Netherlands Court of Audit teams up with Sudanese National Audit Chamber

Partnership funded by Dutch foreign ministry

The Netherlands Court of Audit and the Sudanese National Audit Chamber have decided to form a partnership. The formation of a transitional government in Sudan last summer is an ideal opportunity for the Dutch audit office to support its Sudanese counterpart in achieving the desired improvement in the management of the country’s public finances. The two audit offices signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on 16 January, during a ceremony attended by representatives of the newly appointed Sudanese Minister of Finance.

Signing MoU by Vice-President Ewout Irrgang with President Eltahir Malik

The memorandum was signed on behalf of the Netherlands Court of Audit by Ewout Irrgang, the Court’s Vice-President, who had the following to say about the project: “The Sudanese National Audit Chamber is seen as a stable factor that is capable of helping to reform the country’s public financial management. The time is now ripe for action. Our colleagues at the Sudanese National Audit Chamber have asked us to assist with their audits of the revenue side of government finance, as part of the process of attaining good financial governance. This should also help to prevent corruption.”

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to fund the project to the tune of over €300,000 for the coming two years. The project ties in well with the Ministry’s desire to strengthen democracy, government and the rule of law in the Arab region. The project itself is geared towards capacity-building at the Sudanese National Audit Chamber.

The Sharaka programme: forging partnerships in the Arab region

This project is part of the Netherlands Court of Audit’s Sharaka Programme, which involves forging partnerships with seven Arab countries centring on topics such as audit quality and improving working relations with the main partners of national audit offices, i.e. parliaments and ministries. The programme is also designed to support audits of government policy on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as ‘ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages’ (goal 3). The Sharaka Programme was launched in 2016 and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A century of audit experience

The Sudanese National Audit Chamber was founded in 1920 and, under the 1955 Constitution, was granted independent status in relation to the national government and parliament. This status was strengthened in 2015 by statutory agreements on budgets, staffing and remuneration. Like the Netherlands Court of Audit, the Sudanese National Audit Chamber is a member of INTOSAI, the international organisation of supreme audit institutions.

It was the combination of the Sharaka Programme and the Netherlands Court of Audit’s long experience with technical assistance and knowledge-sharing with sister organisations that prompted the President of the Sudanese National Audit Chamber, Mr El Tahir Abdelghayoum Ibrahim Malik, to ask the Netherlands Court of Audit to assist with the professional development of his own institution.