Assessing how Supreme Audit Institutions around the world engage citizens

The 21st Interregional Symposium will be organized by DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions in Vienna on 13-15 July

The Symposium will focus on the theme “Effective practices of cooperation between Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and citizens to enhance public accountability”. It will provide the opportunity to identify, assess and exchange knowledge internationally about ways in which SAIs from countries around the world engage citizens, and innovations under analysis and consideration in this field as part of SAIs institutional development. For instance, publication of audit reports in the media, participation of citizens in inter-institutional advisory bodies or councils, and decision to start determined audits on requests formulated by certain number of citizens.

The theme of the Symposium reflects a growing recognition of the need to deepen the participatory processes in public administration matters. Given their responsibilities for independence, professionalism and reliability, SAIs are uniquely positioned to serve the public to promote effective public governance, increase the efficiency of public administration, improve development outcomes, fight corruption and promote trust in government. In terms of greater public scrutiny, SAIs have a very important and relevant role to play.

By making their reports public, they make government actions transparent for the citizens; and, by being responsive to the legitimate concerns of citizens, the civil society and the private sector, they help to build public confidence. The Under-Secretary-General of DESA, Mr. Sha Zukang, will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Symposium and will chair one of its substantive sessions.

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World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva

In connection with the WSIS in Geneva on 16-20 May, DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management arranged a number of events

Ensuring implementation of WSIS action lines

On 18 May, DESA through DPADM, convened the Sixth Facilitation Meeting on implementing three of the 11 WSIS action lines, providing a platform for participants to: a) exchange information and experiences; b) identify the propriety areas for implementation within the Action Lines; and c) create synergies among different stakeholders for more effective knowledge sharing and collaboration to ensure the implementation of WSIS at the international, regional and national levels as well as enable further coordination of major stakeholders’ activities to support strategic planning and implementation of accessible, inclusive and participatory governments.

Exchanging experiences and practices on e/m-government

On 19 May, the workshop on “Greater Government Transparency and Citizen Engagement to Promote Effectiveness and Accountability in Public Service Delivery” was arranged. Organized by DPADM in cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), it provided opportunities for participants to share experiences and exchange practices on e/m-government with speakers in order to develop new capacities for designing and implementing successful programs and policies for better government transparency and citizen engagement and create or strengthen international networks of stakeholders and practitioners based on proven viable experiences that have enabled lasting development results in different socio-economic and cultural contexts. A report on the workshop will be prepared.

IGF Open Consultations and MAG meeting

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held its Open Consultations and a meeting of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) from 18 to 19 May at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva with approximately 100 people in attendance. The MAG deliberations, which mainly focused on the selection of workshops and the format of the main themes, including the selection of speakers, were considered positive and resolved to finalize the programme through online collaboration. They welcomed the note asking them to continue with their work until the conclusion of the 2011 IGF to be held in Nairobi and individual members volunteered as focal points for each theme shepherding it until then.

Fourteenth session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)

While discussing agenda item 2 “Progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes at the regional and international levels”, it was agreed by the Commission that the mandate of the “Working Group for the improvements to the IGF” should be extended for one more year to give it time to complete its work. The meeting also adopted a draft resolution which will be sent to ECOSOC for deliberation as part of the report.

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