PRESS RELEASE BY THE NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

Supreme Audit Institutions & Data Analytics � A Green Hat: IDI Exchange Series event hosted by the National Audit Office

The National Audit Office (NAO), in collaboration with the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI), hosted an event focusing on the application of data analytics in public sector audit. The Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) & Data Analytics event, held between 6 and 8 May 2019, was the first workshop in the Green Hat: IDI Exchange Series. This series focused on creativity, the application of new ideas and the exploration of innovative solutions in auditing. The event brought together SAIs and stakeholders to share experiences, ideas and knowledge on how SAIs can leverage data analytics in auditing to improve efficiency, enhance effectiveness and increase impact.

Over the three-day event, interactive sessions relating to the possible uses of data analytics in the various stages of the audit process and the building blocks required for introducing data analytics in auditing were held. Other sessions focused on technical matters, exploring the various tools and techniques that could be used in performance, compliance and financial auditing. Finally, sessions with a strategic orientation addressed the application of data analytics in the fight against fraud and corruption, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and in the audit of gender equality.

The event was attended by over 60 representatives from 33 different SAIs, hailing from all regions of the INTOSAI community. Various SAIs delivered insightful presentations, sharing experiences and practical applications that ranged from initiatives intended to combat social benefit fraud to the linking of data from social platforms to a database of government contracts as a means of flagging irregularity in public procurement. Aside from contributions by SAIs, other valid interventions were made by representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, the National Statistics Office and Smart Technologies, a local IT firm.

The event proved to be a success and an excellent opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking. The NAO has identified the benefits that may be gained through the development of a data analytics function in its strategic plan for 2019-2023. The strategy emphasises the pivotal role played by technological improvements in facilitating the use of new methodologies to enable faster, more comprehensive and more reliable analysis of data.

Source: Goverment of Malta