Learning and sharing from across the globe

International SMBy Peter Worsdale, International Liaison Manager, Audit Scotland

This continues to be a challenging time for Scotland as the country takes on new financial responsibilities and public services continue to evolve. That’s why it’s important we continue connecting, sharing and learning from our colleagues in public audit from around the globe to help us develop our audit work.

Our international work informs our thinking in new areas, such as auditing digital public services and auditing Scotland’s new financial powers. And our international work goes both ways – not only does it allow us to learn from good practice elsewhere, we also give something back by working directly with others to help them improve their public governance.

Over the last 12 months we have welcomed delegations from Armenia, Australia, China and the Republic of North Macedonia, who have visited us here in Edinburgh to find out more about our work. It’s great to attract such interest and it’s invaluable for us to hear a different perspective on our own work. We also use video-conferencing to link up with other overseas audit bodies, which may mean an uncomfortably early start for some!WA-visit_1

Above: In June we welcomed members of the Western Australia Public Accounts Committee to Audit Scotland.  

We use an international audit database to find good practice, both in how public services are provided, and also the ways in which public audit is undertaken outside of Scotland. This insight helped inform our latest Enabling Digital Government report, which includes a supplement on the different approaches taken by international governments in this area.

This year we worked with the Republic of North Macedonia’s state audit office on a project aiming to increase the impact of their audits, sharing with them how we report our findings to reach different audiences. This project was organised by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Members from their national assembly also met with us to hear more about how we work with the Scottish Parliament.

All this activity is a great opportunity for our staff. We share knowledge from overseas with colleagues, and we involve staff from across Audit Scotland in our international work.

You can find out more about our work in this area by visiting our Going Global web page. And check out our International work 2018/19 report too. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on our international work.

If you have any specific enquiries or would like to arrange a visit to Audit Scotland please get in touch with me: pworsdale@audit-scotland.gov.uk.

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