The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI) and the United Nations (UN) jointly held the “Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) Leadership and Stakeholder Meeting” July 20-21, 2017, at the UN headquarters in New York.
The meeting, which focused on “Auditing Preparedness for the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” brought together high-ranking SAI representatives and prominent stakeholders who engaged in an exchange of knowledge and experiences on topical themes and concerns related to the role of SAIs in reviewing the national implementation of SDGs.
The exchange of experiences included a focus on preparedness for SDG implementation from auditors’ perspectives, and the INTOSAI General Secretariat shared with participants INTOSAI’s contribution to supporting SAIs in this important task.
The need for a comprehensive audit approach; stakeholder engagement in audits; mobilizing means of SDG implementation through audits or the application of indicators were additional topics covered during the two-day event.
The discussions revealed, among others, that:
- In reviewing the implementation of the SDGs, SAIs face the challenge of performing audits that go beyond traditional financial and compliance auditing;
- Governments, as well as SAIs, have to take a holistic approach when it comes to implementing, or reviewing SDG implementation;
- Different stakeholders have great expectations with regard to the role SAIs play in implementing the SDGs;
- Those different stakeholders should be engaged;
- Numerous SAIs deliberated intensively over their contribution to SDG implementation, and some have also initiated audits in this regard; and
- Coordinated audits offer valuable opportunities for the exchange of experiences and knowledge.