INTOSAI Development Initiative

Supporting effective, accountable and inclusive Supreme Audit Institutions

IDI, AFROSAI-E and SAI South Sudan staff at the 2017 Annual meeting in Juba

South Sudan – NAC Peer-support project 2017-2020

IDI and AFROSAI-E jointly supported the National Audit Chamber (NAC), the SAI of South Sudan, in implementing key strategic priorities for 2017-2020, especially in the areas of auditing, stakeholder relations and planning, quality control and reporting. Funding was provided by the Norwegian embassy (MFA Norway) in Juba. SAI Kenya and Norway provided in-kind resource persons. 

What was supported in the project?  

The overall objective of the projecthas been to “Maintain and strengthen key audit-related capacities in NAC, to prepare NAC to play a strong role in the reform efforts of the Government of South Sudan to improve and sustain Public Financial Management Administration and accounting systems.” There were six expected outcomes of the project: 

  1. A relevant and enhanced regularity audit function in NAC
  2. A relevant and enhanced performance audit function in NAC
  3. Core audit management and HR systems in place in NAC
  4. Key stakeholders are familiar with NAC’s function, audit findings and how reports can be utilized
  5. NAC is developing in line with the ISSAIs and international best practices
  6. NAC's capacity development is strategically managed and well-coordinated

Advice to execution, reporting and dissemination of audits has been a key part of the project. The project has also included support to introduction of new audit manuals, sharing of knowledge in the organization, participation in various AFROSAI-E events and trainings, stakeholder events, management development, and NAC’s own performance reporting.

NAC has been the main partner responsible for execution of activities. IDI has been primarily responsible for the funds and management of peer-support by the other partnersA steering committee led by the Auditor General has had the overall governance of the project. 

See the Final project report chapter 3 for more details on project activities and progress.


Steering Committee for the Annual meeting in Juba December 2018, outside NAC new headquarter building

What are the results? 

The Overall Project goal was to “Maintain and strengthen key audit-related capacities in NAC, to prepare NAC to play a strong role in the reform efforts of the Government of South Sudan as well as to improve and sustain Public Financial Management Administration and Accounting Systems.” 

The status of overall indicators of goal achievement are shown in table 1. While the target of submission of audit reports to the Parliament and President has not been met, a major achievement is that four Performance audit reports and one Special audit report on IFMIS have been completed and printedThe actual reporting to the President and Parliament is planned by NAC when the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) meets


Front pages of selected audit reports completed in the project period

When it comes to the objective of maintaining the capacity in NAC, the available figures on turnover indicates that the target has not been met. The staff turnover has probably increased in the period among auditors and managers. Many staff have not received regular salaries in the period, and have not been regularly in the office. This means that NAC’s capacity has not been maintained in the period as intended. However, it should be pointed out that this has to a large extent been due to factors beyond the project control and is a government wide problem.  Irregular payment of salaries and increasing inflation have prompted staff to move to better paid sectors.

Status of overall indicators of goal achievement by 30 August 2020



Status by


30. Sep 2017

30. Sep 2018

30. Sep 2019

30. Aug 2020

  1. Percentage of project supported audit reports finalized and reported to the President and Parliament by NAC

50 % by the end of 2019 (of a total of 9/6)1

0 %

 0 %

 0 %

0 %

Four Performance audit reports and one Special audit report on IFMIS are printed, but not submitted as the TNLA** has not been met yet.

  1. Staff turnover among auditors and managers in NAC.

Less than 10% annually

0 %

9 %*



Turnover figures not fully reliable, but clear indication of higher turnover than target in the period. Also many staff have not reported regularly although employed, due to lack of salaries.

* The turnover figures are not measured in line with the definition of the indicator. While the indicator was supposed to measure turnover among auditors and managers, the figure reported here is turnover among all staff.
** The Transitional National Legislative Assembly

In spite of the lack of goal achievement as measured by the two major indicators, there has been many achievements that demonstrates results related to the objective of maintaining and strengthening key audit-related capacities in NAC. The following achievements should thus be highlighted:

  • Completion of audits in areas of high importance, such as the audit of IFMIS, Local content2 of the petroleum sector, the Constituency Development Fund and the Juba city council
  • Training and customization of new up-to date financial and compliance audit manuals, preparing NAC to conduct annual audits in line with international standards
  • Management development training which resulted in key plans and strategies developed, such as the new strategic plan, stakeholder engagement strategy and HR-strategy.
  • Completion of the first NAC activity report, showing its performance since 2005.

Report writing workshop in Juba February 2019

As stated in the external evaluation, “even if many of the project supported audits and NAC systems are delayed, the results so far are good considering the challenging situation of the NAC.” The project is therefore assumed to have contributed to strengthening of key capacities in NAC during the period 2017-2020, although the audits are not yet reported and some auditors have left the office. Through the work of customizing audit manuals and trainings related to these, NAC has built a strong fundament for its future audits. The guidelines for auditing the IFMIS system has been developed, and will be useful for audits in this area in many years ahead. NAC has also been able to develop plans for HR and stakeholder engagement in line with regional best practice, which gives the relatively young institution a solid basis for further development of these capacities in the years to come.

Impact can be defined as an effect on the society and citizens. For SAIs, an impact can occur when audits are reported, public financial management and service delivery are improved changing the lives of citizens.

As the audits supported in the project have not yet been submitted to Parliament and President, the project have probably not yet had much impact. Some impact may have occurred through the auditors engagement with the auditees and submission of audit findings through management letters. If the reports are released in public, deliberated in Parliament and their findings follow-up, impact can be demonstrated. This is to be followed-up through the second phase of the project.

What are the lessons learned?

The project was the first Bilateral project led by IDI under the new bilateral policy, and many lessons learned have been identified through the project reports as well as the external evaluation. The main lessons learned are presented here.

  • A project design with support to high-prioritized audits works well, and is a good starting point for building capacity in other areas critical for successful audit execution and results.
  • Government funding to NAC operational funds and salary payments is unstable. If auditors are not paid regularly and regular audit operations to a limited extent are funded by government, agreed project activities will be delayed. Support to NAC’s budget mobilization of resources and stakeholder engagement should be prioritized in project support.
  • Distance-based support to NAC is challenging, such as to facilitate online contact between peers in Kenya and Juba. This requires reliable internet connections and a follow up from both staff and advisors to communicate regularly. Dedicated support to internal coordination and monitoring and use of ICT-tools for communication by NAC as well as more Juba presence are important to ensure better utilization of available peer support.
  • Dealing with NAC’s constant challenges and adjusting project plans thereafter requires flexible project management with frequent contact between IDIs project leader and NAC leadership.
  • The peer partners IDI, AFROSAI-E, OAGK and OAGN can collectively ensure comprehensive support to NAC. Strong and active project management and regular coordination among peers is critical to ensure synergies between supported areas and relevant support. This requires establishing good routines for regular meetings and sharing of plans and reports. Peer partners need to be informed in due course on dates for events.
  • NAC wants to conduct financial and compliance audit in line with ISSAIs, but building the competence of staff to apply new methodology takes a long time. A large degree of on-site, on-the-job support is required. A few selected controls and working papers should be prioritized for the first audits to ensure quality and avoid confusion.
  • Project expected results and indicators should be set at different levels, so reporting can take into account that not all results are within project control. Indicators and targets need to be set as realistic as possible, taking into account an unstable country situation.
  • Gender equality should be planned and integrated in the project from the beginning, considering an indicator measuring actual progress in SAI actions of gender equality.