Inside INTOSAI

International Journal of Auditing – January 2007

Financial Audit Guidelines Subcommittee

First Practice Note Approved

The first practice note—on ISA 230: Audit Documentation—was approved by the Financial Audit Guidelines Subcommittee (FAS). This was the culmination of many years of hard work by the Project Secretariat and experts from the INTOSAI community. The practice note was also the first to be submitted for approval to the INTOSAI Governing Board in November 2006.

Subcommittee Meetings

On September 25–26, 2006, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) generously hosted an FAS meeting in New York. New subcommittee members from the SAIs of Brazil and South Korea participated in a meeting for the first time as did new representatives from the SAIs of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Participants discussed the practice notes to ISAs 230 and 240. In addition, the new work plan and timeline for the Authority and Scope of Financial Audit Guidelines, Terms of Reference for the Compliance Audit Reference Expert Group, were approved. Other important issues discussed were the issues paper from Practice Note Task Force 1 and the translation issue.

The FAS’s work is in an intensive phase, and all subcommittee members are very active. The Project Secretariat would like to thank the members for the significant amounts of time and knowledge they have invested in this project.

The next FAS meeting will be a telephone conference on January 22, 2007. The spring 2007 meeting will be hosted by the Canadian SAI in Ottowa on June 18–19, 2007.

Contributions of the Reference Panel

For the FAS Project Secretariat, the two reference panel meetings held in Stockholm in September 2006 resulted in valuable comments regarding the wording and format of the practice notes, the general section of the Financial Audit Guidelines, the Authority and Scope of Financial Audit Guidelines, and practice notes to ISAs 230 and 240. The input from that meeting led to relevant changes in the documents, which the FAS discussed several weeks later.

New Call for Experts

In November 2006, the FAS Project Secretariat sent out a letter to all INTOSAI members encouraging them either to confirm their present participation in the reference panel or to further contribute to the work by nominating new experts and back-office experts for the reference panel. SAIs were asked to respond by mid-January 2007. The results will be presented in the April 2007 Journal.

Timetable and Work Plan

At the FAS meeting in September 2006, a new timetable and work plan were adopted. The FAS’s new goal is to develop 14 practice notes to be endorsed by the next INCOSAI in 2007. The overall goal for 2010—to have a complete set of guidance—remains.

The timetable, work plan, and appendixes will soon be available on the FAS Web site.

For additional information, contact the FAS Project Secretariat:

Fax: ++46-8-5171 4111
E-mail: projectsecretariat@riksrevisionen.se
Web site: http://psc.rigsrevisionen.dk/fas

Working Group on Environmental Auditing

Transition to a New Chair

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada is turning over the chairmanship of the Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) to a new SAI at the 19th INCOSAI in Mexico City in November 2007. The National Audit Office of Estonia, led by Auditor General Mihkel Oviir, has offered and made a firm commitment to be the WGEA’s next chair. The WGEA Steering Committee and the INTOSAI Governing Board have endorsed the Estonian SAI’s nomination. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada is fully committed to completing its mission as the current chair and ensuring an effective and supportive transition.

WGEA Launches New Web Pages on Auditing Waste and Water Issues

At the end of November 2006, the WGEA launched new Web pages on auditing waste and water issues. These pages, which reflect SAIs’ continued interest in these areas, provide information on how to audit issues related to waste, waste management, water, and water management and may be a useful starting point for SAIs planning related audits. They also provide links to presentations and papers on the latest auditing experiences, guidance papers, audit reports, international agreements, international organizations and Web sites, and examples of how policies and systems work in different countries. The pages can be found on the publications section of the WGEA Web site at www.environmental-auditing.org/intosai/wgea.nsf/viewhtml/waste_0main.htm and www.environmental-auditing.org/intosai/wgea.nsf/viewhtml/water_0main.htm.

The WGEA Secretariat would like to thank the SAIs of Norway and the Netherlands for providing the content for these pages.

WGEA Projects

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada hosted the fifth WGEA steering committee meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in September 2006. At this meeting, all WGEA projects under development were discussed and advanced. The following guidance papers on four of the projects are expected to be finalized and ready for distribution at 19th INCOSAI:

  • moving towards auditing biodiversity (by the SAIs of Brazil and Canada),
  • cooperation between SAIs on international audits: tips and examples (by the SAIs of the Netherlands and Poland),
  • evolution and trends in environmental auditing (by the SAI of Canada), and
  • reviewing the implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development commitments (by the SAI of the United Kingdom).

Further information on the projects is available on the WGEA Web site at www.environmental-auditing.org/intosai/wgea.nsf/viewProjects.

Upcoming WGEA Assembly Meeting

The 11th WGEA meeting will be hosted by the Office of the Controller and Auditor General of the United Republic of Tanzania during the week of June 25, 2007, in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting will emphasize learning and exchanging experiences through

  • presentations by renowned speakers from United Nations agencies and other international institutions;
  • SAI-led workshops on climate change, biodiversity, waste and water management, cooperative audits, and effective methods for environmental audits;
  • small group discussions on participants' questions; and
  • educational sessions on WGEA projects from the current work plan.

The meeting will also address WGEA business, including formal approvals of currently developed guidance documents and discussions of the 2008-2010 work plan. All WGEA members are encouraged to attend. Formal invitations were sent in December 2006.

Greenlines

Greenlines, the online newsletter of the WGEA, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The current issue (volume 9, number 2, November 2006) has been posted on the WGEA website.

This edition includes a feature story by the Ukrainian Accounting Chamber on its collaborative international audit efforts, news briefs from SAIs around the world, and news on important WGEA matters from the Secretariat.

The WGEA Secretariat would like to thank the SAI of the United States, which has assumed responsibility for producing Greenlines since 2005.

For additional information contact the WGEA:

E-mail: environmental.auditing@oag-bvg.gc.ca
Web site: www.environmental-auditing.org