Holding the line

Holding the line

Enhancing accountability in public financial management through Integrated Assurance

Holding the line

The Singapore public sector, like its equivalents elsewhere, is facing unprecedented change, challenge and complexity. The rise of public scrutiny has increased pressure for greater transparency in government and public sector institutions. This, in turn, has resulted in the need for more rigorous governance models, accountability and performance processes.

KPMG in Singapore, together with CPA Australia did a study that examined the findings and root causes raised in the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) 2016 Report. This includes analysis of results from the previous 26 years as well as results of a survey and series of roundtables with internal audit, risk and finance executives exploring Integrated Assurance as a possible approach to address recurring themes.

The latest AGO Report suggests that weak governance practices contributed to the lapses and gaps in controls which were not identified and remediated on a timely basis. There were several recurring issues over the last 26 years, demonstrating the need for a more rigorous governance model.

More can be done to enhance coordination between risk, internal audit and finance teams, and the adoption of techniques such as risk-based auditing, data analytics and control self-assessment.

This report shares some private sector best practices in integrated assurance to further enhance the checks and balances to reduce incidents of gaps and lapses in public sector entities.

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