On March 3-5, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic, the first International Hackathon of Supreme Audit Institutions was organized. The event was organized by the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic, with approximately 70 participants from 26 SAIs and INTOSAI observers.
This event is part of the strategic goal of EUROSAI "Professional Collaboration" and its results will be presented as part of a workshop at the 11th EUROSAI Congress, which will take place in Prague this year. The Hackathon brought together IT experts, data analysts, charters, and auditors from Supreme Audit Institutions to create tools to assist and streamline SAIs audit work processes.
The Hackathon focused on creating innovative models and finding solutions through the use of Information Technology primarily for the creation and implementation of IT programs, in order to increase the effectiveness and performance of SAIs, while reducing the costs of audit work. All of these products were conceived and created by participants through the use of data provided by individual audit institutions that participated in the Hackathon. The data include open data of EUROSAI countries, data from national statistical offices as well as from other institutions, e.g. EUROSTAT. For the purposes of the meeting, participants were also provided with simulated audit data, which did not reflect actual audits but were thematically related to the audited areas.
Data processing and visualization is the future for Supreme Audit Institutions. The methods and tools developed can improve the effectiveness of SAIs, simplify the work of auditors, and above all remain important for international comparison of data.
The first day of the event was opened with the greeting of the President of the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic Mr. Miroslav Kala, in the context of the organizers of this activity, who among other things emphasized the necessity and quality of data, their reliability for effective use when evaluating risk areas for audit activity.
During the first day the participants presented ideas and formed working groups, defined the data and ideas for their processing, as well as the use of software for analyzing and visualizing data, and the possibility of creating new applications. The representatives of ALSAI in this activity were auditors Benard Haka, Elisa Metaj, Elsona Papadhima and Alfred Leskaj.
The ALSAI auditors were engaged in the processing, analysis and visualization of the data obtained from the audit evidence performed by the ALSAI. The data set processed by the auditors also included data obtained from EUROSTAT regarding financial transactions of a full budget year.
On the second day the work continued structured into two categories based on the objectives of the first day, with some groups focusing their work on programming an application and other groups continuing intensive work on analyzing and visualizing data. During the second day activity was also presented the way of presenting the work results and their evaluation.
The third day of the activity consisted in presenting the results of the work and selecting from the jury the most interesting solutions proposed to facilitate the audit work. A total of 11 applications and visualizations were created. A jury of experts in the field selected the three winning projects.
The first place was awarded to a visualization called “WE12” by a team made up of representatives of France, Estonia and Croatia. This visualization facilitates work with data collected in the EUROSAI Database of Audits. It enables to see these data in a more analytical manner and obtain an effective overview of these data.
The application called ‘ROD4SAI’ finished second. It was designed by the Swedish-German team. This application was created on the basis of open data of the Swedish Parliament. An extended database becomes a part of a page which contains an overview of reports and references as well as other information about the SAI of Sweden mentioned in Parliament speeches.
The third place went to a Czech visualization called ‘AuditsToGAEther’, which enables SAIs to mutually compare their planned audits and audits under preparation. The Czech team worked with data from audit plans of SAIs as well as with statistical data from international institutions such as EUROSTAT, OECD, European Commission and others.
At the end of the activity Mr. Miroslav Kala, President of the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic thanked all participants for their commitment and intense work throughout the activity and emphasized that co-operation and sharing of experiences at this time is essential and working together for a better cooperation. He added that the results of the first Hackathon will also be presented at the EUROSAI Congress to be held in June 2020.