At the 3rd Annual WGEI Conference in Mombasa, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) presented a proposed framework for developing guidance on how to approach Extractive Industry (EI) audits. The idea behind this guidance was to create an accessible starting point for someone unfamiliar with extractive industry audits. GAO is proposing to develop a web-based entry point—to be available on WGEI’s website—that would provide information on considerations of extractive industries.
It is thought that this would be the first place someone unfamiliar to audits of extractive industries would begin learning about the key issues. The proposed framework has 5 sections. First, it would define the purpose for the extractive industry guidance. Second, it would provide the background information necessary to understand extractive industries. Third, it would include the considerations and resources for audits related to extractive industries. Fourth, it would identify existing extractive industry guidance. And fifth, it would include additional related resources.
At the conclusion of GAO’s presentation at the conference, members were placed into three groups to discuss the proposed framework and identify areas where additional audit guidelines could be developed. In general, members supported the developing the guidance. Additionally, members suggested several areas where extractive industry specific audit guidelines could be developed. GAO is planning to conduct follow-up with WGEI members via email to better gauge interest in additional guidelines with the goal of prioritizing their development.
By Glenn C. Fischer