One of the outcomes from the OLACEFS General Assembly held in Asunción, Paraguay, in October 2017, was the issuance of the Declaration of Asunción on Budgetary Security and Financial Stability of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).
Reflecting the concept that oversight/control is an essential part of government operations, the declaration acknowledges the value SAIs add toward good governance and explains the importance of independence to effectively fulfill SAI functions. Particular focus is given to the significance of budgetary security, financial stability and the availability of human, material and economic resources as central elements.
With full regard for the constitutional and legal frameworks in each country, the document also reinforces the values of budgetary security and financial stability as preconditions that facilitate SAI professional performance—ensuring ongoing product improvement, results delivery and added value.
The declaration’s foundation is consistent with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, which identifies the need for effective, responsible and transparent organizations at all levels.
OLACEFS member SAIs understand that independence based on due budgetary security and financial stability in the short-, medium- and long-term cannot ignore economic and financial realities of individual countries. For this reason, they are requesting oversight capacity be proportionally increased in comparison to their audit sphere of control.
The declaration also emphasizes the need for collaborative work with legislative and executive branches, along with other external stakeholders, as cooperation is indispensable in any reform process, particularly one that leads to increasing SAI budgetary security and financial stability.
The declaration concludes by highlighting elements that SAIs should consider when amending any processes associated with financing models, such as: how to determine financing and agree on budget; the need for accounts to be externally audited; establishing an accountability model; and essentials to protect SAI independence and the efficient, effective work that supports good governance—work that, ultimately, positively impacts the lives of citizens.