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SAI Independence

SAI independence is crucial for guaranteeing transparency and integrity of public management. The EUROSAI members, gathered at the VIII Congress of the Organisation, held in Lisbon on 30 May - 2 June 2011, approved the EUROSAI Statement “Reinforcing the Independence of SAIs . The EUROSAI Statement on SAI independence manifests the full commitment of EUROSAI in strengthening and supporting SAIs’ independence.

Later that year, on 22 December 2011, the 66th United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution A/66/209 on SAI independence: “Promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening SAIs”. The UN Resolution A/66/209 encourages member States to apply, consistent with their national institutional structures, the principles of independence set out in the Lima Declaration, adopted by the IX INCOSAI in 1977, and in the Mexico Declaration, adopted by the XIX INCOSAI in 2007.

The Presidency and the Secretariat of EUROSAI have contributed to the dissemination of the EUROSAI Statement on SAI independence among the Organisation’s members, encouraging them to take active actions in this regard and monitoring the actions taken at national level for promoting the reinforcement of external public control by means of strengthening SAI independence. They have also contributed to promoting the dissemination of the United Nations Resolution among the Members of the Organisation, requesting positive action from EUROSAI Members so that the Resolution can become effective at the national level.

It can furthermore be pointed out that on 19 December 2014, the 69th United Nations General Assembly approved a new Resolution (A/RES/69/228  - “Promoting and fostering the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening supreme audit institutions”) which expands on the content of the previous resolution, urging Member States to give due consideration both to the independence and to the capacity-building of their supreme audit institutions, as well as to the application within their regulatory frameworks of the principles of the Lima and Mexico Declarations. They are also urged to intensify their cooperation with INTOSAI.

Most of EUROSAI members have taken on a commitment to these initiatives, promoting their knowledge in their own Institutions and among their staff, as well as among citizens and the media, and asking the parliaments and governments of their respective countries to acknowledge the Resolution and to give it effective support.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Lima Declaration, the SAI of Peru organized a celebratory conference on SAI independence in Lima, Peru, on 5 December 2017 and presented the publication "40 Years of Lima Declaration of INTOSAI". The General Secretariat presented the Peer Review on SAI Independence, which had been carried out by the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA), the INTOSAI General Secretariat and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in all INTOSAI regions. You can consult the following reports and documents produced in connection to this project: Cross-cutting Report: Peer Reviews on Independence and Lessons Learnt: Peer Reviews on Independence, as well as the Action Plan, where different proposals aimed at SAIs, INTOSAI, and Regions were made.

Additionally, the 2017 Global Survey revealed that more than 50% of the responding SAIs were experiencing threatening circumstances with regards to their independence.

SAI independence remains a challenge within EUROSAI and, therefore, capacity development initiatives focused on independence have been identified as desired outcomes of strategic goal 2.1 To facilitate and support needs-driven institutional capacity development initiatives.


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