The XXII International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI), held in Abu Dhabi in December 2016, introduced two significant changes for International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) standard setting.
Firstly, it endorsed the proposal to restructure the INTOSAI framework of professional standards, originally adopted in 2007, as the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements (IFPP). The revised IFPP seeks to clarify requirements Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) must meet to claim International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) compliance, placing ISSAI 100—the fundamental principles of public sector auditing—at its center. It also explains the framework’s scope with revised and refined classification principles and criteria, introducing a clear distinction between the INTOSAI Principles (INTOSAI-P), the ISSAI with which SAIs must conform to claim ISSAI compliance, and Guidance (GUID).
Secondly, the INCOSAI endorsed a number of substantial revisions to its due process, the procedures by which it issues professional standards and other pronouncements. Two key changes to due process are:
- The creation, on a permanent basis, of the Forum for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements (FIPP). This is a body of experts appointed to act in the interest of the full INTOSAI membership and promote public sector auditing of a high quality to the benefit of users of SAI audit reports, as well as the general public. It assesses and approves professional pronouncements in accordance with due process. To do this, the FIPP follows and facilitates the development of individual draft pronouncements, ensures their technical quality and consistency as appropriate and approves their inclusion in the IFPP before they are presented to the INTOSAI Governing Board by the relevant committee for endorsement;
- The introduction of the Strategic Development Plan (SDP), which refers to a general strategy and working plan for the development of IFPP in a clear, consistent and adequate manner. The SDP is drawn up according to a process decided by the Professional Standards Committee-Steering Committee (PSC-SC) with the consent of the chairs of the Capacity Building Committee (CBC) and Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC), after consulting with the FIPP. SDP content is approved by the PSC-SC based on a proposal elaborated by FIPP and is endorsed by the Governing Board. The SDP acts as “the single gateway” to the IFPP, as only projects approved in the SDP can give rise to additions, revisions or the withdrawal of pronouncements in the IFPP.
The 2017-2019 SDP was endorsed by the Governing Board at its 68th meeting in December 2016. As endorsed, this first SDP is, until now, wholly concerned with the migration from the old INTOSAI framework of professional standards to the IFPP. This first SDP was developed on the lead up to the INCOSAI (and before the revised IFPP and due process had been endorsed). Due to time constraints, limited time could be devoted to consultations with interested parties.
The time has now come to start preparing the next SDP, which will be endorsed by the Governing Board in 2019 and will come into effect in January 2020. We are keen to ensure the widest possible discussion across the INTOSAI community, including external stakeholders. To this end, a wide-ranging consultation exercise will be launched in the coming months, opened to all interested parties—SAIs, INTOSAI bodies, individual SAI auditors and external stakeholders.
The call for input will take place later this year, and we are looking forward to receiving suggestions from across the INTOSAI community. Please keep an eye on the INTOSAI and PSC websites for further information. We look forward to hearing from you!