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The International Journal of Government Auditing:

January 2003:

Volume 30, No. 1:

Board of Editors:

Franz Fiedler, President, Court of Audit, Austria;

Sheila Fraser, Auditor General, Canada;

Mohamed Raouf Najar, Premier Président, Cour des Comptes, Tunisia;

David M. Walker, Comptroller General, United States;

Clodosbaldo Russian Uzcategui, Comptroller General, Venezuela;


Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers (U.S.A.);


Donald R. Drach (U.S.A.);

Assistant Editors:

Linda J. Sellevaag (U.S.A.);

Alberta E. Ellison (U.S.A.);

Associate Editors:

Office of the Auditor General (Canada);

Deepak Narain (ASOSAI-India);

Luseane Sikalu (SPASAI-Tonga);

Michael C.G. Paynter (CAROSAI-Trinidad and Tobago);

EUROSAI General Secretariat (Spain);

Khemais Hosni (Tunisia);

Yadira Espinoza Moreno (Venezuela);

INTOSAI General Secretariat (Austria);

U.S. General Accounting Office (U.S.A.);


Sebrina Chase (U.S.A.);

Members of the Governing Board of INTOSAI:

Jong-Nam Lee, Chairman, Board of Audit and Inspection, Korea, Chairman;

Arpád Kovács, President, Allami Számvevöszék, Hungary, First Vice-:


Tawfik Ibrahim Tawfik, President, General Auditing Bureau, Saudi 
Arabia, Second Vice-Chairman;

Franz Fiedler, President, Rechnungshof, Austria, Secretary General;

Arah Armstrong, Director of Audit, Audit Department, Antigua and:


Humberto Guimaraes Souto, Ministro, Presidente do Tribunal de Contas da 
Uniao, Brazil;

Leopold A.J. Ouedraogo, Inspecteur Général d'Etat, Burkina Faso;

Mohamed Gawdat Ahmed El-Malt, President, Central Auditing Organization,


Vijayendra N Kaul, Comptroller and Auditor General, India;

Tsutomu Sugiura, President of the Board of Audit, Japan;

Bjarne Mřrk Eidem, Auditor General, Riksrevisjonen, Norway;

Genaro Matute Mejía, Contralor General, Contraloría General, Peru;

Alfredo José de Sousa, President, Tribunal de Contas, Portugal;

Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Auditor General, Audit Department, Tonga;

Mohamed Raouf Najar, Premier Président, Cour des Comptes, Tunisia;

Sir John Bourn, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office,

United Kingdom;

David M. Walker, Comptroller General, General Accounting Office, 
United States;

Guillermo Ramírez, President, Tribunal de Cuentas, Uruguay:

The International Journal of Government Auditing is published quarterly 
(January, April, July, October) in Arabic, English, French, German, and 
Spanish on behalf of INTOSAI (International Organization of Audit 
Institutions). The Journal, which is the official organ of INTOSAI, is 
dedicated to the advancement of government auditing procedures and 
techniques. Opinions and beliefs expressed are those of editors or 
individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views or 
policies of the Organization.

The editors invite submissions of articles, special reports, and news 
items, which should be sent to the editorial offices at U.S. General 
Accounting Office, Room 7814, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20548, 
U.S.A. (Phone: 202-512-4707; Facsimile: 202-512-4021; e-mail:

Given the Journal's use as a teaching tool, articles most likely to be 
accepted are those which deal with pragmatic aspects of public sector 
auditing. These include case studies, ideas on new audit methodologies 
or details on audit training programs. Articles that deal primarily 
with theory would not be appropriate.

The Journal is distributed to INTOSAI members and other interested 
parties at no cost. It is also available electronically at and by contacting the Journal at [Hyperlink,].

Articles in the Journal are indexed in the Accountants' Index published 
by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and included 
in Management Contents. articles are included in abstracts published by 
Anbar Management Services, Wembley, England, and University Microfilms 
International, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.



News in Brief:

Special Guest Article:

Environmental Auditing:

SAIs and Parliamentary Committees:

Ninth AFROSAI General Assembly:


18th Commonwealth AG Conference:

Audit Profile: Burkina Faso:

Reports in Print:


[End of section]

INTOSAI Anniversary: INTOSAI Marks 50 Years:

David G. Njoroge:

Controller and Auditor-General, Republic of Kenya:

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The Journal is honored to introduce this issue commemorating INTOSAI's 
50TH anniversary with an editorial by David G. Njoroge, Controller and 
Auditor General of Kenya. As the C&AG for 36years, Mr. Njoroge is the 
dean of the INTOSAI community and offers a unique perspective on 
INTOSAI. Mr. Njoroge hosted the 1980 INTOSAI Congress in Nairobi and 
served as President of INTOSAI from 1980-1983.

I feel indeed privileged to have been asked to contribute this 
editorial on INTOSAI as we celebrate 50 years of the organization's 

This year marks the 50th year since the first gathering of 34 supreme 
audit institutions in Havana, Cuba, convened by the Cuban audit office 
in 1953, under the leadership of Dr. Emilio Fernandez Camus. The 
gathering of state auditors in Havana paved the way for the eventual 
formation of the International Organization of Supreme Audit 
Institutions (INTOSAI) as an international forum for government 
auditors. The triennial congresses have remained an important feature 
of INTOSAI over the 50 years and, guided by the organization's motto, 
"Mutual Experience Benefits All," we have witnessed remarkable growth 
and changes that the members and all participating SAIs are proud to be 
associated with.

Since the Havana Congress, the SAIs have held 17 world congresses, the 
most recent being the 17th INCOSAI convened in Seoul, South Korea, from 
October 22-27, 2001, which saw the participation of 471 delegates, 
observers, and accompanying persons representing 139 member SAIs--out 
of a total membership of 176--one non-member, and 12 international 
organizations. This remarkable participation is clearly an indication 
of the importance that the SAIs attach to INTOSAI and an excellent 
indicator of growth. In Tokyo, Japan, in 1968, where I first 
participated, 169 members representing 70 SAIs attended the Congress. 
This was in itself a big stride from Havana in only 15 years, but far 
from the picture in more recent congresses. It is significant to 
mention that many of the features that are very central to the 
functioning of INTOSAI had not then been formulated. The triennial 
congresses were the main events while OLACEFS, formed in 1965,was the 
only regional group existing at that time. Presently, there are seven 
Regional Working Groups, including, AFROSAI, ARABOSAI, ASOSAI, CAROSAI, 
EUROSAI, OLACEFS, and SPASAI. These Regional Working Groups have 
greatly encouraged the exchange of ideas and experiences among 
countries sharing such common features as geographical position, 
similarity of audit mandate and function, or the same language, and 
they have contributed enormously to making INTOSAI what it is today. 
The establishment of a training wing, the INTOSAI Development 
Initiative (IDI), was a very important step in human capital 
development for the SAIs. The membership directory with full addresses 
that make communications possible and easy has also been of great 

Our members have continued to take an active role in and have supported 
INTOSAI programs because they are aware of the special benefit from 
participation. For one, the forum has been a source of ideas and 
inspiration for individual SAIs to improve and modernize state audit 

A brief look at the history on the earlier years of the INTOSAI may 
help us to have a clearer idea of the changes that have taken place. 
The first 15 years leading to the 6th INCOSAI in Tokyo, Japan, could 
appropriately be described as the formative years. When it was realized 
that the Cuban audit office could not continue to host the permanent 
secretariat after1960, a Governing Board that was nominated at the 5th 
INCOSAI in Jerusalem effectively planned for the next congress and 
assisted the secretariat with advice and guidance. Then at INCOSAI VI 
in Tokyo, the SAIs approved the body's standing orders and resolved to 
make Austria the permanent headquarters, thus laying down the basic 
regulatory rules and establishing a secretariat office. Governing 
Boards have since then guided the secretariat to link the SAIs between 
the congresses. The Governing Board, the secretariat and the committees 
have played a pivotal role in developing various products that have 
proved invaluable to state SAIs. These products include the INTOSAI 
Auditing Standards, which have reflected best practice guidelines for 
the participating SAIs since they were compiled in 1989 and revised in 
1992 to reflect those SAIs constituted as Courts of Audit. A committee 
established in 1984 to present recommendations and plans for developing 
auditing standards and guidelines continues to issue them through an 
exposure draft process that gives the SAIs an opportunity to 
participate and have their concerns incorporated. The latest 
guidelines, which were adopted at the Seoul congress, include 
Guidelines on Best Practice for the Audit of Economic Regulation, Best 
Practices for the Audit of Public/Private Finance and Concessions, 
Guidance on Planning and Conducting an Audit of Internal Controls of 
Public Debt, and Guidance on Conducting Audits of Activities with an 
Environmental Perspective.

Our membership has grown to 185 nations, and I believe that all member 
SAIs have benefited enormously from these activities and programs. The 
triennial congresses have continued to be a major event and a forum 
where the SAIs gather in one place at one time to discuss and resolve 
common problems by sharing experiences, exchanging information, and 
learning from each other. In particular the innovative shift from all 
the business of the congresses being held at the plenary session to 
having the topics and subjects discussed by various groups has greatly 
improved participation and created more focused discussions by the 
members. In addition, the Governing Board, committees, working groups 
and task forces appointed at various congresses have organized and 
conducted meetings, seminars, training courses and symposia, regional 
congresses, and board meetings in all parts of the world. The Strategic 
Planning Task Force proposed 5-year strategic plan and the Auditing 
Standards Committee's planned cooperation with IFAC are two current and 
exciting examples. Member SAIs have enormously benefited from these 
activities and programs.

These 50 years have seen the audit world come together to collectively 
search for ways and means to deal with challenges that are very similar 
in nature, especially the SAI's role in oversight of government 
spending and the use of common or public resources. My plea to the SAIs 
as we celebrate this 50th anniversary is that we continue to 
collaborate and work together for the greater common good in enhancing 
accountability guided by the motto, "Mutual Experience Benefits All," 
for no nation can on its own achieve as much as we can collectively 
through INTOSAI.



New Comptroller and Auditor General:

On January 2, 2003,Mr. Asif Ali was appointed the new Comptroller and 
Auditor General of Bangladesh. He succeeds Mr. Muhammad Ahsan Ali 
Sarkar, who retired at the completion of his term of service.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Ali was the Controller General of 
Accounts of the Government of Bangladesh. He joined the Pakistan 
Military Accounts Service in 1971 and subsequently served in the 
Bangladesh civil service in a variety of posts. These have included 
Senior Finance Controller of both the Navy and Air Force; Additional 
Director General(Finance), Bangladesh Railway; and Director General of 
the Audit and Accounts Training Academy and the Financial Management 

Mr. Ali received his BA honors in Political Science and MA in Political 
Science. He also graduated in Law from Dhaka University, where he 
served as Lecturer in the Political Science Department.

He has participated in international professional training and meetings 
of ASOSAI and INTOSAI. In addition, he was a member of the UN team that 
audited the UNDP and UNICEF headquarters in New York and the UNEP 
headquarters in Nairobi. He has authored a number of books on auditing 
and accounting and has published many articles in domestic and 
international journals.

For further information, please contact:

Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Audit Bhaban,

189, Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Saran, Dhaka-1000;

tel: ++880 (2) 831 46 53;



Annual Report for 2001 Issued:

In January 2002, the Barbados Audit Office submitted its Annual Report 
to Parliament for the financial year ended March 31, 200l. The report's 
findings were based on its audit examination of the financial 
statements and accounts of government ministries and departments.

The report acknowledged improvements in the government's financial 
management operations. However, it expressed concerns about a number of 
areas, including the following: the management of receivables by 
entities responsible for the collection of government revenues; 
continuing noncompliance with financial rules regarding contracts to 
supply goods and services; the number of statutory corporations and 
other government entities that fail to submit accounts for audit on a 
timely basis; and ongoing problems with accounting officers submitting 
appropriation accounts within the time frames stipulated by law. Some 
of these issues have had an impact on the Auditor General's ability to 
complete certain audits in a timely manner and certify the accounts.

For additional information, contact: Barbados Audit Office, Weymouth 
Corporate Centre, Roebuck Street, St. Michael; telephone: ++1 (246) 
426-2537; fax: 1 (246) 228-2731.


First Annual Status Report Issued:

The Auditor General of Canada's first annual Status Report, presented 
to Parliament in October 2002, offers a generally disappointing 
appraisal of the Canadian government's efforts to correct problems in 
five high-cost and high-risk areas identified in previous Auditor 
General reports. These areas include protection of the integrity of the 
Social Insurance Number, the national health surveillance system, 
federal support of health care delivery, and management of the NATO 
Flying Training in Canada and the Canada Small Business Financing 

The 2002 Status Report, which Auditor General Sheila Fraser termed "a 
wake-up call for departments," concluded that while some improvements 
have been made, "overall, the pace is too slow and the results often 
fall short." It is the Auditor General's hope that the annual status 
reports-the next one is planned for the spring of 2003-"will help 
motivate departments to act." Following up on previous recommendations 
has been part of the regular work of the Auditor General's Office for 
many years, but the Status Report's more selective approach focuses on 
high-cost and high-risk issues likely to be of most interest to 

The annual Status Report will become one of the four regular reports 
that the Auditor General can submit every year to the House of Commons. 
The launching of this new report coincides with the 25th anniversary of 
the Auditor General Act of 1977. This Act and its subsequent amendments 
in 1995 broadened the Auditor General's mandate to include reporting on 
whether government policies are being implemented economically, 
efficiently, with adequate measures in place for judging their 
effectiveness, and with due regard for their environmental impact.

For further information, contact:

the Office of the Auditor General of Canada,

fax: ++1 (613) 957 4023;

email: .

The 2002 Status Report is available on the OAG's Web site 


New Comptroller General:

In August 2002, Mr. Gustavo Sciolla was appointed Comptroller General 
of the Republic of Chile by the President of the Republic, Mr. Ricardo 
Lagos, with the agreement of the Senate. He succeeds Mr. Arturo Aylwin, 
who retired at the end of his 5-year term.

At the time of his appointment, he was head of the division that 
determined the legality of executive orders for civil servants and 
registered them.

Mr. Sciolla is a graduate of the University of Concepción, with a law 
degree. He has worked for the Comptroller General's Office for the past 
45 years. Throughout his distinguished career, he has focused on issues 
related to personnel matters of civil administrations. He has a broad 
background in issues such as Social Security, pensions, and salaries. 
He has participated in variety of studies, including the salary scale 
for civil servants and the current administrative statute and other 
laws related to the Comptroller General's Office.

Mr. Gustavo Sciolla:

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[End of figure]

Mr. Sciolla attended the XVI INCOSAI in Montevideo, where he 
participated in the presentations on the role of the SAI in detecting 
and preventing fraud and corruption. In September 2002, he was the head 
of the Chilean delegation that participated in the XII OLACEFS Assembly 
and XXVII Governing Board meeting in Mexico.

For additional information, please contact:

Contraloria General de la Republica, International Relations Unit,

Teatinos 56 Piso 9°, Santiago de Chile;

telephone: ++56 2 870 1474 or 56 2 870 1158;

fax: ++56 2 688 4239 or 56 2 695 0732; or:



125th Anniversary of Swiss Federal Audit Office:

On September 12-13, 2002, the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) 
celebrated its 125th anniversary with a ceremony and conference held in 
the National Council chamber.

The Federal Supervisory Office, SFAO's predecessor, was created in 
1877. By the time Switzerland's current federal financial supervision 
systems were established in October 1902, several motions had been made 
in Parliament to create a court of auditors. However, because this 
would have required the Federal Assembly to share its exclusive supreme 
supervisory powers with the court of auditors, in 1899, the Federal 
Council proposed building a new system using the existing institutions. 
The Federal Supervisory Office became SFAO, and the ad hoc committees 
that had been created to control budget and accounts became the 
standing finance committees of the National Council and the Council of 

The most important reform in the new system was the 1902 creation of 
the Joint Committee on Finance, which is celebrating its centennial. 
The Joint Committee is responsible for auditing and supervising the 
entire federal budget. Its members are from both chambers and include 
three members from each finance committee. Over the years, the SFAO 
developed into an independent institution providing financial 
supervision of the Confederation.

A number of guests from Switzerland and abroad attended the SFAO 
anniversary ceremony. They included representatives from the Swiss 
government, Parliament, and cantonal audit offices, as well as the 
presidents of supreme audit institutions of other European countries.

Mr. Kurt Grüter:

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[End of figure]

In his welcome address, SFAO Director Kurt Grüter outlined how SFAO's 
role and activities had changed throughout its 125-year history. Today, 
SFAO carries out its work independently and autonomously, in accordance 
with INTOSAI criteria. At the same time, SFAO maintains excellent 
contacts with Switzerland's Federal Finance Department (at the ministry 
level), Federal Council (at the government level), and Parliament.

At the ceremony, Dr. Franz Fiedler, Secretary General of INTOSAI and 
President of the Court of Audit in Austria, conveyed his best wishes on 
SFAO's 125th anniversary. He affirmed the fact that Switzerland's 
financial supervision system is highly respected internationally and 
also acknowledged the SFAO's active participation in international 

The anniversary celebration was held in conjunction with a conference 
on the highly charged issue of what the Confederation be held 
accountable for and how its related risks should be managed. The 
Confederation entrusts public duties to agricultural organizations and 
many other types of organizations. The Swiss government now engages in 
outsourcing, privatization, and competition. Nevertheless, the 
Confederation still accepts secondary responsibility for enterprises 
such as the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways), Swiss Post, and Skyguide (air 
traffic control). Although the Confederation bears an enormous risk, it 
has no opportunity to provide intervention and control. Should the 
Confederation continue to assume liability, and if so, on what terms 
and with what amount of leverage? Different speakers contributed to the 
discussion, including the foreign guest speaker, Dr. Hedda von Wedel, a 
member of the European Court of Auditors, who presented a case study on 
the topic.

For more information, please contact:

Swiss Federal Audit Office,

fax: ++41 (31) 323 11 01;

email: [Hyperlink,];

web site: [Hyperlink,].

European Court of Auditors:

Meeting of the Presidents of EU SAIs and Candidate Countries:

The heads of the 15 SAIs of the European Union held their 25th annual 
meeting in Luxembourg on November 27-28, 2002. The meeting was chaired 
by Mr. Juan Manuel Fabra Vallés, the President of the European Court of 
Auditors. The topics discussed included coordinating SAI activities to 
protect the EU's financial interests; parallel audits on the management 
of structural funds; and reorganizing the European Commission's control 
and internal audit system and the single audit concept. On November 28, 
2002, the presidents of the national SAIs of the 13 candidate countries 
were invited for the first time to join the official meeting and 
discuss matters of common interest, including a working group on "audit 
activities" and relations between national parliaments and SAIs. 
Increased cooperation and exchanges of information between the ECA and 
the national SAIs in Europe are of utmost importance for efficient and 
effective management and control of EU funds.

The cooperation between the European Court of Auditors and the SAIs of 
the EU Member States, in the form of regular official and working 
meetings, dates back to 1977. Under the Treaty, the ECA is to carry out 
its audits "in liaison" with the national audit bodies of the Member 
States concerned. Thus, apart from regular exchanges of information 
between the audit institutions, it has been necessary to develop and 
harmonize the audit approaches of the respective institutions.

Since 1997, the European Court of Auditors has intensified its 
cooperation with the enlargement countries, at both the formal and the 
practical level, to allow regular exchanges of information, harmonize 
audit methodologies, and enhance professional training. SIGMA (an OECD-
based organisation) and the SAIs from the EU Member States also 
participate actively in these activities with the aim of improving the 
quality of the financial management in the Candidate Countries. For 
further details, see [Hyperlink,].

National SAIs from EU Member States have also entered into twinning 
projects with SAIs of Candidate Countries. These projects, financed by 
the European Union, aim to further develop the organization and 
methodology of the SAIs in the Candidate Countries so that they will be 
able to undertake effective audits of EU funds after accession.

Court of Auditors Issues 2001 Annual Report:

In November 2002, the European Court of Auditors published its 2001 
Annual Report on the general budget of the European Union (EU) and the 
European Development Fund (EDF). The Court's report found that-with the 
exception of certain accounting system design weaknesses the Court had 
cited in the past-the EU's 2001 accounts provide a true picture of the 
Community's financial situation. In response to the report, the 
European Commission said it would launch an accounting reform plan to 
address the Court's concerns. The Court will closely monitor and report 
on the preparation and implementation of this plan. As in previous 
years, the Court only provided a positive Statement of Assurance on the 
legality and regularity of underlying transactions regarding 
commitments, resources, and administrative expenditures. The Court 
declined to provide a positive Statement for other types of payments-
which represent the better part of the budget's monetary value due to 
errors stemming from shortcomings in Commission and Member State 
systems for managing Community funds.

Findings of the report included the following:

* Agricultural expenditures: The accuracy of declarations supporting 
payments made by farmers and other recipients had not improved over 
previous years.

* Structural measures: There were continuing errors in the Member 
States' declarations of expenditure, stemming from weaknesses in the 
control systems.

* Humanitarian and food aid expenditures: Commission payments to 
intermediate implementing organisations (national authorities, 
nongovernmental organisations, United Nation bodies) were, on the 
whole, legal and regular. However, errors in the payments these 
organizations made to final beneficiaries underlined the need for the 
Commission to enhance its guidance on control and management.

* The 2001 financial year produced a surplus of revenue over 
expenditure amounting to 15013 million euro, representing 16 percent of 
the final Community budget. This surplus was mainly due to delays in 
the implementation of structural measures by Member States.

Fiscal year 2001 was an important transitional year in the Commission's 
administrative reform, particularly in relation to financial management 
and control. The Council adopted a new Financial Regulation, which the 
Court supports despite some unsatisfactory elements. The Commission's 
Directors General produced their first annual activity reports and 
declarations. The Court found that the Commission should (1) improve 
the methodology used to prepare reports and declarations and (2) 
provide better guidance. The Court observed that the Commission had 
encountered particular problems in improving management and control 
over areas of shared management with Member States (principally 
agriculture and structural measures) due to difficulties in allocating 
respective responsibilities.

Since its last Annual Report, the Court of Auditors has adopted seven 
special reports covering different aspects of EU finances as well as 10 
opinions. All official Court reports can be found on its Web site in 
the 11 official language versions.

For the complete text of the 2001 Annual Report, see: 
[Hyperlink, RA/2001/ra01.htm]. For the 
Information Note on the report, see: 

For further information, please contact the:

External Relations Department of the European Court of Auditors,

tel. +352-021-36 31 03 (GSM), +352-4398-45410,

fax: +352-4398-46430,

e-mail:, or:

Web site: [Hyperlink,].

World Bank Institute/ International Records Management Trust:

Global Forum on Evidence-Based Governance in the Electronic Age:

Managing records as evidence in the 21st century was the topic of 
workshops attended by archivists and archival educators from 38 
Commonwealth countries around the world September 9-25, 2002, in 
Johannesburg, South Africa. The World Bank Institute and the 
International Records Management Trust (IRMT) sponsored the sessions, 
which were hosted by the National Archives of South Africa.

This Global Forum, one component of the multiyear World Bank-IRMT 
Evidence-Based Governance in the Electronic Age Project, involves 
collaboration to seek new solutions to managing records as evidence 
over time. The specific goal of the September sessions was to develop a 
framework for integrating recordkeeping as a major component of good 
governance among senior public officials in developing countries. This 
included preparing regional trainers and senior records mangers for 
their responsibilities.

Participants in these sessions were reported to be very enthusiastic 
about the sessions, which ended with adoption of a series of 
resolutions and development of a special action plan.

During the September meetings, videoconferences were held with partner 
agencies in such places as Washington, D.C., Paris, London, New Delhi, 
Montevideo, and Ottawa. Contributors to the forum included 
representatives of the World Bank, the Commonwealth Human Rights 
Initiative, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the U.K. Department for 
International Development, Transparency International, the U.K. Public 
Record Office, the National Archives of Canada, and Universidad de la 
Republica-Uruguay. The U.K. Department for International Development, 
the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the World Bank Institute provided 
support for the Global Forum activities.

More information on the Evidence-Based Governance in the Electronic Age 
Project on the World Bank and IRMT Web sites (
evidence or or by email: [Hyperlink,].

International Consortium on Government Financial Management and World 
Bank Institute:

Summit on Reducing Poverty Through Improving Public Financial 

In November 2002, the International Consortium on Government Financial 
Management (ICGFM) partnered with the World Bank Institute to host a 
summit on the topic "Reducing Poverty Through Improving Public 
Financial Management." The summit was held in the United States on the 
outskirts of Washington, D.C. Over 70 participants from all over the 
world and--for the first time in many cases--from all areas in the 
public financial management process met to discuss the topic. Auditors, 
accountants, budget directors, procurement specialists, and members of 
parliamentary committees were challenged to consider ways in which 
their often separate professions interrelate to impact the quality and 
management of public expenditures.

Early in the agenda, the concept of "systemic risk" was introduced to 
provide a common language for discussions across the professions and to 
identify threats to ensuring that public finances facilitate poverty 
reduction. Such risks were identified as they relate to budget 
formulation, procurement, budget execution, financial monitoring, and 
auditing, with a variety of interesting presentations on these topics 
that led to illuminating discussion periods and activity sessions. 
Participants generally agreed that the mix of perspectives enriched the 
conference and that the ICGFM is well positioned to facilitate 
continued interchanges in its future conferences through holistic 
discussions of ways in which the financial management process can be 
improved. Participants also agreed that it is important to relate 
financial management to governmentwide goals like poverty reduction and 
that the concept of risk provides a useful device for such discussions.

For further information, contact:

ICGFM, 444 North Capitol Street, Suite 234,

Washington, D.C. 20001,

Telephone: (202) 624-8461,

Fax: (202) 624-5473,


Internal Oversight--A Key to Reform at the United Nations:

Kofi A. Annan:

Secretary-General of the United Nations:

Since INTOSAI's creation in 1953 as an affiliate of the United Nations, 
the two bodies have developed a strong professional relationship, with 
Supreme Audit Institutions that are members of INTOSAI playing a vital 
role as the external auditors of the United Nations and its specialized 
agencies. Senior United Nations officials also participate regularly in 
INTOSAI's triennial congresses and other activities. In this context, 
Secretary-General Kofi Annan shares his views with Journal readers on 
the importance of oversight to his reform program for the United 

"Effective oversight services are a high priority for the United 
Nations and a crucial ingredient in my efforts to reform and strengthen 
the Organization to meet the challenges of the 21st century.":

Two years ago, heads of State and Government, meeting as the Millennium 
Assembly of the United Nations, reaffirmed their faith in the 
Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations for a more 
peaceful, prosperous and just world. They defined their priorities for 
the new century: "the fight for development for all the peoples of the 
world; the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease; the fight 
against injustice; the fight against violence, terror and crime; and 
the fight against the degradation of our common home". And they 
resolved to make the United Nations a more effective instrument for 
pursuing all of these priorities.

Indeed, the need for a strong multilateral institution has never been 
more acutely felt than in the current era of globalization. This new 
age of interdependence and integration offers many opportunities, but 
it also poses many dangers. The challenge ahead is to strengthen our 
capability for collective action and thus forge a common destiny in a 
time of accelerating global change.

The United Nations exists, not as a static memorial to the aspirations 
of an earlier age, but as a work in progress - imperfect, as all human 
endeavours must be, but capable of adaptation and improvement. The 
United Nations can change, and it has changed, notably since the end of 
the Cold War, which removed the deepest and most intractable source of 
mistrust among its Members, thus opening up new fields of creative 
action and cooperation. When I took office as Secretary-General in 
1997, one of my first priorities was to adapt the structures and the 
culture of the Secretariat to the new expectations and challenges that 
it faced.

Much has been achieved, not least the Millennium Declaration itself, 
which offers a common vision for the new century and, in the economic 
and social sphere, includes precise, time-bound development targets for 
the first 15 years of the century - the Millennium Development Goals - 
that now serve as a common policy framework for the entire UN system. 
The United Nations has been in the forefront of the battle to stop the 
spread of HIV/AIDS. The Organization's capacity to deploy and manage 
peacekeeping and peace-building operations is being improved. The 
disparate elements of the system are working better together. Fruitful 
partnerships have been built with non-governmental organizations, the 
private sector, academic institutions, think tanks, philanthropic 
foundations and other non-State actors. In short, the Organization is 
evolving with the times. It is more efficient, more open and more 
creative. But more changes are needed, and so last year I initiated 
another round of what I hope will be similarly wide-ranging change and 

The Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) plays a central role 
in this process as one of the Organization's main instruments for 
ensuring effective internal oversight and accountability. OIOS was 
created by the General Assembly in 1994. As an independent office 
reporting directly to the Secretary-General, it provides worldwide 
audit, investigation, inspection, program monitoring, evaluation and 
consulting services to the United Nations Secretariat and a wide range 
of United Nations operational funds and programs. These efforts have 
exposed waste, fraud and mismanagement, and identified potential 
savings totaling approximately $250 million, of which nearly $115 
million was actually recovered and saved. Each year, the Office issues 
more than 2,000 recommendations aimed at improving internal controls 
and surmounting obstacles to efficiency and effectiveness. The overall 
implementation rate of its recommendations after 3 years is more than 
80 percent, and Member States and staff alike have responded positively 
to the Office's work.

Internal Reviews of Reform Issues:

In support of my current reform efforts, OIOS is undertaking several 
major consulting and inspection projects, including steps to eliminate 
the administrative duplication that has long plagued the Organization; 
a management review of the Office of the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Human Rights; and a review of the implementation of 
results-based budgeting, which seeks to improve flexibility by shifting 
the focus of planning, budgeting and reporting from how things are done 
to what is accomplished. A recent report on UN information centers 
around the world gave weight to my proposed consolidation of these 
offices, which is now moving ahead. OIOS is a member of my Steering 
Committee on Reform and Management, which produced my latest set of 
proposals and which will monitor progress. OIOS also intends to provide 
increased support to UN departments so that they can strengthen their 
own capacities for self-evaluation and monitoring.

Field Operations:

A major test for UN reform is the changes it generates in the field, 
where our contacts with the people we serve are closest, and where our 
successes and setbacks are most visible. In recent years, the number of 
UN field offices and high-risk peacekeeping and humanitarian missions 
has expanded dramatically, as has the complexity of the tasks with 
which they are entrusted. The largest field missions are often deployed 
in wartorn regions with limited infrastructure and support systems. 
This poses significant managerial and oversight challenges for the 
Organization and its personnel, and increases the risk that resources 
will be lost because of fraud, waste or abuse. In response, OIOS has 
sharpened its focus on procurement, human resources, and the management 
of newly established bodies. It has also developed a comprehensive and 
rigorous risk management methodology to guide the strategic planning of 
its oversight activities in this area.

Internal Auditing:

Although there has always been an internal audit function in the United 
Nations, it was not operationally independent until 1994, when it was 
integrated into OIOS. In establishing OIOS's scope and mandate, the 
General Assembly also strengthened oversight by integrating all 
internal oversight functions in one office reporting directly to the 
Secretary-General. At the same time, two other major initiatives were 
taken to improve the effectiveness of audits. First, the two classic 
types of audit --financial and compliance audits --are now complemented 
by a stronger emphasis on management and performance audits, which 
focus on organizational questions and the economy, efficiency and 
effectiveness of operations. It is OIOS's policy to include a 
comprehensive management perspective in all major audit assignments. 
Second, the implementation of audit recommendations is receiving 
greater attention by both management and the various legislative bodies 
of the United Nations. Auditors follow up and monitor the Office's 
recommendations until they are fully implemented. Program managers are 
expected to ensure prompt compliance and are required to report the 
status of their implementation to OIOS on a quarterly basis.


An independent investigations function has existed in the United 
Nations only since 1994, when it was made a part of the OIOS oversight 
mechanism. OIOS's Investigations Division is staffed by highly trained 
professionals who probe allegations of employee misconduct, abuse of 
authority, payment of kickbacks, embezzlement of funds, and waste and 
mismanagement of the Organization's resources. The caseload increases 
every year, since the more OIOS is known, the more staff and management 
report allegations to the Division. But the heightened volume of 
allegations has put strains on the resources available for this area of 
oversight. The Office is exploring ways to deal with this, not least 
through greater attention to preventive approaches, including the 
proposed establishment of an Organizational Integrity System based on 
UN standards of conduct for the international civil service and 
promoted through ethics training for all staff.

Success in a world in rapid flux depends greatly on the ability to 
manage change. In recent years, the United Nations has shown that it 
can respond to novel and unexpected challenges, and is willing and 
quick to adapt, while being fiscally prudent. Further change will not 
be realized automatically or overnight. Reform is a process, not an 
event. As that process expands and deepens, I look forward to working 
with all the Organization's partners, including INTOSAI, to ensure that 
the United Nations can meet the needs and aspirations of the world's 
peoples in the 21st century.

The Development of Environmental Auditing Within INTOSAI:

By Ms. Sylvia van Leeuwen, Senior Auditor, Netherlands Court of Audit:

Environmental auditing is relatively new to the work of many SAIs. This 
article discusses the development of environmental auditing during the 
last 10 years as well as its current state. Specifically, it describes 
developments related to environment policy, SAI mandates, environmental 
audit activities of SAIs, and international accords and cooperation 
among SAIs on environmental issues.

The description is based on the results of three surveys of INTOSAI 
members, conducted in 1994, 1997, and 2000 by the INTOSAI Working Group 
on Environmental Auditing. The survey results have been published in 
working group papers available on the Internet at www.environmental- The working group is grateful to all SAIs that responded 
to the questionnaires.

Environmental Policy:

For an audit institution, government policy is the starting point--if 
no policy has been formulated, there is not much to audit. The Working 
Group on Environmental Auditing's surveys indicated rapid growth in 
environmental plans and programs of governments, particularly from 1993 
through 1996. By 1999, most countries had established some form of 
environmental policy.

The content of environmental policy and the way it is formulated varies 
greatly from country to country. In many countries, policy could be 
formulated much more clearly, as governments may not always identify 
the instruments to be used, targets to be met in specified years, or 
the way achievements will be monitored and reported. The risk of 
unclear policy is that responsible entities may not become sufficiently 
engaged. Appropriate authorities are responsible for clear policy 
formulation and the availability and the quality of information. SAIs 
can make these points goals of their audits, and in so doing, encourage 
their governments to improve accountability and the clarity of their 

Local, regional, or provincial governments and other public and private 
entities are often involved in environmental policy along with the 
national government. For SAIs, this means that environmental audits 
might include several public authorities as audit subjects, making the 
audits more complex. In these cases, relevant subjects to audit include 
a clear division of tasks, cooperation between those involved, and 
coordination by the national government.

SAI Mandates:

The working group found that nearly all SAIs have general mandates that 
can be applied to all sectors of government, including the 
environmental sector. In addition, some SAIs have specific mandates for 
environmental auditing, which give them extra responsibilities in this 
area. For example, in Canada, a Commissioner for the Environment and 
Sustainable Development has been appointed.

The content of the mandates varies among SAIs, particularly with regard 
to the types of audits they are required to do and the types of 
authorities covered by their mandates (national versus local or public 
versus private). Most SAIs are entitled to do regularity or financial 
audits (94 percent), and a growing number of SAIs also do performance 
audits (84 percent). Some SAIs are authorized to do "ex ante" or "a 
priori" audits (34 percent). SAIs can also have an advisory or 
assisting role in the national government. Some SAIs, however, have a 
problem in that their mandates do not give them access to all public 
entities involved in environmental policy.

SAI's Environmental Audit Activities:

SAIs are increasingly active in the field of environmental audits. 
Especially during the period from 1993 through 1996, the working group 
identified a strong quantitative growth in environmental activities--
both in the number of SAIs active in this field and in the level of 
activities the SAIs carried out. The SAIs have allocated larger 
portions of their audit resources to this type of work and published 
more environmental audit reports.

From 1996 through 1999, the quantity of environmental audit work 
stabilized, and the working group noticed a shift from regularity to 
performance audits, which can be interpreted as qualitative growth. In 
1999, 57 percent of the SAIs were performing environmental audits.

Since 1997, few of the environmental audits have been solely regularity 
audits --most are performance audits or a combination of regularity and 
performance audits. Performance auditing covers all kinds of audits 
related to the "3 Es": economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. Audits 
on the implementation of environmental programs and compliance with 
national environmental laws and regulations have been the type of 
audits conducted most frequently. Environmental audits cover a wide 
range of issues. During the last survey, the most popular issues were 
internal environmental management by public authorities or departments, 
fresh water, waste, and nature and recreation.

International Accords and Cooperation Between SAIs:

Environmental problems related to climate change, ocean pollution, and 
the depletion of the ozone layer are global in nature. In addition, 
regional problems like the water quality in major rivers and the 
sustainable use of fish stocks often cross national borders. Therefore, 
many countries seek international cooperation to solve environmental 
problems, resulting in a growing number of international agreements on 
environmental issues. Because national governments are responsible for 
implementing the international obligations in their national policy 
programs and legislation, SAIs often play a role in auditing their 
governments' compliance with international obligations and 

The INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing wants to encourage 
environmental audits and has provided guidelines on the audit process 
and the selection of international accords. The working group has done 
this not only because the audits themselves might be useful, but also 
because these audits provide excellent possibilities for cooperation 
and exchange of information on common issues and specific audit topics.

The majority of SAIs that responded to the last questionnaire indicated 
that they were interested in cooperation with other SAIs on audits of 
international environmental accords in the near future. A growing 
number of SAIs already have experience cooperating on environmental 
audits and/or audits of environmental agreements. For example, eight 
SAIs around the Baltic Sea have performed joint or coordinated audits 
on marine pollution, eight other European SAIs have performed such 
audits on pollution of the sea by ships, and three Scandinavian SAIs 
have performed them on the OSPAR Convention. Other joint or coordinated 
audits have been performed on fresh water rivers by four SAIs along the 
Danube and by Colombia and Venezuela on the River Tachira Project. 
Other forms of international cooperation include the exchange of 
information and audit methods, cooperation on audit work on a shared 
subject, or joint training courses and seminars. Recently, regional 
working groups on environmental auditing were established in several 
parts of the world. These groups will provide a good platform for 
continuing and enhancing the cooperation between SAIs at regional level 
in the near future.

Guidance on environmental auditing is available in various INTOSAI 
languages at and on the CD-ROM 
"Environmental Auditing at Work," which can be ordered from the 
Netherlands Court of Audit (e-mail: or website: [Hyperlink,].

Available INTOSAI Guidance: "How SAIs may co-operate on the audit of 
international environmental accords" (1998); "Standards and Guidelines 
on Environmental Auditing" (2001); and Working Group Paper "The Audit 
of International Environmental Accords" (2001).

Relations Between SAIs and Parliamentary Committees:

By Mr. Jacek Mazur, Ph.D., Advisor to the President of the Supreme 
Chamber of Control of Poland, and Mr. Brian Vella, Personal Assistant 
to the Auditor General of Malta:

Ideally, there is a symbiotic relationship between an SAI and the 
parliament to which it reports. These two important, but separate, 
institutions have mutually supportive roles in ensuring effective 
government. A parliament can perform its vital oversight functions most 
effectively when it uses--and can rely on--the audit work of the SAI. 
Similarly, an SAI can be much more effective when its parliament 
provides both a forum for the presentation and discussion of the SAI's 
important audit results and, potentially, an ally in taking, or 
strongly encouraging others to take, appropriate corrective actions.

A number of countries have set up parliamentary committees (PCs) that 
have contact with SAIs. In relationship to the SAIs, their main purpose 
is to examine audit reports in detail, considering their observations, 
findings, and recommendations and presenting their own comments and 
recommendations to parliaments on government activities the SAIs have 
examined. PCs are often viewed as a means of improving public 
accountability and strengthening the role of SAIs.

In view of the importance of the relationship of SAIs with parliaments 
and PCs, the presidents of the SAIs of central and eastern European 
countries, Cyprus, Malta, and the European Court of Auditors requested 
a report on SAI/PC relations. The objective of the study was to examine 
relations between the SAIs and their respective parliaments, especially 
the PCs, and to suggest ways in which those relations could be improved 
to the mutual benefit of parliaments and the SAIs. Detailed information 
about relations between SAIs and parliaments/PCs was gathered by 
questionnaire from the participating countries (14 candidate/
participant countries currently involved in the European Union 
accession process). The SAIs of Poland and Malta prepared the report, 
with support from the European Court of Auditors and SIGMA[Note 1]. 
Other SAIs with long traditions of state auditing also participated in 
this study.

The report was issued in November 2001 and covered the following areas:

* the general role of parliaments and PCs in relationship to SAIs;

* PCs' composition and modes of operation;

* PCs' role in the outputs and results of SAIs;

* PCs' role in SAI operations;

* other PC functions related to SAIs; and:

* the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identified by 

Current Situation of SAIs and Parliamentary Committees in Eastern and 
Central Europe, Malta and Cyprus:

The responses study showed considerable diversity among the countries. 
SAIs cooperate with several different types of PCs.

* Committees in charge of various branches of administration and 
economy, such as committees on transport, agriculture, or health care 
(called branch committees). The main function of these PCs is to 
examine and prepare issues that are currently subjects of parliamentary 
debates and deliver opinions on matters that the Parliament or its 
Speaker have referred to them. Within the limits determined by the 
Constitution and statutes, the PCs also work as bodies of parliamentary 
review in specific areas of government activities.

* Committees exclusively or primarily responsible for state audit-
related matters (called audit committees), which can be divided into 
two types: public accounts committees (Cyprus and Malta) and state 
audit committees (Hungary and Poland).

* Committees specifically responsible for SAI budget-related matters: 
approving the SAI budget, appointing outside auditors to audit the SAI, 
and reviewing the audited accounts (the National Audit Office Accounts 
Committee in Malta).

While most of the participating countries do not have frequent and 
periodic meetings between SAIs and PCs, such meetings as are held take 
place in parliaments where (1) there are committees exclusively or 
primarily in charge of issues of state audit (those in Cyprus, Hungary, 
and Malta) or (2) there is an established tradition of reviewing audit 
reports by most of the PCs (in Poland). The number of PC meetings 
convened each year to discuss SAI-related matters varies among the 
countries--from 1 to 3 meetings held in Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, and 
Lithuania, to 75 such meetings in Cyprus, and 70 to 100 in Poland. In 
most cases, SAI-related matters constitute only one of the agenda 

Typically, constitutions or laws require SAIs to submit their reports 
to their parliaments--particularly annual reports on their activities, 
audit reports on the execution of the state budgets, and reports on 
audits requested by the parliaments (when applicable). In some cases, 
SAIs also submit opinions on public accounts, reports on the use and 
preservation of state assets, and reports on the public debt.

Generally, PCs do not review more than half the audit reports they 
receive. PCs regularly review those reports for which parliamentary 
review is mandatory. Moreover, PCs regularly review reports from the 
audits they ordered (when applicable) or suggested.

The following are examples of SAI reporting and PC review.

* PCs receive a significant number of audit reports every year (e.g., 
40, 60, or 200) and thoroughly review the majority of them (in Cyprus, 
Hungary, Malta, and Poland).

* PCs receive a significant number of audit reports (e.g., 20, 40, or 
100) and review only a few of them (in the Czech Republic, Estonia, 
Latvia, and the Slovak Republic).

* In some of the countries, the audit findings are included mainly in 
annual reports and audit reports on the execution of the state budget. 
These reports are reviewed by PCs during one, two, or three meetings 
(in Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania).

* Sometimes PCs, over the course of several meetings, review a large 
number of audit reports (e.g., 70, 120, or 900), most of which relate 
to the audits of financial statements and financial transactions of 
local self-government and government units (in Croatia, Lithuania, and 
Slovenia). In such instances, few of the reports are reviewed in depth.

After reviewing SAI reports, some PCs prepare their own reports with 
their views, comments, and recommendations to their parliaments (in 
Croatia, Romania, and sometimes in Cyprus). In Latvia, PCs formulate 
draft resolutions for Parliament. In Hungary, PCs may formally approve 
or reject SAI reports and refer their decisions to Parliament. In 
Poland, the relevant PC may pass a resolution, or "desideratum," and 
address its postulates to the Council of Ministers, individual 
ministers, or central state bodies. The recipient is obliged to reply 
within 30 days. Replies to desiderata as well as state bodies' reports 
on their performance are reviewed at PC meetings. If a reply is not 
received in due time or the reply is deemed unsatisfactory, the PC may 
resend the desideratum, submit a motion to the Speaker for rejection of 
the reply as unsatisfactory, or submit a draft of a relevant resolution 
of the Parliament.

Other PCs review the audit reports but do not make any formal 
decisions/resolutions because such decisions would be implied in the PC 
hearings (in Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, and 
Slovenia). In the Slovak Republic, PCs take note of audit reports but 
do not formally discuss them. In the Czech Republic, it is the 
subcommittee of the Budget Committee that actually discusses the SAI's 
reports and proposes a draft resolution; the committee usually acts on 
the subcommittee's suggestions and submits draft resolutions to the 
Parliament. In other instances, decisions are made only on the annual 
activities report of the SAI but not on the audit reports (in Bulgaria 
and Slovenia).

Best Practices Identified in the Study:

The report contains two sets of recognized best practices--one directed 
toward the parliaments and one toward the SAIs. The first set of 
suggestions involves actions that parliaments could take to enhance 
their working relations with the SAIs and their oversight of government 
activities. In discussing these matters with members of parliaments, 
however, SAIs need to avoid any appearance of instructing parliaments 
in how to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. The 
suggestions are as follows:

* Assure in the state audit legislation that the SAI is independent of 
both the government and the parliament. Appoint the SAI head in a way 
that ensures broad support in parliament.

* Designate a PC to oversee SAI finances (without interference from the 
government and to review--but not direct--its performance.

* Specify clearly the types of audit reports to be presented to 
parliament but be selective and leave some discretion to the SAI when 

* Inform the SAI of parliamentary interests, including suggested audit 
topics, but leave final decisions on audit priorities to the SAI.

* Require that all audit reports be made public within a reasonable 
period, unless they are restricted for specified reasons.

* Because of the importance of SAI work to the PCs' oversight of 
government, establish rules for PC operation and provide PCs with 
adequate staff support.

* Ensure that the appropriate PC is promptly made aware of SAI audit 

* To maximize their effectiveness, open PC meetings to the public and 
the media (unless they are restricted for specified reasons) and ensure 
that SAI and auditee officials attend. These meetings can be helpful in 
focusing attention on problems revealed in SAI audit reports. PC 
members should prepare for such meetings by developing questions to be 
asked and obtaining additional information, as deemed necessary.

* To maximize their effectiveness, PC actions in response to SAI audit 
reports should, if possible, reflect unanimous agreement among PC 
members. At the conclusion of PC meetings or at other times, the PCs 
may deem it appropriate to initiate their own actions in response to 
SAI audit reports. The PCs should seek technical assistance should from 
the SAI, if it would be useful. The government should be required to 
respond to reports and other actions taken by the PCs and the SAI, and 
the PCs and the SAI should follow up on its actions.

The second set of good practices is directed at SAIs and is intended to 
enhance their overall effectiveness and to ensure that they are fully 
prepared to work with their parliaments and PCs. The suggestions are as 

* Set and adopt appropriate auditing policies and standards, and ensure 
that they are implemented.

* Write audit reports clearly, concisely, fairly, and factually, and 
avoid political statements.

* Adopt and enforce appropriate ethical standards.

* Give appropriate--but not exclusive--consideration to parliamentary 
concerns in setting audit priorities.

* Be selective in deciding which audit reports to submit to parliament, 
sending only those reports that clearly merit parliamentary attention, 
and include a clear statement as to why the report is being sent to 

* Consider establishing a separate unit or person to coordinate the 
SAI's contact with Parliament to facilitate communications and help 
assure SAI awareness of parliamentary needs and interests.

* Follow up on previous audit findings and inform parliament of any 
patterns of inaction on important problems.

* Avoid commenting directly on government policies, but recognize that 
disclosure of implementation problems may raise questions about the 
underlying policies. The full text of the report is available at 

For additional information, contact or

Ninth AFROSAI General Assembly:

Alfred Enoh, Contrôle Supérieur de l'État, Cameroon:

The African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) held 
its 9th General Assembly in Tripoli, Libya, from September 9-14, 2002. 
Hosted by the SAI of Libya, the General Assembly drew delegates from 30 
African SAIs as well as observers from the African Development Bank, 
the INTOSAI Secretariat General, and the SAI of France:

Preparations for the 9th General Assembly:

The AFROSAI Governing Board met before the General Assembly and 
considered reports from the statutory organs of the organization., 
including a 3-year action plan for the Board's approval prior to 
submission to the General Assembly for adoption. The Board also heard 
and approved the reports of the General Secretary and the work plans of 
the training and research committee and the Editorial Board of the 
AFROSAI Journal of Comprehensive Auditing. An ad-hoc committee was 
created to study ways of strengthening the General Secretariat and 
reinforcing unity within the organization.

The Opening of the 9th General Assembly:

The 9th General Assembly was opened on September 9, 2002, with an 
official welcome extended to the delegates, guests, and observers by 
the Secretary General of the People's General Congress of Libya and the 
President of the Libyan SAI. This was followed by words of thanks by 
the Chairman of AFROSAI and a report on AFROSAI's activities and 
financial position for the years 1999-2001.

Discussion on the Technical Themes of the General Assembly:

Participants discussed three major themes: the role of SAIs in good 
governance, SAIs and internal audit systems, and audit of grassroots 
communities. Discussions on these three themes were based on core 
papers and country papers that selected SAIs had prepared based on 
their experiences. The high quality of these reports led to a rich 
debate and fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences during the 
plenary sessions that the delegates believe will lead to improvements 
in the techniques and procedures used by African SAIs in auditing 
public finances.

These discussions also showcased the maturity of the African SAIs in 
relationship to the current African political context, marked on the 
one hand by the founding of the African Union and, on the other, by the 
pressing, commonly shared demand to establish the rule of law, an 
independent judiciary, transparency in the management of public funds, 
and sustainable development.

After these themes had been discussed, the Assembly adopted a document 
called "The Tripoli Declaration" containing the major conclusions and 
recommendations, which are summarized below. The conclusions and 
recommendations were adopted by the delegates at the conclusion of the 
Assembly on September 14, 2002.

Theme I: The Role of SAIs in Good Governance (Rapporteur: Cameroon):

The delegates acknowledged that SAIs can play a key role in the good 
governance process by fulfilling a variety of functions, notably:

* the auditor-watchdog of legality, being involved in examining all 
legal aspects related to administrative and financial management and 
other matters;

* auditor-partner, assisting government managers in establishing 
quality management in the public sector; and:

* auditor-facilitator, contributing to the reflection on major reform 

Recommendations on this theme included the following:

1. SAIs' independence should be upheld so that they can better perform 
their roles.

2. SAIs should extend the scope of their audit approaches to cover, in 
addition to financial and conformity audits, efficiency, effectiveness, 
and economy aspects of government expenditures.

3. SAIs should have adequate staffs whose skills and abilities are 
enhanced by providing them with professional training so that they can 
successfully perform their new, somewhat different roles.

Theme II: SAIs and Internal Audit Systems (Rapporteur: Gambia):

The delegates emphasized the importance of internal audits in detecting 
and preventing fraud. Internal audits complement the role of SAIs in 
identifying weaknesses in internal controls and in the overall 
execution of the SAIs' statutory responsibilities.

Key recommendations related to this theme included the following:

1. SAIs should sensitize relevant authorities about the need to create 
an adequate legal framework to compel public entities to put in place 
reliable and effective internal audit systems.

2. In assessing the internal control systems of public entities, SAIs 
should protect their independence and freedom. Staff heading internal 
control bodies should report directly to the head of department, 
ministry, or institution and should also maintain their independence 
and objectivity.

3. SAIs should prepare and update guides, manuals, and working 
documents relating to strengthening and evaluating internal control 
systems. SAIs should develop and enhance methods of evaluating internal 
control systems and provide relevant training to audit staff.

4. Internal audit bodies should be required to provide copies of their 
reports to SAIs, who, in turn, should organize seminars at the national 
level for various stakeholders in public entities to increase awareness 
and implementation of sound internal control systems within public 

5. SAIs should review the technical competence and professionalism of 
internal audit staff to ensure that they comply with acceptable 
standards so that they can produce high quality reports and 
recommendations and ensure overall effectiveness.

Theme III: Audit of Grassroots Communities (Rapporteur: Ethiopia):

Given the importance of decentralized local governments in the economic 
development and democracy in most African states, delegates recommended 
that SAIs conduct regular audits of these communities. Other 
recommendations included the following:

1. Government authorities should support grassroots communities in 
performing their tasks by providing them with necessary human and 
financial resources.

2. SAIs should develop effective programs to review and follow up the 
performance of grassroots communities.

3. SAIs should develop positive working relationships with stakeholders 
by submitting to them timely reports so that they can take appropriate 
actions based on recommendations contained in the reports.

4. SAIs should carry out and report on performance audits of grassroots 
communities so that they can make recommendations dealing with 
efficiency, effectiveness, and economy issues.

The 9th AFROSAI general assembly also recommended that African 

* consider the recommendations in the "Tripoli Declaration" and 
encourage specialized international and regional organizations to 
support SAIs in their efforts to promote good governance in African 

* act to consolidate the institutional, material, and financial status 
and mandates of SAIs.;

* be aware that efficient audit is indispensable to the exercise of 
good governance in the management of public property just at it is an 
important determinant of the credibility of government; and:

* clearly subscribe to the basics of good governance: transparency in 
public management, accountability, and mass participation in decision-

Concluding the General Assembly:

For the 10th General Assembly in 2005, the delegates elected Ivory 
Coast as the host country and chose the three technical themes: SAI 
independence, audit of privatization, environmental audit. The General 
Assembly also decided on the new composition of AFROSAI Governing 
Board: Libya - President; Burkina Faso - First Vice President; Ivory 
Coast--Second Vice President; General Secretary--Togo; and Algeria, 
Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia and Egypt--members.

The Assembly also elected new external auditors for AFROSAI for the 
financial years 2002-2005 and admitted new members (the Audit Courts of 
the Monetary and Economic Union of West Africa and the Monetary and 
Economic Union of Central African Countries).

Social Activities:

Apart from business sessions, the Libyan SAI organized various cultural 
and social activities for the delegates, which included visits to the 
main features of Tripoli and the cultural and industrial achievements 
of the Great Libyan Jamahiriya. These activities permitted delegates to 
interact and learn more about the Libyan people.

For additional information, contact:

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

P. O. Box 906, Tripoli;

telephone: ++218 (21) 36 11 515; or:

fax: ++218 (21) 444 68 33. 24:

XII OLACEFS Assembly Held in Mexico:

By Linda Sellevaag, Assistant Editor, International Journal of 
Government Auditing:

From September 24-28, 2002, delegates from SAIs across Latin America 
gathered in Mexico City, Mexico, to celebrate the XII Assembly of the 
Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions 
(OLACEFS). The Mexican SAI (Auditoría Superior de la Federación) hosted 
the assembly. Participating countries were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, 
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, 
Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Portugal, Panama, Peru, Puerto 
Rico, Spain, and Venezuela. Observers included representatives of the 
INTOSAI General Secretariat; the INTOSAI Development Initiative; the 
World Bank; EUROSAI; the European Court of Audit; and this Journal.

Don Arturo González de Aragón, Auditor General of Mexico addresses the 
Inaugural Ceremony of the XII OLACEFS Assembly:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Inaugural Ceremony:

During the inaugural ceremony, the Honorable Vicente Fox Quesada, 
President of Mexico, welcomed the delegates, stressing the ties of 
cooperation, brotherhood, and history that link Mexico to other 
countries in the hemisphere and around the world. He underscored the 
importance of the mandate of the SAIs in every country's development 
and the commitment of his government to provide the independence and 
necessary resources for the Mexican SAI to carry out its task. In his 
opening remarks to the assembly, Dr. Genaro Matute Mejía, Comptroller 
General of Peru and President of OLACEFS, expressed his thanks to the 
Mexican SAI for its excellent organization of the assembly. He also 
sketched the importance of the evolving role of OLACEFS since its 
founding in 1965 and the common values that unite the SAIs: 
independence, transparency in service to democracy, and the fight 
against fraud and corruption. Don Arturo González de Aragón, Auditor 
General of Mexico, echoed these themes and emphasized the importance of 
the mandate the SAIs of Latin America share to help ensure that 
ineptitude, irresponsibility, and corruption not be the norm for 
government in the region during the 21st century. Following the 
inaugural ceremony, Francisco Barrio Terrazas, Secretary of the Office 
of Auditing and Administrative Development of the Mexican Government, 
outlined the three-pronged integrated anticorruption program of the 
government (punitive, preventive, and educational).

Technical Theme Presentations:

The XII OLACEFS Assembly was organized around three technical themes. 
Plenary addresses introduced each theme, following which delegates 
discussed related professional and technical issues in principal papers 
and other presentations. Conclusions and recommendations were developed 
and approved for each theme.

Theme I: SAI Experiences in the Audit of Public Works:

Brazil was the coordinator, the Dominican Republic was the moderator, 
and Guatemala was the rapporteur for this theme. The presenters 
discussed the statutory framework for public works, the audit process 
(pre-, post-and concurrent audit), and the goal (making public 
expenditures transparent. The conclusions and recommendations 
emphasized the need:

* to use the services of technical experts in these audits;

* to focus not only on compliance with laws and regulations, but also 
on the instruments that guide overall planning for public works and on 
protection for the environment; and:

* to rigorously combat any acts of corruption that these audits 

Theme II: Auditing Information Systems:

For this theme, Colombia was the coordinator, Cuba was the moderator, 
and Venezuela was the rapporteur. The presenters emphasized the new 
challenges created by rapidly changing technology and increasing 
interdependence in the e-government age. Conclusions and 
recommendations included the following:

* SAIs should promote development and investigative activities and an 
ongoing revision of audit methodology because SAIs still lack 
experience in this subject matter.

* Auditors should modernize their approaches and use of information 
technology tools in their work as the SAIs of the future will be based 
on computerized tools.

* SAIs should consider the use of international standards to prevent 
fraud in government systems.

Theme III: Strengthening SAIs: Experiences and Proposals for Action:

For this theme, Costa was the coordinator, Ecuador was the moderator, 
and Bolivia was the rapporteur. The conclusions and recommendations 
included the following:

* SAIs should actively participate in the revision of their legislative 
mandates to ensure that any changes made correspond to the demands of 
society and strengthen the SAIs' independence.

* SAI modernization processes should be accompanied by improvements in 
the management of the entities that are audited.

* SAIs should assume a proactive role in strengthening internal control 
in the public sector to help achieve the objectives of public 

Administrative Issues:

During the general business session on the last day of the assembly, a 
new president and secretariat of OLACEFS were elected, in accordance 
with changes approved at the 2001 General Assembly. Venezuela was 
elected to the presidency of OLACEFS for a 2-year term. Dr. Clodosbaldo 
Russián, Comptroller General of Venezuela, is the new president of 
OLACEFS. Also, Panama was elected to a 6-year term as the Secretariat 
of OLACEFS. Cuba, where INTOSAI was first established in 1953, was 
named as the site of the OLACEFS assembly in 2003, the 50th anniversary 

Other Activities:

Following the completion of the General Assembly, delegates and invited 
guests toured the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán, on the outskirts of 
Mexico City.

For more information, contact the:

OLACEFS General Secretariat,

c/o Contraloría General,

Av. Balboa y Av. Federico Boyt, Apartado 5213, Zona 5, Ciudad de 
Panama; telephone: ++ 507 264 00 59;

fax: ++507 269 00 94;

email: [Hyperlink,]; 

Internet: [Hyperlink,]. 

18th Commonwealth Auditors General Conference:

By Alberta Ellison, Assistant Editor, International Journal of 
Government Auditing:

From October 7-9, 2002, auditors general from Commonwealth countries 
met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for discussions on reengineering 
auditing in the public sector. The delegates represented Antigua and 
Barbados, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, 
Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Gambia, 
Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, 
Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, 
Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, 
Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Other conference 
participants included observers from the INTOSAI Secretariat (Austria) 
and this Journal.

Opening Ceremony:

The Auditor General of Malaysia, Y.Bhg. Datuk Dr. Hadenan bin Abdul 
Jalil, officially opened the conference on Monday morning. In his 
address, he pointed out that the role of auditors in the public sector 
has, in many instances, been taken for granted. Auditors are expected 
to be the "watchdogs" and guardians of those responsible for managing 
public funds. Auditors examine and review all financial transactions, 
which enables them to determine whether public sector management has 
taken sufficient actions to ensure that government funds are used 
economically, efficiently, and effectively and in conformity with rules 
and regulations. This traditional role will continue to be the chief 
responsibility of public auditors. Discussions:

Discussions at the conference focused on the following three themes:

Theme I: Privatization of State Activities: (Presenter: Australia; 
Chairperson: Malaysia; Panelists: Canada, Zimbabwe, and Malaysia).

This theme focused on the development of the SAIs' role in protecting 
the public interest and providing an objective assessment of the 
government's administration in the hands of the private sector. It was 
agreed that SAIs face many common issues and problems in auditing 
privatized projects. The issues identified included (1) the legal 
aspects SAIs face in carry out audits on privatized projects, (2) the 
accounting methods adopted by the implementing agency on the projects, 
(3) the SAI's decision on whether to carry out pre-and/or post-audit on 
the projects, (4) whether due consideration was given to the interests 
of the public and workers on the privatized projects, (5) a lack of 
skills to perform the audit effectively, (6) whether the SAI is given 
full access to records of privatized projects, and (7) the SAI's 
involvement in planning government policies and in the decision-making 

Several areas of concern were identified and discussed, including a 
lack of detailed analysis on the viability of projects before final 
decisions were made; wrong choice of the company undertaking the 
privatization projects; privatized projects not being properly 
monitored by the government agencies; the objectives of privatization 
not being achieved; and weaknesses in the privatization agreements 
between the government and the related parties.

Theme II: Role of SAIs in Transition from Cash-to Accrual-Based 
Reporting (Presenter: New Zealand; Chairperson: Ghana; Panelists: South 
Africa, Mauritius, and a representative from Pricewaterhouse Coopers):

The SAIs agreed on the following points: (1) accrual accounting will 
ensure better quality and more informative financial reports to end-
users, (2) a change in the accounting system should include legislative 
deliberation to ensure a more positive and serious commitment among 
auditees, (3) guiding principles are needed before SAIs have any 
involvement in this process of change, (4) trained and experienced 
audit personnel are needed in an accrual-based environment, and (5) 
there are difficulties in valuing assets and a consistent system should 
be implemented.

In addition, it was noted that accounting reforms are highly unlikely 
without strong political support and political will. In conclusion, the 
panel determined that (1) accounting bodies in developing countries 
should play an active role in the process of accounting reforms, (2) 
financial implications should be considered in any decision to move 
towards accrual accounts, and (3) guidelines should be issued to assist 
SAIs in discharging their role in managing this change.

Theme III: SAIs' Involvement in Systems Development: Opportunities and 
Risks (Presenter: the United Kingdom; Chairperson: Sri Lanka; 
Panelists: Canada, India, and a representative from the Malaysian 
Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit):

Theme III focused on management weaknesses that lead to the failure of 
government IT projects. Discussions concluded that SAIs need to take a 
more proactive approach in the audit of IT projects. This gives the SAI 
an opportunity to add value to the audit process and provide quality 
assurance for various phases of the project. Most SAIs believe that 
involvement in the audit of system development can only be carried out 
if sufficiently trained staff are available, as such audits involve 
complex planning, major coordination efforts, and specialized project 


The Auditor General of Malaysia closed the conference by emphasizing 
the following key issues related to the three themes.

* Although there are differing views on the role of SAIs in auditing 
privatized public services, these audits are still necessary and 
auditors should report objectively without compromising their 

* Few agencies are able to move from cash to accrual accounting. 
Governments still have reservations about the transition to accrual 
accounting because of factors relating to cost, legislation, and 

* For IT audits, auditors need to upgrade their knowledge and skills 
and also reengineer their auditing methodology in view of the changing 
IT environment. In addition, the Auditor General of Malaysia noted that 
SAIs in Commonwealth countries need to determine whether they will 
maintain their traditional roles or move to more proactive roles as 
advisors to the public sector.

For more information about the conference, contact the:

Office of the Auditor General of Malaysia,

Level 9, Block D2, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Malaysia - 
62502 Putrajaya:


Audit Profile: The State Audit Office of Burkina Faso:

By Marie Andree Kabore, State Auditor, Inspection d'Etat,

Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta, is a landlocked West African 
country bordered by Mali to the north; Niger to the northeast; and 
Benin, Togo, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast to the south. Formerly a French 
colony, Burkina Faso has been independent since 1960.

History of the State Audit Office:

The State Audit Office (Inspection Générale d'Etat or IGE) is Burkina 
Faso's supreme audit institution. Two institutions preceded it: the 
General Financial Inspection Service, which still exists, and the 
General Inspection Service of Administrative Affairs, which no longer 
exists. In November 1988, a new supreme auditing structure, the General 
Commissariat for State Auditing, was created. The 1991 constitution and 
May 1993 implementing legislation created the IGE and placed it under 
the authority of the Prime Minister.


Although the IGE is under the Prime Minister's authority, the State 
Auditors are independent in relation to the administrations, services, 
and other entities that they audit. The auditors are free to evaluate 
the facts they examine and draw their own conclusions.


By law, the State Audit Office is charged with:

* auditing all the public state services, local government bodies, 
corporations, and all nationalbodies with a public service mandate in 
order to ensure that they comply with the laws and instruments which 
govern their administrative, financial, and accounting operations;

* examining the quality of operations and management of the 
abovementioned services;

* auditing the utilization of public funds and the legality of the 
operations of administrators, officers, accountants, and controllers of 
funds and materials; and:

* recommending measures to raise the quality of public administration.

A May 1995 decree granted the State Auditor General and the State 
Auditors the legal authority to perform these duties and also requires 
them to adhere to certain ethical standards.


To fulfill its duties, the IGE has a cabinet with its own secretariat; 
a documentation, IT, and communications service; and a protocol office. 
In addition, the Secretariat General is charged with administration and 
technical coordination of the IGE's departments. Its duties include:

* preparing the IGE's annual program of activities;

* maintaining cooperative relationships with the auditing offices of 
the ministerial departments;

* ensuring the continual professional development of State Auditors; 

* preparing the annual report of activities.

Also, there are three technical directorates: Administration and Public 
Finances; Public and Parastatal Enterprises, and Mixed Enterprises; and 
Projects, Programs and Nongovernmental Organizations. Within its area, 
each directorate is responsible for:

* initiating investigations as soon as an irregularity in the 
management of public goods is identified;

* whenever appropriate, ordering the implementation of all preventive 
and protective measures considered to be necessary; and:

* cooperating with the judicial authorities to prevent the appearance 
of impropriety in the management of public funds or of goods and 
materials acquired with public funds. The Directorate of Administrative 
and Financial Affairs is responsible for IGE's administrative and 
financial management.


The State Audit Office of Burkina Faso has a staff of 50, 20 of whom 
are State Auditors. The selection criteria for State Auditors include 
probity, physical well being, intellectual aptitude, and professional 
experience (at least 10 years in public administration).

The office is currently under the leadership of State Auditor General 
Leopold Andre Joseph Ouedraogo. Three Auditors General have preceded 
him since the office was set up in November 1988: Etienne Traore, 
Arzouma Alphonse Ouedraogo, and Laurent Emmanuel Salembere.

At the General Assembly of AFROSAI in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 
October 1999, Mr. Ouedraogo assumed the presidency of the organization 
and its governing board for 3 years. Burkina Faso has also been a 
member of the INTOSAI Governing Board since the last INCOSAI in Seoul, 
Korea, in October 2001.

Reports Issued:

The Auditor General addresses periodic reports and an annual general 
report to the Prime Minister, who then informs him of action taken on 
the recommendations in the reports. Since its inception, the State 
Audit Office has produced 135 reports, an average of 15 a year. Also, 
all general and technical auditing offices of ministerial departments 
and institutions are obliged to send copies of their reports to the 
State Audit Office.

Outlook for the Future:

The State Audit Office has set the following goals for the future:

* review the law and all the statutory instruments governing the State 
Audit Office "in order to align it with domestic realities and within 
the international context, in other words, to broaden the scope of the 

* implement the recommendations in the government's "Plan of Action to 
Strengthen Management of Budgetary Expenditure 2002-2004"; and:

* bring online electronic networking for the entire office.

Initiatives to this end have been taken in agreement with the Ministry 
of the Economy and Finance, in order to:

* promote and ensure access to audit reports within the limits accorded 
by the legislation;

* make more effective ex post audits of the management of grants to 
statutory administrations;

* revise the legislative acts governing the State Audit Office in order 
to give it responsibility for combating corruption;

* ensure the proper functioning of the committee responsible for 
monitoring the follow-up of recommendations of the State Audit Office 
and the dissemination of its work;

* institutionalize the establishment of an annual report of activities 
of the State Audit Office for the Prime Minister; and:

* strengthen the State Audit Office's relationship with each ministry's 
internal auditor (known as the General Auditing of Finances and the 
Technical Auditing of the Ministries).

For additional information, contact:

Inspection Générale d'Etat,

01 B.P. 617, Ouagadougou 01, Burkina Faso;

tel: ++226 30 10 91;

fax: ++226 30 57 04.

Reports in Print:

Journal readers may find two new publications by The Institute on 
Internal Auditors very useful. Performance Auditing: A Measurement 
Approach by Ronell Raaum and Stephen Morgan offers new insights into 
the characteristics of performance auditing by answering the questions-
-What is it? How is it useful to citizens and taxpayers? How do you do 
it? Chapters 1 through 6 provide helpful information for those who are 
teaching the basic principles of performance auditing or establishing a 
performance audit function in a government organization. Chapters 5 
through 18 would be useful for those developing onthe-job training 
programs for performance audit shops, those performing less formal 
coaching for new hires assigned to a performance audit team, and anyone 
new to performance auditing. Chapters 19 through 24 would be helpful to 
those learning to write, review, or use audit reports, as well as those 
looking to enhance their reports.

Many auditors consider writing audit reports to be the toughest part of 
their job. Even skilled writers can find it difficult to convert field 
audit results into timely and effective written reports. Likewise, 
overseeing the process of creating and editing reports can be a 
struggle for audit directors and managers. Designing and Writing 
Message-based Audit Reports, by Sally F. Cutler, is a thoughtful, up-
todate review that most auditors should find helpful. For example, the 
publication offers an introductory chapter that analyzes eight 
different audiences for audit reports and discusses their different 
needs and expectations. Other chapters cover key areas such as the 
reporting process, writing quality, strategies for reviewing and 
editing reports, multimedia reporting, and consulting reports. Both 
publications are available through The Institute of Internal Auditors, 
Inc. by telephone at 1-877-867-4957 within the U.S. and 1+770+442+8633, 
ext. 275, outside the U.S.; e-mail:; or Internet at: 

As part of its ongoing program to strengthen public sector financial 
reporting and contribute to increased transparency by governments 
worldwide, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Public 
Sector Committee has released two new International Public Sector 
Accounting Standards (IPSAS 19 and 20). IPSAS 19 - Provisions, 
Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets, defines provisions, 
liabilities and assets and sets out criteria for the recognition and 
disclosure of provisions, and rules for measuring those provisions. 
This standard excludes from its scope provisions and contingent 
liabilities arising from social benefits such as age pensions, child 
benefits, and disaster relief. IPSAS 20 --Related Party Disclosures, 
requires entities to disclose the existence of related party 
relationships where control exists and information about transactions 
between the entity and its related parties that occur outside the 
normal supplier or client/recipient relationship. It also requires 
disclosure of certain transactions with key management personnel and 
their close family members. Both standards are posted on the IFAC Web 
site ( and can be downloaded at no charge. Journal readers 
may also obtain a hard copy of the two standards by contacting the 
International Federation of Accountants, 535 Fifth Avenue, 26th Floor, 
New York, New York 10017, USA.

The Department of the Auditor-General of Pakistan has published its 
edition of the journal PERFORMIT, Vol. XXI, No. 4. PERFORMIT is devoted 
to the advancement of financial and performance auditing in the public 
sector, performance evaluation, government accounting, public 
financial management, and other related disciplines. The current issue 
includes articles on the following topics: "Entering the 21st Century: 
Institutional Strengthening of the Department of the Auditor-General of 
Pakistan," "Performance of the Administration Wing," "Fighting 
Corruption: The Role of the Government Auditor," "Significance of 
Accounting Reform for Public Expenditure Management," and "Audit of 
Consultancies." PERFORMIT is published quarterly and can be obtained 
from the Director General, Performance Audit Wing, Department of the 
Auditor-General of Pakistan, PT&T Audit Building, Mauj-e-Darya Road, 
Lahore-54550 Pakistan (telephone: ++92-42-9212044).

A new OECD report finds that engaging citizens in policy-making is an 
investment in good governance, helping to build public trust in 
government and to strengthen civic capacity--as long as governments 
know exactly what they are inviting their citizens to do and why. 
Citizens as Partners: Information, Consultation and Public 
Participation in Policy-Making, examines government efforts to engage 
citizens in decisionmaking and respond to new demands for greater 
government transparency, accountability, and openness by expanding 
citizen access to information as well as opportunities for consultation 
and active participation in policy-making. The report provides a wide 
range of country experiences, identifies examples of good practice and 
highlights innovative approaches in OECD countries, including the use 
of new information and communication technologies. Another OECD report, 
Engaging Citizens in Policy-making: Information, Consultation and 
Public Participation, is a unique source of comparative information on 
measures for strengthening citizen access to information, consultation, 
and participation in policy-making. The publication offers an overall 
framework within which to examine a wide range of country experiences, 
identify examples of best practices, and highlight innovative 
approaches. Both reports can be obtained by contacting PUMA/OECD 2, rue 
Andre-Pascal 75775 Paris Cedex 16 France (fax: +33-1-


Governing Board Charts Dynamic Course at 50th Meeting:

Governing Board members in Vienna:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

INTOSAI's Governing Board convened in Vienna, Austria, for its 50th 
meeting and took a number of decisions to position INTOSAI to 
effectively address the many challenges facing the organization and its 
member SAIs. The following Board member countries engaged in lively 
discussion and debate during the 2-day meeting on October 16-17, 2002: 
Korea (chairman), Hungary (first vice-chairman), Saudi Arabia (second 
vice-chairman), Austria (general secretary), Antigua and Barbuda, 
Brazil, Burkina Faso, Egypt, India, Japan, Norway, Peru, Portugal, 
Tonga, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Joining in as 
observers and reporting on their committees' progress were the SAIs of 
Canada, Sweden, Mexico, France and Belgium; the European Court of 
Auditors also sent three observers.

Among the Many Important Decisions Taken by the Board:

1. Admission of the newly created SAI of Cambodia as INTOSAI's newest 
member, bringing total worldwide membership to 185 countries.

2. Creation of a task force on money laundering that will explore the 
SAI's role in helping prevent and detect money laundering on an 
international basis. The first meeting of the task force--which was 
initially proposed by the auditor general of Russia at the 2002 Seoul 
INTOSAI congress--is tentatively scheduled to be held in St. 
Petersburg, Russia, in late July 2003.

3. Elimination of the US $5 subscription fee for the International 
Journal of Government Auditing and the introduction of electronic 
distribution of the Journal as a way to more efficiently reach a wider 
audience. The Journal will continue to be printed and distributed in 
hard copy as well.

4. Selection of themes for the 2004 INTOSAI congress to be held in 
Budapest. Theme I will address the subject of bilateral and 
multilateral cooperation among SAIs in the areas of joint audits, 
training and capacity building, and knowledge sharing; theme chair is 
the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom. Theme II will address 
the subject of coordination of audit efforts among national, regional, 
local and self-governing bodies; theme chair is the Office of the 
Auditor General of Canada.

5. Acceptance of Mexico's offer to host the 2007 congress.

6. Endorsement of the auditing standards committee's proposal to engage 
with the International Federation of Accountants work in revising 
international auditing standards and to solicit funding from the World 
Bank to support this work. As the Journal goes to press, indications 
are that the Bank is inclined to provide funding for the committee's 

7. Adoption of the Strategic Planning Task Force report including the 
proposed INTOSAI strategic planning framework.

Full reports on INTOSAI's numerous committees, task forces and other 
programs are available by contacting the relevant SAI chairs or the 
General Secretariat:

* Audit Standards: National Audit Office of Sweden,

* Accounting: U.S. General Accounting Office,

* Internal Control: Court of Account of Belgium,

* Public Debt: National Audit Office of Mexico,

* IT Audit: Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India,

* Program Evaluation: Court of Accounts of France,

* Environmental Audit: Office of the Auditor General of Canada,

* Privatization: National Audit Office of the U.K.,

* INTOSAI Development Initiative/IDI:

* International Journal of Government Auditing:

* Independence subcommittee: Office of the Auditor General of Canada 
(see above):

* International Organizations Task Force: Office of the Auditor General 
of Norway,

* Strategic Planning Task Force: U.S. General Accounting Office,

* INTOSAI General Secretariat:

* 2004 INTOSAI Congress host/Hungary,

In addition, more detailed information on new developments related to 
INTOSAI's auditing standards collaboration with the International 
Federation of Accountants and INTOSAI's strategic planning framework 
are highlighted below. Comments on the strategic planning framework are 
being solicited from SAIs and other interested parties; comments should 
be sent by e-mail to or by fax 1-202-512-4021 no later 
than March 1, 2003.

Update on INTOSAI Auditing Standards:

During the INTOSAI Governing Board meeting held in Vienna in October 
2002, the Auditing Standards Committee (ASC) presented the progress it 
has made on the tasks assigned to it at the XVII INCOSAI in Seoul. 
Until 2004, the ASC's primary projects are to:

* develop Implementation Guidelines for Performance Audit (an exposure 
draft was sent to all INTOSAI members in December, and the guidelines 
are posted on the Web sites of INTOSAI and the Swedish National Audit 

* conduct a survey in 2003 in cooperation with the Subcommittee on 

* develop a web-based bibliography;

* create an ASC Web site; and:

* develop Implementation Guidelines for Financial Audit.

Development of Financial Audit Guidelines:

In accordance with mandates received at the Montevideo and Seoul 
INCOSAIs (in 1998 and 2001, respectively), the ASC is to implement and 
lead the work of producing guidelines for financial auditing that will 
provide in-depth guidance on the INTOSAI Auditing Standards. These 
guidelines will add a fourth level to the existing hierarchy of INTOSAI 
standards (the Lima Declaration, the Code of Ethics, and the Auditing 
Standards). The International Federation of Accountants' (IFAC) 
existing internationally accepted standards (ISA) are to be used in the 

With the aid of experts from SAIs (both from the ASC and INTOSAI at 
large), the ASC is to participate in the work of IFAC's International 
Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and its working groups 
to help ensure that to the greatest extent possible, the standards 
being developed there take into consideration the specific conditions 
of public sector audits. When necessary, the ASC is to produce practice 
notes to clarify how the ISA can be applied in the public sector. The 
ASC is also to write new guidelines in areas not covered by IFAC. An 
INTOSAI guideline will consist of the ISA and the practice note or a 
new guideline written by the ASC.

Project Structure:

The Governing Board approved the ASC's proposal for a work plan and 
project structure to implement guidelines for financial audit. The ASC 
is currently working on setting up the project structure, which will 
include: a Working Group, a Project Secretariat and a Reference Panel.

The Swedish National Audit Office leads the working group, whose other 
members are the SAIs in Austria, Canada, Cameroon, Namibia, Norway, the 
United Kingdom and the United States. The working group is to produce 
proposals for guidelines on the ASC's behalf.

The reference panel will consist of 25-30 experts from INTOSAI's member 
organizations who will contribute professional expertise and safeguard 
the public sector perspective in IFAC's working groups. The ASC will 
contact INTOSAI members during the coming year to ask some SAIs to make 
experts available to participate in this work.

To provide support for the working group, its chairman has appointed a 
Project Director--Ms. Karin Holmerin, Audit Director in the Swedish 
National Audit Office and a Certified Accountant--who, together with 
other staff members, forms a project secretariat. This secretariat 
works on behalf of the working group chairman and is responsible for 
the practical coordination and preparation of the work in the working 
group and the reference panel.

Future Work:

IFAC is reviewing existing ISAs, as well as writing new ones as needed. 
Exposure drafts are published on the IFAC web site: h [Hyperlink,] ttp://

Based on IFAC's current work plan, the ASC Working Group will 
prioritize the appropriate IFAC working groups to participate in and 
contribute to.

The ASC hopes to report on the first guidelines for the Governing 
Board's approval in October 2003 and will ask that INCOSAI endorse 
those guidelines by 2004.

IDI Update:

IDI Update keeps you informed of developments in the work and programs 
of the INTOSAI Development Initiative. To find out more about IDI and 
to keep up to date between editions of the Journal, look at the IDI 
website: [Hyperlink,].

This month's IDI Update is devoted to Goal 3 of IDI's Strategic Plan: 
"to cooperate with INTOSAI Standing Committees and Working Groups.":


INTOSAI's Working Groups and Standing Committees are responsible for 
some major outputs on key strategic issues relevant to the work of SAIs 
around the world. But the task of turning this output into effective 
auditing practice and techniques is not always straightforward. IDI has 
a mandate from SAIs in developing and emerging countries to work with 
the Standing Committees and Working Groups to address this need through 
effective training. How is IDI going about this? Read on.

Environmental Auditing:

The closest cooperation to date has been with the INTOSAI Working Group 
on Environmental Auditing (WGEA). The WGEA and IDI started to discuss 
an outline plan for cooperation in July 2002. Most recently, a 
curriculum meeting took place in Oslo in November 2002, bringing 
together experienced members of the Working Group (from Canada, China, 
Costa Rica, Jordan, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Kingdom 
and the United States) with IDI and an IDI Training Specialist from 

The purpose of the curriculum meeting was to reach agreement on the 
core curriculum of an environmental auditing training program. The 
results of the meeting, and the planned way forward, will be put to the 
Working Group at its annual meeting in Costa Rica in January 2003. Upon 
approval, it is expected that an environmental audit seminar will be 
given to the proposed instructor team (taken from the pool of training 
specialists in ASOSAI, AFROSAI, and SPASAI), following which a design 
meeting will finalize the content and methodology of the course. The 
current proposal is for a pilot delivery in 2003 in ASOSAI. IDI would 
then become involved in translating the course materials into Arabic, 
French, and Spanish and regionalizing the content so that it can be 
delivered in other regions. Public Debt:

Cooperation with the Public Debt Committee (PDC), chaired by the SAI of 
Mexico, is being undertaken using a somewhat different approach. 
Following a planning meeting with the PDC and the OLACEFS Regional 
Training Committee (RTC) in Ottawa, Canada, in December 2002, the 
adopted strategy is to develop and deliver a 5-week capacity building 
program aimed at training public debt audit trainers in the OLACEFS 
region, with 24 participants from 12 SAIs in attendance. Following this 
program, selected participants will design and deliver a 2-week Public 
Debt Regional Audit Workshop to auditors from all SAIs in the OLACEFS 
region. After the course has been refined, it will be made available on 
CD-ROM to SAIs in the region, and IDI will then become involved in 
helping to translate and distribute it to other regions.

Audits of Privatization:

Privatization of state-owned assets is a global phenomenon, and one 
that SAIs need to be very aware of. IDI has been planning informally 
with the Working Group on the Audit of Privatisation (WGAP), chaired by 
the U.K. National Audit Office, to develop a methodology for 
propagating its well-regarded guidelines.

ASOSAI recently held a combined Course Design and Instructional 
Techniques Workshop (CDITW) in Bangkok, Thailand, that added another 32 
training specialists for the region. In addition, ASOSAI decided to 
develop an Audit of Privatization course as part of the CDITW. IDI and 
the Working Group provided a subject matter expert to help in the 
development of the course, which is to be finalized and delivered in 
the region in 2003. The Working Group and IDI will then review the 
course and decide on appropriate action, which might be translation and 
dissemination or further work on developing a world-class course.

Information Technology Audit:

The INTOSAI Information Technology (IT) Audit Committee is of necessity 
an active one. IT audit is one of the fastest-changing environments 
that auditors have to face, and a lack of up-to-date knowledge can be 
potentially damaging to the effectiveness of an SAI's work. IDI's 
cooperation with the IT Audit Committee is based upon courseware 
developed by the Committee; IDI will assist in its promotion and 
distribution. An "Introduction to IT Audit" course was developed in 
ASOSAI and delivered for the first time in New Delhi, India, in March 
2002. IDI supported the development of the courseware and the 
distribution of course documentation (available on CD-ROM).

At the Committee's December 2002 annual meeting, it was agreed that IDI 
would ensure that the ASOSAI course would be made available to SAIs on 

Contacting IDI:

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this edition 
of IDI Update, please contact IDI by telephone at ++47 22 24 13 49 or 
by email at [Hyperlink,].

Training in OLACEFS:

From November 18-29, 2002, OLACEFS sponsored a newly developed regional 
training course in performance auditing in La Paz, Bolivia. A total of 
26 participants from 7 SAIs attended. This was the first course to be 
offered under OLACEFS' joint technical assistance training project with 
IDI, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the U.S. General 
Accounting Office. OLACEFS training specialists from several different 
countries developed the course, with technical assistance from IDI and 
a GAO subject matter expert. A team of regional training specialists 
from several different countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Costa Rica, and the 
United States) delivered the course, which will be offered a second 
time in February 2003 in Panama. IDB is providing funding for this 3-
year capacity-building project.

[End of section]


[See PDF for image]

Editor's Note: This calendar is published in support of INTOSAI's 
communications strategy and as a way of helping INTOSAI members plan 
and coordinate schedules. Included in this regular Journal feature will 
be INTOSAI-wide events and region-wide events such as congresses, 
general assemblies, and Board meetings. Because of limited space, the 
many training courses and other professional meetings offered by the 
regions cannot be included. For additional information, contact the 
Secretary General of each regional working group.

[End of figure]


[1] SIGMA is a joint initiative of the OECD and the European Commission 
and is funded primarily by the Commission. Please contact Nick Treen at for further information on SIGMA's work with