by Monika Gonzalez-Koss, Director, General Secretariat, INTOSAI
As part of the Ministerial Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-Level Political Forum 2016, a high-level roundtable discussion took place in the United Nations (UN) in New York on “The contribution of Supreme Audit Institutions to ensuring that no one is left behind in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” with the active participation of most of the INTOSAI leadership. The dedication and readiness to support raising the awareness of SAI contributions to monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is greatly appreciated.
It was a great success with the participation of numerous Ambassadors and representatives of Embassies to the UN and high-level UN officials. The discussion highlighted the opportunities and potential contributions of SAIs to reviewing the implementation of the SDGs at different levels.
The importance of performance audits and the new audit finding framework for SDGs; the necessary capacities, independence and mandates of SAIs to be able to support the SDG implementation and, thus, contribute to improve the lives of citizens; the role of SAIs in assessing and supporting the implementation of SDG 16, and, in particular, target 16.6, which provides for transparent, efficient and accountable institutions; SAIs’ assessing the readiness and preconditions of national systems to report on progress towards the achievement of the SDGs; SAIs as role models by ensuring transparency and accountability in their own operations; and the contribution of SAIs to fight illicit fund transfers, which hinder the implementation of the SDGs.
Concrete INTOSAI efforts and initiatives to support SAIs in monitoring the implementation of the SDGs were mentioned, such as:
- The IDI/INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC) initiative on “Auditing implementation of SDGs”;
- INTOSAI’s crosscutting strategic priority on SDGs; the XXII INCOSAI, which will prominently address the question of the future contribution of INTOSAI to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and
- The recognition that the SDGs are a unique and invaluable opportunity for SAIs to invest in all areas of their work.