One of the Commission on Audit’s (COA) international partners in its performance audit initiatives, the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO) Center for Audit Excellence (CAE), marked its five-year anniversary on 30 September 2020. Since its establishment, the CAE has made significant contributions in improving audit capacity and promoting good governance in the US and in the international audit community.

The US GAO-CAE and COA, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is working together on the Philippine Performance Audit Partnership (PPAP) Project through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three parties. Under the agreement, the US GAO-CAE will provide technical assistance to COA to further institutionalize its performance audit capacity in evaluating high-value government programs to ensure that they are efficient, economical and achieve their objectives.

A Year 1 Work Plan for the PPAP project was already developed and the US GAO CAE team conducted a Basic Performance Audit Course attended by 27 participants from the different audit sectors and COA Offices in 2019.

“We congratulate the US GAO Center for Audit Excellence on its fifth anniversary, recognizing the Center’s valuable assistance in helping us create more positive audit impact through our performance audit initiatives. We hope that our partnership with CAE strengthens the momentum towards sustainability and institutionalization of performance auditing in the Commission,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

Aside from Supreme Audit Institutions, the US GAO-CAE provides tailored training classes and technical assistance to accountability organizations such as federal Inspectors General and state and local auditors. The CAE is under the US GAO’s Strategic Planning and External Liaison Office. The Center is led by Janet St. Laurent (Director) and John Hutton (Deputy Director).

“The Center for Audit Excellence is a resource for the global audit community. It is achieving what I envisioned five years ago. I am pleased with its progress and ability to adapt to the needs of Supreme Audit Institutions and domestic audit organizations, as well as the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Gene L. Dodaro, US Comptroller General and Head of the US GAO in an article on the CAE’s five year anniversary published in the INTOSAI Journal. (http://intosaijournal.org/gao-center-for-audit-excellence-marks-five-year-anniversary/)

The US GAO, in cooperation with the USAID, was also instrumental in assisting COA’s initial performance audit capacity building in 2016. Performance audit experts from the US GAO trained and mentored five performance audit teams and the COA Technical Working Group in performance audit tools and techniques as practiced by the US GAO. The teams conducted performance audits of selected government programs such as in-city resettlement, disaster risk preparedness, heath services, immunization project for schools and the conditional cash transfer implementation. Results of the said performance audits are published in the COA website. #