International Journal of Government Auditing – April 2010
The Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Entities (OLACEFS) held its 19th General Assembly in Asunción, Paraguay, October 5–9, 2009. Hosted by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Paraguay, the assembly drew delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Uruguay. Guests and observers included representatives from Spain, Portugal, Germany, the World Bank, and this Journal.
The opening ceremony was held in the Bicameral Room of the National Congress of the Republic of Paraguay. The President of Paraguay, don Fernando Lugo Méndez, officially opened the ceremony, warmly welcoming the delegates and thanking them for their role in contributing to government accountability in the region. The President of OLACEFS, Julio Cesar Turbay Quintero, Comptroller General of Colombia, also addressed the delegates, as did Octavio Augusto Airaldi, Comptroller General of Paraguay, and Miguel Carrizosa, the President of the Paraguayan Senate.
Technical Theme Presentations
The General Assembly was organized around four themes:
the budget as the financial expression of development plans, its execution and effect;
principles of accountability for the member countries of OLACEFS;
world and regional conventions in the fight against corruption; and
the environment and sustainable development: the challenges of climate change and energy development.
Plenary addresses introduced each theme and were followed by delegate debates on the major issues raised in the papers and the discussions. Guest speakers for the respective themes included Octavio Augusto Airaldi, Comptroller General of Paraguay; Licenciada Rocio Aguilar, Comptroller General of Costa Rica; Carlos Polit Faggioni, Comptroller General of Ecuador; and Oscar Lamberto, Auditor General of Argentina. The assembly adopted the Declaration of Asunción, which lays out eight major accountability principles for good governance and is intended as a guide for member countries. The declaration also expresses the commitment of OLACEFS members to emphasize and reinforce environmental issues within the plans and public policies of their respective governments.
Because the Director General of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) was unable to attend the General Assembly, a video presentation with accompanying PowerPoint slides described the joint IDI and OLACEFS programs to strengthen the institutional and professional capacity of the supreme audit institutions of developing countries.
During the general business session, the assembly elected the President of the Brazilian Tribune of Accounts and the Comptroller General of Venezuela to the Governing Board of OLACEFS for 2010–2011.
The 20th OLACEFS General Assembly will be held in 2010 in Guatemala in the July/August time frame.
Throughout the conference, the Comptroller General and his staff treated participants with gracious and generous hospitality. In addition to a private tour and reception at the Museum of South American Soccer, they provided a taste of local cuisine, music, and dance at both the opening reception and closing dinner at the Hotel Guarani Esplendor. In addition, the President of Paraguay hosted the heads of the delegations at a private dinner at the Presidential residence. Following the conference delegates had the opportunity to visit the Yguazú waterfalls in Brazil and the Itaipu hydroelectric dam along the border of Brazil and Paraguay.
Information on the 19th OLACEFS General Assembly, including presentations and papers, will be available on www.olacefs.net.