia.
The independence of the SAOA is guaranteed in a special auditing act from 2012, where the independent status of the Auditor General is also guaranteed. The Auditor General’s mandate is for six years. The SAOA has a broad and strong mandate. The Office is to inspect all activities at central and local level that receive public funding and have the freedom to plan, choose their area of specialisation and carry out audits and have the right to access information and documentation held by the body under inspection.
The SAOA is more restricted in terms of financial and administrative independence. These areas still come under the Civil Service Act, which means that positions, recruitment to positions and pay structures are in part beyond the control of the SAOA.
Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.
Presskontakt: Olle Castelius , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.
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