1 May 2012, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR and the INTOSAI* Development Initiative (IDI) launched on 16 April 2012 a joint e-Learning course on “Risk Based Approach to Financial Auditing” for a global audience of public sector auditors. This 5-week online course – now in its third week – brings together 101 financial auditors from 28 Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) around the world.
The course aims to enhance the skills of the participants in risk assessment in the audit planning and execution process. It also addresses their need to develop audit techniques, methodology, and to keep pace with the expanding role of public sector auditors.
In a welcome message to the participants, IDI's Director General, Mr. Magnus Borge, emphasized that “an effective public sector audit activity strengthens governance by materially increasing citizens’ ability to hold their government accountable.”
An international panel of experts are facilitating the weekly discussion forums and providing their expertise to the participants. Mr. Rolf Elm-Larsen, Director of National Audit Office of Denmark serves as the overall course mentor. The weekly deliberations are also mentored by Ms. Michelle Tomlinson, Director of the Auditor General’s Office of Jamaica and Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, Director of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Mr. Shofiqul Islam, Director of the Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh also participates as supporting mentor and in assessing participants’ progress.
The course is practice-oriented and makes use of case study to ensure that the concepts are translated into practical applications.
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI)
The 101 financial auditors participating in the course are representing various SAIs from 28 countries namely Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, China, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, South Korea, Lesotho, Liberia, Maldives, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. In addition, 7 senior officials from 5 SAIs have also requested to observe the course to study the benefits and potential future collaboration. All the participants have at least 3 to 5 years of experience as public sector auditors and have been recommended by their country SAIs to participate in this course.
This UNITAR/IDI partnership is the second phase of an on-going and successful collaboration between the two organizations. In 2010, a blended (online and face-to-face) training activity was implemented in English and in French for the benefit of 80 participants from 29 countries.
Due to the huge demand of the course and the cost-effectiveness of delivering it online, UNITAR and IDI are now exploring the possibility of re-running the course before the end of the year.
Mr. Borge recognized that “while workshops are an excellent way of promoting peer-to-peer learning, they also take away the participants from their regular work for considerable duration. The online course, on the other hand, facilitates learning from the comfort of your office or home. The course has been designed in such a way that it allows you sufficient flexibility to pace your learning.”
* INTOSAI - The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)
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