Dutch Assistance for COAC [Archives:1998/01/Law & Diplomacy]

January 5 1998

to Better Enforce the Laws
Laws are made to be enforced. That is sort of the general rule. In some countries, and Yemen is one of them, it seems the rule is “Laws are made to be neglected.” In Yemen, the entity responsible for serving as the state watchdog and to make sure that laws are enforced is the Central Organization of Audit and Control (COAC). Unfortunately, the efficiency and reach of the COAC is very limited. The organization is now trying to extend its reach and improve its efficiency. Towards that end, it has obtained the support of the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA), which sent to Sanaa a delegation headed by Mr. Hink Koning, the NCA President, during 14-18 December, 1997. Discussions between representatives of the two organizations concentrated on possible cooperation. The first step was to evaluate COAC activities, as included in the project YEM-93-007. The aim is to continue to develop the administrative and technical skills of COAC personnel, which has yielded encouraging results in the past. During the visit, the two sides signed of a memorandum of understanding which further allowed for more cooperation, especially in the field of exchanging experience in modern audit and control methods. This will be achieved through a project in which the NCA will organize several control activities. These will include: – performance evaluation – reviewing projects sponsored by international donor organizations – reviewing quality control of control and audit results – improving the system of accountability in organs controlled by the COAC – reviewing exploitation of natural resources. – improving the English language abilities of controllers in the COAC. – improving audit administrative and technical skills. The NCA and COAC teams went over several potential fields of joint effort. The newly-built training center in Sanaa wsa a key point of interest. The NCA delegation also visited Aden where it met with the head of the COAC branch and held fruitful discussions. The delegation also met with the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament. It also attended a parliamentary session held on December 18th. At the end of the visit, Mr. Koning expressed his appreciation for the generous hospitality and the good working meetings. He praised the efforts of the COAC leadership in working to improve and modernize the organization. He emphasized the NCA’s commitment in continuing cooperation with the COAC.
By: Mohammed Sufian Al-Dobai’