n Journal of Public Administration - Transformation of public sector auditing in southern African countries : comparing the independence and accountability of supreme audit institutions

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), such as auditors-general, are crucial in ensuring that an unbroken chain of accountability exists between the government and its agencies, and the parliament. Within the context of southern Africa, the SAIs have, and continue to undergo transformation in order to enhance their independence and accountability standards. The purpose of this study is to examine the present state of transformation of southern African SAIs by comparing their enabling legislation with regard to powers, independence, funding, and mandate. Also compared are the accountability mechanisms available to parliament in terms of the SAI's appointment, tenure, and oversight. The comparison uses a framework that contains twenty-nine key issues necessary for enhancing the independence and accountability of SAIs. Where such issues were found not addressed in the enabling legislation of the SAI, this represented a weakness within the legislation, thereby highlighting opportunities for reform. Overall, the findings for the eight southern African SAIs examined show a number of key issues of accountability and independence that could be strengthened through legislative reform.

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