International Journal of Government Auditing – October 2012
IDI Update keeps you informed of developments in the work and programs of the INTOSAI Development Initiative. To find out more about IDI and to keep up to date between editions of the Journal, look at the IDI Web site: www.idi.no.
The XX INCOSAI in 2010 adopted a comprehensive set of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI). The scope and complexity of these new standards present a particular challenge to the numerous SAIs in developing countries that face considerable resource, capacity, and skill constraints. In 2012, IDI launched the pilot ISSAI Implementation Program. The program will run from 2012 until 2014 and is financed by the World Bank. To secure the necessary expertise for the program, IDI has partnered with the Professional Standards and the Capacity Building Committees and their subcommittees, the INTOSAI regions, and other professional bodies. The main focus will be on implementation of the ISSAIs at levels 2 and 4 of the framework, with emphasis on the level 4 ISSAIs on financial, compliance, and performance audit. The program activities for the five English-speaking regions (AFROSAI-E, ASOSAI, CAROSAI, EUROSAI, and PASAI) began in 2012, while activities for OLACEFS, CREFIAF, and ARABOSAI will begin in 2013.
Supporting ISSAI implementation will be a long-term process that entails development of institutional, organizational, and professional SAI staff capacity. The program will employ a four-fold strategy for supporting ISSAI implementation at the global, regional, and SAI levels:
Before deciding on implementation interventions, it is necessary to understand the existing level of ISSAI compliance. Three teams of resource persons therefore gathered for 3 weeks in July and August 2012 to develop the ISSAI Compliance Assessment Tools (iCAT) for financial, compliance, and performance audits. In addition to the iCATs, ISSAI-based audit manuals and model files for financial, compliance, and performance audit will be developed as part of the program and be used to create a certified pool of ISSAI facilitators through an ISSAI Certification Program.
The online participant selection process for the ISSAI Certification Program took place in September 2012. The ISSAI Certification e-Learning Program will begin in October. Its aim is to train at least 180 English-speaking ISSAI Facilitators in the iCATs and the ISSAIs. The participants will also attend a face-to-face Facilitation Skills Workshop before being certified as ISSAI facilitators.
After assessing needs and creating capacity for ISSAI implementation at the global and regional levels, the program will focus on the SAI level. Based on the readiness and commitment of the SAIs, support will be provided to implement level 4 ISSAIs in at least 30 SAIs in the English-speaking regions.
In 2011, the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation issued a global call for proposals for SAI capacity development initiatives in need of additional support across the INTOSAI community. The objective was to give all SAIs in developing countries, as well as INTOSAI regional bodies and committees, the opportunity to articulate their development needs and make proposals to the donor community and SAI providers of support. One of the lessons learned from this call for proposals was the need to strengthen SAI abilities, skills, and capacity to write sound funding applications. This appears to be of particular importance in INTOSAI regions and subregions where SAIs traditionally have little experience in applying for external support.
Based on this experience and a specific request from the Regional Training and Development Council of SAIs of Francophone sub-Saharan Africa (CREFIAF), IDI arranged a seminar on developing funding proposals in CREFIAF. The seminar, with attendees from 19 CREFIAF SAIs, was held on July 20–21, 2012, in connection with the CREFIAF General Assembly. The seminar was designed to equip professional SAI personnel to identify key institutional challenges and opportunities in their specific country contexts, draw operational conclusions to design capacity-building strategies, and develop clear project proposals based on these strategies. The seminar discussed development of diagnostic and action planning skills, identification of key problems by SAIs, design of projects to address the identified problems, performance indicators, sources of verification, and budgets. The materials for the seminar can be used for similar events in other regions according to demand.
IDI will assist AFROSAI-E in developing capacity in the field of IT audit and has therefore recently launched a new program for 12 SAIs in the region. The main objective of this program is to train SAI staff to conduct IT audits as an integral part of their audit functions. A design meeting was held in July 2012 to prepare for the IT Audit Workshop, which was conducted in September. Following this workshop, the teams from the participating SAIs are expected to implement their new skills and knowledge by conducting pilot audits, with assistance from IT audit experts. The Working Group on IT Audit (WGITA) is the cooperation partner in this program and has helped develop the IT audit guidelines. The IT audit guidelines, revised based on experiences from the audits, will be made available to the region as well as other INTOSAI regions through a generic IT audit handbook.
In 2009, IDI and AFROSAI-E launched a regional Management Development Program to enhance leadership and managerial capacities in the English-speaking SAIs of Africa. After conducting several regional workshops targeting different levels of management, the SAI-level rollout was initiated in 2012. Two parallel workshops for senior and operational managers from the audit and corporate departments were held in each of the five SAIs selected for rollout in 2012—namely Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Strategic planning programs were initiated in ASOSAI, CREFIAF, and OLACEFS in 2011 and are all progressing according to plan.
In ASOSAI, the seven participating SAIs gathered for the Strategic Planning Workshop in September 2012. Following this workshop, each SAI is developing a draft strategic plan for its respective institution that will later be presented for expert and peer review at the Review Meeting and Operational Planning Workshop in December 2012.
In CREFIAF, the SAIs taking part in the first round of the program convened for the Review Meeting and Operational Planning Workshop in August/September 2012, while the second round of SAIs reconvened for the Needs Assessment Review Meeting and Strategic Planning Workshops. The first group is now ready to develop the first operational plan, while the second group will return to their SAIs to prepare draft strategic plans.
In OLACEFS, the participating SAIs are developing their draft strategic plans. In August 2012, the instructor team convened to design and prepare for the Review Meeting and Operational Planning Workshop that will be held in October 2012.
IDI has earlier conducted two rounds of the Program on Risk-based Approach to Financial Audit in cooperation with CAROSAI. In view of the relevance of the subject to several SAIs across INTOSAI, IDI has developed an e-learning course based on the IDI/CAROSAI Guide on Risk Based Approach to Financial Audit and aligned to the relevant ISSAIs and other international standards. In April-May 2012, 101 participants from 28 SAIs took part in this 5-week e-learning course. A review meeting will be held in October 2012 to prepare for the second round of the program, which will be launched in November 2012.
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