Developing a Data Enabled Public Sector Audit Approach

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Written by Suzanne Walsh, Project Manager, the NIAO’s GovTech Challenge

In the NI Audit Office we audit more than 100 public organisations which spend over £25 billion of public money every year. We also publish reports on a range of topics including health, justice and education.

In our work we use data from financial management systems as well as open data. But we don’t yet have the technology to use this data to its full potential. We have an exciting opportunity to develop the use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and automation, to provide greater audit coverage and more insight. This will add value to public sector organisations and generate efficiencies.

Technology firms and start-ups can apply for funding to develop a solution

The GovTech Catalyst supports public sector organisations to work with tech firms to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. The NI Audit Office has been awarded funding from the Govtech Catalyst to explore the development of a data-enabled audit. Suppliers have the opportunity to apply for up to £50,000 (including VAT) in Phase 1 to research and develop ideas and proposals, plus the opportunity to bid for additional funding up to £500,000 in Phase 2.

The aim of the competition is to develop a holistic data enabled audit approach capable of capturing, extracting, cleansing, formatting, interpreting, analysing and presenting data from a range of sources.  There are two parts to the challenge:

  1. Financial Audit Analytics – analysing and audit testing whole financial transaction populations, and identifying high risk transactions, anomalies and potential irregularities for further human investigation, possibly using machine learning.
  2. Value for Money Analytics – analysing management information and publically available data to inform a wide variety of thematic reports.

How to get involved

The competition will open on 19 November. More information click here

There will be a briefing event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Belfast on 22 November at 1pm. Representatives from the NI Audit Office and the GovTech Catalyst will be there to talk to suppliers about our challenge.

Register here

For more information about the challenge please visit the NI Audit Office website at [email protected]


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