ADB’s Office of the Auditor General Promotes Digital Technology for Internal Audits, Shares Knowledge

Video | 9 March 2020

ADB's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) jumps onto the digital technology train to conduct internal audit of ADB projects and share knowledge.

OAG audits activities carried out by ADB to make sure they are working as intended. It also offers advice to ADB managers, leveraging on their expertise in governance, risk, and internal control.

Using new technologies such as drone and robotic process automation, or BOTS, have significantly saved time in some ADB audits.

OAG also promotes partnerships and knowledge sharing with public sector institutions through training and capacity building programs.

Transcript

This is a new way the Asian Development Bank conducts an audit.

This drone footage is capturing the terrain surrounding the Ciujung river, one of many rivers in West Java, Indonesia.

Flooding from the river affects thousands of homes, so ADB is providing more than $108 million to improve land management and upgrade flood protection infrastructure.

This drone footage is a big help to auditors.

It shows the actual progress of the project’s implementation. 

“As a team, we decided to jump onto the digital technology train. The alternative is to be left behind at the station, and the choice is very obvious,” said Hock Chye Ong, who heads the Office of the Auditor General (OAG).

Drone footage enables OAG to ensure infrastructure projects are on track.

It has allowed them to check the status of the improvement of this power grid and the construction of regional roads such as this one in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province.

“We're going to think of a better way of how to harvest the data, the visual data to measure areas like length, size, and also the whole aspect of the project,” the Auditor General said.

This is just one of the steps being taken to improve project audits.

Auditor General Hock Chye Ong said: “As the internal auditor, we offer two lines of services. First, we audit activities carried out by ADB to make sure they are working as intended. Second, we offer advice to our ADB managers, leveraging on our expertise in governance, risk, and internal control.”

Drones aren’t the only new technology helping ADB’s auditing.

“We started experimenting with what we call robotic process automation, or in short called BOTS, to replace what we normally do manually.

“It helped us to reduce the time we took to review a loan document from two hours to three seconds. Can you imagine having an internal audit robot that works 24/7?” said the Auditor General.

OAG also promotes partnerships and knowledge sharing with public sector institutions.

In the ASEAN region, OAG established a network for central bank internal auditors, allowing them to collaborate on adopting best practices.

Mary Jane T. Chiong, managing director and chief audit executive
of the Internal Audit Office of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said the ASEAN Central Banks Head of Internal Audit Network provides them “a platform for discussing the latest trends and emerging risks in the areas of central banking and in particular on internal audit.”

“It's a good venue also for discussing our own internal audit practices, sharing our experiences etc. So it's a way of benchmarking our practices with other peers, and ADB was instrumental in that particular setting up of the ASEAN network,” she said.