Implementing the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) is a major undertaking—a lengthy process requiring clear managerial direction as well as considerable training and development. For Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) operating in complex and challenging contexts—inadequate budgets, insufficient qualified staff, limited independence, and external environments affected by violence, corruption, and instability—the implementation process is much more difficult.
Recognizing the importance and relevance of international standards, many SAIs in complex and challenging contexts have already taken steps toward ISSAI implementation and consider stakeholder communication on the topic essential, particularly in helping external partners, such as parliaments, understand the benefits of ISSAI implementation and how these partners can best support SAIs during the process.
The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Capacity Building Committee, through its Auditing in Complex and Challenging Contexts (ACCC) workstream, seeks to support SAIs in this endeavor and recently launched two new learning resources aimed at sharing knowledge and energizing parliamentary support:
- “Supporting Supreme Audit Institutions in Complex and Challenging Contexts: An Introduction for Parliaments” and
- “Helping Supreme Audit Institutions Apply International Auditing Standards in Complex and Challenging Contexts: A Background Briefing for Parliaments”
While the introduction, a one-page flyer, is a brief snapshot on SAIs, the ISSAIs and parliaments, the background briefing offers a more in-depth look that also outlines the numerous benefits gained in ISSAI implementation, such as enabling SAIs to develop effectively structured, understandable and credible audit reports and provide important information and recommendations that can, ultimately, help improve services to citizens.
Achieving change in complex and challenging contexts can take several years before substantial impacts are evident. This makes communicating with stakeholders essential.
The introduction and background briefing are being directly shared with INTOSAI regions as well as major international parliamentary organizations.
SAIs and parliaments are also encouraged to use these materials in briefings to staff and relevant organizations.
There are two versions of the publications—one designed primarily for use by SAIs operating as audit offices and the other for SAIs operating as courts.
The materials, available in English and French, can be accessed online at https://www.intosaicbc.org/accc/ under the tab titled, “ACCC Information Package for Parliaments.”