Technical Articles

International Journal of Government Auditing – April 2010

An Overview of the INTOSAI Collaboration Tool

The INTOSAI Collaboration Tool is an Internet-based tool to facilitate INTOSAI’s decision-making processes between annual board meetings and the triennial congresses. Available in INTOSAI’s five official languages, the tool is designed to be the workbench for the INTOSAI community for internal communication. Its use is restricted to member SAIs. It aims to integrate unstructured content, documents, e-mail, calendars, and real-time tools to provide INTOSAI with real-time collaboration, communication, and content management.

Today, the Collaboration Tool has more than 686 users from 133 countries. More than 67 workspaces have been created for different INTOSAI committees and subcommittees, working groups, and task forces; the INTOSAI Secretariat; the INTOSAI Development Initiative; and the International Journal of Government Auditing.

The Collaboration Tool uses a customized Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS) as its base software. It can be accessed at www.intosaictool.org or by clicking on the INTOSAI Collaboration Tool link on the home page of the INTOSAI Web site, www.intosai.org.

Log-in Page of the INTOSAI Collaboration Tool

Intosai collaboration tool

Why and How Was the Collaboration Tool Developed?

One of the goal 4 objectives in INTOSAI’s Strategic Plan is to “study and recommend a solution on how all INTOSAI bodies can make greater use of modern technology to facilitate decision-making during the intervening time between annual Governing Board meetings and triennial INTOSAI Congresses.” In January 2005, the Finance and Administration Committee asked the SAI of India as Chair of the Working Group on Information Technology Auditing to develop a proposal to meet this objective. The SAI of India presented a comprehensive proposal for an Internet-based collaboration tool to the committee in July 2005. At its meetings in November 2005 and November 2006, INTOSAI’s Governing Board asked the SAI of India to develop and implement the tool, which was successfully launched in INTOSAI’s five official languages (Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish) in May 2007.

What Does the Collaboration Tool Enable INTOSAI Users to Do?

Using the tool, groups of users can

  • manage projects;

  • share, organize, and collaborate on documents in a secure environment;

  • communicate easily through discussion forums and e-mail messages;

  • collaborate in real time through Web conferencing and instant messaging;

  • track the timeline and progress of a project using the workspace calendar and task list; and

  • manage content access via workspace roles.

What Are the Main Features of the Collaboration Tool?

The Collaboration Tool includes the following main features:

  • Document Management: Team members on a project can work simultaneously on the same document.

  • Multiple User Management: Every user is assigned a unique username and password and has different access rights depending on his or her role—e.g., chair of a committee, subcommittee, or working group or goal liaison.

  • Discussion Forum: Users have access to an informal forum to discuss areas of common interest. The forums are primarily categorized under the various committees or working groups for specific topics specified by the chairs.

  • E-mail Notification: Users can create mailing groups for their teams, and team members can be notified by e-mail when other project team members post new documents and information to the discussion forum.

  • Bulletin Board: The INTOSAI Secretariat and the chairs of committees, working groups, task forces, and regional group secretariats can upload important notifications in INTOSAI’s five official languages.

  • Events Calendar: The calendar keeps users in touch with project-related activities, such as scheduled meetings, events, or tasks.

How Can I Learn How to Use the Collaboration Tool?

A comprehensive tutorial (in INTOSAI’s five official languages) is available on the log-in page of the tool. (Click on the word “Tutorial” in the lower left hand corner.) It features 13 PowerPoint presentations that are also available as PDF documents.

Intosai collaboration tool

Tutorial for the Collaboration Tool

For further information or questions about using the Collaboration Tool, contact the SAI of India at support@intosaictool.org; pdir@cag.gov.in; or ir@cag.gov.in.