International Journal of Government Auditing – July 2010
The VIII CAROSAI Congress was held in Belize City, Belize, February 15-19, 2010. The congress theme was promoting effective auditing through an audit quality assurance management framework, and participants included auditors general and directors of audit from across the Caribbean region and observers from other SAIs, external organizations, and this Journal.
The outgoing Chair of CAROSAI, Terrance Bastian, Auditor General of the Bahamas, opened the first general plenary meeting. At that meeting, Dan Duguay, then Auditor General of the Cayman Islands and the Chairman of CAROSAI’s Regional Institutional Strengthening Committee (RISC), presented a report noting that the RISC program was coming to an end. He submitted a resolution to dissolve the RISC that was approved by the participants.
Else Karin Kristensen, Deputy Director General of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), made a presentation on IDI’s role in CAROSAI and activities since the previous congress. She reported that the emphasis had been on the transfer of learning for on-the-job use and that a handbook on quality assurance for financial audits had just been issued. She also noted that risk-based audit had been identified as a future priority for the region.
Terrance Bastian and Lorelly Pujadas, IDI Institutional Strengthening Manager, discussed CAROSAIís operational plan for 2009. They reported that several proposed 2009 activities linked to the projects funded by the World Bank had not been undertaken since the process of procuring a World Bank project consultant is ongoing. It was decided that a subcommittee of the VIII Congress would develop a resolution that would allow CAROSAI to raise its concerns about the nonfunctional nature of certain Public Accounts Committees at the next meeting of CARICOM (the Caribbean Common Market), scheduled to be held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Florence Lee, Auditor General of Montserrat, presented a paper on the role of SAIs in the fiscal management strategies of government in times of global crisis. Pamela Monroe Ellis, Auditor General of Jamaica, presented a paper on promoting effective auditing through a quality assurance framework.
In the areas of knowledge sharing and capacity building, Ms. Pujadas also reviewed the risk-based approach to financial audit programs, providing the heads of SAIs with detailed information on how this approach will be used on the next joint cooperation program that CAROSAI will undertake. The SAIs of Jamaica, Barbados, and St. Lucia confirmed their participation in the program. The SAI of Guyana also asked to be part of the program. The SAIs of St. Lucia and Barbados agreed to host a development workshop and review meeting, respectively.
Several external participants also made presentations at the congress. Gillian Fawcett, head of public sector policy for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, led a public sector round table discussion. Robert Reeve, a senior analyst and value-for-money specialist at the United Kingdomís National Audit Office, discussed enhancing SAI value-for-money capability. Rolf Elm Larsen, a director with the SAI of Denmark and representative of the Professional Standards Committee, discussed the role of standards and, specifically, the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI). John Noseworthy, Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, reviewed a recent audit his office conducted regarding the allowances spent by members of the provincial parliament.
Representatives of the OLACEFS Chair (the Colombian SAI), the Organization of American States, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) also made brief presentations on topics including the initiatives of the Colombian SAI to fight corruption and the changing role of the IDB.
At the second general plenary session, delegates discussed the strengthening and sustainability of CAROSAI as a regional body. In this regard, a four-committee structure for implementing the goals of the CAROSAI strategic plan for 2011 was ratified. The General Secretary noted that a manager and an administrative assistant at the CAROSAI Secretariat may be needed to facilitate administrative and program activities resulting from a World Bank grant.
It was also noted that IDI would facilitate a study tour for the Chairman and Secretary General of CAROSAI to the office of the AFROSAI-E (English-speaking AFROSAI) Secretariat based in Pretoria, South Africa, in March. The purpose of the tour is to observe the organizational structure and sustainability models at the AFROSAI-E Secretariat with a view to enhancing CAROSAIís institutional capacity.
In other business, a new Executive Council was established with the SAI of Belize as Chair; the SAI of St. Lucia as Secretary General; and the SAIs of Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago as members. The SAI of Jamaica was appointed auditor, and the SAI of the Bahamas was named as CAROSAIís representative to the INTOSAI Governing Board.
At the end of Congress, Edmund Zuniga, Auditor General of Belize and the incoming CAROSAI Chair, noted that it was time for CAROSAI to begin drafting a new strategic plan.
The SAI of Trinidad and Tobago agreed to host the IX CAROSAI Congress in 2013.
For additional information, contact the SAI of Belize: