Inside INTOSAI

International Journal of Government Auditing – July 2012

Fourth Meeting of the INTOSAI–Donor Steering Committee

The fourth meeting of the INTOSAI–Donor Steering Committee was held in Jaipur, India, February 23–25, 2012. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India hosted the meeting, and more than 50 representatives of INTOSAI and the international donor community attended.

The Steering Committee noted the important progress made since the last meeting in July 2011. Those achievements include the following:

  • Eight new global and regional initiatives have been launched, including a global program to implement the ISSAIs with up to $2.85 million (U.S.) in available funding.
  • Progress has been made in matching proposals for SAIs in need of support with donors and SAIs willing to provide support. In response to the September 2011 Global Call for Proposals, 55 proposals from all INTOSAI regions were submitted. During the meeting, there were expressions of interest in 14 of the proposals, and participants committed to match more proposals during the next 3 months.
  • Like-minded donor organizations agreed on the operating arrangements for a global pooled fund for SAI capacity development, which will be launched this year and will complement existing support.
  • A database on SAI capacity development support to enhance coordination of support to SAIs was launched and is available at www.SAIdevelopment.org.
  • Development continues on a tool for measuring SAI performance.
  • INTOSAI was represented at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan in 2011, which emphasized the crucial role of SAIs in promoting sustainable development.

The Steering Committee also agreed on the 2012 work program for the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation.

The fifth Steering Committee meeting will tentatively take place October 17-–19, in London, United Kingdom, and will be hosted by the U.K. National Audit Office.

For additional information, contact the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat:

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

Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards

Members of the INTOSAI Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards met April 24-25 in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss the progress of the subcommittee’s works to date; draft questionnaires with a view toward developing new, more detailed guidelines; and plan for the future.

Photo: Participants in the April 2012 Subcommittee on Internal Controls meeting in Warsaw, Poland.
Participants in the April 2012 Subcommittee on Internal Controls meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

The Supreme Audit Office of Poland, which has chaired the subcommittee since the latest INCOSAI in November 2010, hosted the meeting. Representatives from the SAIs of 14 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, France, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Oman, Romania, Russia, and South Africa) attended the meeting, along with representatives of two organizations that have been cooperating with the subcommittee—the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

The subcommittee’s main task is to promote INTOSAI’s guidelines on good governance (INTOSAI GOV) among public sector managers. For 2010–2013, the subcommittee has five tasks to implement: (1) work out examples of internal control measures for all internal control objectives and all control components; (2) actively promote the INTOSAI GOVs; (3) work on the integration of the internal control concept and risk management; (4) write a paper concerning reporting on internal control; and (5) develop an e-platform as a tool for supporting the subcommittee’s work and a source of information on internal control. At the meeting, the coordinators of individual tasks reported on the progress of their implementation.

In order to accomplish tasks 3 and 4, the subcommittee has been developing surveys on risk management and on reporting on internal control in the public sector, the drafts of which were discussed at the meeting. Their final versions will be distributed among INTOSAI members later this year. Reports on the results of these surveys will be completed by May 2013 and will later be used to update the relevant existing guidelines.

Additionally, on the first day of the meeting, the representatives of the SAIs of Austria and Poland presented their good practices in internal control, while the participants from the SAIs of Bangladesh, Chile, France, and the Russian Federation shared their national experiences in implementing internal control in the public sector. Another part of the meeting was dedicated to risk management, during which the representatives of the IIA, Belgium, and Romania presented their views. On the second day of the meeting, a representative of COSO discussed the latest changes proposed to the Internal Control Integrated Framework, and the participants from the SAIs of Lithuania and South Africa presented their experiences in internal control reporting.

For more information, contact the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards:

E-mail: ics@nik.gov.pl
Web site: www.psc-intosai.org/ics

12th ASOSAI Assembly Held in India

The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India hosted the 12th ASOSAI Assembly February 29, 2012, to March 3, 2012, in Jaipur, India. The assembly was bracketed by meetings of the ASOSAI Secretary General, the training administrator, the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), and the 44th ASOSAI Governing Board. More than 180 delegates from 42 countries participated in the assembly. At its opening, H.E. Shivraj V. Patil, the governor of Rajasthan, noted that the countries represented constituted two-thirds of the people on earth. In addition to the many country delegates and observers, attendees included Terence Nombembe, Chair of INTOSAI; Josef Moser, INTOSAI General Secretary; and Helena Lopez, representative of the EUROSAI President.

The triennial assembly began with an opening ceremony featuring remarks from the governor and chief minister of Rajasthan; Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India and incoming ASOSAI chair; and Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana, outgoing ASOSAI chair and Auditor-General of Pakistan, as well as reports of activities since the previous meeting.

Photo: Dignitaries and officials participating in the opening ceremony of the 12th ASOSAI Assembly.
Dignitaries and officials participating in the opening ceremony of the 12th ASOSAI Assembly.

During the opening ceremony, Mr. Nombembe highlighted the need for a central focus on strengthening human resources that will enable SAIs to improve analytic and diagnostic capabilities. While acknowledging that human resource development requires a long-term investment, he stated that it could be inexpensive and relatively easy to implement, through the use of initiatives such as twinning, secondments, and fellowships.

Dr. Moser reported on the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the resolution on the independence of SAIs, which expressly recognizes that SAIs are most effective if they are independent and protected from outside influence. Among other things, the resolution encourages member states and organizations to apply the principles of the Lima and Mexico Declarations.

Ms. Lopez stressed that SAIs, as watchdogs of public interest, are expected to intensify their audit activities to enhance ethics in public life and contribute to fighting against fraud and corruption.

Within ASOSAI, significant recent activities over the past 3 years include the adoption of the ASOSAI Strategic Plan 2011–2015, along with an action plan to guide its implementation. A midterm evaluation of the plan focused on its three strategic goals (institutional capacity building, knowledge sharing, and knowledge service). The evaluation showed that the plan has been well implemented to date.

Capacity-building programs have been offered to member SAIS, including three ASOSAI-sponsored workshops on performance, environmental, and public debt auditing. IDI-ASOSAI cooperation launched two programs: Quality Assurance in Performance Audit in 2010 and Development and Implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2011. As of the assembly date, two workshops had been organized for each program.

Photo: Participants in the 12th ASOSAI Assembly.
Participants in the 12th ASOSAI Assembly.

ASOSAI has sponsored seminars on how to strengthen internal controls in SAIs and how to integrate ethics and integrity into SAI auditing practices. ASOSAI also established cooperation with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in 2010 for the benefit of Southeast Asian SAIs.

The ninth ASOSAI research project on Evaluation and Improvement of Internal Audit Systems and the Relationship between the Internal Audit Units and SAIs has been completed. The results of the research will help ASOSAI members make the best use of both INTOSAI GOV 9140, Internal Audit Independence in the Public Sector, and INTOSAI GOV 9150, Coordination and Cooperation between SAIs and Internal Auditors in the Public Sector.

ASOSAI communication tools have been evolving and serve as a robust source of information for ASOSAI activities. An interactive site permits members to upload news and articles to the website on their own initiative. In addition, new functions for online registrations and surveys have streamlined the administrative aspect of capacity-building activities. The Asian Journal of Government Audit (ASOSAI’s journal) is published biannually (April and October) in English and serves as ASOSAI’s official knowledge-sharing platform; new columns have been added and the Journal receives a steady flow of quality articles. The ASOSAI journal award for 2009 to 2011 went to Dr. Batbayar Badamdorj from the SAI of Mongolia for his article entitled “Some Thoughts on the Role of Government Auditing.”

Since 2000, ASOSAI has been holding symposia that are intended to share knowledge and experiences on various topics that will enhance the capacity and effectiveness of SAIs. At this assembly, the 5th Symposium was held, featuring the topic Assimilating the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI). The symposium featured keynotes by India and INTOSAI’s Professional Standards Committee, represented by Sweden, as well as special reports by the SAIs of China and Russia and a panel presentation by the SAIs of Australia, Bhutan, Cyprus, and Pakistan. The SAI of Kazakhstan and IDI made a presentation, and the SAI of Vietnam contributed a paper that was not presented.

The 13th ASOSAI Assembly will be hosted by the SAI of Malaysia in 2015, and the SAI of Korea will continue to serve as Secretary General for ASOSAI.

The General Assembly approved five SAIs (Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia) as members of the Governing Board for 2012–2015. In addition, Turkey and Jordan were selected to serve on the Audit Committee.

For additional information, contact Jagbans Singh, Director General (International Relations Division), the SAI of India, at SinghJ@cag.gov.in. A full report and photos are available on the assembly website at www.12asosaiassembly.org.


CAROSAI Strategic Planning Meeting

Twenty-two auditors general and directors of audit of the Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) held a high-level strategic planning meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, May 7–9, 2012. The meeting provided the blueprint for CAROSAI’s 2012–2015 strategic plan.

Auditors general and directors of audit focused on ways the audit offices in the region can cooperate with each other to improve knowledge sharing and strengthen their capacity to hold governments more accountable for the spending of taxpayers’ monies. On the last day of the meeting, attention turned to reviewing progress on the CAROSAI: World Bank project.

Photo: Participants in the CAROSAI strategic planning meeting in Jamaica.
Participants in the CAROSAI strategic planning meeting in Jamaica.

The meeting was sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank’s PRODEV program and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI).

Discussions revolved around constitutional flexibility, professional opinions, and the powers an auditor general or director of audit can reasonably exercise within limited accountability arrangements. The meeting also considered the relationship between an audit act and a Parliament’s exercising oversight functions effectively.

The CAROSAI region faces a range of auditing environments much influenced by key personalities. Wise use of peer review, strategic planning, and risk management can encourage strong progress. The meeting discussed an outline, which included

  • the role and contribution of an audit office,
  • the value of an audit office—and to whom,
  • existing legislation and the need to modernize,
  • the potential consequences of no change, and
  • finding the doorway to reform.

Frameworks for knowledge sharing and regional networking are geared toward managing actions. Both are innovative and come at an opportune moment—a revitalized website is currently being developed to support regional networking for strategic plan achievement and knowledge sharing.

For additional information, contact the CAROSAI Secretariat at carosai@gosl.gov.lc.