By Sara Breen, Bid and Programme Manager – International Advisory
At the end of 2017, CIPFA was awarded a major new assignment aimed at developing external audit in Tajikistan, under the second phase of the World Bank Public Financial Management Modernisation Project II, in partnership with WYG International. CIPFA is bringing its extensive experience in supporting the development and setting of standards for public sector audit to this project, to carry out the organisational development of the Chamber of Accounts (the Supreme Audit Institution) and capacity development of professional auditors in Tajikistan.
Tajikistan currently has a Soviet-type inspection approach to external audit, which does not focus on efficiency or transparency in the use of public funds. In addition, the Chamber of Accounts is a relatively new body, with institutional capacity shortages and a lack of clarity and authority on its role in relation to other agencies, which has resulted in insufficient coverage of the activities of state bodies. To address this, Tajikistan has developed a strategy to transform the Chamber of Accounts into a modern audit function, in line with the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) standards.
The project will be implemented over three years, and will support the development of the Chamber of Accounts through three main components:
- A functional overview of the current activities of the Chamber of Accounts, gap analysis and development of a medium-term strategic plan for the institutional development of the organisation.
- Supporting the Chamber of Accounts in implementing the medium-term strategic plan, including development of technical manuals for International Audit Standards, design and delivery of specialised training for auditors and management, and practical support to the conduct of financial, compliance and performance audits in the field.
- Development of bidding documents and terms of reference for the purchase of specialised software, hardware and office equipment required by the Chamber of Accounts.
CIPFA has brought together a team of highly skilled specialists in external audit from around the world, who are working alongside experienced Tajik experts and the executive and legislative authorities with the view of ensuring the real independence of the audit service and a culture of acceptance of independent audit, which is one of the priorities of the Tajik Government.
Work got underway at the beginning of January 2018, and significant progress is already being made in the drafting of a medium-term strategic plan for the institutional development of the Chamber of Accounts. This includes recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform, recommendations on developing public sector financial, compliance and performance auditing methodologies in line with international audit standards and developing an updated structure for the organisation which reflects the needs of a modern audit institution.