The 13th Steering Committee meeting of the Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services Committee (KSC) was held virtually on September 16, 2021. Representatives from the INTOSAI Chair, Goal Committees, General Secretariat, and INTOSAI Development Initiative IDI) participated, along with representatives of KSC’s 12 working groups.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General of India and KSC Chair, underscored the importance of knowledge as a spur to positive action in an increasingly complex and challenging environment. Sharing knowledge enables innovation, effective decision-making, agility, collaboration, and continuous improvement, all of which help Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) stay relevant and future-ready, especially in times of crisis.
The meeting marked the culmination of an eventful year. KSC carried out an INTOSAI-wide survey to assess the extent of its outreach, usefulness of its products, and relevance of its work. The survey found broad awareness of KSC but also highlighted the need for working groups to be task-driven and flexible, and the importance of objectively evaluating results. Of particular note was the regional character of specific challenges, like language and relevance. Participants discussed two potential approaches to achieving greater inclusivity: appointing regional ambassadors to the working groups, and creating Global Training Centers across the regions.
A key takeaway from both the KSC survey and INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee’s (CBC) Strategic Brainstorming Document was the importance of increased collaborative activities as a complement to knowledge-sharing. Examples of such activities include the joint effort of the working groups on Environmental Auditing and on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Key Sustainable Development Indicators to revise GUID 5202, and an agreement between KSC, the Internal Control Sub-Committee of the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee (PSC), and the Institute of Internal Auditors to develop a paper on the Three Lines Model.
Director of the INTOSAI General Secretariat Dr. Silke Steiner informed participants about a report summarizing key points from the 25th United Nations/INTOSAI Symposium, whose theme was lessons learned by SAIs during the pandemic. She also commended the INTOSAI community’s cooperation with the UN on implementation of the SDGs and invited SAIs to publish the results of their SDG audits in INTOSAI’s SDG Atlas.
Mr. Timur Makhmutov, representing the INTOSAI Chair, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, briefed participants on the INTOSAI University (U-INTOSAI) initiative. Mr. Einar Gørrissen, Director General of IDI, reported that despite the pandemic, 2020 turned out to be a banner year, with 126 SAIs participating in 19 long-term IDI initiatives. Additional highlights included:
- Approval of the KSC reporting dashboard, which will be presented to the 75th INTOSAI Governing Board.
- Presentations by the SAIs of France and India, respectively, on the status of cross-cutting research projects on “SAI Independence” and “Audit Communication and Reporting of Audit Results.”
- Encouragement for SAIs to participate in the recently launched Community of Practice (CoP) on SDGs, which will serve as a forum for auditors to exchange ideas and information on how to contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda.
- Decision for KSC to organize a series of webinars—the first of which was held on October 7, 2021—on the use of the INTOSAI Community Portal, to encourage greater use of this resource by the audit community.
The next KSC Steering Committee meeting will be hosted by the Accountability State Authority of Egypt in 2022.