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International Journal of Government Auditing-July 2003

INTOSAI: 50 Years of Cooperation between SAIs:

SIR JOHN BOURN:

COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE OF THE UNITED 
KINGDOM:

This year, INTOSAI celebrates its 50th anniversary. It has grown from a 
small group of 34 supreme audit institutions (SAIs) that met in Cuba in 
1953 to become the voice of the worldwide SAI community. Its nearly 190 
members represent a wide spectrum of audit institutions working in many 
different ways to provide their parliaments and citizens with an 
effective audit of public finances. INTOSAI, as an apolitical 
international institution working for the mutual exchange of ideas on 
best practice, is without parallel anywhere else in the public sector.

So how and why has this happened? The simple answer is that INTOSAI has 
grown organically because its members and, in particular, the heads of 
SAIs place great value on the opportunity to meet their international 
colleagues to discuss matters of mutual concern. It is appropriate, 
therefore, that the XVIII INCOSAI in Budapest in 2004 will examine the 
possibilities for enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation. It 
is a particular honour that the United Kingdom National Audit Office 
has been asked to prepare the principal paper on this important 
subject.

Recent years have seen a substantial growth in bilateral and 
multilateral cooperation among SAIs. Increasingly, SAIs recognise the 
need to learn from each other if they are to keep pace with the rapid 
changes in public sector management, accounting and auditing standards, 
and expectations of the role of public auditors. Many formal and 
informal structures have been developed by SAIs to identify and 
promote good practice and to tackle issues that cross national 
boundaries. More recently, there has also been a growing recognition 
of the benefits of helping developing and transitional SAIs to 
modernise. 

In upholding its motto that mutual experience benefits all, INTOSAI 
has been at the heart of these developments and has sought to 
encourage and support cooperation among members. Through its 
congresses, standing committees, working groups, task forces, 
meetings, and seminars, it has worked to facilitate the effective 
transfer of knowledge among SAIs. Over the last 15 years, through its 
support for the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), INTOSAI has 
launched a major professional development initiative to build training 
capacity across SAIs. 

Why and How Do We Cooperate? 

There are perhaps three distinct drivers for multilateral and 
bilateral cooperation among SAIs. These are the need to 

* promote accountability and good governance, 

* promote good practice, and 

* support institutional capacity building. 

Cooperation to Promote Accountability: 

One consequence of globalisation is the significant 
increase in the joint working between nations through international 
treaties and cooperation projects to achieve common ends for the 
benefit of the citizens of their countries. International treaties may 
involve significant shifts of responsibility from national governments 
to international institutions--for example, the move towards a closer 
European Union by many countries in Europe and the creation of Mercosur 
in Latin America. International multilateral or bilateral projects, 
such as the building of dams or the development of new defence 
equipment, often result in the establishment of new cooperative 
management structures that require a similarly joined-up audit. 
International treaties also generate additional national 
responsibilities and duties (for example, treaties relating to 
environmental issues), which SAIs may be called upon to examine. 
Multilateral and bilateral cooperation is a natural consequence of the 
need to hold national governments to account for policies that can only 
in practice be implemented internationally. 

Where international 
treaties involve a significant transfer of national sovereignty to an 
unstructured institution such as the European Union, there are usually 
well-defined structures for the involvement of SAIs. There are also 
well established guidelines for the audit of the entities of the United 
Nations system by the community of SAIs. The XVII INCOSAI in Seoul in 
2001 established a working group to examine the audit arrangements for 
other international institutions with less well-defined auditing 
arrangements. Many SAIs also work together on audits related to common 
areas of interest that cross national boundaries--for example, 
infrastructure projects, customs, immigration, and development or 
environmental issues. This cooperation takes many different forms, and 
it is increasingly recognised that good accountability arrangements and 
the involvement of SAIs builds trust in international cooperation. 

Cooperation to Promote Good Practice:

SAIs also cooperate to learn about how others deal with similar 
problems and issues. Ideas on good governance, accountability, and 
management of public resources move rapidly among nations and across 
continents. These changes call for SAIs to respond quickly to new audit 
approaches and techniques. Where some SAIs have found ways of auditing 
a new initiative, such as privatisations of public enterprises, then 
that experience can be made available to other countries tackling the 
same issues. This does not mean that one country must always copy a 
model or an approach developed elsewhere, but countries should be aware 
of such models, critically examine them and adapt them, if relevant, to 
their own circumstances.

Across the SAI community, there are regular programmes of formal high-
level bilateral visits as well as less formal professional exchanges. 
There is also a significant volume of staff exchanges. Staff exchanges 
provide an opportunity for both the recipient and the provider to learn 
from first-hand practical experience of each other's approaches and 
methods. There are telephone and e-mail exchanges between staff working 
on similar audits. Reports and other publications are regularly shared 
via Web sites and mail. In many ways, these exchanges are the bedrock 
of multilateral and bilateral cooperation. Good communication is the 
foundation for mutual trust, respect, and understanding of the 
cultural, political, and administrative differences between SAIs and is 
an essential pre-condition for effective cooperation.

SAIs use many different formal ways to identify and promote good 
practice. First and foremost are the committee, working group, and task 
force structures established within the framework of INTOSAI both 
internationally and regionally. The committees and working groups 
provide a range of good practice guidance as well as an opportunity for 
SAIs with similar objectives and needs to meet regularly to share 
practical experiences in a particular area of work.

Cooperation to Support Institutional Capacity Building:

Cooperation is also driven by the desire to help build capacity across 
the SAI community. SAIs have a responsibility to find constructive and 
culturally appropriate ways of cooperating to help build capacity and 
establish, or reestablish, effective SAIs in those countries that wish 
to develop their systems of public accountability. Major donor 
institutions increasingly recognize the contribution sound public audit 
can make to good governance and accountability and the importance of 
modernising audit institutions.

This is a challenge that individual SAIs are unlikely to be able to 
meet alone. However, by pooling knowledge and expertise, SAIs can 
improve the services they provide to their communities and governments 
Across the SAI community, there is a vast appetite to modernise. Audit 
institutions want to upgrade their audit practices to provide their 
parliaments, governments, and citizens with better, more useful 
information.

INTOSAI has a clear strategy related to the worldwide development of 
training capacity through IDI. However, a further challenge is to 
ensure that the skills and knowledge acquired during training are being 
applied.

Capacity building projects are longer term arrangements aimed at 
helping an SAI develop and modernise. Such projects are likely to 
engage with most aspects of running a modern audit institution, 
including strategic planning, resource management, procurement, human 
resource development, public relations, and training and support in 
conducting modern financial and performance audits. These major 
projects tend to be funded by grants from the European Commission and 
national development agencies or by loans provided by the World Bank 
and other development banks. Currently, there are not good practice 
guidelines on how to take such work forward. 

As an organization, INTOSAI must be flexible and develop to meet the 
evolving needs of its members. It is, I think, essential that we 
retain the key characteristics of inclusiveness, cooperation, and 
openness that allow the organisation to respond to the real world in 
which its members live. We must be careful not to presume that "one 
size" really does fit all: to assume that what works well in one 
country or in one type of audit institution will do so in another is 
presumptuous. In reality, it is the very diversity of the ways in 
which SAIs tackle similar problems that provides the inspiration for 
changes within our own institutions. For the past 50 years, mutual 
experience really has benefited all the members of INTOSAI. We must 
work hard to ensure that the next 50 years are equally successful. I 
am sure that we will. 

[End of section]

NEWS IN BRIEF: 

Brazil:

New Initiatives and Compliance Guide for the Court of Audit:

Mr. Valmir Campelo, the new President of the Tribunal de Contas da 
União (TCU), the Brazilian Court of Audit, has detailed his plans for 
the institution. He stated that "among the many initiatives that I 
intend to implement in order to ensure the proper management of federal 
public resources and the constant fight against corruption and waste of 
public resources, there are three measures that will be carried out 
immediately.":

The first measure will be to consolidate the TCU's relationship with 
Brazilian society, the Congress, public agencies, and the media to 
increase the exchange of information supporting external control. The 
second measure is to improve social control by providing more 
information to citizens regarding public management and by encouraging 
citizens to report irregularities. The third measure is improving the 
use of information technology, which will enable the TCU to perform 
more timely and productive audits.

Mr. Campelo has also approved the Compliance Audit Guide, which is 
designed to improve the performance of technical staff by basing their 
work on international standards. The procedures and roles defined in 
the guide will help audit teams structure the planning, execution, and 
drafting of reports logically and efficiently in order to optimize 
results and reduce the time it takes to close cases. To this end, the 
TCU adopted the basic principles and general standards defined by 
INTOSAI, as well as standards adopted and disseminated by the Project 
of Professional Development in Audit.

Among other standards, the guide defines the roles of audit supervisor 
and coordinator, the steps to be taken in the planning stage, the 
structure of the audit findings, and essential requirements for the 
report. In addition, the guide calls for implementing a system to 
control audit quality that is based on evaluating compliance with 
official standards by different internal agents involved in the 
process.

To maintain the TCU's strategy of employee appreciation and investment 
in the quality of services, Mr. Campelo has approved capacity building 
training for all auditors and external control technicians involved in 
compliance audits so that they can familiarize themselves with the new 
standards and procedures.

The Compliance Audit Guide and training are additional measures to 
further the development of audit professionals. Following the example 
of excellence that has been achieved 
and recognized in program evaluation, compliance audits will now aim 
for superior quality by applying a methodology that is compatible with 
those used by the best supreme audit institutions and private audit 
firms. For more information, contact: Tribunal de Contas da União, CEP-
70042-900 Brasília D.F.; tel: ++55 (61) 316 - 7443, - 7626; fax: ++55 
(61) 316 - 7522; e-mail: arint@tcu.gov.br; or Web page: www.tcu.gov.br.

Canada:  

Auditor General Reports on Risk Management in Federal Government: 

According to a report tabled in the House of Commons by the 
Auditor General of Canada on April 8, 2003, Canada's federal government 
is still in the early stages of integrating risk management into the 
ongoing operations of all federal departments and agencies. Auditor 
General Sheila Fraser commended the government for adopting the 
Integrated Risk Management framework 2 years ago and urged the Treasury 
Board Secretariat to monitor departments' efforts more closely and 
provide more guidance and practical advice in order to keep the 
initiative from stalling. "The government must make many choices in its 
daily operations, despite uncertainty," said Ms. Fraser. "These choices 
have a significant impact on all Canadians. Good risk management can 
make the public service more effective and give Canadians better value 
for money by improving program management and service delivery." The 
report begins with a chapter on the government's progress in adopting 
measures under the Integrated Risk Management framework that the 
Treasury Board Secretariat adopted in April 2001. Subsequent chapters 
deal with issues that reflect how well departments are managing their 
particular risks. "These days, people are more aware of extraordinary 
risks, such as terrorism or threats to our health like SARS," said Ms. 
Fraser. "But managing risk means more than preparing for the worst; it 
also means taking advantage of opportunities to improve services or 
lower costs." The report, along with news releases for each chapter, is 
available on the Office of the Auditor General's Web site at www.oag-
bvg.gc.ca. The titles of the news releases for each chapter are as 
follows: 

* Chapter 1. Integrated Risk Management: Managing risk is 
fundamental to good government:  

* Chapter 2. Managing the Quality of Financial Information: New 
financial systems are not yet fully utilized: 
 
* Chapter 3. Canada's Strategy to Combat Money Laundering: Strategy to 
combat money laundering and terrorist financing faces many challenges:  

* Chapter 4. Correctional Service Canada - Reintegration of Women 
Offenders: Much has been accomplished but critical areas need to be 
addressed:  

* Chapter 5. Citizenship and Immigration Canada --Control and 
Enforcement: Citizenship and Immigration: Canada faces a growing 
backlog of removal orders and does not know how well its immigration 
border controls are working:  

* Chapter 6. Federal Government Support to First Nations--Housing on 
Reserves: Many First Nations are facing a critical housing shortage 
that is likely to worsen:  

* Chapter 7. 
National Defence--Environmental Stewardship of Military Training and 
Test Areas: Realistic military training and testing competes with 
environmental stewardship: 

For more information, contact Ms. Julie Hébert, Communications, by 
telephone at ++(613) 952-0213, ext. 6292, or by e-mail at 
communications@oag-bvg.gc.ca.

Estonia: 

New Auditor General: 

On February 25, 2003, the Riigikogu (the Parliament of 
Estonia) appointed Mr. Mihkel Oviir to be the Auditor General of 
Estonia. Mr. Oviir began his 5-year term on April 1, 2003, when he took 
the oath of office before the Riigikogu. Mr. Oviir has pointed out that 
establishing and maintaining good working relations between the State 
Audit Office and the Parliament, its committees, and the rest of the 
government is important in enhancing audit effectiveness. He plans to 
give major attention to improving internal control systems in the 
public sector and assisting in the development of the model of external 
audit of local governments. Mr. Oviir hopes to guarantee the efficiency 
of the State Audit Office through high-quality audits, professionalism, 
and staff dedication.

Mr. Oviir graduated in 1975, cum laude from the Faculty of Law of Tartu 
University. His career in public service began while he was attending 
the university with a position in the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Oviir 
worked at the ministry for 30 years; for the last 10 years, he served 
as the ministry's Secretary General. Before being appointed the Auditor 
General, Mr. Oviir served as the Deputy Legal Chancellor-Advisor of the 
Republic of Estonia.

In 2001, the President of the Republic awarded Mr. Oviir the III Class 
Order of the White Star.

For more information, contact: The State Audit Office, by telephone: 
++372-640-07-00, fax: ++372-661-60-12 or by email at: 
info@riigiKontroll.ee.
 
Iran: 

Second ECOSAI International Training Course Held:

From January 18-31, 2003, the Supreme Audit Court (SAC) of Iran hosted 
the second regional Training Course on Internal Controls sponsored by 
ECOSAI (the Economic Cooperation Organization of Supreme Audit 
Institutions). The course was held in Tehran with the participation of 
24 auditors from the SAIs of Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, and Iran. 
Mr. Seyed Kazem Mirvald, President of the SAC of Iran, welcomed the 
course participants at the opening session.

The topics addressed during the 2-week course included the following: 
management control systems, comprehensive auditing, internal controls, 
analytical auditing, risk analysis and internal control systems, the 
role of information technology, and relationships with nongovernmental 
entities. The participants also shared their experiences through class 
discussions on auditing public companies and comparisons of their 
respective mandates and the relationship of their SAIs with parliament. 
In addition, the participants had the opportunity to visit different 
historical, cultural, and economic centers in the area.

For additional information, contact: Supreme Audit Court, No. 99, 
Shahid Golabi, St. Karinkhan Zand Ave., Tehran, Iran; fax: ++98 (21) 
890 04 04; email: irisac@majlis.ir.

Saudi Arabia: 

General Auditing Bureau's Activities and New President: 

The General 
Auditing Bureau (GAB) has announced the appointment of a new President, 
His Excellency Mr. Osama Jaffer Faqeeh, whose term began May 7, 2003. 
The GAB has participated in a variety of meetings and workshops during 
2003. On April 26, 2003, the GAB President met with His Excellency Mr. 
Asif Ali, Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh, during which 
both SAIs pledged their continuing cooperation and support. A 
representative from the GAB attended the INTOSAI Working Group on the 
Audit of International Organizations held in Tokyo, Japan, on April 23-
25, 2003. On April 14, 2003, senior GAB staff held their third annual 
meeting to discuss recommendations and resolutions pertaining to GAB 
auditing activities. The GAB also held several types of training. From 
May 17-21, 2003, a workshop entitled "Methods of Detecting Fraud and 
Corruption" was held in Riyadh and attended by SAI staff from the Gulf 
Cooperation Council (GCC). Topics discussed at the workshop included 
the concepts, types, and consequences of fraud and corruption and the 
role and responsibilities of auditors and SAIs in detecting fraud and 
corruption. The workshop was part of a training program for GCC staff 
approved by the Permanent Training Committee at its ninth meeting held 
at Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman. The GAB's participation in a 
variety of local and overseas sessions on auditing, management, EDP 
processes, and the English language was also part of the training plan. 
GAB staff have also completed the first phase of their 2003 in-house 
training.

Participants at second ECOSAI regional training course.

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

For additional 
information, contact: General Auditing Bureau, P.O. Box 7185, 
University Street, Riyadh 11128, Saudi Arabia; fax: ++966 (1) 403 20 
57; e-mail: gab@zajil.net.sa; Web page: www.gab.gov.sa. 

Switzerland:  

2002 Annual Report:  

In February, the Swiss Federal Audit 
Office (SFAO) submitted its Annual Report 2002 to the Federal Council 
(Government) and to the Joint Standing Committee on Finance 
(Parliament). The report was subsequently presented to the media. The 
publication is available in German, French, and Italian in print and on 
the SFAO's website. The SFAO prepared about 200 reports regarding the 
audit of central government offices, organizations, foundations, and 
state-owned companies. It also performed additional certification 
audits as external auditors of international organizations. The report 
highlights audit results for the annual accounts of the Swiss 
Confederation and focuses on conclusions drawn from supervising the 
construction of the New Alpine Rail Axis, the Federal Institutes of 
Technology, EXPO.02 (the Swiss National Exhibition) swissmedic (a Swiss 
agency for therapeutic products), and the use of a government loan to 
Swissair. The SFAO is putting increasing emphasis on audits of systems 
and processes, especially in relation to the use of information 
technology within the Swiss Federal Administration. of MeteoSwiss (the 
Swiss Meteorological Institute). A number of federal offices and 
agencies are now managed by performance mandate and global budget 
mechanisms, in accordance with the principles of New Public Management, 
a management model that will lead to savings through improved 
efficiency if it is implemented as intended. In this context, the SFAO 
examined in depth the performance mandate and the performance agreement 
2000-2003 The report also provides information on the SFAO's training 
efforts, the management of its resources, the celebration of its 125th 
anniversary, and its international activities. For more information, 
contact: Swiss Federal Audit Office, Monbijoustrasse 45, CH-3003 Bern, 
Switzerland; e-mail info@efk.admin.ch; Web site: http:// 
www.sfao.admin.ch. 

Trinidad and Tobago: 

Report on Public Accounts for Financial Year 2002: 

On April 28, 2003, Auditor General Jocelyn Thompson 
signed and submitted the report on the public accounts of the Republic 
of Trinidad and Tobago to Parliament. The statutory deadline for 
submitting this report to Parliament was April 30, 2003. The Auditor 
General's report has been referred to the Public Accounts Committee of 
Parliament. The report focuses on the legislative audits of the 
Treasury and the ministries and departments of the central government 
as required by the Exchequer and Audit Act, Chapter 69:01. The report 
drew Parliament's attention to key weaknesses and made recommendations 
to address these weaknesses. Weaknesses were identified in the system 
of internal controls in ministries and departments, maintenance of 
pension and leave records, preparation of formal lease/rental 
agreements, preparation of formal agreements for contract employment, 
maintenance of deposit accounts, and submission of financial statements 
by administering officers. The report also included a chapter on 
follow-up exercises that the Auditor General's office undertook on two 
previous special reports: a special audit of public administration and 
information and a comprehensive audit of the Ministry of Education's 
School Nutrition Program. The report also included extracts of four 
reports on special audits that the audit department completed during 
financial year 2002. Generally, the findings of the special reports 
indicated the need for better internal controls and clearer policies, 
procedures, and guidelines, which will lead to improved transparency 
and accountability. Recommendations were made in an effort to assist 
management in moving towards greater accountability and transparency 
without extravagance and waste. For more information contact: The 
Auditior General's Department by telephone: ++868-625-4255; fax: 
++8686-627-0152; or by e-mail at: Audgen@opus.co.tt.


United States of America: 

2003 International Auditor Fellowship Program Begins: 

The 
participants in the 2003 International Auditor Fellowship Program began 
their 16-week program at the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in 
Washington, D.C., on May 12. The fellows, mid-to senior-level managers 
from GAO's counterpart offices around the world, are spending the 
summer at GAO engaged in an intensive course of study in the 
approaches, techniques, and methods of performance auditing in 
government. In addition to classroom training, the fellows will observe 
GAO employees at work in headquarters and in the field. This year's 
international fellows are from Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, 
Ethiopia, Gambia, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New 
Guinea, St. Lucia, South Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uganda. 
 
GAO's 2003 International Fellows:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

For more information, contact the US General Accounting Office, by 
telephone: ++202-512-4707, fax:++202-512-4021 or by email at 
SPEL@GAO.GOV.

Vietnam:

Recent Auditor General Decisions:

Recently, the Auditor General of Vietnam has undertaken several 
initiatives to improve operations in the Office of State Audit of 
Vietnam (SAV). First, he has implemented a project to computerize 
administrative operations at the office. The objectives of this 
initiative are to:

* set up a basic information technology (IT) infrastructure,

* complete and unify IT applications,

* facilitate the design and maintenance of the database system,

* promote state auditors' ability to use audit techniques,

* provide IT training for SAV staff, and:

* enhance the reform of administrative procedures, the organizational 
apparatus, and the working culture.

Second, the SAV has promulgated a single system of formats for audit 
files, auditing minutes, and audit reports. This initiative is designed 
to begin the process of making all SAV audit documents uniform.

For more information, contact Dao Thi Thu Vinh, International 
Cooperation Division, State Audit Office, 33 Hung Vuong, 16 Le Hong 
Phong, Ba Dinh, Hanoi; fax: ++84 (4) 843 31 45 or email: sav@fpt.vn.

Yemen:

SAI President Named to Committee to Fight Corruption:

Among the measures taken to establish sound financial management as a 
critical element of economic growth and to strengthen the democracy, 
the President of the Republic of Yemen has formed a high-level 
committee headed by the Prime Minister to enhance the protection of 
public funds and to fight corruption. Prof. Dr. Abdullah Ahmed Farwan, 
the President of the Central Organization for Control and Auditing 
(COCA), the supreme audit institution in Yemen, has been named as a 
member of the committee, along with the Director of the Office of 
Presidency of the Republic. The committee's role will be to coordinate 
between Yemen's control and judiciary institutions and make 
recommendations for reforming public funds protection and fighting 
corruption.

The committee has prepared an integrated matrix (strategy paper), which 
lists the following as the most important issues it needs to address:

* To support and develop a systematic approach for protecting public 
funds and fighting corruption.

* To modernize laws and by-laws that help protect public funds and 
fight corruption.

* To develop and improve the institutional structure to enhance the 
activities of the internal audit systems.

* To activate the role of internal audit departments in government 
entities.

* To integrate data-base information.

* To review the legislative framework related to loans, aid, and the 
related data base, and ensure that all government entities close their 
final accounts on time.

* To review the structure of the payroll system.

Fifth Consultation of SAI and Judiciary Entities Held:

The top management of COCA, the SAI of Yemen, and judiciary 
organizations held their fifth consultation meeting in April 2003. The 
main objective of this meeting was to prepare a common frame of 
reference to enhance the role of different control institutions in 
protecting public funds. The meeting resulted in the following 
decisions and recommendations for action:

* Formulate an effective mechanism to follow-up and cooperate 
effectively. Some subcommittees have been established for this purpose. 

* Make necessary modifications to some financial laws, specifically 
those related to monitoring high-ranking government officials to bid 
procedures and government stores, and to state issues. 

* Develop the skills of staff of the organizations by providing more 
effective training and experience. 

* Complete judiciary organizations throughout the nation. 
For additional information, please contact: Central Organization for 
Control and Auditing, P.O. Box 151, Sana'a, Yemen; fax: ++967 (1) 44 
31.  

[End of section]

Riksrevisionen: The Swedish National Audit Office: 

The Creation of a New Swedish SAI:

On July 1, 2003, Riksrevisionen - a new Swedish state audit institution 
with three Auditors General - replaced Riksrevisionsverket and the 
Parliamentary Auditors. The staff of both these organizations will 
together constitute the staff of Riksrevisionen, which will be the 
supreme audit institution of Sweden, keeping the English name formerly 
used in the international context, the Swedish National Audit Office.

Riksrevisionen Sees the Light of Day:

The birth of Riksrevisonen, the new Swedish National Audit Office, 
constitutes a drastic change in the role and position of the Swedish 
state audit.

The question of transferring complete responsibility for the state 
audit institution from the Government to the Parliament has been 
debated by the Swedish Parliament in different contexts since the 
1980s.

However, in 1998 the Parliament set up a commission, called the 
Parliamentary Commission (Riksdagskommittén), to review the 
Parliament's capacity for follow-up, evaluation, and audit. A reference 
group, with members from all political parties represented in 
Parliament, worked with this commission on auditing issues. Its work 
mainly focused on how an audit institution could be guaranteed the 
highest possible independence in its operations. The reference group 
was also to decide whether the Government or the Parliament should be 
this institution's Principal.

In its report, the commission suggested that in the future, the state 
audit function report directly to the Parliament. A single Auditor 
General, elected by the Parliament, would be head of this state audit 
institution and the official duties should be stipulated in the 
constitution. The Auditor General would then report to a Parliamentary 
Board, which would decide on the budget and the financial statements 
and report on results. It should also determine what audit conclusions 
are to be submitted to the Parliament. During the fall of 2000, the 
Standing Committee on the Constitution prepared the Parliamentary 
Commission's proposal.

However, a political compromise led to the decision to appoint three 
Auditors General instead of one. This sprang from the belief in 
spreading out the mandate that this position will hold. The three are 
to be elected by the Parliament for 7-year terms. To create an initial 
overlap in the terms, the first three Auditors General have been 
appointed for different lengths of time: Ms. Eva Lindström--7 years, 
Mr. Lennart Grufberg--5 years, and Mr. Kjell Larsson--3 years.

In December 2000, the Parliament unanimously approved the 
proposal to set up a new Swedish SAI under the name of Riksrevisionen 
to be led by three Auditors General. Riksrevisionen started operating 
on July 1, 2003, and will considerably strengthen the Parliament's 
control power. The three new Auditors General are (from left to right): 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Kjell Larsson was previously employed by Riksrevisionsverket. Since 
1996, he has been working for the OECD and later was active in the 
European Commission as Head of Unit, Support to Candidate Countries and 
External Relations, in building anti-fraud and corruption systems. 

Eva Lindström previously worked as Head of the Budget Department of the 
Ministry of Finance. She had also pursued a career within the Ministry 
of Finance and been a member of the councils of the Swedish National 
Audit Office, the National Financial Management Authority, and the 
Swedish Agency for Administrative Development. 

Lennart Grufberg was formerly the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of 
Public Accountants and Chairman of the National Audit Committee, which 
was charged with proposing the internal structure of the new SAI. Up 
to his appointment as Auditor General, he had been President of the 
Administrative Court of Appeal and, before that, Deputy Director 
General of the Swedish National Tax Board. 

The Role of Riksrevisionen: 

This new SAI will audit the complete activity of the 
state and thus help maximize resources and promote efficiency. As a 
major component of parliamentary oversight, the new SAI will have an 
important role in the democratic system. Its main task will be to 
fulfill the mission given to it by the Parliament to control the use of 
tax revenues. 

Riksrevisionen will have an independent position guaranteed by the 
constitution. Accordingly, the three Auditors General will decide for 
each of their areas of responsibility what audits to take on, how to 
carry them out, and what conclusions to draw from them. They will 
together agree on matters of mutual internal interest, such as audit 
and action plans and administrative issues of the organization.

This independent state audit organization will have a similar position 
to that of national audit institutions in most other countries with an 
Auditor General system.

The Parliament and the Government will be the most important recipients 
of the results of the Riksrevisionen's work, audit reports, and 
conclusions. In this way, the politicians will have the opportunity to 
use the audit conclusions of Riksrevisionen in the political decision-
making process.

Vision:

The new Riksrevisionen's goal is to maintain and develop the good 
characteristics of its two predecessors and become a supreme audit 
institution carrying the stamp of professionalism, integrity, and a new 
spirit - an organization with an impeccable reputation both nationally 
and internationally!:

Main Tasks of the New Organization:

The main tasks of Riksrevisionen will be to continue carrying out 
financial and performance audits. Riksrevisionen will succeed 
Riksrevisionsverket as a member of INTOSAI and EUROSAI and will also 
continue other international operations.

The primary aim in gathering the state audit resources under the 
Parliament has been to create a state audit covering the complete chain 
of decision-making and operations within the executive branch of the 
state. Riksrevisionen will have the mandate to audit the activities 
carried out by the Government but may not audit the official duties 
performed by the Ministers. This will remain a task for the Standing 
Committee on the Constitution.

The Organization:

The chart on page 14 shows the organization of the Riksrevisionen. It 
will consist of six departments for financial auditing and six for 
performance auditing. There will be three main areas where audits will 
be carried out:

* public safety, coordination, and administration of finance;

* welfare and health; and:

* education and development.

The responsibility for these areas will circulate among the Auditors 
General, who will be actively involved in the auditing process within 
their areas of responsibility. Each Auditor General's main area of 
responsibility consists of two financial audit departments and two 
performance audit departments. The area of responsibility for each 
performance audit department will be reflected in a corresponding 
department for financial audit.

Riksrevisionen will also have three special divisions: the 
international division, the quality and methods division, and the 
division for the audit of public companies and special audits.

Riksrevisionen Organizational Chart: 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

The international division will coordinate the SAI's international 
engagements, including international assignments in the areas of 
capacity building or external audit of international organizations. 

The quality and methods division will be responsible for the development 
and management of the processes for quality assurance as well as 
development of methods and support for these areas within both 
financial and performance audits. 

The division for the audit of public companies and special audits will 
be responsible for audits of state-owned companies and will take part 
in more in-depth audits of essential problem areas. 

Riksrevisionen will also have a number of support divisions to assist 
in the daily administration of the organization. The Advisory Board of 
Riksrevisionen The Parliament has appointed an advisory board for the 
Swedish National Audit Office consisting of 11 sitting members and 11 
deputy members. The current members of the advisory board, who were 
appointed in March 2003, are all, or have been, Members of Parliament. 

The division of responsibilities between the Auditors General and the 
advisory board has been subject to discussions, and the following 
solution has been reached:

The role of the advisory board is stipulated by the constitution. The 
advisory board will be free to consider if--and what--political 
decisions need to be made in view of the SAI's conclusions and 
recommendations in the audit reports. However, the advisory board does 
not have the right to object to the conclusions and recommendations in 
the reports. The advisory board also decides the budget proposal for 
the SAI and determines the new organization's financial statements and 
reports on results.

Before the Auditors General make their final decision, the advisory 
board is also to comment on the Auditors General's proposed yearly 
audit plan for the audit departments. The Auditors General in turn are 
to report to the advisory board on how the audit plan is followed 
throughout the year. The plan is the basic tool for steering and 
planning purposes on a strategic level. It will be complemented by a 
more detailed action plan specifying all audit activities.

Scientific Advisory Board:

The Parliament has decided that the Scientific Advisory Board is to be 
tied to the new organization. The Scientific Advisory Board is a forum 
for discussions for the Auditors General on central strategic issues.

International Work Continues:

Riksrevisionen will maintain and develop the international commitments 
and the extensive external contacts of its predecessors. It will also 
continue to contribute to developing the state audit capability of 
other countries. A condition for this, however, is that the financing 
and organization of the international assignments are structured so 
that the independence of Riksrevisionen cannot be questioned. 
Riksrevisionen can also be a candidate for the position of external 
auditor in international organizations of which Sweden is a member. The 
three Auditors General will share the responsibility for representing 
Riksrevisionen internationally.

In other words, Sweden will remain as Chair of the Auditing Standards 
Committee until 2004; Sweden will also remain a member and active 
participant of other INTOSAI committees and working groups.

For more information, contact: Riksrevisionen, Nybrogatan 55, 114 90 
Stockholm, Sweden; telephone: ++46-8-51714000; fax: ++46-8-51714100; 
Web site: http:// www.riksrevisionenr.se; e-mail: 
int@riksrevisionen.se.

[End of section]

SAI Bangladesh: Work Plan for Enhancing Capacity: 

By Asif Ali, Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh 

The Office of the Comptroller and 
Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh has embarked upon a four-phased 
planning cycle to improve audit quality and to increase efficiency by 
enhancing its capabilities. This new project has identified short-term, 
mid-term, long-term, and tenure-term goals and is expected to result in 
more coherence, integration and accountability in all areas of my 
institution's activities. I initiated this project when I assumed 
office earlier in 2003, and I am pleased to share our experiences with 
Journal readers. A Four-Phased Work Plan Short-term Goal: This first 
phase of the project began in January 2003 and is aimed at confidence 
building. During this cycle, the CAG visited all field offices and 
provided necessary guidance and instructions. All senior and mid-level 
officers were addressed on different occasions and the necessity to 
raise the quality of audit was underscored with them. 

Short-term goals: 

* Ensuring punctuality and discipline at all levels:  

* Improving the office environment: 

* Increasing supervision, monitoring, and inspection activities:  

* Distributing work rationally:  

* Maintaining a daily workbook: 

* Taking stock of pending work and settling it within prescribed time 
frames: 

* Improving work quality International Journal of Government Auditing-
July 2003:

Mid-term Goal: 

During this 6-month period, a strong foundation is being built during 
phase one; future targets will also be identified. The majority of 
targets in this planning cycle are already being achieved, due in large 
part to the involvement of senior and mid-level officers in the field 
audit. This involvement should significantly increase the quality of 
audit by using the experience of upper level officials. 

Mid-term goals:

* Preparing strategic plans for all audit directorates:

* Updating the list of all audit organizations and setting priorities 
of national importance in selected audit organizations:

* Rationalizing staff days of audit teams:

* Initiating effective audit briefings and in-house training:

* Enforcing effective monitoring, supervision, and inspection of audit 
teams:

* Ensuring timely submission of inspection reports by the audit 
parties:

* Enhancing inspection report editing capabilities:

* Involving senior and mid level officers in actual audits:

* Ensuring quality audit reports that are meaningful to stakeholders:

Long-term goal: The long-term goal is expected to take 1 year and 
should receive a positive boost from the successful implementation of 
the mid-term goals.


Long-term goals:

* Establishing an Audit Forum comprising all Directors General:

* Identifying reform areas in standards, methodologies, and techniques:

* Evaluating the Railway Audit:

* Modernizing the Training Academy and its course curriculum:

* Starting construction of a new office building (Audit Bhaban):

Tenure-term goal: This goal encompasses the length of the present CAG's 
tenure. These changes will be possible through the effective 
implementation of the short-term, mid-term and long-term plan of the 
CAG.

Tenure-term goals:

* Ensuring quality of the audit report:

* Modernizing the audit system through a transition to performance 
audits:

* Introducing information technology (IT) audits:


Major Steps Underway:

To achieve the goals established in the above plans, the CAG has 
undertaken a number of initiatives. These include the formation of 
different committees to identify and suggest ways to achieve planned 
goals. We have already achieved our short-term objectives. Some of the 
actions taken include the following:

* An internal control system survey. This survey of the CAG's internal 
control systems was conducted by a committee that submitted its report 
on March 15, 2003. The Office of the CAG is implementing the most 
important of the survey's recommendations. All Audit Directorates and 
other subordinate offices have been instructed to carry out similar 
studies within their respective offices, and to implement any 
recommendations made.

* Modernizing 
course curricula for probationary officers. A committee was formed to 
examine the existing curricula of departmental training courses of the 
Bangladesh Civil Service (Audit & Accounts) Probationary officers. The 
committee revised and updated the departmental academic courses, 
incorporated a training simulation model, and established a program for 
short-term attachments to different training institutes and Charter 
Accountants (CA) firms. The committee's April 2003 report was 
circulated to all heads of departments for their comments. The syllabus 
is expected to be finalized soon and will become operational following 
concurrence by the appropriate authorities. 

* Enhancing the capacity 
and delivery of the Financial Management Academy (FIMA). An in-depth 
study of FIMA was submitted to the CAG on February 18, 2003. The study-
-which looked at FIMA's set-up, personnel, course curricula and 
effectiveness, feedback, course logistics, and IT training, and 
recommended ways to increase capacity--is under active review by the 
CAG's ofice. 

* Updating Railway Accounting procedure. A task force was constituted 
to recommend measures to update the existing manuals and codes of the 
Bangladesh Railway system. The task force submitted its report on 
March 25, 2003, and the recommendations are under consideration by the 
CAG's office. 

* Service intricacy of Railway 
Accounts personnel. A committee was formed to identify the intricacies 
in the service and other employment matters of the Railway Accounts 
personnel and to recommend suggested measures. On March 15, 2003, the 
committee submitted its report, which is under active consideration. 

* Railway Audit Management. A committee was formed to evaluate the 
Railway Audit Manual and to assess the effectiveness and 
appropriateness of the administrative and managerial aspects of the 
Railway Audit Directorate. The committee was also charged with looking 
into the existing auditing approach. It submitted its report on April 
20, 2003, and its recommendations are being considered by the CAG. 

* Designing a Model Inspection Report (IR) and Final Audit Report. A 
committee is working to develop a model reporting format that is easily 
understandable and attractive to the various users. 

* Review of activities of the Overseas Missions Audit Directorate. A 
committee submitted its review of the directorate on April 27, 2003. 
The review identifies weaknesses in the planning and execution of 
overseas audit programs and suggested measures to improve reporting by 
Bangladesh Embassies abroad. The report is now under consideration. 

* Human Resource Development. A draft proposal to establish guidance 
and criteria for selecting officers for overseas training has been 
sent to all departments for comments and suggestions. When finalized, 
these policy guidelines and criteria will help the SAI improve 
personnel planning.

* Information Technology policy. A policy framework of IT Policy 
(including IT Audit) is being prepared. The CAG expects this framework 
to be finalized soon.

* Reforms. The CAG office anticipates that the Financial Management 
Reforms Project--which is funded by the UK's DFID and the Royal 
Netherlands Embassy--will help us to move forward with actions needed 
to successfully implement our goals. Furthermore, our work recognizes 
and builds on previous reform projects such as Reforms in Budgeting and 
Expenditure Control, Strengthening the Office of the CAG and FIMA.

The success of the CAG office's efforts to enhance the capabilities of 
the SAI depends on our ability to meet the goals of the four-phased 
planning cycle. As we move toward a new future, we are dedicated to 
developing a more dynamic and professional institution. Effective 
international cooperation with other SAIs within the ASOSAI community 
and globally through INTOSAI will also help us achieve our goals.

For more information, contact: Office of the Comptroller and Auditor 
General, telephone: ++880-2-931-46-53; fax: ++880-2-831-26-90; and 
email: ahsan@cagbd.org.

[End of section]

Audit Profile: The Office of the Federal Auditor General of Ethiopia: 
By Senait Melese Ejige, Audit Department Head: 

History: 

Ethiopia, situated 
in the horn of Africa, is the oldest independent country in Africa and 
one of the oldest independent countries in the world. The history of 
Ethiopia's supreme audit institution (SAI) goes back to the early 1931 
constitution, which stressed the importance of the proper collection of 
the state revenue and the necessity of procedures to control 
expenditures but stopped short of either referring to or requiring any 
audit as such. This, in fact, had to wait for proclamation 69 of 1944, 
which established the Commission for Audit. 

Under this proclamation, the Commission was charged with the audit of 
the accounts of the Ministry of Finance, whereas the financial 
transactions of other 
ministries were inspected and controlled by the Ministry of Finance 
itself. A Comptroller and Auditor General and a Director General headed 
the Commission. The Commission reported directly to the Prime Minister. 

The Commission for Audit had neither the professional independence of 
modern day SAIs nor the broad scope of audit covering budgetary 
organizations of the time. However, the latter shortcoming was 
corrected after only 2 years when proclamation 69/1944 was amended by 
proclamation 79/1946. The amended proclamation centralized the audit of 
all government accounts under one audit department, which was 
established as the Audit and Control Department, which continued under 
the leadership of the Comptroller and Auditor General and still 
reported to the Prime Minister. Although its status, which defined its 
independence, remained the same, its power and duties were 
substantially increased. 

The Audit and Control Department continued to function until 1952 when 
it was amalgamated with the Ministry of Finance's Control Department 
without any legislative provision. This proved to be a clear setback 
in the process of developing an independent national audit 
institution. But the promulgation of the 1955 revised constitution put 
Ethiopia back on course to establish such an institution. 

Articles 120 and 121 of the revised constitution of 1955 clearly 
conferred the rights and duties of auditing all ministries, 
departments, and agencies to the Auditor General, whose office was 
then established as a separate, independent entity that reported 
directly to the Emperor and to Parliament. These articles required the 
Auditor General to submit periodic reports to the Emperor and to 
Parliament on the financial operations of the government, and entitled 
the Auditor General to access all books and records pertaining 
to government accounts. However, detailed functions and reporting 
requirements were the subject of later legislation based on the 
provision of the constitution. 

The detailed arrangements and functions of the office were later 
amended by Parliament to include additional provisions requiring the 
Auditor General to appear before Parliament, when requested, to 
explain the execution of functions entrusted to him. The amended 
legislation was issued as proclamation 1961. The new proclamation, in 
addition to defining powers and duties, also envisioned conditions of 
appointment and independence of the Auditor General and reporting 
mechanisms.

The provisions of this legislation established an adequate basis for 
financial audit practice but did not provide a mandate for expanding 
the scope of audit to enable the Auditor General to carry out 
performance or program evaluation audits. However, this was done after 
the 1974 revolution when proclamation 164/1979 was issued to redefine 
the power and duties of the Auditor General.

Proclamation 164/79 substantially increased the traditional power and 
duties of the Auditor General by mandating that efficiency or 
effectiveness audits be performed. Although this proclamation 
established an adequate basis for the full practices of statutory 
audit, no further improvement was enacted to the enabling law of the 
Office of the Auditor General until the power and duties of the Office 
of the Auditor General were redefined by proclamation 13/1987.

Present Legal Framework:

The current SAI of Ethiopia was established by proclamation 68/1997 
under subarticle (4) of Article 101 of the constitution. This 
proclamation reinforces the independence of the Auditor General in the 
following ways.

* The Council of Peoples' Representatives, upon recommendation by the 
Prime Minister, appoints the Auditor General.

* The Auditor General is accountable to the Council of Peoples' 
Representatives and between sessions is accountable to the President of 
Ethiopia.

* The Office of the Auditor General has all the powers necessary to 
perform its functions.

Organization:

The Auditor General is the head of the SAI, and he has the power to 
implement the duties of the office provided in the proclamation. The 
Deputy Auditor General directly assists the Auditor General in 
planning, organizing, guiding, and coordinating the activities of the 
office. Seven audit department heads, who are in charge of organizing, 
coordinating, and supervising the technical units (audit divisions), 
report to the Deputy Auditor General.

Audit Planning:

In order to guarantee the quality of work, audit planning begins with 
the departmental heads requesting that the division heads submit their 
annual audit plans based on materiality and identified risks. These 
plans are submitted to the Plan Research and Quality Control 
Department, which develops a consolidated annual audit plan. After 
thorough review, the consolidated annual audit plan is discussed at the 
management meeting chaired by the Auditor General or the Deputy Auditor 
General. At this meeting, changes are made to the plan based on current 
government policies and issues. The revised plan is then submitted to 
the Plan Research and Quality Control Department, which prepares the 
final annual audit plan.

Each department is required to submit monthly progress reports, and 
these reports are compared with the annual plan in order to ensure 
adherence. Major deviations from the plan are discussed in the monthly 
management meeting in order to take corrective action. 

Reporting: 

The law requires 
the Office of the Federal Auditor General to submit a consolidated 
annual audit report to the Council of Peoples' Representatives and, 
between sessions, to the President. The reports on the federal 
government's receipts and expenditures, assets and liabilities, and 
financial statistical data and on the accounts and performance of the 
offices and organizations of the federal government are the two main 
reports produced by the SAI. 

Human Resources Management: 

In order to achieve its mission and attain high-level output in the 
audit report, the office has devoted considerable attention to 
staffing. Auditors are recruited from all disciplines in order to 
guarantee useful, complementary, and multidisciplinary skills. In this 
regard, the office's staff includes senior financial and accounting 
staff members, accountants, economists, statisticians, mathematicians, 
and computer experts. Most of the office's recruits come from 
universities and colleges; others are experienced vocational school 
graduates. 

Future Prospects:

 The area currently receiving the most attention is building 
the capacity of the office and its auditors. To this end, the office 
has a plan to: 

* train its staff to guarantee quality audit products: 

* standardize audit processes and procedures, 

* conduct more performance audits, 

* maintain a high standard of financial and compliance audit 
work, and 

* computerize its operation to ensure maximum efficiency. 

For more information, please contact the Office of the Federal Auditor 
General, P.O. Box 457, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; telephone: ++251-1-
561840; and fax: ++251-1-552594. 

[End of section]

Reports in Print:

The Center for the Study of Financial Innovation has published its new 
paper aimed at restructuring the audit business. Thinking Not Ticking: 
Bringing Competition To The Public Interest Audit, explores how the 
system of auditing large financial statements could be made better. 
Written by Jonathan Hayward, the publication describes a simple, low-
risk and effective way of restoring the credibility of public interest 
in the audit process, while at the same time preserving the legitimate 
interests and useful functions of the major accounting firms. The 
discussion in the paper is framed around large company audits, where 
the public interest is most visible, rather than corporate reporting or 
accounting standards. For a copy of the paper, contact the Center for 
the Study of Financial Innovation, No. 5 Derby Street, London, England 
W1J 7 AB; tel: ++020-7493-0173; fax: ++020-7493-0190.

Journal readers will be interested to know that as a result of 
consultations with its Board of Governors and other stakeholders, the 
Canadian Comprehensive Audit Foundation (CCAF) has released its new 
publication, Reporting Principles--Taking Public Performance Reporting 
to a New Level. This publication aims to bring to the attention of 
leading legislators, executives, specialists, and thinkers the benefits 
of sharing resource materials for advancing public reporting and 
discussing accountability issues. Three of the papers included are as 
follows: (1) "Public Performance Reporting and Public Confidence: A 
Managers Introduction to Reporting Principles," (2) "Building Active 
Accountability: A Legislators' Introduction to Reporting Principles," 
and (3) "CCAF Reporting Principles and the Measurement Community." 
Printed copies of these reports can be obtained by contacting 
info@ccaf-fcvi.com.

The Board of Audit of Japan has published Volume 10 of Government 
Auditing Review, which consists of seven selected papers written by 
academics and auditors. Topics that are of importance to all SAIs 
include characteristics of accounting standards, the effectiveness of 
cost-benefit analysis, and public sector performance reporting. Papers 
on specific topics address the role of SAIs in new public management 
theory, instruments of agricultural policy, and the limits of local 
liberty. Some readers may find the paper on appraising public 
investments very interesting as it explores the performance of public 
works projects. For a copy of Volume 10 of the Government Auditing 
Review, contact the Board of Audit of Japan Research and Study 
Division, 321 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8941 Japan; tel: 
++81-3-3581-8877; e-mail: liaison@jbaudit.go.jp.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) continues to publish its 
magazine, Internal Auditor-Global Perspectives on Risk, Control, and 
Governance. However, Journal readers may be interested in obtaining a 
special supplement to the internal auditor magazine called Governance 
Perspectives, which highlights the 2002 corporate governance summit 
held in New York City. This special supplement provides a summary of 
the conference, where distinguished panelists provided insight on 
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and implementation issues and offers guidance 
on how leaders might promote transparency to help restore the public's 
trust in corporate institutions. Recent financial failures and the 
subsequent responses of regulators and legislators have put the 
profession of internal auditing in the spotlight. More than ever 
before, auditors are faced with greater challenges and opportunities to 
add value to their organizations by monitoring the ethical climate and 
providing assurance that good governance principles are practiced. To 
obtain a copy of this special supplement, contact the IIA at 247 
Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701-4201, USA; tel++1-
407-937-111; fax++1-407-9371101; Internet: www.theiia.org.

[End of section]

INSIDE INTOSAI: 

Second Meeting of INTOSAI Strategic Planning Task Force: 

The 
international task force developing a strategic plan for INTOSAI made 
major strides during its April 29-30, 2003, meeting in Washington, D.C. 
The 2-day gathering followed up on the first meeting of the task force 
in April 2002, at which the task force developed the framework for a 
strategic plan to guide the work of INTOSAI. The draft strategic 
planning framework was circulated to INTOSAI's 185 member countries for 
review and comment and approved by INTOSAI's governing board in October 
2002. The goal of the April 2003 meeting was to further develop the 
strategic goals outlined in the framework so that a "straw" draft 
strategic plan can be developed. After a round of review and comment, 
the draft strategic plan will be submitted to INTOSAI's governing board 
in October 2003 for approval. The final plan will be voted upon at 
INTOSAI's next congress, set for October 2004 in Budapest, Hungary. 


Strategic Planning Task Force members at April 2003 meeting in 
Washington, D.C. 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

The task force reached agreement on three strategic goals: 

* Professional standards: leading by example and promoting the 
development and adoption of appropriate professional standards in each 
member country; 

* Institutional capacity building: training, technical assistance, and 
other development activities. 

* Knowledge sharing: benchmarking, best practice studies, and research 
on issues of mutual interest and concern; 

The three strategic goals and related efforts will help 
INTOSAI achieve its vision of promoting good government by enabling 
SAIs "to help their respective governments improve performance, enhance 
transparency, ensure accountability, maintain 
credibility, fight corruption, and foster the efficient and effective 
receipt and use of public resources for the benefit of their citizens." 
The task force also discussed a number of governance issues designed to 
bring the organization into the 21st century. Among other things, the 
proposal would fold numerous existing INTOSAI committees and working 
groups into three standing committees aligned with the strategic goals.

The task force included auditors general (AG) or assistant AGs from 10 
nations spanning the globe: Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Burkina Faso, 
South Korea, Norway, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tonga, United Kingdom, and the 
United States.

For more information on the Task Force, contact the chair at: Strategic 
Planning and External Liaison, Room 7814, U.S. General Accounting 
Office, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20548, U.S.A.; fax: 
++(202) 512-4021; or email: spel@gao.gov.

New Web Page for Working Group on Environmental Auditing:

The Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) has established a 
new Web page that can be accessed at either of the following addresses: 
www.environmental-auditing.org or www.environmental-auditing.ca.

This site contains several new features, including a searchable list of 
Working Group publications available in the official INTOSAI languages 
- Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish. You can also visit the 
Learning Center, which includes information on the Environmental 
Auditing Training Program that is being developed by the INTOSAI 
Development Initiative (IDI) and the WGEA.

If you follow this path on the Web site - Home > About the WGEA > 
Members List, you will find information on your organization. If there 
are any errors in the contact listed for your supreme audit institution 
(SAI), please let us know at: environmental.auditing@oag-bvg.gc.ca. 
Your comments and suggestions to improve the Web site will also be 
welcome.

The SAI of the Netherlands produced most of the information contained 
on the Web site and Canadian SAI staff--Liliane Cotnoir, Sylvie 
McDonald, James Reinhart, and the office's IT team--did the principal 
work on reviewing the Web site.

The WGEA, which is chaired by Mrs. Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of 
Canada, aims to improve the use of audit mandate and audit instruments 
in the field of environmental protection policies by both members of 
the Working Group and non-member SAIs. The Working Group has a special 
interest in joint SAI audits of cross-border environmental issues and 
policies and the audit of international environmental accords.

16th UN/INTOSAI Seminar in Vienna:

From March 31 through April 4, 2003, the United Nations (UN) and the 
International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) 
hosted their 16th joint seminar at the Vienna International Center, the 
seat of the UN in Vienna.

The seminar, which was organized by the Austrian Court of Audit in its 
function as the General Secretariat of INTOSAI, focused on the role of 
supreme audit institutions in auditing the use of government funds for 
education.

Fifty delegates attended the event, among them members of supreme audit 
institutions from developing countries as well as Central and Eastern 
European reform countries. Speakers came from the United Nations, the 
World Bank, and the supreme audit institutions of France, India, Spain, 
and Austria. A representative of the National Audit Office, the United 
Kingdom's supreme audit institution, chaired the seminar. During the 
seminar, the delegates and speakers held in-depth discussions on the 
following topics: 

* scope and methods of auditing education spending, 

* audit of government spending on mandatory education, 

* audit of vocational education, 

* audit of grants and subsidies in college and university education, 
and 

* evaluation of education programs. 

In addition, the supreme audit institutions of Eritrea, Macedonia, 
Mexico, Sri Lanka, Senegal, and St. Kitts and Nevis reported on audits 
of education spending in their countries. In their reports, the seminar 
participants provided valuable insights into the tasks and 
possibilities of supreme audit institutions in auditing education 
spending, and exchanged information about successes and difficulties 
encountered in such audits. The discussions following the keynote 
speeches gave the participants the opportunity to exchange ideas and 
identify key aspects of education audits. Several working groups at the 
seminar afforded the participants a setting for sharing their 
experiences in a smaller forum, going into more detail on issues 
brought to their attention during the discussions, and arriving at 
conclusions and recommendations. 

16th UN/INTOSAI Seminar participants in Vienna:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Seminar participants considered the following issues particularly 
important:

* the importance of universal literacy as the basis for all further 
education and self-development;

* the creation of legal and administrative frameworks designed to 
prevent mismanagement in the funding and implementation of government 
education programs;

* the training and further education of auditors to increase the 
expertise and skills needed to detect weaknesses in implementing 
government education programs;

* the availability of reliable data as a basis for audits and 
evaluations;

* value-for-money audits in education, taking into account financial, 
economic, and social aspects;

* the expertise and skills auditors need to perform value-for-money 
audits; and:

* the integration of the supreme audit institutions in negotiations 
between donor organizations and recipients of funds earmarked for the 
education sector.

Special attention was focused on the fact that auditors need both 
audit-related methodological skills and expertise regarding the area to 
be audited in order to successfully audit the effectiveness and 
efficiency of public funding in education.

Upon completion, the report on the 16th UN/INTOSAI seminar will be 
available on the INTOSAI Web site at www.intosai.org.

[End of section]

IDI: Intosai Development Initiative: 

CAROSAI Completes the Long Term Regional Training Program: 

Following the 3-week 
Instructional Techniques Workshop (ITW) in St. Lucia, CAROSAI now has a 
pool of Training Specialists who will take on a regional training role. 
From the 22 participants who completed the ITW--and who had already 
completed a 7-week workshop on course design and development in St. 
Kitts last year--8 will be selected to take part in a design meeting in 
Grenada and the delivery of a Regional Audit Workshop, both scheduled 
for later in 2003. 

Public Debt Training in OLACEFS: 

As reported in the 
last edition of IDI Update, a 5-week "Champions" program in Public Debt 
auditing was completed at the end of May. The challenging idea behind 
this program is that each of the participants (from Argentina, Brazil, 
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, 
Uruguay, and Venezuela) returns to his/her SAI and acts as a mentor, 
trainer, and authority, thus providing a sustainable environment for 
public debt auditing in the region. 

Increased Pool of Training Specialists in ARABOSAI: 

A combined workshop incorporating course 
design, development, and instructional techniques took place in Rabat, 
Morocco, from February 24 - April 11, 2003. Twenty-six participants (12 
of whom were women) from 16 member SAIs of ARABOSAI took part in this 
program. Outcomes of the workshop include a new pool of Training 
Specialists, a performance audit course, and a number of 2-day audit-
related courses. (See article below on "Promoting Performance Auditing 
in ARABOSAI" for additional details.) 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: http:// 
www.idi.no. 

Ibrahim Al-Abdelat (Jordan), Mbarka El Ifriki (Morocco), 
Mona Boraie (Instructor - Egypt), Abdullah Al-Sofyani (Saudi Arabia) 
and Sabah Iaridhi (Tunisia)" at ARABOSAI workshop in Morocco. 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Environmental Auditing - The Latest Step:

Following previous news about the IDI's cooperation with the INTOSAI 
Working Group on Environmental Auditing (see the January 2003 Journal), 
this edition of IDI Update brings the latest developments. At the 
beginning of June, 10 Training Specialists met with 6 subject matter 
experts in Oslo, Norway, for an Environmental Awareness Workshop. The 
group comprised representatives from most INTOSAI regions. The Training 
Specialists will follow up this workshop with a course design meeting 
in Malaysia in August and September 2003.

ASOSAI Events Postponed:

The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia has 
had a significant impact on ASOSAI's plans for training activities in 
2003. Following a successful Course Design and Instructional Techniques 
Workshop in Thailand last year, the scheduled follow-up design meetings 
and Regional Audit Workshops have had to be postponed because of travel 
restrictions caused by SARS. New dates will be announced in due course.

Promoting Performance Auditing in ARABOSAI:

IDI, in cooperation with ARABOSAI (the Arab Organization of Supreme 
Audit Institutions) and the Moroccan Court of Accounts, recently held a 
7-week training program on the two themes of "Course Design and 
Development" and "Instructional Techniques" in Rabat, Morocco. Twenty-
six participants from 16 of ARABOSAI's member SAIs (Algeria, Egypt, 
Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi 
Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) took 
part in the program. This brief article provides information on how 
this program will help ARABOSAI, through training, move toward greater 
involvement in performance auditing.

Background:

IDI's Long Term Regional Training Program (LTRTP) was delivered in 
ARABOSAI from 1997-1999; this led directly to a regional training plan, 
a pool of graduate Training Specialists, the development of a 2-week 
Financial Audit Workshop and a number of 2-day audit-related courses, 
and a training output that saw 30 auditors from the region receiving a 
Financial Audit course.

In 2000, ARABOSAI requested a second, condensed, version of the LTRTP. 
The goals specified in the subsequent Memorandum of Understanding 
between the region and IDI were to help the member SAIs of ARABOSAI 
enhance their training capabilities and broaden the scope of their 
training and information exchange activities through the expansion of 
their pool of Training Specialists. Importantly, performance auditing 
was selected as the focus of this second LTRTP. While only a few SAIs 
in the region carry out performance audits at this time, there is a 
great deal of interest in the subject and it is seen as a priority need 
for the region.

The Training Program: 

One important factor throughout this training program was the 
IDI's insistence on using regional staff, with the instructional team 
comprising six IDI Training Specialists, all graduates of the first 
LTRTP, and two regional subject matter experts. The instructional team 
were Abdelrahman Al-Ajlan (Saudi Arabia), Ayman Albashbeshy (Egypt), 
Adnan Al-Hasan (Kuwait), Mona Boraie (Egypt), Khalid Nounouhi 
(Morocco), and Anayat Said (Sudan). 

The training program consisted of two workshops: a 5-week Course 
Design and Development Workshop (CDDW) and a 2-week Instructional 
Techniques Workshop (ITW). During the CDDW (weeks 1 to 5), as the 
participants learned the essentials of course design and development, 
they applied their skills in the development of a 2-day course. Their 
skills were further reinforced as they participated in the design and 
development of a Performance Audit Workshop (PAW). 

Participants in ARABOSAS training included, Nashwa El-Wahsh (Egypt), 
Ihab Nfadi (Egypt), Mohammed Balala (United Arab Emirates), Ibrahim Al-
Abdelat (Jordan), Adel Alkoot (Kuwait), Mohamed Essaouabi (Morocco), 
Sabah Iaridhi (Tunisia) and Mbarka El Ifriki (Morocco)".

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

During the ITW (weeks 6 and 7), participants learned 
the essentials of adult interactive instructional/facilitating 
techniques. These include presentation skills, group discussion skills, 
group dynamics, and management of the learning process. They also 
field-tested the PAW materials developed earlier in the program. The 
selection of participants for this program was based on the 
understanding that all ARABOSAI member SAIs should be invited. 
Developing countries were invited to nominate two participants, while 
the more developed countries sent one candidate each and covered their 
expenses. IDI also adopted a strategy to encourage female participation 
whereby SAIs wishing to nominate two participants had to nominate at 
least one woman. This strategy proved effective: for the first time in 
the ARABOSAI region, the percentage of female participants reached 46 
percent compared to 14 percent in previous workshops.

The success of the workshop can largely be attributed to the attitude 
and commitment of the participants themselves. Participants 
demonstrated effective interpersonal and communication skills very 
quickly, and this provided a firm foundation upon which new skills and 
knowledge were developed and integrated.

What Is Next for ARABOSAI?

Following completion of the training program, each participant is 
required to complete a 2-day audit-related training course and submit 
it to IDI for review and feedback. This project forms a vital part of 
the evaluation process. Participants who succeed in completing their 2-
day course will be awarded an IDI Training Specialist Diploma.

After the evaluation process is completed, five Training Specialists 
will be selected to finalize the PAW developed during the program and 
will then deliver it to an audience of audit practitioners from SAI 
members of ARABOSAI.

A preparation meeting will take place in Egypt in September 2003, while 
the PAW will be held in Kuwait in December 2003.

Contacting IDI:

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this edition 
of IDI Update, please telephone +47 22 24 13 49 or email idi@idi.no.

[End of section]

INTOSAI 2003-2004 EVENTS: 

[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]

[End of document]