ABSTRACT

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are in a unique position to provide legislatures with confidence regarding executive branch performance reporting across government. As independent voices, backed by the application of commonly accepted auditing practices and principles, SAIs have the potential to provide legislatures and the public with a perspective on government performance that will be seen as credible and untainted by political considerations. In addition, their wide access to information on executive branch agencies and broad experience across these agencies put them in a unique position to develop a government-wide perspective on the success of performance reporting regimes. On the other hand, the role that they do play is moderated by the limitations of their traditional audit roles, resource constraints, their specific legislated mandates, and a desire to protect themselves by avoiding the perception of partisanship. This chapter provides examples of how some SAIs have striven to provide an independent, government-wide view perspective on performance reporting while balancing the challenges they face in doing so. The question remains as to whether the choices they have made serve to advance the quality of performance information in government.