Peer review of the work of the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia, which began in June 2022 and was carried out by a team of experts from the supreme audit institutions of Lithuania, Denmark and Slovenia in accordance with international practice and methodology has been completed. With the conclusion of the peer review, the State Audit Office of Latvia has received an independent assessment of the institution’s performance and compliance with international standards and best practices.
When presenting the results of the peer review, the experts generally appreciated the initiatives started by the State Audit Office of Latvia for the development of the institution’s activities, as well as the support provided to the experts for a qualitative assessment. According to experts, the State Audit Office of Latvia is a modern, development-oriented institution whose operation fully complies with the international standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).
“Professional and independent assessment of performance is important for the State Audit Office. The internationally accepted way of conducting such an assessment is peer review. Their purpose is to provide the public with an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the work of a supreme audit institution, its compliance with international standards and best practices. I am satisfied with the assessment received for the performance of the State Audit Office, and I also appreciate the recommendations given, which will be useful in achieving the goals set in the strategy of the State Audit Office,” explains Auditor General Rolands Irklis.
At the same time, the experts have also provided recommendations for further improvement of the performance of the State Audit Office regarding planning of audits, drafting reports and quality control system in the report.
The key recommendations provided by the experts
- Performance audit status: experts encourage to continue strengthening the principle internally by giving strategic priority to performance audits in terms of the resources to be directed to their performance, determining audit topics and plans, as well as providing training (including certification and specialization). This coincides with the goals included in the Strategy of the State Audit Office for 2021-2025.
- Materiality: Experts call for increased attention to 'materiality' when planning and conducting audits to focus resources on investigating the most significant issues that have the greatest impact on public sector performance and quality of work.
- Balance between trust and control: experts call for a balance between a highly regulated and control-oriented environment taking into account the maturity of the institution.
The performance of the State Audit Office of Latvia was assessed by a group of experts headed by the Supreme Audit Institution of Lithuania. The peer review expert group also included representatives of the Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark and Slovenia.
We plan to present the peer review results to the Saeima’s Public Expenditure and Audit Committee. The report will be available in Latvian and English on the website of the State Audit Office.
How was the assessment of the performance of the State Audit Office done
The primary purpose of the peer review was to provide an impartial and international level assessment of whether the State Audit Office’s strategic planning process and selection of audit topics, compliance audit and performance audit methodologies and practices, as well as quality assurance meet and are developed in accordance with INTOSAI standards for supreme audit institutions. Also, as part of the Peer Review, it was planned to provide recommendations for improving the work of the State Audit Office in general.
The Peer Review covered such aspects of the State Audit Office as strategic and operational planning, audit methodology and its application in compliance and performance audits, implementation of audit recommendations and audit quality control. To provide an impartial and high-quality assessment, foreign experts met and organized interviews with representatives of the Saeima’s Public Expenditure and Audit Committee, as well as with representatives of institutions and organizations that have been audited by the State Audit Office and which are included in the sample of the Peer Review.
The State Audit Office is an independent institution that audits the actions of state, municipal and other public entities with financial resources and property. To ensure compliance with the principle of independence of supreme audit institutions established in international laws, the activities of the State Audit Office are not and cannot be subject to audits by other public sector institutions. The internationally accepted way of conducting such an assessment is a peer review.
The international assessment was carried out on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Auditor General Rolands Irklis on 24 May 2022 regarding such a peer review at the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia. The MoU was signed in Prague, Czech Republic at an event dedicated to the Congress of the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI). The previous peer review was carried out in the State Audit Office in 2015.
- State Audit Office’s Strategy for 2022–2025 is a medium-term policy document, which sets out the strategic objectives, priorities, and planned results of the State Audit Office for the next four years.
- Strategy summary.
- New strategy of the State Audit Office of Latvia: more emphasis on performance audits and greater impact of audits.
Mrs Signe Znotiņa-Znota
Head of PR and Internal Communication Division
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