WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 1, 2019) – The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Center for Audit Excellence today expanded its strategic partnerships, signing its first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Bank to strengthen international accountability and promote good governance. As part of this new effort, the Center and the Bank aim to identify opportunities to work together to improve the capacity of accountability organizations, particularly in developing countries.
The agreement was signed at the World Bank headquarters and promises to help advance the Center’s efforts to build capacity and foster effective organizations that can help improve performance and transparency and ensure sound use of public funds. GAO’s Center was established four years ago and this latest effort complements the World Bank’s overarching mission to reduce poverty, improve living conditions, and promote sustainable and comprehensive development in member countries.
“GAO has a long-standing partnership with the World Bank to connect accountability organizations in need of support with the resources to improve their capacity,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of GAO. “Today’s agreement will provide an additional mechanism to foster closer collaboration and better promote transparency and public trust,” Dodaro added.
The MOU will include potential to coordinate on needs assessments, advisory services, training, mentoring, internal controls, and performance audits, among other areas. The MOU was signed by James-Christian Blockwood, GAO Managing Director for Strategic Planning and External Liaison, and World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu.
“The World Bank plays an important role in promoting the need for strong public financial management systems. This agreement reinforces GAO’s shared goals with the World Bank, and leverages our partnership to strengthen capacity of Supreme Audit Institutions and other accountability organizations,” said Blockwood.
The Center has provided training and technical assistance to over two dozen U.S. organizations and audit entities in six countries, and additional projects with national audit offices are underway. The Center is staffed primarily by former senior-level GAO auditors and managers and collects fees to support its operations and ensure high-quality services while providing independence from GAO units doing routine audit and oversight work for the Congress.
To learn more about the Center for Audit Excellence, please visit the GAO website.
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The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.