After a rigorous bidding process, the Auditor-General of South Africa (Agsa) has been appointed as the external auditor for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for the term spanning 2024–2029.
Unesco, a specialised agency of the UN, works to foster global peace and security through international collaboration in education, arts, science and culture. With more than 190 member states, 12 associate members and partnerships across non-governmental, intergovernmental, and private sectors, Unesco plays an important role on the world stage.
As external auditors for Unesco, Agsa's responsibilities will include issuing a comprehensive report on the financial statements and relevant schedules of the UN agency, its institutes and associated functions.
Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke said: "As the national audit office, we are thrilled by this international recognition of our capabilities and the excellence of our auditing. It transcends being a victory solely for our nation; it underscores our global influence. This acknowledgement extends to the dedicated efforts of over 3,700 Agsa employees, and we dedicate this celebration to all the citizens of our country.
“I extend words of appreciation and special thanks to our government, especially the departments of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and Basic Education (DBE) for showing confidence in the national audit office’s capabilities and supporting us through the process.”
In 2021, the World Bank had singled out the audit office as one of only two national audit offices globally, the other being Seychelles, with complete independence to execute audit mandates in their respective countries.
Maluleke affirmed her team's preparedness for the new assignment, adding: "We will diligently carry our country's flag in promoting the auditing profession."
She underscored that Unesco stands to gain significantly from Agsa's “integrated approach that combines financial audit with compliance and performance of the institution”.
Operating under the banner of #TeamAgsa, the audit team, Agsa said it was committed to providing insights into critical education aspects to enhance the quality of teaching and learning skills development.
The team aims to assess the efficient and effective utilisation of Unesco donor funding, conduct thorough root cause analyse and deliver impactful recommendations for more effective corrective actions, Agsa said.