Consultancy-Extractive Industries Auditing

Background

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are custodians of public funds. They are responsible for ensuring that public funds are judiciously managed. SAIs oversee the management of public finances, ensure that public entities comply with rules and regulations and oversee the performance of government programs and policies.[1]

The role of SAIs is particularly important when in it comes to extractive resources. The auditing of institutions that have a mandate to govern the extractive sector is important as these resources are non-renewable. The window of opportunity within which to fully benefit from natural resources is therefore not infinitely open.

The role of SAIs largely revolves around three types of audits, that is, financial audits, compliance audits and performance audits. In conducting these audits- there are degrees of variation across different jurisdictions. An example is around petroleum cost auditing, where in some case it is SAIs that are directly responsible for carrying out these audits, while in other jurisdictions this is a role left with the Ministry responsible for energy or petroleum.

SAIs are also important as the work they do offers complementary to EI disclosures from initiatives such as the OGP and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Indeed, there has been consideration of complementarities between SAIs and such initiatives as SAIs audit across the whole EI value chain.[2] Often, disclosures from SAIs are considered as highly credible as they are produced by under highly technical and professional standards. The credibility also stems from the fact that SAIs, though independent remain part of the State.

SAIs have been engaged on strengthening their role on extractive industries oversight. This has been in recognition of the fact that a strong and effective SAI may contribute to better and more transparent oversight of the industry, improve governance and help to ensure that natural resources are managed in the best interest of the public.[3] The INTOSAI Working Group on Audit of Extractive Industries (WGEI) was established in 2013. The grouping now has 44 members and its main objective is to “promote audit of extractive industries within the INTOSAI community in order to support good governance and sustainable development for the UN post 2015 agenda”.[4]

Despite there being a realisation of the role of SAIs in ensuring effective governance of the extractive sector, SAIs often suffer severe capacity constraints.[5] Audit institutions struggle with adequate financing which consequently impacts on available skill sets, results in infrequent audits and poor outreach. SAIs often struggle with external communications as reports are dense and relationships with stakeholders (parliaments, NGOs) can also be infrequent and marked by mutual discomfort.[6]

Objectives

SAIs in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia among many others on the continent have already been conducting various types of audits in the extractive sector. The purpose of this research is to establish cases of success in EI auditing and the use of EI audits in East Africa. With this focus, the research will also assess the challenges to EI auditing and the conditions that provide for effective EI auditing. It is expected that the research will unlock the potential of SAIs for more effective EI auditing.

The specific objectives of the assessment are ;

  1. Assess how SAIs have been conducting EI audits and the extent to which audit findings have been used by other stakeholders

  2. Establish the conditions that provide for effective EI auditing

  3. Establish the constraints to EI auditing

Rationale

It is important to assess the role of SAIs in auditing the extractive sector. As aforementioned, extractive resources are finite and therefore, any actions to ensure that all the benefits from the resources are captured and judiciously managed- should be supported. SAIs often represent government’s highest auditor and the reports that they publish often carry a lot of credibility.

The role of SAIs in exposing malfeasance in the management of the extractive sector cannot be underscored. SAI audit reports often act as a barometer on the implementation of laws and policies within the extractive sector. SAIs assess the extent to which different government departments and state corporations are complying with national laws and policies.

SAIs are important as they contribute to ‘open governance’ of state corporations. This is particularly important as state owned enterprises/ state corporations increasingly take active roles in the extractive sector.

While there have been many studies that have looked at the role of SAIs in auditing, these have largely been focused on general auditing. Assessing the role of SAIs in auditing the extractive sector would be important given the peculiarities of the extractive sector. It is expected that this research will offer recommendations on how SAIs can carry out effective EI audits.

The proposed research builds on previous work by other institutions. This previous work includes;

· Identification of challenges to EI auditing done by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)

· OAG Norway study on Lessons Learned from building EI Audit Capacity in OAG Uganda

· INTOSAI Working Group on Extractive Industries (WGEI)- Mapping of the EI audit reports along the value chain

Research Scope

The research is expected to be carried out between July and end of September 2020 and will be focused on East Africa. The methodology is expected to use a case study method, will be qualitative and will be agreed with the consultant. The research is expected to respond to the specific research questions below, although these are only meant to provide guidance.

  1. What triggers different EI audits (particularly performance/VfM audits by SAIs)? The research is expected to establish where EI audits have been a result of internal risk assessments (based on International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs)) and or requests from Parliament or other stakeholders.

  2. What are the parts of the EI value chain that are under the purview of audits by SAIs? What aspects of the EI value chain have SAIs looked at the most?

  3. What have been the challenges of SAIs in conducting audits in the extractive sector? What are the main restraints facing auditor generals in fulfilling their mandate?

  4. How have SAIs been successful in conducting audits in the extractive sector with respect to good practice, achievement of targets and or the number of audits undertaken? What has been the impact or result of these audits?

  5. Have EI audit reports been used by different stakeholders- internally, within governments and externally? In what ways?

  6. How have SAIs interacted with extractive governance initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and or the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the context of extractives audits?

Timelines

30 days – between July 2020 and September 2020

Deliverables

a) Inception report indicating how the consultants propose to carry out the tasks with timelines, the methodologies, the rationale, expected results and an outline or table of contents for the final report.

b) A draft report of that will be shared with Oxfam

c) Raw data from the field work

d) Presentation of findings to AFROSAI,INTOSAI WGEI, Oxfam for validation

e) The final study report

Skills and Experience

The study shall be carried out by a consultant that shall have the following skills and competencies:

a) At least a master’s degree in finance/ development studies or other any other relevant disciplines.

b) Experience working on Extractives

c) Demonstrated experience in research and working with Supreme Audit Institutions

d) Excellent analytical and report writing skills

e) Fluency in spoken and written English.

Supervision

The overall supervisors of this assignment will be the Oxfam Extractives Regional Advisor for East Africa and

Bid Requirements

Consultants who meet the requirements of this assignment should submit Expression of Interest of MAXIMUM OF 5 PAGES which should include the following:

a) Suitability statement that express commitment to availability for the entire period of the assignment.

b) Brief statement on the proposed methodology including a detailed work plan.

c) Updated curriculum vitae of the consultant clearly spelling out the relevant qualifications and experience.

d) Contacts of three organizations that have recently contracted the consultant to carry out similar tasks.

e) Financial proposal with daily costs per activity which shall be part of the 10 pages.

Application Process

Expression of Interest that clearly articulates the consultant(s) understanding of the terms of reference, methodology for executing the work including key deliverables and a comprehensive budget. Cleary reference the document “Expression of Interest for Consultancy to undertake a study on SAIs Experiences in EI Auditing” and submit via the portal using the links that are provided.

[1] The Role of SAIs in the Good Governance of the Extractive Sector http://www.wgei.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Briefing-note-The-Role-of…

[2] Four ways Supreme Audit Institutions and EITI can bolster each other https://eiti.org/blog/four-ways-supreme-audit-institutions-eiti-can-bols…

[3] The Role of SAIs in the Good Governance of the Extractive Sector http://www.wgei.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Briefing-note-The-Role-of…

[4] INTOSAI Working Group on Extractives http://www.intosai.org/committeesworking-groupstask-forces/goal-3/wgei.html

[5] How National Audit Offices Can Support Implementation of the SDGs https://europa.eu/capacity4dev/dev-policy/blog/how-national-audit-office…

[6] Ibid

How to apply

https://bit.ly/3gxCo1k

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