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NMI to participate in communications training to achieve increased audit impact

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (PASAI) —  The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions will be delivering its online training  on communications  strategy  and implementation from Oct. 27 to  Nov. 27 2020. 

Thirty  five participants (23 female, 12 male) from government audit offices of SAI American Samoa, Chuuk, CNMI, Cook Islands, FSM National, FSM Pohnpei, Palau, Samoa and Yap will participate in this online capability development training.

The training consists of two virtual regional workshops, the first of which is scheduled on Oct. 27-30. The first regional workshop will equip participants with an understanding of the role of the SAI communications function, key stakeholders and audience groups, developing and implementing a communications strategy and social media strategy, and measuring and reporting on communications activity. Participants will also learn best practice to engage with Parliament and the media.

The initial workshop will be followed by SAI-level support in the form of dedicated one-on-one online Zoom coaching sessions to follow up on the progress of the development of the SAI Communications Strategy and Annual Communications Operational Plan. As participating SAIs are likely to be at different points of their five-year strategic plan cycle, the one-on-one coaching approach will allow for learnings and discussions to be customized to meet the individual and specific needs of each SAI. During these sessions, implementation challenges will be addressed and solutions suggested. Coaching sessions will be held between Nov. 23 and 26 and will completed before the second and final regional workshop on Nov. 27 to share key issues and learnings.

This training has been designed and delivered in collaboration with the Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand, and the PASAI Secretariat acknowledge their contribution and support. The training is designed in response to the requirements identified in the SAI Needs Analysis conducted in 2019. Training and supplementary materials have been developed to specifically meet the communications requirements of public sector auditors. The focus of the program is applied or action-based, and is designed to equip participants with practical guidance to enable them to immediately apply their learnings into their business-as-usual work. Best practice examples drawn from the Communications Team and other business units of the Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand translate learnings into action.

From left, Hamish  Stuart,  Sarah  Markley,  Nicole  Ayo  von  Thun,  Annie  Subactagin-Matto,  Colin  Morris and  Yashodha Jayawardhana. Photo courtesy of Chris Tse/PASAI

The Lima Declaration or ISSAI 12 emphasizes the positive impact Supreme Audit Institutions have on society by instilling trust and public confidence through public sector auditing, reporting and communicating audit results. The effective communication and publication of high-quality audit findings enables SAIs to demonstrate their ongoing relevance to citizens by establishing themselves as a credible source of independent and objective insight and guidance to support beneficial change in the public sector. In addition, effective communication with stakeholders during and after the completion of an audit is critical to increase stakeholders’ understanding of audit results and to achieve accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector.

In order to respond to the demands of a fast-changing communications and information landscape, SAIs need to have qualified staff with expertise in developing and implementing a communications strategy and managing the communications of audit results and other key messaging through “traditional” and social media channels. SAI staff also need to have the capability to respond to media queries and articles, as well as queries from the legislative branch and other relevant public sector agencies. This training aims to address the above needs.

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