Public Sector Performance
Auditing in Developing
COLLEEN G. WARING AND STEPHEN L. MORGAN
Performance auditing is a systematic, objective assessment of the accomplishments or processes of a government program or activity for the purpose of determining its effectiveness, economy, or efficiency. This determination, along with recommendations for improvement, is reported to managers, ministers, and legislators, who are responsible for enacting the recommendations or ensuring accountability for corrective action. Performance auditing is an important building block with which to improve accountable and responsive governance of public resources.
As government programs continue to grow in magnitude and complexity, public sector auditing has evolved and extended its scope beyond mere financial or compliance audits to the auditing of performance to support policy makers in their oversight role.1 Performance auditing is a very new development in the history of auditing. Its growth parallels the evolution of politics and public administration from a one-dimensional focus on control of inputs (resources) toward broader attention to accountability for outputs and outcomes. This evolution of auditing represents both a means by which auditors can continue to be relevant and a move toward fulfilling their accountability role in governance.