GIZ-ASEANSAI goes Parliament: Cooperation Agreement with National Assembly of Lao PDR

Daniel Blessing, GIZ Advisor to the ASEANSAI project, and Mr. Khampoun Phengthirath, Deputy Director General, Department of Planning and Finance, National Assembly of Lao PDR, exchange the signed cooperation agreement in Vientiane, Lao PDR

Daniel Blessing, GIZ Advisor to the ASEANSAI project, and Mr. Khampoun Phengthirath, Deputy Director General, Department of Planning and Finance, National Assembly of Lao PDR, exchange the signed cooperation agreement in Vientiane, Lao PDR

07 April 2015

A Supreme Audit Institution is a crucial institution in a state’s public finance system. They monitor how public money is spent according to rules and laws and whether the amount of money spent on certain issues is reasonable. With their annual reports, Supreme Audit Institutions provide valuable information to government, to parliament and civil society.

Established in 1998, Lao PDR’s Supreme Audit Institution is still relatively young among the other nine ASEAN member states.

“One could say it’s still a teenager: It already knows a lot, but there is still some time to develop, said Daniel Blessing, GIZ-Advisor in the ASEANSAI project.

GIZ’s ASEANSAI project currently supports the Audit Office of Lao PDR and the Parliament of Lao PDR in improving its cooperation. Yesterday, the ASEANSAI project and the National Assembly of Lao PDR signed an agreement to forge a closer cooperation. This is the first time that the GIZ ASEANSAI project has signed a formal cooperation agreement with a parliament in the region.

“Lao PDR is a good pilot case. The Parliament is very active and the German Embassy in the country is very supportive,” explained Daniel Blessing.

The objective of the ASEANSAI project support is to improve cooperation between the National Assembly and the Supreme Audit Institution of Lao PDR, and develop a better understanding of their different roles. In the long-run the goal is to build political support for an independent Supreme Audit Institution.

However, Supreme Audit Institutions can only work effectively if it has a good cooperation with parliament. “Such institutions need strong partners. Parliament, or budget committees are their natural partners,” continued Blessing.

In Southeast Asia, GIZ is implementing regional cooperation projects, which work with ASEAN countries. The regional project, Support to ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions (GIZ-ASEANSAI), holds its main office in Phnom Penh, but it is working with all Supreme Audit Institutions in the region, especially with the Supreme Audit Institutions of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

“Lao PDR is a country with a limited budget. It is even more important to spend each Kip in a way that supports poverty alleviation and overall national goals,” said Ernst Hustädt, Country Director of GIZ Lao PDR.

 

Contact Persons:

Project Leader: Mr. Alexander Beetz, Alexander.beetz@giz.de

CLMV-Activities: Mr. Daniel Blessing, Daniel.blessing@giz.de

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All activities are implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).