Apr 14, 2020

Montenegro Is Ready to Further Develop Internal Audit Profession in the Public Sector

Since 2012, the CEF has been supporting Montenegro in its public administration reforms and has delivered the Training of Internal Auditors in Public Sector (TIAPS) projects, with the financial support of German and Slovene governments and in-kind support of the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro and the CEF.

The TIAPS training program has been part of the Montenegrin government’s efforts to build and strengthen professional qualifications for public sector internal auditors. Four generations of internal auditors have been trained so far and, in total, Montenegro is now richer for 84 certified public sector internal auditors.

TIAPS has contributed to the development of the internal audit profession in Montenegro in accordance with international standards and best practices, to improve public financial management and increase accountability, transparency, and efficiency in the public sector. The training program comprised of a full range of in-class training sessions and concluded with examinations. The project was officially completed with the graduation ceremony.

Throughout the project implementation, the CEF facilitated the work of the Localization working group (LWG), whose main goal was enabling the environment for the localization of the training program in Montenegro. This was achieved by understanding, adjusting and improving the local legislation and existing regulations for the appointment of internal auditors, strengthening the relationship between the Ministry ofFinance and the takeover institution, and proactive involvement of the Montenegrin Ministry of Finance and the Human Resource Management Authority of Montenegro (HRMA). All this has helped Montenegrin state authorities to start running the program independently and efficiently.

Local tutors, specifically trained to teach the local staff, demonstrated a high level of professionalism in content delivery as well as in exams marking. The cooperation between the tutors, the HRMA and the CEF was marked with trust and cooperation. The CEF invested a lot of efforts in coaching the HRMA staff to be able to perform in line with the best standards used throughout the projects. The students demonstrated good learning capacity during all in-classroom trainings, and their exam results showed a high level of dedication and knowledge.

To apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during the certification training in their everyday work, participants were offered an additional set of mentored group work – On-the-job training –, where they had to draft an internal audit report, with the support of local and international mentors. The topics were selected to stimulate an increase in the transparency and accountability of the government sector, and the assignments were delivered on real topics in an environment that exactly mimicked daily work situations.

The LWG selected from among several options for the localization of the training in Montenegro and the Ministry of Finance and the HRMA decided for a local option, with a national certificate and the HRMA operationally running the training from now on. According to the revised legislation in place, the CEF remains active as a member of the Training Program Committee, together with representatives of the Ministry of finance the HRMA and experts in internal auditing.