Inside INTOSAI

International Journal of Government Auditing – January 2012

62nd INTOSAI Governing Board Meeting Held in Vienna


When:

Where:

Host:

Participants:


October 27, 2011

Vienna, Austria

Austrian Court of Audit

SAIs of Bahamas, Brazil, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Hungary, India, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela


On October 27, 2011, the Governing Board of INTOSAI met in Vienna, Austria. The meeting, held in the Parliament Building, coincided with the 250th anniversary of the Austrian Court of Audit.

The board members—18 heads of SAIs for all INTOSAI regions—were joined by observers representing committees, working groups, and task forces. In addition, the board received reports from the goal chairs and approved the annual reports of the General Secretariat, the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), and this Journal. A number of specific motions were presented and approved at the meeting, including the following:

  • Timor-Leste was accepted as the 190th member of INTOSAI.
  • The SAI of Poland, chair of the INTOSAI Internal Controls Subcommittee, will represent INTOSAI to the Internal Auditing Standards Board (IASB) of the Institute of Internal Auditors.
  • This Journal will decrease the share of revenue it receives from INTOSAI from 25 to 20 percent, a 20-percent decrease.
  • The updated terms of reference for the Professional Standards Committee (PSC), which include a rollout model for the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI), were endorsed.
  • A new Task Force on Financial Foresight, led by the SAI of Norway, will be established under the Finance and Administration Committee to (1) research the best ways to ensure sustainable long-term INTOSAI funding and budgeting and continuous improvement in strategic planning and (2) develop a mechanism for INTOSAI to manage emerging issues.
  • The mandate of the Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis will be extended for 1 year to conclude its work and determine how INTOSAI should address the issue in the future.
  • INTOSAI’s contribution to the 2012 Rio+20 Summit of the United Nations for sustainable development will be consolidated with input prepared by the Working Group on Environmental Audit.
  • The newly established SAI Database Task Force will conduct a technical study to validate the possibility of evolving the SAI Information Database into a platform for INTOSAI information.
  • The themes for the XXI INCOSAI will be as follows:
    • Theme I: Governance at the national level and national audit (Chair: SAI of China)
    • Theme II: The role of SAIs in safeguarding the long-term sustainability of finance policies (Chair: SAI of Mexico)
  • INTOSAI will support the draft resolution that has been submitted to the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). The draft resolution expressly appreciates the work of INTOSAI as well as the Lima and Mexico Declarations, calls upon UN Member States to apply the principles set out in these declarations, and encourages UN Member States and the United Nations to continue and intensify their cooperation with INTOSAI.
  • The implementation and dissemination of the ISSAIs will be the priority INTOSAI theme for 2012.
  • INTOSAI will support the initiative of the Contact Committee of the SAIs of the European Union to strengthen the external government audit of international organizations in relation to the European Stability Mechanism, which was established to safeguard financial stability in Europe.
  • The XXI INCOSAI will be held from October 28 to November 2, 2013, in Beijing, China.

The goal chairs and regional working groups reported on their activities.

Goal 1 Chair Henrik Otbo reported on the progress of ISSAI awareness-raising efforts, the ISSAI Harmonization Project, and the PSC subcommittees and projects. See the Spotlight on ISSAIs section for an update on the harmonization project. Other highlights of Mr. Otbo’s report include the following.

  • The ISSAI awareness-raising strategy will leverage existing opportunities to promote the ISSAI framework to increase implementation, promote ISSAIs as recognized standards, and ensure that the ISSAI framework is used as the common frame of reference for public sector auditing.
  • The Project on Transparency and Accountability produced final versions of ISSAI 20 (which defines key principles) and ISSAI 21 (which shows examples of best practices). Both ISSAIs were endorsed at the XX INCOSAI.
  • Following the XX INCOSAI’s endorsement of ISSAI 40, which was designed to assist SAIs in establishing and maintaining an appropriate system of quality control for all audits, the Project on Audit Quality Control team has agreed to develop further guidance, such as a gap analysis tool to help SAIs assess their compliance with key principles of ISSAI 40.
  • Following the presentation and acceptance of a comprehensive set of ISSAIs at the XX INCOSAI, the Financial Audit Subcommittee will continue to contribute to developing International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and drafting corresponding Practice Notes to ensure INTOSAI members continue to have access to current Financial Audit Guidelines.
  • The Performance Audit Subcommittee is participating in the ISSAI awareness- raising and harmonization projects and is also producing a document to help SAIs in the practical aspects of performance audit. The documents are currently being reviewed and will be presented to the subcommittee in February 2012.
  • Following the endorsement of the ISSAI 4000 series at the XX INCOSAI, the Compliance Audit subcommittee plans to continue contributing to the ISSAI awareness-raising and harmonization projects and working on specific 4000 series issues, such as sampling, assurance, and monitoring systems.
  • The Internal Control Standards Subcommittee is focusing on developing examples of internal control measures for internal control objectives and control components, promoting the integration of INTOSAI Guidance for Good Governance (INTOSAI GOV) internal control and risk management elements into ISSAIs, studying internal control reporting, and analyzing e-platforms for usability and quality of content.
  • The Accounting and Reporting Subcommittee managed the development and public exposure of a proposal to withdraw the 9200 series INTOSAI GOVs and replace them with links to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). In addition, as an observer to the International Federation of Accountants IPSAS Board, the subcommittee keeps INTOSAI members informed of developments through a link to the IPSAS website that can be found on the Accounting and Reporting Subcommittee’s website.

Mr. Otbo has been nominated to the European Court of Auditors, and the General Secretary and board recognized his departure, noting his many contributions to INTOSAI, in particular his leadership of professional standards development and implementation.

Goal 2 Chair Ahmed El Midaoui reported on capacity-building activities, advisory and consulting services, peer reviews, and developing cooperation with international organizations. See the report on the peer review subcommittee. Other highlights of Dr. El-Midaoui’s report including the following.

  • Capacity Building Committee (CBC) activities specifically included the transfer of the INTOSAI capacity building database to IDI and the continued development of CBC and quality assurance guides. Future work will include strengthening regional secretariats, the CBC, and e-learning capacities. In addition, a request for funding to allow selected SAIs to participate actively in CBC meetings was presented to the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation.
  • Agreements were reached to reorganize the UN/INTOSAI Platform and rename it the INTOSAI Platform for Cooperation with the United Nations. INTOSAI and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs agreed to reassess possible fields of cooperation based on individual projects. The new platform will cooperate with the UN, and possibly other international organizations, to partner with civil society organizations, SAI capacity building, audits of cross-border funding for disaster relief, and fighting international money laundering and corruption, with near-term emphasis on the latter.

The SAI of Norway reported on the activities of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI). See IDI Update for a summary of recent IDI activities.

Goal 3 Chair Vinod Rai reported on goal 3 activities, which included changes in composition and working group leadership, changes to the committee website, and work plan tasks. See the report on the Steering Committee meeting of the Knowledge Sharing Committee for a summary of goal 3 activities.

Goal 4 Chair Osama Jafar Faquih summarized goal four activities, which included reports on budget and expense issues, donor cooperation, and future Finance and Administration Committee (FAC) activities. Specifically, he reported that INTOSAI had received 90 percent of its annual expected revenue and that external auditors had provided a clean audit opinion for INTOSAI’s 2010 financial statements. See the report on the recent FAC meeting for additional information on goal 4 activities.

Future FAC priorities include close monitoring of the implementation of the INTOSAI strategic plan; active participation in the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee; careful assessment of INTOSAI membership dues and contributions; and monitoring of the work of the new Financial Foresight Task Force.

Mr. Faquih also provided the following information on the status of the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation.

  • The Islamic Development Bank has become the 16th signatory to the agreement.
  • A 2011 action plan includes initiatives for focusing on AFROSAI-E, CREFIAF, CAROSAI, and the global INTOSAI community through a project to support implementation of the ISSAIs.
  • The Steering Committee is reviewing the proposals for capacity-development initiatives benefiting SAIs in developing countries that were submitted in response to its global call for proposals and has agreed to establish a task force of like-minded donors to develop a mechanism for pooled funding. Nine donors have expressed interest in this effort.
  • The Donor Cooperation Secretariat is in the early stages of mapping and potentially developing a credible performance measurement framework for SAIs in cooperation with the INTOSAI Working Group on the Value and Benefits of SAIS, the Capacity Building Committee, the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee, volunteer INTOSAI regional bodies and SAIs, and stakeholders from the donor and nongovernmental organization communities.

The 63rd Meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board will be held in late October or early November 2012 in Chengdu, China.

For additional information, contact the INTOSAI General Secretariat:

E-mail: intosai@rechnungshof.gv.at
Website: www.intosai.org

Third Meeting of the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee

The third meeting of the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee was held in Washington, D.C., on July 19–20, 2011. The World Bank hosted the meeting, which was attended by more than 50 representatives of INTOSAI and the international donor community.

The meeting revealed the rich diversity of existing peer-to-peer cooperation and support provided to the INTOSAI community and marked a significant advance in implementing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between INTOSAI and 16 donor partners. Recognizing the important role of SAIs in strengthening accountability, transparency, and good governance, the MOU aims to increase and enhance the support provided to SAIs in developing countries.

The Steering Committee agreed to move forward with additional financing arrangements for the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation following a three-pronged approach.

  • A global call for proposals for capacity development projects in need of support, announced in September 2011, will be followed by a process that matches applicants with donors and SAIs willing to provide support.
  • A task force of like-minded donor organizations agreed to work together to develop a global pooled funding framework for SAI capacity development. The pooled fund will provide an additional funding channel, in particular for SAIs in countries with limited donor presence.
  • A global databank on SAI capacity development projects will enhance the coordination of support to SAIs and thereby contribute to more effective support.

For additional information, contact the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat:

E-mail: intosai.donor.secretariat@idi.no
Website: www.idi.no

Compliance Audit Subcommittee

The Compliance Audit Subcommittee (CAS) held its ninth meeting in Batumi, Georgia, September 27–29, 2011. The committee was pleased to welcome new members from China and Romania; it now consists of 16 members from all INTOSAI regions.

Following the endorsement of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 4000 series on compliance audit at the XX INCOSAI in 2010, the committee turned its attention to establishing compliance audit in public sector auditing on a global basis.

Photo: Members of the Compliance Audit Subcommittee at its September 2011 meeting in Batumi, Georgia.
Members of the Compliance Audit Subcommittee at its September 2011 meeting in Batumi, Georgia.

The committee’s subgroups on awareness raising, harmonization, and issues related to courts of accounts presented their work to the committee, which affirmed the importance and impact of each activity.

  • Many CAS members are participating in ongoing awareness-raising activities in the INTOSAI community related to the ISSAIs. These efforts are vital to the implementation of the standards. As the compliance standards on level 4 are being implemented, a group from CAS is also collaborating with the Professional Standards Committee (PSC) in the harmonization of the standards at level 3 (fundamental auditing principles), which is crucial to understanding public sector auditing and the ISSAI framework.
  • The CAS members discussed a draft document presented by the project group on harmonization.
  • The specific needs of courts of accounts have long been on the CAS agenda, and an exposure draft ISSAI on court of accounts issues was introduced to the committee for the first time. The basic differences between SAIs that have an auditor general system and those that are courts of accounts was explored in depth during discussions, and this provided a good basis for further development of the document.

As the ISSAI 4000 compliance audit series is endorsed and implemented, the committee’s future task will focus on maintaining the standards. The committee members discussed maintenance issues in light of their experiences in implementation. These discussions demonstrated the professional dedication of the committee members, who are willing to share their experiences and further develop compliance audit, suggesting a bright future for compliance audit within INTOSAI.

For additional information, contact the Compliance Audit Subcommittee at riksrevisjonen@riksrevisjonen.no.


Update from the Subcommittee on Peer Review

Subcommittee 3 of INTOSAI’s Capacity Building Committee (CBC) met in Vienna, Austria, September 8–9, 2011. This subcommittee is tasked with promoting best practices and quality assurance through voluntary peer reviews. As part of the meeting, which was hosted by the SAI of Austria, the subcommittee set its agenda for 2011–2016. This agenda includes the following action items:

  • Further develop and update the existing peer review documentation posted on the CBC website (cbc.courdescomptes.ma).
  • Promote a climate—especially among INTOSAI’s Regional Working Groups—in which the benefit of voluntary peer reviews is appreciated, by, for example, giving papers in connection with regional seminars.
  • Gather additional feedback on the Peer Review Guide and Checklist and revise them as needed.

Furthermore, members of the subcommittee will participate in the project to develop a framework for evaluating the performance of SAIs, which is led by the INTOSAI Working Group on the Value and Benefits of SAIs.

The subcommittee has already started working on some of these action items. For example, to develop and update existing peer review documentation, the subcommittee sent a questionnaire on peer review projects to all INTOSAI members in late 2011. The subcommittee expresses its thanks to the INTOSAI members for their participation in the peer review survey and for sending any materials that could further develop the documentation. Moreover, it invites all SAIs to forward comments and suggestions on the Peer Review Guide. The questionnaires on peer review and for feedback on the guide can be downloaded from the CBC website: cbc.courdescomptes.ma.

For additional information or to make peer review documents available to other SAIs, please contact the German SAI at international@brh.bund.de.


Meeting of Steering Committee of the Knowledge Sharing Committee

The Steering Committee of the Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC) held its third meeting in Moscow, Russia, October 5–6, 2011, to share information on the activities and progress of the KSC’s working groups and task forces in preparation for the 62nd INTOSAI Governing Board meeting. Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India and KSC Chairman, presided over the meeting, which was hosted by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, the KSC Goal Liaison.

Nineteen representatives from the SAIs of Austria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, Russia, and the United States of America and from the European Court of Auditors attended, along with representatives of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and this Journal.

Before the meeting, Alexander Piscanov, Deputy of the Accounts Chamber and head of the Secretariat for the Working Group on Key National Indicators (KNI) (which the Russian SAI chairs) gave a three-dimensional presentation on KNI. Sergey Stepashin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, welcomed the delegates, noting that the SAI of Russia was actively participating in many INTOSAI working entities. Mr. Rai welcomed Gjis de Vries, a member of the European Court of Auditors, who took over in January 2011 as Chair of the Working Group on Accountability for and Audit of Disaster-related Aid. Mr. Rai also reported that the KSC website (www.intosaiksc.org) had been revamped and has three new features: a forum, a survey system, and archives. A section for the newly created Task Force on SAIs Information Database that Mexico chairs has also been added.

Monika Gonzalez Koss, INTOSAI Director for Strategic Planning, presented the report of the INTOSAI General Secretariat on behalf of the Secretary General and a report on the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011–2016. She updated participants on the status of the initiative aimed at strengthening SAI’s independence by incorporating the principles of independence in the Lima and Mexico declarations into international law by means of a United Nations (UN) resolution. The General Secretariat has undertaken a new initiative to promote knowledge sharing by posting on the INTOSAI website all executive summaries of existing INTOSAI guidelines and standards for the benefit of auditors and stakeholders. The first set was to be available on the website at the end of 2011. During the 21st UN/INTOSAI Symposium, the UN invited INTOSAI to participate in the Rio+20 Summit of the United Nations on Sustainable Development. The General Secretariat, in close cooperation with the Working Group on Environmental Auditing, has prepared a draft text for presentation at the summit.

Elizabeth Walmann, IDI Project Manager, reported that during the last year, IDI had worked with all INTOSAI regions to meet SAI capacity-building needs and that it has enjoyed a fruitful cooperation with several INTOSAI committee and working groups. Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, presented the 2010 annual report and audited financial statements of this Journal. He noted that the Journal had received a clean opinion and continues to maintain adequate cash reserves and that the Finance and Administration Committee has approved a proposal to reduce the percentage of members’ dues that the Journal receives from 25 to 20 percent.

The Professional Standards Committee (PSC) and the Capacity Building Committee (CBC) also reported on their activities. Ane Elmose, head of the PSC Secretariat, stated that the PSC Chair would be responsible for maintaining the INTOSAI Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) at levels 1–3 of the ISSAI framework, for which there are no standing committees. The relevant PSC, CBC, and KSC subcommittees would be responsible for the appropriate maintenance and review of the ISSAIs and INTOSAI GOVs at level 4. This information was to be posted on the ISSAI website (www.issai.org). Mohammed Kamal Daoudi, Senior Magistrate in the Court of Accounts of the Kingdom of Morocco, informed the committee members on the CBC’s mission and new strategies for 2011–2016 and elaborated on the CBC’s governance through its main committee, steering committee, three specialized subcommittees, and the UN-INTOSAI platform.

Highlights of the working group and task force reports are as follows.

  • The Working Group on Accountability for and Audit of Disaster-related Aid (chair: European Court of Audit) has further developed audit guidance material and good practices since the XX INCOSAI. Its work program for 2011–2013 has 13 tasks related to audits of disaster-related aid and disaster preparedness and accountability for disaster-related/humanitarian aid.
  • The Working Group on the Fight against International Money Laundering and Corruption (chair: Egypt) met this year and developed its work plan. However, since the SAI of Egypt was unable to attend the steering committee meeting and deliver a progress report, it was asked to present its report at the 62nd Governing Board.
  • The 2011–2013 work plan of the Working Group on Environmental Auditing (chair: Estonia) includes updating and developing new SAI guidance materials; facilitating concurrent, joint, and coordinated audits; enhancing information dissemination, exchange, and training; and cooperating with other international organizations and INTOSAI entities. A representative will be sent to the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference in South Africa and the 2012 Rio+20 Summit. (See the report on this working group.)
  • The new website (program-evaluation.ccomptes.fr) of the Working Group on Program Evaluation (chair: France) has been operational since November 2010. The group plans to survey INTOSAI members to collect case studies and information on methodology and experiences.
  • The Working Group on IT Audit (chair: India) held its 20th meeting in 2011 and is continuing to make progress on five research projects. It is seeking INTOSAI members to volunteer to (1) serve as the editor of the journal intoIT and (2) host its website (www.intosaiitaudit.org), tasks previously performed by the United Kingdom’s National Audit Office.
  • The Working Group on Public Debt (chair: Mexico) held its annual meeting in 2011 and prepared a 2011–2016 work plan that includes updating existing products to share with the INTOSAI community. The XX INCOSAI endorsed the final version of Debt Indicators in the five official INTOSAI languages. Two investigation themes are being considered as possible official products for the XXI INCOSAI in 2013: Impact of Financial Crises on Public Debt and INTOSAI Initiatives, prepared by the SAI of the United States, and Evaluation of Information Systems Related to Public Debt Management, prepared by the SAI of Brazil.
  • The Working Group on Key National Indicators (chair: Russia) has, since its establishment over 3 years ago, prepared a review of international experiences, established Principles of SAIs Application of KNI, developed Recommendations on the Development and Use of KNI in Innovative Economies, and contributed to the INTOSAI Glossary of Audit Terms. At its 2011 annual meeting, it approved the following subprojects for the next 3 years: preparing a draft methodology on KNI selection for use in SAI activity; analyzing opportunities to use KNIs for international comparison; developing and using KNIs for research and development evaluation; and using KNIs to assess global economic imbalances. The working group’s materials are posted on its website (www.ach.gov.ru/en/intosaikni), maintained by the SAI of Russia.
  • The report of the Working Group on the Value and Benefits of SAIs (chair: South Africa) was presented by the SAI of Mexico since the South African SAI could not attend. The working group’s website (www.intosai-wgvbs.org) has been launched and an annual planning meeting was held in August 2011. Its 2011–2013 work plan identified four projects; the KSC endorsed its first project proposal, preparing a framework on the value and benefits of SAIs. (See the report on this working group.)
  • The establishment of the Task Force on SAI Information Database (chair: Mexico) was approved at the 60th Governing Board meeting. Its purpose is to create an updated and specialized SAI database to strengthen communication and knowledge sharing among SAIs and stakeholders. The task force recently held its first working meeting and has developed terms of reference, a work plan for 2011–2013, and specific strategies for achieving its objectives.
  • The Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis (chair: United States) has posted on the INTOSAI website the papers of subgroups 1 (Causes of the Financial Crisis and Lessons Learned) and 2a (Immediate Actions to Minimize and Avert the Crisis). Task force members are reviewing the draft papers from subgroups 2B (Stimulus Efforts on the Real Economy) and 3 (Challenges to SAIs). Once the final versions of these papers are finalized, they will be posted on the INTOSAI website as well. The task force was to propose a motion to the 62nd Governing Board to extend its mandate. The SAIs of Mexico and the United States plan a joint meeting of this task force and the Working Group on Public Debt in early 2012 to coordinate their plans.

Mr. Rai thanked Dr. Stepashin and his officers for their excellent organization of the meeting, warm and generous hospitality, and active participation. He also reported that the European Court of Auditors had volunteered to host the next KSC Steering Committee meeting.

For additional information, contact the KSC:

E-mail: cag@cag.gov.in, pdir@cag.gov.in
Website: www.intosaiksc.cag.gov.in

Working Group on Environmental Auditing

The Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) held its 14th General Assembly and 11th Steering Committee meetings November 7–11, 2011, in Buenos Aires. The meetings were hosted by the SAI of Argentina and included 140 participants from 55 SAIs. The WGEA Steering Committee and Secretariat arranged for a 1-day training on environmental auditing for beginners to be held before the meetings.

Photo: A truly global audience from 55 SAIs attended the WGEA’s 14th General Assembly.
A truly global audience from 55 SAIs attended the WGEA’s 14th General Assembly.

Review of Progress on the WGEA Work Plan for 2011–2013

The main focus of the General Assembly was an interim review of progress in developing the research papers and guidance materials included in the WGEA’s work plan for 2011–2013. Two sets of guidance material are to be issued in 2013: one for auditing water issues and the other on integrating fraud and corruption issues into auditing environmental and natural resource management issues. Research materials are under development in the following areas:

  • environmental and sustainability reporting,
  • environmental data,
  • land use and land management practices, and
  • environmental issues associated with infrastructure.

The participating SAIs contributed to the success of the meeting by sharing innovative audit experiences and introducing cooperative audits that had been conducted. SAI audit work was also presented in parallel sessions organized by the SAIs leading projects in the WGEA’s work plan. In addition, presentations were made by international organizations, including the World Bank, INTERPOL, Transparency International, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Rio+20 Summit

In 2012, leaders from around the world will gather again in Rio de Janeiro to review global environmental and development problems and search for further ways to promote sustainable development. The WGEA is developing a compendium for the Rio+20 Summit that introduces environmental audits conducted worldwide. A draft of this document was discussed at the General Assembly.

Future WGEA Activities

The Estonian National Audit Office (NAO) has been the chair of the WGEA since 2007 and proposes to hand the chairmanship over to the SAI of Indonesia during the XXI INCOSAI in 2013. This proposal will be submitted for approval to the INTOSAI Governing Board. The next WGEA General Assembly will be hosted by the NAO of Estonia in 2013. This proposal will be submitted for approval to the INTOSAI Governing Board.

The next WGEA General Assembly will be hosted by the NAO of Estonia in 2013.

For additional information, contact the NAO of Estonia:

E-mail: info@wgea.org
Website: www.environmental-auditing.org

Working Group on the Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions

The Working Group on the Value and Benefits of SAIs met in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in August 2011. Terence Nombembe, Auditor-General of South Africa, chaired the meeting, which was hosted by Pamela Monroe-Ellis, the Auditor-General of Jamaica. During the meeting, the working group identified four projects and approved a work program that includes the projects’ scope, deliverables, member allocation, coordinators, and time frames for 2011–2013 leading up to the XXI INCOSAI. To avoid overlapping and duplication of efforts, the importance of collaboration and cooperation with other INTOSAI bodies was emphasized during the meeting.

The following four projects (and their related deliverables for the XXI INCOSAI) were identified:

  • Preparation of a framework on the value and benefits of SAIs to be included at level 1 in the ISSAI framework, in line with INTOSAI’s due process requirements for professional standards. (Deliverable: An ISSAI for final endorsement by the XXI INCOSAI)
  • Development of credible measurement tools to support the evaluation of SAIs’ performance within a framework for communicating and promoting the value and benefits of SAIs. (Deliverable: A single, global performance measurement framework for SAIs)
  • Development of appropriate instruments and tools to communicate and promote the value and benefits of SAIs to all SAI stakeholders, including civil society organizations and citizens. (Deliverable: A guideline for communicating and promoting the value and benefits of SAIs and interacting with citizens)
  • Development of a guideline on effective practices of cooperation between SAIs, the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive that focuses on the SAIs’ ability to promote accountability and leads to administrative or corrective sanctions being imposed. (Deliverable: A guideline on effective practices of cooperation between SAIs, the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive)

The next meeting of the working group is planned for June 2012 and will be hosted by the SAI of Mexico. During this meeting, the project groups will have the opportunity to provide detailed feedback on their work.

For additional information, contact the SAI of South Africa:

E-mail: lelaniev@agsa.co.za; agsa@agsa.co.za;
Website: www.intosai-wgvbs.org

Meeting of the Finance and Administration Committee

On July 18, 2011, the INTOSAI Finance and Administration Committee (FAC) held its seventh meeting in Washington, D.C. Committee members are the SAIs of Saudi Arabia (committee chair), the United States (vice-chair), Austria, China, Ecuador, Mexico, and Norway. In opening comments, Osama Faquih, head of the SAI of Saudi Arabia, thanked the SAI of the United States for hosting the meeting, welcomed new committee members Ecuador and Mexico, and reviewed the committee’s accomplishments since its March 2010 meeting in Caracas.

The FAC is responsible for cooperating with the General Secretariat in financial planning; supervising and controlling budget implementation, recommending adjustments to organizational dues, and reporting to the Governing Board and INTOSAI congresses as needed.

In a report on the status of the INTOSAI budget, Dr. Moser, INTOSAI General Secretary and President of the SAI of Austria, reported that 90 percent of INTOSAI’s dues had been received as of the end of June 2011. Dr. Moser also reported that auditors from Malaysia and Oman found that INTOSAI’s financial statements for 2010 complied with INTOSAI’s financial rules.

The FAC approved a proposal to create a small technical task force to conduct a thorough review of INTOSAI’s financial situation and sustainable funding for the organization, strengthen continuous improvement, and build a foresight capability in INTOSAI to anticipate emerging issues. Jurgen Kosmo, head of the Norwegian SAI, will be the task force lead. Members will include the FAC members, the Chairman of the Governing Board, the Director of Strategic Planning, and representatives of chairs of goals 1 to 3. The task force is to prepare a report to the FAC, which will then submit a proposal to the Governing Board.

Gene Dodaro, head of the SAI of the United States, reported that the International Journal of Government Auditing continues to function on a sound financial basis and, with continued attention and stewardship, could continue its operations if its allocation from INTOSAI membership dues were reduced from 25 to 20 percent. He also reported that the Journal is continuing its efforts to upgrade its electronic version. The committee approved a proposal to reduce the Journal’s allocation.

In addition, the committee discussed the need to find a permanent revenue source to pay for the travel costs of the Director of Strategic Planning. In the short term, these costs will be offset by other INTOSAI funds and by the funds formerly allocated to the Journal.

Einar Gorrissen of the SAI of Norway described the background and goals of the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation effort under the 2009 memorandum of understanding (MOU), as well as the progress to date. He highlighted the key findings of the 2010 SAI stocktaking, namely that while many SAIs receive external support, there is still a considerable need for sustainable capacity development, including a clear demand for developing and strengthening performance audit capabilities. The stocktaking report also underscored the demand for expanded peer-to-peer cooperation by increasing the supply of SAIs that provide support. He added that the 2011 action plan identified short-term prioritized capacity-building projects targeting INTOSAI regions and INTOSAI globally. At the time of the meeting, donor support had been secured for 8 of the 13 identified activities. Mr. Gorrissen also outlined the key issues to be discussed at the 3rd INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee (SC) meeting, which was held immediately following the FAC meeting. The FAC discussed and provided feedback on these issues:

  • A global call for proposals is needed to ensure a more comprehensive approach to implementing the INTOSAI-Donor MOU.
  • Proposals for pooled funding arrangements may constitute a longer term effort.
  • A complete databank of donor-funded and peer-to-peer SAI support projects that incorporates the existing CBC database, and its related protocols for access and publication, is needed. This expanded database will assist in improving coordination of capacity-development support between the INTOSAI and donor communities and will provide a better overview of ongoing support.

Other FAC agenda items included discussions of ways to encourage full participation by all SAIs in INTOSAI activities and strengthen information sharing networks across the organization. In addition, the FAC approved the reallocation of funds to translate the executive summaries of existing INTOSAI guidelines and standards into all five INTOSAI working languages.

For additional information, please contact the FAC at gab@gab.gov.sa.