Thirteen mid-level COA auditors nationwide participated in the Audit Capacity Building Program conducted by the Audit and Inspection Training Institute (AITI) of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) of the Republic of Korea from 7 to 15 July 2022 at the Commission on Audit (COA) Professional Development Center. The program was held in partnership with COA through the International Audit and Relations Office (IARO) under the leadership of Director Lito Q. Martin.

The participants were Director Dondon P. Marcos of the Performance Audit Office, Auditors Heherson Pz. Visaya and Ma. Luisa P. Gutay of IARO, Auditor Teresita C. Guevarra of the Corporate Government Audit Sector, Auditors Andrew T. Garcia and Anileto A. Boleche, Jr. of the National Government Audit Sector, Auditor Dante A. Dejeto of the Special Audit Office, Auditor Osana Theresa D. Domingo of COA Regional Office (RO) No. IV-A, Auditor Mylene C. Delantar of COA RO No. VIII, Auditors Sheila C. Edrozo and Albert O. Lungay of COA RO No. X, Auditor Rinah A. Garrido of COA RO No. XI, and Auditor Mona U. Balabaran of COA Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The program was delivered in four modules during the seven-day webinar: The Audit System of Korea; Role of Auditors of Managerial Level; Performance Audit of Korea; and Information Technology-Based Audit of Korea. The key resource persons for the training were high officials of BAI, including AITI Director Jeong, Jin-soo; Soojong Kim; Nam, Ka-young; Professor Minah Kang of Ewha Womans University, (former BAI Commissioner); Joon Hyoun, Kim of Bureau of Request Audit Investigation of BAI; Director Chan Soo Kim of Audit and Inspection Research Institute; Joognam Yoo; Won-Poong, Lee; Bo-young Im; Dr. Yong Taeck Lee of BAI; and Weon, SeungYeon of Bureau II of Provincial and Local Governments Audit, BAI.

The delegates learned BAI’s audit systems and processes. They noted the advance methodologies Korea employs in conducting its audits that participants can adopt in their current assignment. The final output of the delegates was the Audit System Analysis wherein the delegates presented the Audit System and Structure of COA. On other hand, BAI was fascinated with the Citizen Participatory Audit methodology of COA and disclosed their interest in understanding its design and delivery.

The BAI is the Supreme Audit Institution of the Republic of Korea whose main function is to audit public sectors including governments, local autonomies, public institutions and inspect duties of public officials. In 1995, the BAI established the AITI as its training agency to promote betterment of the national audit system of the Republic of Korea by fostering competent auditors. As a responsible player in the international audit community, AITI delivers ceaseless efforts to assist peer SAIs in developing their respective national audit system and strengthening audit capacities. AITI has been developing training programs for international participants in cooperation with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). As of 2021, 547 public auditors of 66 countries have participated in the international training programs.

Under the leadership of Director Martin of IARO, a robust collaboration between COA and AITI was done to finalize the arrangement for the program. After the approval of a concept paper initiated and facilitated by IARO which was endorsed to the National Economic Development Authority and Embassy of the Republic of the Korea in Manila, COA became a beneficiary of BAI’s international training program. The worldwide spread of COVID-19, however, hindered the face-to-face conduct of the training in the Republic of Korea. Hence, AITI delivered the training program virtually to ensure continuity of its objective to assist partner SAI facilitate training of fellow public auditors during this period of pandemic. AITI provided a wide range of online learning materials with accompanying guidelines to ensure program quality. The IARO assisted and facilitated in the overall management of the training program.

Overall, the training was a huge success. There was an enlightening and productive interaction between the two SAIs, with many lessons learned. It proved that the limitations of the pandemic will never thwart the pursuit of learning for the advancement of the audit profession, empowerment of the institution and service to the people. It is hoped that more training of this kind will be conducted for mid-level COA officials to enhance their knowledge on best audit practices by other SAIs.