Regional Meeting on Enhancing Collaboration Between SAIs and ACBs in Thailand

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Bangkok (Thailand), 16 March 2023 - The importance of inter-agency collaboration at the national, regional, and global levels to prevent and counter corruption is increasingly being acknowledged. Around the world, countries are working to establish closer cooperation between their auditing and anti-corruption authorities. To this end, UNODC launched the Abu Dhabi Declaration Programme (ADDP) in 2021, under its Global Programme to prevent and combat corruption through effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in support of Sustainable Development Goal 16, to promote the role of supreme audit institutions in tackling corruption and enhance their collaboration with anti-corruption bodies.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, there is a pressing need for greater transparency, accountability, and integrity in the allocation, use and monitoring of public funds. UNODC is therefore supporting States’ parties to strengthen their capacity to achieve these objectives by promoting integrity of financial management and strengthening the links between auditors and anti-corruption professionals.

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In working towards these goals, UNODC, in collaboration with the Supreme Audit Institution of the United Arab Emirates (SAI UAE), hosted the second Abu Dhabi Declaration Programme (ADDP) Regional Workshop on Enhancing Collaboration between Supreme Audit Institution (SAIs) and Anti-Corruption Bodies (ACBs). The objective of the training was to promote and strengthen the collaboration between SAIs and ACBs of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) member countries.

On the first day of the regional workshop, the participants discussed the relationship between various anti-corruption bodies at the respective national level and their roles in working to address corruption-related issues, including money laundering, graft, and public sector crime.

Two presentations by the Indonesian Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) and the Audit Board of Indonesia (BPK) highlighted their collaboration in the fight against corruption, specifically involving forensic audits, state loss calculation related to fraud, and corruption prevention.

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The UNODC Anti-Corruption team also delivered presentations regarding: The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the Practical Guide for Enhancing Collaboration between SAIs and ACBs and the importance of collaboration, an overview of SAI and ACB institutional models, and the challenges of collaboration between SAIs and ACBs,

On the second day of the regional workshop, presentations covered topics such as SAIs and ACBs working together in investigations, enhancing institutional collaboration, and effective communication strategies to strengthen the prevention of corruption.

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Participants heard presentations demonstrating good practices in collaboration between SAIs and ACBs on strengthening prevention efforts from the Bhutanese Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Deputy Auditor General of the Royal Audit Authority. This was followed by the joint presentation of the Philippines’ Commission on Audit and the Ombudsman (OMB), which focused  on the relationship between auditors, investigators, and prosecutors working hand-in-hand on anti-corruption initiatives.

The UNODC Anti-Corruption team also delivered presentations regarding: The main principles and standards of the corruption prevention mechanisms (i.e., conflict of interest rules, asset disclosure management and control, corruption risks assessment, external audits, anti-corruption strategies etc.), the main principles and standards pertaining to the investigation and prosecutions of corruption crimes with areas of potential cooperation and exchange of information, data, and intelligence, and the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in anti-corruption investigations.

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Additionally, the workshop featured innovative presentations by representatives from the Public Financial Management Center at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, focusing on the complex nature of corruption and enhancing institutional collaboration between SAIs and ACBs, in addition to communicating complex information effectively in an engaging manner, specifically as it related to the work of auditors and anti-corruption investigators.

The UNODC Anti-Corruption team also delivered a presentation on the relevance of innovative technology for detection of fraud and corruption and the necessity of moving towards data-based auditing, while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) gave a presentation on the partnership between MACC and the National Audit Department Malaysia (NADD), including their use of data sharing and Information Communication Technology (ICT).

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The third and final day of the regional workshop featured an interactive activity organized by representatives from SAI UAE regarding the ADDP Action Plan that charted milestones/roadmaps for improving collaboration between SAIs and ACBs. Following this exercise, the participants worked diligently to develop an outcome document which outlined common priority actions for SAIs and ACBs of all ASOSAI member countries in attendance.

The workshop ended with closing remarks from the Attorney General of Thailand, Mr. Prajuck Boonyoung, a post-training knowledge assessment, and an opportunity for reflections on key learning and opportunities for further engagement and collaboration.

This training gathered 50 participants and presenters from 21 ASOSAI member countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and UAE, and was part of activities funded by the Supreme Audit Institution of the UAE.

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Other Useful Links:

  • The official website of the Abu Dhabi Declaration Protocol can be found here.
  • The Practical Guide to assist SAIs and ACBs in their efforts to establish or enhance their collaboration to effectively tackle corruption can be found here.
  • A summary of the Regional Anti-Corruption Conference for Law Enforcement Professionals in Southeast Asia held in Bangkok in August 2022 can be found here.
  • A description of activities conducted by Working Groups 1-3 at the 2022 Regional Anti-Corruption Conference regarding fortifying regional and international cooperation, enhancing legal and institutional frameworks, and addressing the links between corruption and other crimes can be found here.
  • A summary of activities by the UNODC Anti-Corruption Team in Southeast Asia is publicly available via our website here.