NIK has completed the European Commission project in Azerbaijan

The EU funded Twinning Project „Strengthening the institutional and administrative capacity of the Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CoA)” started in October 2017. The project, which covered all aspects of the operation of Supreme Audit Institutions, was focused on audits: starting from their preparation and planning stages, audit procedures to the drafting of the final audit report. Training sessions, presentations, and workshops also dealt with the personnel and communication policy.

The twinning project aimed at strengthening the institutional and administrative capacity of the Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan. NIK undertook this task upon request of the European Commission. It was fully financed by the EU, as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

Representatives of Polish and Azerbaijan SAIs at twinning project closing conference

The conference closing the twinning project in Azerbaijan (from the left): Advisor to NIK President, Project Leader Wojciech Kutyła, Ambassador of Poland to Azerbaijan Rafał Poborski, NIK President Marian Banaś, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts Vugar Gulgmammadov, Ambassador of the European Union to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts Adil Maharramov

Within 27 months, over 50 expert missions (including 5 study visits to Poland) were organised, with the participation of the best state audit experts from Poland. The Azerbaijani auditors conducted - under the eye of the Polish experts - as many as 16 pilot audits in their institutions and offices. The entire project was divided into four thematic components related to:

  • developing the human resources management and administrative potential;
  • developing the capacity to undertake and report on financial and compliance audits in line with the ISSAIs and Azerbaijani legislation;
  • developing the capacity to undertake and report on performance audits in compliance with ISSAIs and Azerbaijani legislation;
  • effectively engaging with better-informed stakeholders of CoA, including the Parliament, auditees, and media concerning the role of the CoA.

Detailed conclusions and results of the twinning project were presented at the formal closing conference led by NIK President Marian Banaś and Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Account Vugar Gulgmammadov. Mr Banaś said: ”I am proud that the Polish SAI was entrusted the mission to implement the project here in Azerbaijan - the country with which we share so many experiences. Only recently Poland and NIK were on a similar path as Azerbaijan and its Chamber of Accounts. We also benefited from the EU funds and a twinning instrument. That is why we feel accountable before the European Union and other countries that want to develop their statehood in a modern and democratic way”.  

Azerbaijan twinning-conference room

The conference closing the twinning project in Azerbaijan (from the left): Ambassador of Poland to Azerbaijan Rafał Poborski, NIK President Marian Banaś, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts Vugar Gulgmammadov, Ambassador of the European Union to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts Adil Maharramov

Key issues concerning the expert missions, organisational improvements, and forms of support for Azerbaijani auditors were presented during the project closing conference. Both sides emphasised that the project was successful thanks to the partnership as one of the principles undermining the project. Besides, differences between the twin organisations were pointed out and the solutions that proved effective in Poland were proposed, making it possible to achieve the project objective.

”I am positive that a strong, independent and reliable state audit institution is one of vital elements of each country’s institutional strength, based on the rule of law, respect for civil rights and democratic standards. Our role as public auditors is to make sure that the resources entrusted by citizens to the government and other public bodies are spent legally and effectively, for the benefit of the whole nation” -Marian Banaś underlined in his speech.

The above was also reflected in the assumed and accomplished twinning objectives, primarily to train the Azerbaijani auditors in the methodology of planning and conducting financial, compliance and performance audits. The missions dealing with the human resources management also helped the CoA strengthen its institutional capacity. The assumptions and objectives of the personnel policy developed in the course of the missions were tailor-made to suit the needs of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts. A team of human resources management experts has been trained as well and is now responsible for implementing this policy. The updated communication strategy is to facilitate the communication of audit results and to make the CoA more open for citizens. In line with the intention of the Azerbaijani auditors, the new strategy is to be incorporated in the CoA Strategy for the coming years (which is being developed now).

All documents prepared during the missions are based on the best international and European standards of auditing and operation of the Supreme Audit Institutions associated with INTOSAI and EUROSAI and are compliant with them. A great value of the project is also the active involvement of the CoA employees in the twinning, who were at the same time getting prepared to share the new knowledge and skills with other CoA staff. This approach allowed a specialised group of auditors to provide high-quality training to other CoA employees.

Azerbaijan twinning-press briefing

The press briefing of NIK President Marian Banaś after the conference closing the twinning project in Azerbaijan

While closing the project, NIK President thanked both Project Leaders: Director Hilal Huseynov and Advisor to the President of NIK Wojciech Kutyła for their efforts in establishing and managing good relations between the two SAIs, as well as all NIK employees involved in the project and all Polish experts. NIK President gave his special thanks to the Chairman of the Chamber of Accounts of Azerbaijan, emphasising that the project would not be successful without his openness and courage. ”These features are essential for the leader to invite another institution to evaluate the work of his institution and ask for, sometimes critical, opinions and to implement external recommendations. This is a very mature and responsible approach which - as we can see - turned out to be effective” - said President Banaś.  

NIK President and Deputy Chairman of CoA laying flowers in the Alley of Martyrs, Baku

NIK President Marian Banaś and Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts Adil Maharramov laying flowers in the Alley of Martyrs in Baku

NIK President also stressed that although the project’s official beneficiary was the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts, both sides benefited a lot, learning from each other and getting to know a different perspective and view on many aspects of a SAI’s work. ”I think that such mutual benefits are the essence of twinning projects” - NIK President said, adding that the end of the project certainly does not mean the end of cooperation between the two institutions, but is just one of its many successful stages.

The cooperation between the Supreme Audit Office and the Azerbaijani Chamber of Accounts goes back to 2013, when the Azerbaijani auditors paid a visit to NIK. The study visit concerned the audits of CERN, World Bank projects, public deb,t and infrastructure. In 2016, CoA Chairman Vugar Gulmammadov visited Poland. In the same year, NIK offered to conduct the twinning project for Azerbaijan. The project was officially launched in October 2017.

Article informations

Date of creation:
26 March 2020 20:39
Date of publication:
26 March 2020 20:39
Published by:
Marta Połczyńska
Date of last change:
30 March 2020 12:39
Last modified by:
Andrzej Gaładyk
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