GEORGIA: State Audit Office of Georgia real time experience in recommendation follow-up with innovative ARIS platform


This article shares the experience of the Georgian SAI regarding the recommendations follow-up approach by using recently launched Audit Recommendation Implementation Electronic System (ARIS) that has been particularly remarkable.

Implementation of audit recommendations and promoting effective management of public finances is the primary goal of the State Audit Office of Georgia (SAO). To achieve this goal, SAO identifies systemic deficiencies in public finances, issues recommendations, and actively works for their implementation, which finally brings values and benefits to the general public. Thus effective implementation of audit recommendations is the critical path towards increased wellbeing of the citizens. On this way, developing the ARIS system is seen as the unique tool for increasing audit recommendations implementation rate.

The SAO manages recommendation follow-up process by the methodology for the development and monitoring of audit recommendations implementation based on the ISSAIs principles and good international practice. This methodology sets criteria for ensuring the quality of the issued recommendations, and procedures of monitoring recommendation implementation process. Upon approval of the audit report, according to the Organic Law on the SAO, the auditee, must prepare and submit to the SAO an action plan for the implementation of recommendations within 30 days. The action plan should include: a description of the targeted final results – outcomes, planned period of implementation and respective activities. If proposed implementation period exceeds 6 months, in order to keep active follow-up process, auditees are obliged to prepare and submit to the SAO interim results and outputs. Monitoring implementation of recommendations is carried out according to the dates set out in the action plan. After the deadline, auditees should present actual results about the implemented activities with corresponding evidences. The SAO analyzes obtained materials and grants the relevant status to the recommendation – implemented, partially implemented or not implemented.

Audit recommendation implementation monitoring process

SAI Georgia scheme pic

Over the last years, the number of the SAO’s recommendations have increased dramatically reaching over 3,000 active recommendations. The share of fully implemented recommendations reached around 50%. As the number of audit recommendations increases annually, using common SAI practice such as official correspondence and requesting evidences turns out to be inefficient consuming excessive human and time resources. Excellent communication with the auditees cannot move this upper limit, raising the need for a further improvement with a higher rate requiring different solutions.

Based on the process analysis that the SAO conducted, further improvement of the implementation rate requires more comprehensive actions:

  • defining clear targets in recommendation action plans prepared by the auditees, and setting clear timelines;
  • more engagement of the auditees’ top management in the recommendation implementation process;
  • more intense and proactive monitoring process;
  • increasing supervision role of the Parliament, and;
  • ultimately creating an effective mechanism to monitor this amount of recommendations.

Reaching this target requires different, a more innovative approach. This approach is to use Information Communication Technology – ICT tools and introducing electronic platforms for more effective monitoring process. Thus, Audit Recommendation Implementation System – ARIS ( was created.

ARIS fully transfers the recommendation implementation monitoring process in the virtual space and has completely digitalized it. All existing processes now takes place within the system. All information regarding recommendation is uploaded in the system once the audit report is approved: audit findings, recommendation action plans with timelines, outcomes and outputs, identification of responsible person for the implementation of each recommendation. Most importantly, auditees report about the actions they undertook to implement recommendations and provide corresponding evidence via the system. The auditors, after a careful scrutiny statuses the recommendations based on the provided materials. Should the lack of material be identified, the auditors are able to request the additional documentation via the system as well. Notification mechanism is also integrated in the system reminding the auditees about the upcoming activities and deadlines encouraging them to act. As the top management has the access to the ARIS system, they are having an opportunity to monitor and act on implementation process.

ARIS system brings together an accountability triangle: Parliament, Government, and the Supreme Audit Institution. This allows the SAO to monitor the process more effectively with time and resource efficiency. To increase the accountability of the auditees, the special access in the system is granted to the Parliament, particularly to the Budget and Finance Committee. More systemic approach increases efficiency of all engaged parties with a more result oriented process.

The system includes itself:

  • Audit recommendations
  • Audit findings
  • Full audit reports
  • Recommendations action plans
  • Permanently updated statuses about the implementation of recommendations
  • Evidence materials
  • Information about the responsible contacts for the implementation
  • Mechanisms of communication between auditor and auditee
  • Analytical data
  • Information on upcoming activities and related deadlines
  • Notification mechanism - Automatic reminders

As for the management, interface and the content of the system, the ARIS has several inbuilt modules with the two most important parts – analytical module and the recommendations page. From the outset, within the system, ARIS has an integrated analytical module. Starting with the home page, it provides statistical analysis of recommendations uploaded in the system. This module allows users the opportunity to receive all main analytical data on the implementation of the recommendations, both in general and at the level of a specific public organization, including total rate of implemented/not implemented recommendations, rate of implementation of recommendations by type of audits, agency and year with a easy filtering function.

SAI Georgia Recommendation Status pic1

Recommendations page is the registry and the main workspace of the ARIS. Once the audit report is approved, the findings and recommendations identified during the audit appears in the system and displayed on this page to all relevant users. This page provides detailed information about the recommendations (audit findings, status, implementation period, activity to be performed, timeline and countdown deadlines).

SAI Georiga Recommendations List pic2

Auditees prepare their action plans directly in the system within the integrated templates. The benefit of the system is that auditee should indicate a clear timeline for the implementation and specific activities, otherwise the system does not allow submitting action plans that also increases the quality of the action plans.

SAI Georgia Audit Object pic3

Once the submitted action plan is confirmed by the SAO, the system starts countdown until the first upcoming deadline sending automate reminders to the users to take corresponding actions. The notification mechanism increases the response rate and dramatically reduced delays in the submission of materials.

ARIS system is an effective monitoring mechanism that:

  • provides constantly updated information on implementation of recommendations contributing to the effective functioning of the audit team;
  • gants easy access to audit findings and recommendations for public agencies;
  • collects the processes of preparation, reporting and monitoring of recommendation action plans in a single digital space;
  • supports proactive communication with the auditees;
  • promotes accountability and transparency improving public administration system;
  • empowers the Parliament with an effective tool to obtain comprehensive information on recommendations and their implementation.

Having launched the system in 2021, so far 7 out of 10 line ministries have been engaged in the process, with more than 200 recommendations has already been included in the system. By the end 2022 all ministries are planned to be engaged. A prospective step could be opening the system to the wider public, civil society and media allowing them to see the progress made by the state agencies toward the implementation of audit recommendations.

ARIS integrates all relevant information on audit reports and recommendations in the single digital space, and makes it easily accessible for all relevant users. Under ARIS, the process of preparing recommendation action plans, their implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation by the SAO is automatized, more systemized, guaranteeing proactive communication among the parties, which will result in increased and more accurate implementation of audit recommendations and hence the increased value for citizens.

For more experience sharing information, please contact the SAO Georgia at [email protected]