IDI Update

International Journal of Auditing – January 2003

This month’s IDI Update is devoted to Goal 3 of IDI’s Strategic Plan: “to cooperate with INTOSAI Standing Committees and Working Groups.”


INTOSAI’s Working Groups and Standing Committees are responsible for some major outputs on key strategic issues relevant to the work of SAIs around the world. But the task of turning this output into effective auditing practice and techniques is not always straightforward. IDI has a mandate from SAIs in developing and emerging countries to work with the Standing Committees and Working Groups to address this need through effective training. How is IDI going about this? Read on.

Environmental Auditing

The closest cooperation to date has been with the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA). The WGEA and IDI started to discuss an outline plan for cooperation in July 2002. Most recently, a curriculum meeting took place in Oslo in November 2002, bringing together experienced members of the Working Group (from Canada, China, Costa Rica, Jordan, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) with IDI and an IDI Training Specialist from India.

The purpose of the curriculum meeting was to reach agreement on the core curriculum of an environmental auditing training program. The results of the meeting, and the planned way forward, will be put to the Working Group at its annual meeting in Costa Rica in January 2003. Upon approval, it is expected that an environmental audit seminar will be given to the proposed instructor team (taken from the pool of training specialists in ASOSAI, AFROSAI, and SPASAI), following which a design meeting will finalize the content and methodology of the course. The current proposal is for a pilot delivery in 2003 in ASOSAI. IDI would then become involved in translating the course materials into Arabic, French, and Spanish and regionalizing the content so that it can be delivered in other regions.

Public Debt

Cooperation with the Public Debt Committee (PDC), chaired by the SAI of Mexico, is being undertaken using a somewhat different approach. Following a planning meeting with the PDC and the OLACEFS Regional Training Committee (RTC) in Ottawa, Canada, in December 2002, the adopted strategy is to develop and deliver a 5-week capacity building program aimed at training public debt audit trainers in the OLACEFS region, with 24 participants from 12 SAIs in attendance. Following this program, selected participants will design and deliver a 2-week Public Debt Regional Audit Workshop to auditors from all SAIs in the OLACEFS region. After the course has been refined, it will be made available on CD-ROM to SAIs in the region, and IDI will then become involved in helping to translate and distribute it to other regions.

Audits of Privatization

Privatization of state-owned assets is a global phenomenon, and one that SAIs need to be very aware of. IDI has been planning informally with the Working Group on the Audit of Privatisation (WGAP), chaired by the U.K. National Audit Office, to develop a methodology for propagating its well-regarded guidelines.

ASOSAI recently held a combined Course Design and Instructional Techniques Workshop (CDITW) in Bangkok, Thailand, that added another 32 training specialists for the region. In addition, ASOSAI decided to develop an Audit of Privatization course as part of the CDITW. IDI and the Working Group provided a subject matter expert to help in the development of the course, which is to be finalized and delivered in the region in 2003. The Working Group and IDI will then review the course and decide on appropriate action, which might be translation and dissemination or further work on developing a world-class course.

Information Technology Audit

The INTOSAI Information Technology (IT) Audit Committee is of necessity an active one. IT audit is one of the fastest-changing environments that auditors have to face, and a lack of up-to-date knowledge can be potentially damaging to the effectiveness of an SAI’s work. IDI’s cooperation with the IT Audit Committee is based upon courseware developed by the Committee; IDI will assist in its promotion and distribution. An “Introduction to IT Audit” course was developed in ASOSAI and delivered for the first time in New Delhi, India, in March 2002. IDI supported the development of the courseware and the distribution of course documentation (available on CD-ROM).

At the Committee’s December 2002 annual meeting, it was agreed that IDI would ensure that the ASOSAI course would be made available to SAIs on CD-ROM.

Contacting IDI

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this edition of IDI Update, please contact IDI by telephone at ++47 22 24 13 49 or by email at

Training in OLACEFS

From November 18-29, 2002, OLACEFS sponsored a newly developed regional training course in performance auditing in La Paz, Bolivia. A total of 26 participants from 7 SAIs attended. This was the first course to be offered under OLACEFS’ joint technical assistance training project with IDI, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the U.S. General Accounting Office. OLACEFS training specialists from several different countries developed the course, with technical assistance from IDI and a GAO subject matter expert. A team of regional training specialists from several different countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Costa Rica, and the United States) delivered the course, which will be offered a second time in February 2003 in Panama. IDB is providing funding for this 3-year capacity-building project.