INTOSAI Chairman Reflects on Journey Thus Far

by Dr. Harib Saeed Al Amimi, President of the State Audit Institution, United Arab Emirates, and INTOSAI Chairman

As I began my journey as the Chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), I recognized the need to continue the great work of my predecessors. I would like to share with you my perspective, my thoughts and my ideas on INTOSAI’s future, ensuring we remain on a path toward progress. This path includes advancing the goals set forth in the strategic plan.

Since the XXII Congress in Abu Dhabi, we have all been busy striving to achieve the strategic plan’s ambitions, one of which is enhancing our professionalization. Moving toward a more professional organization—at all levels—will require effort, adaptation and change.

A challenge I would like to put forward to all stakeholders is to aim for more effective engagement, aspire to be clear and transparent, and make it a priority to provide timely, understandable information.

As INTOSAI continues to produce a significant volume of documents, it will become more challenging and more important to control how we process and share material, particularly in such a way that facilitates absorption and application from Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).

With the creation of the INTOSAI Framework for Professional Pronouncements (IFPP), we are attempting to enhance the clarity and credibility of professional pronouncements; expand the use and applicability of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) as authoritative standards for public sector auditing; and provide relevant, practical guidelines for SAIs and public sector auditors.

Taking steps to synergize global, regional and local communication and initiatives is crucial. At the global level, it is imperative to begin a dialogue about our practices and affirm that INTOSAI adds value. The INTOSAI Governing Board (GB) provides an ideal platform for such a discussion, especially as we continue to face important issues that shape our community, including big data, artificial intelligence, and our response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while, at the same time, struggling with achieving SAI capacity and independence.

Recent meetings have moved in this direction, and I intend to continue this trend. By providing more information to GB members, my goal is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of GB meetings and improve the quality of GB outputs.

INTOSAI (as are the regional entities) is a largely voluntary organization, and the nature of being unable to prescribe to SAIs can often limit the relevance of global products and strategies. This makes peer reviews and the SAI Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) extremely valuable tools, as they provide opportunities to obtain valuable, reliable evidence associated with SAI performance and progress. However, using this information to readjust work plans of INTOSAI organs is not yet in place. This, I believe, is the next crucial step. INTOSAI must also consider how to collate this data for internal and external use.

The opportunity to share our audit work with one another is an aspiration that should be seriously considered, such as using the Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC)/INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) portal as an information hub to collect and share information relating to audit results, practices and guidance. Imagine auditors having access to work of a similar nature from colleagues all over the globe.

Balancing the consolidation of basics with the ambitions from 21st century demands is not easy. But, as we continue on this path toward progress—where we constantly adapt and evolve and continue to cultivate professionalization, transparency and knowledge sharing—I believe great achievements will result. As chairman, it is my goal to move INTOSAI toward this path, and it is my hope that all INTOSAI members will share this journey with me.

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