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INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee explores the capacity to support SAI professionalism

July 18, 2019

The fundamentals of SAI professionalism were the main topic of the discussions held at the latest  meeting of the INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee (CBC). The event was held between 1 and 4 July, 2019 in Tokyo and gathered more than 100 participants from all INTOSAI Regional Organisations, INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the INTOSAI-Donor cooperation (IDC), including representatives of donor organisations. EUROSAI was represented by colleagues from the Supreme Audit Office of Poland (NIK), which, together with the Swedish National Audit Office, co-leads capacity development in European public audit.


The CBC is the INTOSAI advocate for SAI capacity development. It aims to take a regular strategic look at the current structures and the way SAIs perform their mission, i.e. contribute to better governance and management of public money spending.

To be able to do it SAIs should continuously strive to be professional institutions. This question is even more relevant in today’s fast-changing and more complex working environments. This is all true but what does it mean in practice? What specific actions should be taken by individual SAIs? What kind of support should international community of public auditors provide to SAIs in need? And is there a room for interventions from the international community of donors?

The discussion was divided into four main fundamentals of SAI professionalism:


Jacek Jezierski from NIK and Robert Creswell from International Fund for Agricultural Development led a special session  dedicated to the future of audit standards compliance. Professional standards are the main driver of INTOSAI’s activity. Despite huge efforts and achievements in this area, there are still visible gaps in the implementation of ISSAIs. What stands behind this? And what are the main implementation pitfalls encountered by SAIs? That was explained by Jacek Jezierski. Robert Creswell spoke also about audit expectation gap and audit delivery gap perceived by the external SAI stakeholders.


During the meeting, the participants agreed that the process of development and review of professional standards must be clearer. Apart from that, good communication explaining how to implement the standards is essential. This coincides with latest EUROSAI’s interventions at various INTOSAI fora calling for more support and explanations on the transition to the new standards framework and their implementation.

The CBC meeting was followed by its Steering Committee meeting, during which particular CBC workstreams (like Co-operative audits, IntoSAINT, Peer Reviews, Peer-to-peer co-operation)  presented the progress in the implementation of their objectives.

EUROSAI representatives participated also in the INTOSAI-Donor Steering Committee meeting. During the same, participants summarised the results of the cooperation and discussed how to effectively partner SAIs with capacity building needs and donors. The last session was dedicated to challenges and opportunities of information and communication technology (ICT) support to SAIs, during which Jacek Jezierski presented NIK’s experience with ICT reforms as well as EUROSAI perspective on using ICT in audit.

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