/ PFT Online Course on 'AUDIT OF PUBLIC DEBT'
Introduction and Background
debt is in the large majority of countries one of the most important
budget expenditures, very often the largest one. In addition to
its relative size to total expenditures, in the majority of democratic
countries, this is a liability that has seniority over other budgetary
commitments, i.e. it has to be honoured first in case there are
not enough budgetary resources to cover all obligations. The last
International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)
Congress (XIX INCOSAI) that took place in Mexico City, 5-10 November
2007, devoted one full technical theme, out of two, to "Management,
Accountability and Audit of Public Debt"(1).
The XIX INCOSAI report points out that
debt policies currently implemented in many INTOSAI member countries
confirm that high public debt levels impose severe constraints on
financial policies, leading to risks of economic and social crises.
Therefore, public debt issues are a concern in many countries, and
in most of these countries the gap between revenues and government
spending is closed by continuous public borrowing. Besides, numerous
countries are faced with the problems of contingent liabilities
that may be regarded as implicit future debt, which refers to debt
that the government may assume as subrogate debtor in cases like
pension funds and social security liabilities. In the longer run,
these contingent liabilities, if not properly assessed and managed,
will be a major burden on the sustainability of public budgets.
Democratic governments require that
public debt and its medium- and long-term effects be made transparent.
This is necessary to help ensure accountability and facilitate a
better-informed public debate. In order to achieve this, it is of
paramount importance that the necessary controls are in place regarding
public debt management. In this regard, there are, first, the internal
controls that are embedded within the daily Debt Office functions,
but also controls that may be regarded as internal audit as they
are undertaken by auditors belonging to the executive power, in
most of the cases this controls are undertaken by the Ministry of
Finance Comptroller's Office; and there are, second, external controls
that are external audits undertaken in the initiative of the legislative
power, those audits are undertaken by the Superior Audit Institutions
(SAIs) that report directly to the Congress.
||when slots are full
||November 8 to December 17,
||Minimum of 35 hours
||US $ 400/-
||UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration
& Technical Questions)
Drafter and Director
||Dr. Enrique Cosio-Pascal
This course is oriented to government officials that may undertake
audits of public debt management, either internal (Ministry of Finance
Comptroller's Office) or external (Audit Superior Institution).
It assumes that the trainee has already some background on accounting
and audit of public sector. The course provides all the basic elements
on public debt management for the auditors to acquire the necessary
knowledge to undertake public debt audits.
This course is oriented toward those auditors that would be participating
to internal or external audits of public debt management, on the
first place, however, this course may be interesting for all professionals
and persons belonging to the academia that are interested in public
debt management issues, because it starts with an overall review
of basic principles and knowledge of public debt management.
At the end of the course, the participants should have knowledge
- The algebra of debt and interpretation
of different types of debt statistics.
- The legal and institutional framework
of a Public Debt Management Office.
- The operational responsibilities
of a Public Debt Management Office and its interrelations with
other governmental bodies.
- How plan and undertake a Public
Debt Management Audit.
Structure / Outline
The course is organised into four weeks:
the first week is devoted to debt algebra and the legal and institutional
framework for public debt management; the second week to the operational
functions of a Public Debt Management Office, and its organisation
in back, middle and front offices; the third week to auditing the
risk and cost taken by the debt office and to debt sustainability
analysis and the tools to undertake it; finally, the last week is
devoted to auditing of internal controls and to how to conduct an
audit on public debt management.
Each week corresponds to a module that
may contain several lessons on different issues of debt management,
there would be a text drafted by the author of the course and complementary
readings proposed to the e-Students to read. Once the e-Student
fills confident, he/she can take a quiz on the corresponding module.
In addition to the quizzes, there would be a weekly subject for
discussion and analysis on which the e-Students have to participate.
This course will comprise of the following
- MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION AND INSTITUTIONAL
- Introduction, Definitions and
- Why Public Debt Management
- Definition of Public Debt
- Debt Algebra
- Legal and Institutional Framework
- Legal Framework for Debt
- Institutional Framework
for Debt Management
- The Operational Responsibilities
of the DMO
- MODULE 2: DEBT OFFICE FUNCTIONS
- The Back Office
- Back office: the Recording
- Back Office: the Operating
- The Middle and Front Offices
- Middle Office: Objectives,
Strategies and Internal Control
- The Front Office: Implications
of a Debt Strategy
- Debt Reorganisation and
- MODULE 3: AUDITING PUBLIC
- Auditing Risk
- Risk Indicators and Debt
- Risk Modelling
- Auditing Debt Sustainability
- Debt Sustainability
- Tools for Assessing Debt
- MODULE 4: AUDIT OF PUBLIC
- Auditing Internal Controls
- Auditing Internal Controls
of Public Debt
- Audit and External Information
- Conducting an Audit of Public
It has to be noted that it is compulsory to take successfully the
quizzes (80 percent correct answers) as well as the participation
to the four weekly study cases for e-Students to solve, which will
be graded also on the basis of 100 points each, in order to obtain
the UNITAR e-Learning Certificate. The total average required on the
four quizzes and the four study cases should be not less than 80 percent.
However, there will be a fifth week in order for the e-Students to
catch up with the course quizzes and case studies. Notwithstanding,
this fifth week is not intended for starting taking quizzes or/and
starting solving the different weekly study cases, but really to catch
up on previous work.
This course is designed as an online course in which participants
will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson
will consist of the following components:
Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials):
these materials are intended to educate the participants
about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter
of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials.
These materials will constitute the required reading materials
for the lesson
Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this
will consist of optional reading materials for participants who
wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the
Links: This will refer the interested participants
to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal
with the issues raised in the lesson.
A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will
be provided to the participants and act as a learning support
during the entire course.
and Case Studies: At the end of each module there will
be a quiz and a case study. The quizzes and the case studies are
designated to test the participant's understanding of the module.
Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least
80% or more passing grade. Participants are required to solve
each study case and submit it to the course director for evaluation,
which requires at least 80% or more passing grade. Participants
obtaining passing grades of 80% or more in both quizzes and case
studies are eligible for the certificate.
Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion
board available on which participants can post questions or comments
that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants.
This discussion board will be moderated by the course director
and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a
All successful participants will be
eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.
International Organisations of Supreme Audit Institutions, (2007),
Mexico Accords, XIX INCOSAI, INCOSAI Secretariat, Mexico. See http://www.incosai2007.org.mx/