During a Peer Review, a supreme audit institution is scrutinised by people of similar expertise (peers), who give an opinion of the different aspects of the institution’s activities, their compliance with international standards and the environment (primarily the legal framework) in which it operates.
In the course of a Peer Review, the experts of other supreme audit institutions familiarise themselves with the relevant laws and regulations, a selection of audit reports and other documents, and meet the employees of different departments. Representatives of stakeholders (executive power, incl. the auditees, Riigikogu and the press) are also interviewed. A fresh and routine-free glance from outside the organisation makes it possible to point out the need for changes in the institution and/or its relationships with the surrounding environment.
The first Peer Review of the National Audit Office in 1999 was ordered by Auditor General Juhan Parts at the time of accession negotiations with the European Union, the harmonisation of laws, and the institutional development of the National Audit Office in order to prepare for the increased responsibility associated with the cash flows of the European Union. The team leader was Nick Treen from SIGMA and its members represented the supreme audit institutions of the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and United Kingdom. The Peer Review Report led to the preparation of the strategic plan of the National Audit Office, which was the basis for the preparation of development programmes and changes in the organisation of work as well as the updates made to the National Audit Office Act in 2002.
In 2005 Auditor General Mihkel Oviir contacted SIGMA with the request for another Peer Review. Nick Treen was the team leader again, but the composition of the team had changed and the supreme audit institution of Sweden replaced the Danish one. The peers assessed the achievement of the goals set after the previous Peer Review and found that despite the considerable success that had been achieved, there was still room for improvement in terms of best practices and standards.
Auditor General Alar Karis decided to use the results of the Peer Review of 2015 during the preparation of another strategic plan. The final report of the third Peer Review was presented in September. This time, the team was led by Frank van den Broek of the Netherlands Court of Audit and its members represented the supreme audit institutions of Sweden and Poland. Valuable advice was received for strategy and, above all, everyday organisation of work.
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5/17/2016 3:48 PM
5/17/2016 3:48 PM