The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Auditing and Public Finance Management

This paper argues that greater collaboration between supreme audit institutions (SAIs) and civil society organizations can assist SAIs in overcoming some of the challenges that they face. An enhanced partnership between SAIs and civil society organizations will also help to insert the practice of a public examination of government accounts into public auditing. The paper does not intend to suggest that civil society organizations can replace formal audit institutions, but instead proposes that greater interaction between SAIs and civil society organizations is likely to lead to stronger budgetary oversight by both sets of institutions, and that this interaction will strengthen a country’s governance framework and the effectiveness and efficiency of its antipoverty programs. The argument is supported by a set of case studies which highlight the innovative work of civil society organizations around the world in complementing the work of SAIs.