27 March 2015

Information paper on the performance audit in the public sector


FEE’s project “Getting involved in public sector assurance” starts off with this information paper on the performance audit; an independent examination on whether the activities of public organisations are economical, efficient and effective and how they can be improved. (Update: our information paper on the compliance audit is now also available)

The project is part of FEE’s ongoing contributions to improving public sector financial management. This has become especially relevant since the financial and fiscal crisis have decreased the trust of citizens who push public sector organisations to deliver value for money. With this pressure the demand grows for assurance services that enhance the information on which government or public management base their decisions. The European accountancy profession can play a role in making this information more transparent and reliable. With “Getting involved in public sector assurance” FEE starts exchanging best practices to this end.

Visit our web pages to stay up to date on FEE’s work on audit audit & assurance and public sector policy.


Links to further guidance and information


• International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE)
ISAE 3000 (Revised) Assurance Engagements Other than Audits of Reviews of Historical Financial Information

• International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI)
Fundamental Principles of Performance Auditing
ISSAI 3000 Implementation Guidelines for Performance Auditing
ISAAI 3010 Performance Audit Guidelines: Key Principles – Appendix

• Books
Performance Auditing: A Measurement Approach
Performance Auditing, Contributing to Accountability in Democratic Government

• European Court of Auditors
Audit Methodology
Performance Audit Manual
Special reports

• European Commission
Internal audit conferences Performance Audit

• European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions
Literature on performance auditing and Supreme Audit Institution


• Centre d’information du révisorat d’entreprises
L’audit (de performance) dans les secteurs public et non marchand
Advanced : Audit performance dans les secteurs public et non marchand (14-118f)

Performance Auditing, Een inleiding
Spoor financieel management en prestatiemeting, De praktijk van performance audit: een drielandenstudie
De (performantie-)audit in de publieke sector en de non-profitsector


Performance Audit Manual
Performance Audit Risk Analyses

Toiminnantarkastuksen ohje


• Federal Level

The German Court of Audit (“Bundesrechnungshof”)
Federal Budget Law (“Bundeshaushaltsordnung”)

• State Level 
Regional Audit institutions (Landesrechnungshöfe)
– e.g. Landesrechnungshof NRW
Budget Law For Each State (“Landeshaushaltsordnung”)
e.g. Budget Law For NRWBudget Law For NRW

• Local Level
Local laws (“Gemeindeordnung”/ “Kommunalverfassung”) require audit institutions on the local level („Örtliche Rechnungsprüfung” and “Überörtliche Rechnungsprüfung“)
e.g. Gemeindeordnung NRW (§§ 103, 105)
– e.g. Audit Institution in NRW:
Gemeindeprüfungsanstalt using Performance indicators/benchmarks
Further guidance on the Website of the Ministry of Interior in NRW


• Guidelines for financial and performance auditing of local governments
• National legislation on measurement and evaluation of public sector entities performance
– Legislative Decree n. 150/2009


FRTAP Latvia: Seminar on audits of municipalities


Performance audits manual
Doelmatigheids- en doeltreffendheidsonderzoek
Grote-projecten procedure


Guidelines for Performance Auditing
Auditing standards for the office of the Auditor General of Norway

Veileder brukerundersokelser
Veileder i resultatorientert revisjon
Veileder i undersokelsesdesign
Veileder i utarbeiding og brav sporreskjema
Retningslinjer for forvaltings revisjon


Priro?nik za revizije smotrnosti poslovanj


Court of Audit Organic Act
Court of Audit Functioning Act


Cross UK audits and audit of central government in England
• National Audit Office (United Kingdom)
Guidance on evaluating value for money (VFM) of PFI/PPP projects (dating from 2007)

– Older guidance on VFM audit (issued in 2003)
and more generally,
This page also provides links to other SAI guidance on performance audit, in English and other languages.

• Local public audit in England
– Guidance is currently provided on the Audit Commission website, although this will soon be withdrawn as soon as the abolition of the Commission is completed. The guidance currently comprises codes of Audit Practice for local government and health, and guidance on VFM conclusion
Future responsibility for the Code has passed to the National Audit Office; a final draft code for use in future has been laid before Parliament for approval and is available at

Wales Audit Office
Code of Audit Practice for financial audit and a Statement of Practice for local government improvement audit, assessment and special inspection work

Audit Scotland
•The principles underpinning the approach to Best Value audit in local government

Performance Audit Standards

Audit diagnostics – Best value toolkits

• Other scrutiny guidelines and information


Performance/ best value audit work programme

Northern Ireland Audit Office
The NIAO practice guides

VFM standard



• U.S. Government Accountability Office
Performance Auditing: The Experiences of the United States Government Accountability Office
Government Operations: Assessing Internal Controls in Performance Audits
ASOSAI; Fifth ASOSAI Research Project: Performance Auditing Guidelines, October 2000


• Auditing Standard on Assurance Engagements ASAE 3500 – Performance Engagements


• Brazilian Court of Audit
Performance Audit Manual

Técnicas de Entrevista para Auditorias

Manual de Auditoría de Rendimiento



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