Strengthening Budget Oversight

Nearly every country in the world has a functioning supreme audit institution (SAI) that is mandated to check the legality and accuracy of public accounts and to report on their findings to drive improvements. SAIs have one of the toughest jobs in government: ensuring that powerful politicians, officials, and institutions are held to account. Recent case studies commissioned by IBP in Argentina, India, and the Philippines demonstrate how SAIs can positively impact public finance accountability and the lives of citizens.

Yet, while essential for accountable governance, SAIs face serious limitations in many countries. As the Open Budget Survey shows, audit reports are withheld from the public, hearings on audit findings take place behind closed doors, and findings are not acted upon.

Ultimately, an important indicator of a well-functioning auditing system is that it produces findings that result in positive changes. Our work with leading experts and practitioners from the field of government auditing aims to make government audits more effective in holding politicians, officials, and institutions to account.

Our Approach

IBP brings together supreme audit institutions, civil society organizations, and development partners to test our hypothesis that improved communication of audit recommendations and enhanced engagement between key oversight actors from within and outside government can promote action on select audit findings that are currently being ignored by governments. In pursuit of the goal of obtaining corrective action from governments on audit findings, we aim to help catalyze relationships among diverse oversight actors in various countries, including civil society groups, media, and legislators, and to clearly communicate the problems identified by audits and the proposed remedial actions that are needed to address these problems. We intend to document interventions by internal and external stakeholders to address audit recommendations, and lessons on how audits truly become tools for enhancing government accountability.

Further Reading