Audit Scotland’s work attracts interest from across the world. Whether it’s financial devolution, auditing Local Government, or data visualisation, we’re pleased to share our knowledge and expertise with delegates from overseas.
As an organisation that strives to be world class and improve the use of public money, we recognise that to achieve this, we need to learn what works well elsewhere and challenge ourselves in the work we do. All our international work has an important contribution to make to support this vision.
Georgia and Australia
In June 2019 we hosted two meetings with colleagues from Georgia and Australia. First, we met with Giorgi Bobghiashvili from the Administration of the Government of Georgia. His visit was part of a fellowship programme sponsored by the John Smith Memorial Trust to promote good governance and develop a new generation of young leaders in Georgia. Giorgi met with our colleagues Mark MacPherson and Erin McGinley to discuss how Audit Scotland assesses the performance of Scotland’s public bodies and how they contribute to the Scottish Government’s strategic objectives. This interesting discussion explored the universal challenges of auditing outcomes.
That week we also met with representatives from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament of Western Australia in Perth (above). We spoke about how Audit Scotland works with the Scottish Parliament and its public audit committee. The meeting helped to inform PAC’s inquiry into public sector contract management. We welcomed the in-depth discussion on topics including digital services and capital project management. And for us, it was really valuable to hear about issues and practice in Australia.
EURORAI International Seminar, Warsaw
Peter Worsdale attended the European Organisation of Regional Audit Institutions (EURORAI) International Seminar on the theme 'Audit of Public Debt' on 17 May in Warsaw. The event gave a useful context for us developing our audit of Scotland’s new financial powers. It was attended by more than 100 delegates from 14 different countries.
The seminar included presentations from 9 speakers from 8 European countries plus Brazil. It covered themes of austerity in public services, and the audit of long-term debt, and highlighted important lessons including regulating public debt, the dangers of ‘hidden debt’, and the risks of over-complex loan instruments. It also raised the concept of ‘inter-generational justice’ to avoid burdening future generations with our debt.
We are grateful to EURORAI and Warsaw’s Regional Chamber of Audit for their hospitality in hosting this informative event, and to all the speakers who covered such a diverse range of topics.
Republic of North Macedonia
This March we have been working with our colleagues from the Republic of North Macedonia’s State Audit Office (SAO). The work is part of the West Balkans Democracy Initiative funded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. This aims to help state institutions apply good practice from other countries to improve public spending and improve democratic participation.
Mark Roberts, Senior Audit Manager, Audit Scotland, met with their SAO as part of a project to increase the impact of their audit work. This involved sharing our own good practice in how we report our messages clearly to reach different audiences.
In tandem with this, we also welcomed senior representatives from the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia (main photo above). They were keen to hear more about our public scrutiny and financial oversight role. We had a productive and engaging meeting and really welcomed their interest and probing questions. The Assembly also met with the Scottish Parliament to find out about their budget office, something they plan to emulate in North Macedonia.
Some of our previous activity
EURORAI International Seminar in Székesfehérvár
The European Organisation of Regional External Public Finance Audit Institutions (EURORAI) invited us to speak at their October seminar in Székesfehérvár in Hungary. The focus was on the audit of companies owned by local authorities. The event was attended by some 150 delegates coming from 25 different countries. Peter Worsdale and Derek Hoy of Audit Scotland spoke about our recent performance audit, Councils' use of arm's-length organisations. This was Audit Scotland’s first national performance audit on this topic.
Armenia, Chinese Ministry of Finance and Jiangxi Provincial Audit Office
In September 2018, we met with a delegation of auditors and accountants from China’s Jiangxi Provincial Audit Office, who were very interested to find out more about our role, including our environmental audit work, and we hosted China’s Ministry of Finance who were visiting the UK to look at good practice in public audit. We also met with members of parliament and officials from the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. They were also keen to learn good practice to help them develop their own audit committee.
Australia – International Meeting of Performance Audit Critical Thinkers (IMPACT) Conference
In March 2018 we were invited to speak at the IMPACT Conference, which is Australia’s largest annual performance audit conference. Fraser McKinlay, Director of Performance Audit and Best Value (top left), spoke to delegates about the “Future of Performance Audit”. The conference was an important opportunity to network with colleagues from audit institutions with a similar approach to Audit Scotland and share insights on a range of topics including citizen-centred auditing and cybersecurity.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Auditors Alliance
In January we joined the OECD Auditors Alliance, a new forum designed to bring together auditors from across the world to share best practice and support improved financial and performance auditing. Alongside 300 auditors from 53 countries, Antony Clark and Gillian Woolman attended its inaugural meeting in March.
"Presenting to overseas delegates has improved my presentation skills as it really made me think about the best way to explain and share data and information."
Interested in a study visit to Audit Scotland?
"We are keen to share our expertise and knowledge with overseas public bodies and audit institutions who have an interest in our work. We also want to challenge our own way of working, share ideas and learn from other approaches to audit"
Think about what you’d like to learn about public audit in Scotland and what you can share with us, then get in touch with our International Liaison Manager, Peter Worsdale.