Managerial Accountability in the Public Sector

Workshop: December 3 – 5, 2019ILjubljana, SloveniaIApplication deadline: November 3, 2019IAuditing

As part of the Training of Internal Auditors in the Public Sector (TIAPS), this workshop engages public sector internal auditors from Montenegro in peer-to-peer learning and exchange of experiences with their counterparts from SEE on the latest developments in the implementation of managerial accountability in the public sector. A special emphasis will be put on the next steps in advancing managerial accountability most relevant to their organizational and country contexts.

About this learning event

A number of years into successful implementation of public internal financial control reforms in SEE, managerial accountability remains one of its least well-understood concepts. This is not surprising, as the managerial accountability incorporates multiple new approaches in public administration that cut across a government’s policy planning, financial management and control and human resource systems. The concept is inherent to the everyday job of public sector institutions in the process of planning, implementation and reporting on inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes, capturing the compliance and performance perspective alike. 

The roots of implementation issues can be traced back to the dominant practice of centrally devised policies with systemic focus on controlling inputs rather than outputs and outcomes. When they are articulated, objectives are neither specific nor measurable generating lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of civil service managers with respect to these objectives. The progress in policy implementation is further masked behind a complex web of reporting and accountability lines which are not necessarily centered around objectives.

As complexity of tasks and operations of public sector organizations increases, new demands are placed on public sector staff to design and operate effective risk management frameworks that will proactively identify issues before problems materialize. Line management indeed remains best-positioned to anticipate and prevent policy implementation issues early but, at the same time, the range of control activities which they can exercise in response to these risks remains limited in the face of pervasive centralized controls of financial, human and material assets.

In any given organization, these aspects of governance and risk management necessarily shape the design and implementation of the internal control framework. A combination of external and internal factors is at play, including availability and quality of information used in decision-making, which affect how civil servants understand and practice autonomy, authority and responsibility made available to them. Available evidence suggests that in majority of cases the entrusted resources are administered rather than managed.   

These short points illustrate the conclusion that the concept of managerial accountability touches on all three primary areas of internal audit scope. The field is therefore ripe for the internal auditors to step up to the challenge and add value through (i) provision of assurance or advice to management about the weaknesses in managerial accountability arrangements on the institutional level but also through (ii) understanding and signaling systemic issues to the CHUs so these can be addressed centrally in due time.

The event is designed to help internal auditors support their organization’s to identify and implement effective measures in governance, risk management and internal control in support of managerial accountability.

What you will learn

The main objective of this workshop is to familiarize participants with the underlying principles and concepts used in analyzing the development of managerial accountability ad what they can do to create an enabling environment in their own institutions.

During the workshop we will discuss the following topics:

  • The concept and practice of managerial accountability – responsibility, authority and autonomy
  • Roles and objectives, managing resources, reporting  
  • Country case studies on managerial accountability Risks related to managerial accountability - how to recognize and assess them
  • How internal audit can support the implementation of managerial accountability

How you will benefit

This workshop will focus on developing participants’ ability to identify internal control weaknesses standing in the way of managerial accountability and will allow them to apply the acquired knowledge in their daily work. The three-day learning event will revolve around the findings from the OECD SIGMA’s 2018 paper “Managerial Accountability in the Western Balkans” and key take-aways for public sector internal auditors. [The participants are expected to read the paper ahead of time].

By the end of the course, participants are expected to:

  • Understand the relationship between internal control and managerial accountability
  • Analyze barriers to managerial accountability, identify and assess associated risks in their organizations
  • Formulate corresponding audit objectives, select procedures and define scope
  • Going forward, understand how to incorporate aspects of managerial accountability in regular system, compliance and performance audits.

Who should attend

The workshop is designed for heads of internal audit units and senior internal auditors in public sector organizations in SEE. 

Your contributions

The workshop will be highly participatory. Participants will be expected to share practical experience and cases against a backdrop of background lectures and a series of practical exercises using examples from their organizations.

Event will be in ENGLISH only. No translation will be provided.

FACULTY

  • Lech MarcinkowskiOECD SIGMA
  • Ana Krsmanović, Ministry of Finance Montenegro 

Partners

This learning initiative is supported by:

SIGMA - OECD Ministry of Finance Montenegro Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Germany
Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Slovenia's Development Cooperation
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