The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), signed an interdepartmental agreement with the Center of Audit Excellence of the US Supreme Audit Institution (GAO) on providing technical assistance to the Supreme Audit Institution of the Republic of Armenia, the Audit Chamber.
The "Technical Assistance to the RA Audit Chamber" program was launched on June 23, 2020, at an online event attended by Mr. Levon Yolyan, Chairman of the RA Audit Office, Mr. Gene Dodaro, Head of the US Supreme Audit Institution (GAO), Ms. Lynne Tracy, US Ambassador to Armenia, Ms. Deborah Greiser, USAID Mission Director, Mr. Reginald W. Mitchell, USAID Chief Financial Officer and some other participants.
In his opening remarks the Comptroller General of the United States noted that the agreement is unique in that it seeks to build the capacity of the Audit Chamber of Armenia aimed at strengthening the Chamber's institutional policies and other important procedures.
When addressing the participants, Ambassador Tracy noted that the Audit Chamber has a key role to play in strengthening the accountability, transparency and good conduct of public institutions and that a solid and independent Supreme Audit Institution plays a very important role in increasing the trust of citizens in public institutions, assuring sound use of public funds and reducing corruption risks. In her speech, the ambassador noted that the three-year program, totaling at 1 million USD, will be implemented via professional capacities of GAO, considered a "gold standard" among the SAIs.
The Chairman of the Audit Chamber replied with words of gratitude to his American counterparts for their valuable assistance in the development of the Audit Chamber of Armenia, reaffirming the Audit Chamber's readiness to do its utmost to eventually form a more influential Supreme Audit Institution.
The USAID Chief Financial Officer Reginald Mitchell, in his turn, noted that USAID Chief Financial Office will do everything in its power to support the development of the audit profession in partner countries, as well as to continue interdepartmental cooperation aimed at supporting the RA Audit Chamber.
During the online event, the US partners expressed hope that the official visit postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic scheduled for this year at the official invitation of Mr. Levon Yolyan would take place in Yerevan in the near future.
This is USAID Armenian office's second interagency agreement with the GAO Center of Audit Excellence. Under the previous agreement, GAO conducted a needs assessment at the Audit Chamber to identify its strengths, weaknesses and needs. The agenda of this program is based on the recommendations made as a result of the needs assessment and is in line with the Government of the Republic of Armenia's Public Finance Management (PFC) reform strategy.
Within the framework of the three-year program, the US GAO Center of Audit Excellence will provide capacity building, training and consulting services to the RA Audit Chamber.