Looking Forward

The end of every calendar year brings with it either a retrospective of how things were done in the year just past or a commitment to how things should be done in the future.

In this our second last Report of the Week for 2014 we have taken the time to have a look at the United Kingdom’s National Audit Office’s strategy for the next three years.

The report provides a good framework that any audit and risk function could adopt in the development of their medium term strategic direction.

Firstly it notes very simply what they seek to achieve:

Screenshot 2014-12-11 10.16.33

The report articulates how that will be done:

Focusing on strategic issues shared by groups of departments to enable comparative analysis, developing our expertise in these issues through our skills strategy.

Providing integrated assurance, drawing on the full range of NAO expertise, with products tailored more appropriately for Parliament and other stakeholder needs.

Developing an investigative capability to follow public money where issues are raised by members of parliament and members of the public, or where the facts are uncertain.

Focusing on end‐to‐end local service delivery.

Establishing a leaner National Audit Office with enhanced collaborative working to increase our impact and influence.

The report provides an excellent diagrammatic representation of the work undertaken and its relative size:

Screenshot 2014-12-11 10.22.18

Perhaps though the most telling part of the report is the observation:

We cannot expect those we audit to listen to us and act on our recommendations if we ourselves are not a cost-effective organisation that practices what we preach.


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