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Support to the Audit Service, Phase I - II, Sierra Leone

The project provided a broad technical support to the Audit Service, with the purpose of a general modernisation of the office and the working methods – including development of audit manuals, planning and implementing audits together with the Audit Service, management training, relations to the Public Accounts Committee and the civil society, legislation, organisation and support to procurement of vehicles and IT equipment.

The first phase focused on initial comprehensive analyses and on logistical support and capacity building. The financial audit methodology was modernised through development and training in using new audit manuals and implementation of financial audits in cooperation between consultants and audit service staff – including training sessions and on-the job training. The project also supported investment in IT equipment and building the IT capacity of the Audit Service. Capacity building also addressed managers and improvement of administrative systems. A performance appraisal system was developed and introduced. In this first phase, including non-cost extensions, SIPU International was responsible (as sub-consultant to PKF) for the support to management training, human resources management and administration.

The second main phase of the project started in October 2009, after an extension of the contract. The focus of the project and the role of SIPU International changed during this second phase. The support to development of financial audit continued and was even more designed as capacity building. The logistical support and the support to investments and capacity building in IT also continued. A new component of the project was to support the establishment of performance auditing, a completely new audit methodology at the Audit Service. Performance auditing is a form of evaluation dealing with collecting data on the performance of government entities in order to understand underlying causes for performance problems and develop recommendations for how to deal with them. Performance auditing is a tool for governments to promote a more results-oriented management of the public sector, trying to analyse, and when appropriate, measure performance in order to improve results in form of delivering service to citizens and political decisions makers.

In the second main phase SIPU provided the two resident long-term advisors in the project – one in financial auditing and one in performance auditing, as well as some short-term input in HRM and financial auditing.
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