COA bullish on performance audit initiative

Published: 24 November 2016
Participants at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Training on Enhancing Performance Audits with Mr. Joseph Christoff and Mr. Jess Ford, former directors at the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO)

Intent on enhancing performance audit, the Commission on Audit (COA) formed five performance audit teams who will be trained and mentored in performance audit tools and techniques. The team members are entry, mid and senior-level personnel with multi-disciplinary skills who came from the various audit sectors.

The teams will conduct performance audit of selected government programs such as in-city resettlement, disaster risk preparedness, heath services, immunization project for schools and the conditional cash transfer implementation. The teams chose these programs based on criteria including large government expenditures or beneficiaries served, high risk factors, need for immediate results, and significant weaknesses identified in prior financial and compliance audits.

“It is through performance audit that COA can create a more positive impact by helping government managers assess whether their programs have achieved their target goals and objectives,” Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo observed.

Performance audits examine the effectiveness, economy or efficiency of a government program. Auditors assess whether value has been delivered for the money spent and whether available resources deliver the best services.

To prepare the teams and the Technical Working Group (TWG), COA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) spearheaded an intensive training-workshop on performance audit. Mr. Joseph Christoff and Mr. Jess Ford, former directors at the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO), conducted a training workshop for the members and the TWG on October 17-21, 2016. The performance audit experts guided the participants through the performance audit process as practiced by the US GAO, from scoping and design (including creating the design matrix), audit evidence and collection methodologies, to the elements of a finding, quality assurance and report messaging.

Representatives from the Quality Audit Office and the Public Information Office participated in another workshop with focus on quality assurance and message development and reporting on October 25-27, 2016.

Messrs. Christoff and Ford are also expected to provide mentoring and support to the audit teams throughout the conduct of the audit. The target duration of the performance audits will be six months. #