Our America's operation MSI recently hosted a study group of 12 Serbian financial officers for a comprehensive presentation on the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The event occurred through the USAID-funded Judicial Reform and Government Accountability project.
Vladimir Vuckovic of the Serbian Fiscal Council said the most meaningful part of the presentation was the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from retired GAO staff. “Because the panellists used to work in the government and now they do not, they can be open and honest about the positive and negative,” said Vuckovic.
MSI technical director Joseph Christoff, along with three other former GAO staff members, focused the talk on the GAO’s role as the “investigative arm” of U.S. Congress. He and other experts also answered questions about the GAO’s auditing process and the challenges of compelling federal agencies to cooperate.
The project’s objective is to promote government accountability through building institutional capacity of the key independent governmental institutions in Serbia, including the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI). The SAI is a new institution that can benefit from exposure to the experience of well-established agencies such as the U.S. GAO.
“What they learned within just three hours of direct discussion they would never be able to learn in any other way,” said Svetlana Winbourne, who serves as MSI’s technical director on the project.
Following the presentation, MSI experts led the study group on a visit to the GAO.
This appeared on MSI's website, our America's operation.