Task Force Gathers Stakeholder Feedback for INTOSAI Strategic Plan

The INTOSAI Task Force on Strategic Planning (TFSP) continues to develop the INTOSAI Strategic Plan for 2023-2028. The June 2021 quarterly staff-level meeting shifted the focus of the TFSP to the draft strategic plan text, following the March 2021 discussion of the input the TFSP gathered from internal and external stakeholders.

Task Force Gathers Stakeholder Feedback for INTOSAI Strategic Plan

Internal Scan Results
Between September 2020 and January 2021, the TFSP administered a web-based survey to all INTOSAI members. The survey focused on identifying INTOSAI’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges to help INTOSAI address members’ needs. It also gathered members’ input on INTOSAI’s strategic goals and initiatives oriented toward the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.

The TFSP received 116 completed surveys (58 percent of the total disseminated), representing member responses from each of INTOSAI’s regional organizations. Thank you to all of the INTOSAI members that responded.

The survey provided valuable input for consideration as the planning process moves forward. Survey results showed strong support for the four existing strategic goals; the majority of respondents indicated those goals should remain the same.

Respondents identified knowledge sharing, capacity building, the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs), and other auditing guidelines as INTOSAI’s strategic strengths. Areas for improvement included internal and external communication, along with standard setting, implementation, and monitoring to help enhance INTOSAI members’ skills and performance.

Respondents identified audit tools, standards, and professional development as key to SAIs’ ability to remain abreast of emerging issues and respond to challenges. Potential threats or challenges INTOSAI should plan for in the future included global and regional emergencies, such as COVID-19, climate change, and political unrest; a lack of interaction and collaboration among INTOSAI, regional organizations, and SAIs due to the current pandemic; and challenges to SAI and auditor independence and credibility.

Suggestions for changes to existing INTOSAI activities included increasing the focus on audit tools, standards, and professional development, as well as improving communications by writing in clear and plain language with an external audience in mind.

External Scan Results
The TFSP also interviewed external partners to understand INTOSAI’s relationships with other international organizations and the broader global governance landscape for SAIs and INTOSAI. The TFSP interviewed 47 external organizations and individuals, including donor organizations, associate members, and organizations involved in accountancy, government accountability, transparency, anti-corruption efforts, and promotion of civil society, as well as fellows from the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Center for Strategic Foresight. The external scan, like the internal scan, sought to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and challenges facing INTOSAI.

The synthesis of the external scan interviews identified strategic strengths including INTOSAI’s strong reputation and authority as a standard-setter, as well as INTOSAI’s non-political nature and the well-established relationships of INTOSAI’s member SAIs with their governments.

Strategic areas for improvement included demonstrating INTOSAI’s value, conveying a strong strategic vision, and external collaboration and engagement. Opportunities and emerging issues included improving outreach and communication, as well as helping SAIs and auditors maintain independence, share knowledge, and reinforce standards.

Similar to the survey of INTOSAI members, the external scan identified challenges to SAI independence as a potential threat. In addition, the external scan noted that broader societal changes, such as the loss of trust in institutions, could threaten or challenge the relevance of SAIs.

Next Steps
The TFSP will leverage the results of the internal and external scans to inform development of the 2023-2028 draft strategic plan. The forthcoming results from the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) global survey will also inform the draft plan. TFSP members continue to meet virtually as the draft moves forward.

All INTOSAI members; the Policy, Finance, and Administration Committee (PFAC); and the Governing Board will have opportunities to review and comment on the draft strategic plan. The TFSP plans to circulate a final draft for review and comment to all members in early 2022, and to deliver a consensus strategic plan for approval at the XXIV International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI).

Continued input from all INTOSAI members is welcome at any time by email at intosaisp@gao.gov.

Cover image: behind lens/stock.adobe.com

 The TFSP includes the INTOSAI General Secretariat; Goal Chairs and Vice-Chairs; Policy, Finance and Administration Committee (PFAC) members; Regional Organization Chairs and Secretariats; INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI); INTOSAI Journal; and the Forum of INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements (FIPP) Chair and Vice-Chair. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) chairs the TFSP.

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