International Journal of Government Auditing – January 2012
On December 22, 2011, the 66th United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted Resolution A/66/209, “Promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening Supreme Audit Institutions.” The adoption of this resolution is the crowning achievement of the united efforts of all SAIs to strengthen their independence and secure recognition of the Lima and Mexico declarations. This success was possible only because the members of the INTOSAI community have established the necessary prerequisites in their fields of competence and have thereby given content and credibility to the INTOSAI motto, Mutual Experience Benefits All.
The UN resolution represents a milestone in the nearly 60-year history of INTOSAI. In it, the General Assembly expressly recognizes for the first time that SAIs
In the resolution, the UN Member States note their appreciation of INTOSAI’s work in promoting greater efficiency, accountability, effectiveness, transparency, and the efficient and effective receipt and use of public resources for the benefit of citizens. The resolution also expresses appreciation for the Mexico and Lima declarations and encourages member states to apply, in a manner consistent with their national institutional structures, the principles set out in those declarations. Finally, the resolution encourages member states and relevant UN institutions to intensify their cooperation with INTOSAI in capacity building and other areas to promote good governance by ensuring efficiency, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency through strengthened SAIs.
All SAIs now have at their disposal a UN resolution that allows them to insist that the basic principles of independence be applied. The General Assembly’s encouragement to all UN member states to apply the principles set out in the Lima and Mexico declarations will undoubtedly increase the determination of all SAIs, in particular those still struggling to achieve the basic elements of their independence.
To underscore the importance of this resolution and assist all INTOSAI members in achieving the principles of independence, the INTOSAI Secretariat will draft a communication to all its members explaining the resolution’s content, advantages, and achievements. This communication will be signed by the INTOSAI Chairman of the Board and Secretary General as well as the Chairman and Secretary General of each INTOSAI Regional Working Group to underline the global importance and acceptance of the resolution. The Secretary General will be contacting all seven regional working groups in this regard in the near future.
Furthermore, a sample letter will be drafted that SAIs can send to their respective legislative bodies to raise awareness of this resolution. The INTOSAI folder “Acting Jointly for Independent Supreme Audit Institutions” will be modified to include the full text of the resolution.
Buoyed by a UN Resolution underlining the importance of applying the basic principles of SAI independence, member SAIs around the world should thus be in a position to advocate for that independence with their Parliaments or legislative bodies.
For additional information, contact the INTOSAI Secretariat, firstname.lastname@example.org.