The State Supreme Audit Institution organizes a workshop on self-assessment of integrity

27.02.2020

On 17-21 February 202, a Self-Assessment Workshop on Integrity was held at the State Supreme Audit Office of Albania. This workshop was organized as a follow up to the activities carried out by the EUROSAI Audit and Ethics Task Force.

The main objective for the establishment of this Task Force was to promote the importance of ethical in both Supreme Audit Institutions and public sector organizations.
In order to meet this objective, in the period 2017-2020 the activities of this Task Force were focused on supporting the implementation of ISSAI 130 and encouraging the SAI to promote integrity in the public sector.

vetvleresimi1

The State Supreme Audit institution of Albania for years has been active in meetings, workshops and trainings of this Task Force that had as the main focus the integrity and the fight against corruption and fraud. The Albanian SAI responded to EUROSAI's invitation to undergo the process of self-assessment on integrity. For ALSAI this was a good opportunity to identify challenges and steps to be taken to strengthen the integrity and the ethical structure.

The activity was led by Mrs. Natasa Mihailova, auditor, representative of SAI of Northern Macedonia, Ms. Jasmin Grunbaum, auditor, representative of SAI of Finland, Ms. Gry Annete Mitbo, auditor, representative of the SAI of Norway and Ms. Silvana Ramadani, auditor, coordinator of ALSAI for this activity. This workshop was attended by 15 SAI auditors selected from audit departments and administrative staff.

IntoSAINT (Self Assessment INTegrity), is an instrument developed by the Dutch Court of Audits in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Bureau of Integrity of the City of Amsterdam. This self-assessment “tool” organized in the form of a workshop enables SAIs to assess their vulnerability and resilience to integrity violations, then drafting recommendations to improve managerial institutional performance.

In the context of efforts made over the past decades to develop systems and mechanisms to promote integrity and prevent corruption and fraud in the public sector, in 2014, the Albanian SAI has translated and made available for the auditors and the "Integrity Self-Assessment Manual for Supreme Audit Institutions", which deals with the Integrity Self-Assessment methodology in Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAINT). This manual is considered e very innovative and effective method, with the impact of increasing expectations in the development of integrity policies.

vetvleresimi2

Based on the constitutional mandate of the Albanian SAI and the product of the audit work, the reputation of the institution is its most valuable asset. This fact is also set forth in International Standards on Auditing, on the basis and for the implementation of which the ALSAI should have and maintain the authenticity and the trust of the public and its stakeholders.

The institution should ensure its independence, unquestionable quality of work and high standards of staff behavior (ISSAI 30), promote and manifest values as an added asset in the performance of institutional functions (ISSAI 12) and lead by example (ISSAI 20).

ISSAI 130 promotes values such as: Integrity; Independence and Objectivity; Professional Competence; Professional Conduct and Confidentiality and Transparency. The innovation of this International Auditing Standard consists in sanctioning the principle that: "The ethical behavior of staff is also affected by the work environment". Accordingly, the Code of Ethics addresses SAIs' responsibilities in promoting and maintaining ethics values in every aspect of its activities.
The methodology used for the self-assessment of integrity in this seminar consisted of two phases:

Assessment of Weaknesses and Integrity Risks; as well

Determining the level of maturity of the integrity control system.

In this process was included all the institutional activity of ALSAI. In this workshop group of 15 ALSAI representatives had identified some risks that may affect the integrity within the SAI. Based on the responses provided by the SAI auditors at the end of the integrity self-assessment process, some recommendations were proposed with the aim of further and continuous improvement, as well as consolidation of the integrity structures and policies in the Albanian SAI.

At the end of this seminar, the moderators positively evaluated the work and results achieved by ALSAI for good governance and institutional functioning under the managerial direction of the Head of State Supreme Audit, who initiated substantial changes related to approval. of the new SAI Code of Ethics, fully in compliance with ISSAI 130 and best practices in the field, translation in Albanian of ISSAI 130, publication “Strengthening SAI's Ethical Infrastructure ” and the publication of “ INTOSaint - Integrity Self-Assessment Manual for Supreme Audit Institutions”.

The consolidation of the SAI publications column with 111 titles also had a positive impact, highlighting once again the special importance that ALSAI has given to the book and professional publications, as well as the presence in the print press and in media of the ALSAI auditors, aiming the promotion of the audit activity thereby increasing the impact of audits conducted by the SAI. The moderators also acknowledged the professionalism shown by the SAI representatives during this activity which clearly highlights their passion and commitment to the work.

For the first time, the self-assessment tool on integrity was used by ALSAI to assess the institutional activity for the year 2014.

The self-assessment served as the basis for the design and development of policies, regulatory acts and ethical practices that for many years become a vital part of the mission, vision and values of the Supreme Audit Institution of Albania. The ALSAI is committed to integrate integrity and integrity policy into the behavior in each institutional link.

The development of comprehensive and effective integrity policies, which focus on the principle of leading by example, has placed the Albanian Supreme Audit institution in the role of an institution which promotes professional integrity and ethics in public administration.
The ALSAI Development Strategy 2018-2022 considers integrity as a standard component in the ALSAI policy direction and cycle for the coming years as well.

The workshop ended with the presentation of the report by the moderators to the management staff. In this presentation were present: Secretary General, Mrs. Luljeta Nano, General Manager, Ms. Lindita Milo, General Manager, Ms. Manjola Naço, Director of Comuniction, Publication and Foreign Relation, Ms. Irena Islami.