The SAI of Russia will conduct an audit of the UN special agency for the first time.
At the 18th United Nations Industrial Development Organization General Conference in Abu Dhabi (UAE) the Accounts Chamber of Russia was elected as the next external auditor of UNIDO for the period 2020-2022 by passing other candidates with a significant margin during the voting by member states of the Organization.
«Industry 2030 – Innovate. Connect. Transform our future» is on the agenda this year.
The Accounts Chamber of Russia as the president of INTOSAI supports and shares UNIDO’s efforts in promoting industrial development to achieve SDGs, such as combating poverty, environment protection and others. According to SDG #9 investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of the economic growth and development nowadays.
“We are aiming to conduct an independent audit of the Organization and its regional branches using modern tools and approaches that will improve the effectiveness of UNIDO and its important projects and programs,” said Olga Terekhina (Deputy Director of the Department for International Relations of the Accounts Chamber of Russia) while presenting national supreme audit institution at the Conference.
Being the External Auditor of UNIDO the Accounts Chamber of Russia will apply new approaches and take advantage of opportunities to ensure the continued relevance of SAIs as institutions of great value to society.
The final day of the Forum started with the outcomes of the two Plenary Sessions on the two main Themes of the Congress.
'When we first started to work on the Themes, it became clear that they generated a lot of interest in the audit community. Yesterday's Plenary Sessions confirmed that yet again,' Aleksei Kudrin, the INTOSAI Chair, stressed. 'Both Plenary Sessions witnessed a lively discussion. We talked about auditors of the future, the skills they should have. When I followed the discussion, I realised how acutely auditors experienced the problems they tackled in their everyday work, how interested they were to search for and find solutions. It is because we love our work. We want the resources of our countries to be used efficiently, economies to develop, and people to live better.'
The central message of the discussions formed the basis of the final discussion papers on the Themes and the main document of the Congress, the Moscow Declaration, which has been adopted today by a majority vote.
All the delegates stressed the high level of preparation of the declaration, its compliance with the basic principles of supreme audit institutions, namely transparency and independence.
'We wanted the Declaration to be as instrumental as possible, so that it could help every SAI in promoting new methods and instruments,' Aleksei Kudrin, the INTOSAI Chair, said upon presenting the main outcome of the Congress to the delegates.
Also on Friday, Mr Kudrin signed a number of agreements on joint and parallel audits. For example, there will be a joint audit of the Russian-Armenian University together with the SAI of Armenia, and a parallel audit with the SAI of Slovenia with a view to audit the implementation of intergovernmental agreements in the areas of culture, science and education.
Today there has been a meeting between the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber and Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the President of the European Court of Auditors. The parties exchanged opinions on the main issues of the public audit development and outlined the directions for further collaboration; in particular, in 2020 a bilateral seminar is planned on the SAI transformation and knowledge exchange in the area of strategic planning, capacity building, the development of environmental methodology and audit.
The Congress ended with the parallel sessions on SDG implementation audit, on a SAI's role in the fight against corruption, and on gender equality.
Mr Dmitry Zaitsev, the auditor from the Accounts Chamber, took part in the discussion on SDGs. He described the new mission of the Working Group on SDGs and key sustainable development indicators headed by the Accounts Chamber. 'We want to become a platform for knowledge sharing for the INTOSAI members on SDG audit issues, promote projects on practical usage of key sustainable development indicators for their achievement assessment. In Russia we also work towards our national goals and projects. The Accounts Chamber conducts relevant audits, and we want to introduce our best practices into the work of INTOSAI in the area of SDG audit,' he said.
This was the final day of INCOSAI XXIII. The next Congress is taking place in Brazil in 2022.
Today at INCOSAI XXIII, Aleksei Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, signed an agreement on intergovernmental agreement implementation audits with the heads of the SAIs of Armenia and Slovenia.
The Accounts Chamber together with the SAI of Armenia is going to audit the activities of the Russian-Armenian University.
As for the SAI of Slovenia, there will be a parallel audit of the implementation of two intergovernmental agreements, on the establishment and fostering an environment for scientific and cultural centers and on the cooperation in the area of culture, science and education. The parties are going to start the audit in December 2019 and conclude it in July 2020.
The main document of INCOSAI XXIII, the Moscow Declaration, has been adopted with the majority of the Congress participants supporting it.
All the delegates stressed the high level of preparation of the key document of the INCOSAI, its compliance with the basic principles of supreme audit institutions, namely transparency and independence.
'We wanted the Declaration to be as instrumental as possible, so that it could help every SAI in promoting new methods and instruments,' Aleksei Kudrin, the INTOSAI Chair, said upon presenting the main outcome of the Congress to the delegates.
The Moscow Declaration is based on the main conclusions of INCOSAI XXIII. It outlines the major directions for the future development of public audit:
- ensuring independent external monitoring of the achievement of goals agreed upon on the national level as well as SDGs;
- efficiently using opportunities offered by technological progress;
- strengthening the role of SAIs’ work with a view to improve transparency and accountability of public administration.
In accordance with the Moscow Declaration supreme audit institutions agreed to adhere to 10 basic principles:
- promoting more efficient, transparent, and informative accountability of the government for its outcomes;
- developing a comprehensive approach to audit for attaining national goals and priorities;
- preparing recommendations for the government on important strategic issues of public administration;
- promoting the principle of accessibility and openness of data, the openness of source code and algorithms;
- employing data analytics in audits;
- advancing the culture of experimental thinking;
- managing systemic risks in public administration;
- training auditors of the future;
- searching for ways to promote inclusiveness;
- establishing efficient collaboration with auditees and broadening the cooperation with the academia and the society as a whole.
Day 4 of INCOSAI became a day of discussions.
It began with a plenary session on one of the main themes of the forum, the role of SAIs in achieving national priorities and goals.
Participants discussed the role of SAIs in the modern world and in achieving national goals, discussed risks and challenges that public audit faced, and what auditor of the future should be like.
Aleksei Kudrin, the Chair of INTOSAI and the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, opened the session. He pointed out that today supreme audit institutions should primarily act as consultants and partners of the government: 'Today auditors are required to help auditees with recommendations on the basis of comprehensive analysis rather than simply provide evidence-based criticism of failures, and thus be an independent and unbiased consultant that promotes better quality of decision making in public bodies.'
Dmitry Zaitsev, auditor of the Accounts Chamber, described challenges associated with the strategic approach to audit. First of all, this is lack of knowledge and weak mandates of SAIs, methodology and data problems, including the openness of data. 'Audit of complex topics imposes new requirements for the data quality. Today there are more and more data, but it is not always suitable for audit,' Mr Zaitsev stressed.
Basic skills of the auditor of the future became one of the main discussion topics. Quantity analysis, artificial intelligence and big data analytics are among the priorities and meet the needs of the time.
According to the SAI Russia, strategic thinking, knowledge in several scientific areas and communication skills must be the main skills of the auditor today. 'As for consulting, without communication skills, no matter how good your experts are, they will not succeed in building trust in their outcomes,' Mr Zaitsev added.
The second plenary session was dedicated to another INCOSAI theme, "Information technologies in the development of public administration". It was prepared by the SAI China.
"In recent years we have seen that information technologies have influenced all the aspects of life, we witness the exponential growth of big data. Now it is easier for us than ever to measure efficiency of decision making in public governance,' Hu Zejun, the Auditor General of the People's Republic of China, stated upon opening the discussion.
The participants discussed the importance of digital information for the development of public administration, identified the position and role of big data in their activities. They all agreed that it is impossible to conduct high-quality strategic risk-oriented audit without big data analytics.
Summing up the meeting, the Audit General of the People's Republic of China, pointed out that thanks to IT technologies, SAIs could improve the quality of their data, forecasts, and, as a result, enhance the quality of public audit. INTOSAI should become a platform for exchange of best practices and auditor training.
A meeting of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber with representatives of the SAIs of BRICS member states was among the highlights of Thursday. The parties have adopted a cooperation plan. Joint monitoring and analysis of projects aimed at achieving national priorities and goals, including environmental audit, are among promising areas of cooperation.
Tomorrow is the last day of the Congress. We are waiting for the adoption of the Moscow Declaration.
Transformation is the motto of our times: the world has witnessed the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, the global digitilization is underway. In order to ensure high quality control over state investments, the audit community should introduce modern technologies, learn to efficiently use their whole toolkit. In the opinion of INTOSAI members, the whole budgetary process will depend on it, and the public sphere itself will become more transparent and open for citizens.
It is not surprising that one of the main themes of INCOSAI XXIII is dedicated to the role of information technologies in the development of public administration. In 2016 it was proposed by the Accounts Chamber for consideration of the audit community. The Working Group is headed by China.
"In recent years we have seen that information technologies have influenced all the aspects of life, we have witnessed the exponential growth of big data. Now it is easier than ever to measure the efficiency of decision-making in public administration. Thanks to social media and Internet connectivity, the public has an easier access to the decision making process. Thus we stregthen transparency and accountability of state regulation. What is more, supreme audit institutions (SAIs) across the world feel the need to increase their accountability, governance efficiency, and monitor the implementation and distribution of responsibilities on the national level and Sustainable Development Goals implementation,' Hu Zejun, the Auditor General of the People's Republic of China, outlined the key questions of the discussion for the participants.
Without big data analytics, it is impossible to conduct high-quality strategic risk-oriented audit. It was for the purposes of identification of potential social challenges that the SAI of Canada used artificial intelligence for the first time. As for big data, auditors work with all sources of information, they consistently use social media.
USA also uses high tech methods on a regular basis for risk identification. American auditors have focused on public procurement and social programmes. Now the SAI of the USA is launching a new working group on science, technological assessments and analytics.
The majority of the auditors who participated in the Congress are certain that big data audit is associated with the implementation of national goals. Almost 67% of those who have participated in the voting can see the connection clearly. They also agree that information and communication technologies make the work of the government more transparent and increase the accountability.
Despite all the benefits, this instrument has not yet become common in the audit toolkit. A little more than one third of the participants of the session admitted that they often used big data in their work. Another 44% have done that occasionally, and 19% of SAI representatives only employ traditional audit methods. However, such results are not surprising. Big data analysis is a new method of thinking and work, and it is still being developed. 'We should admit that an immediate transition from traditional methods of audit to big data analysis is impossible. This is a step-by-step process. Now we are at the stage when we combine both approaches. This is why the INTOSAI Working Group on Big Data decided that we should develop methods and approaches to big data analysis in more detail,' Zhang Haiyan, a representative of the SAI China, said. INTOSAI should become a platform for exchange of best practices and auditor training.
Summing up the meeting, the Audit General of the People's Republic of China, pointed out that thanks to IT technologies, SAIs can improve the quality of their data, forecasts, and, as a result, enhance the quality of public audit. 'Big data is a new way of thinking, this is an important trend in public audit. The practice of SAIs across the world confirms that. Big data will allow to increase efficiency and effectiveness of audit in its various forms and on different levels. The long-term goal of big data is to promote openness, transparency and effectiveness of public administration and to also help us to achieve goals of sustainable development,' Hu Zejun summarised.
The third day of the Congress is over. It was full of important events and special for us as today Aleksei Kudrin, the head of the Accounts Chamber, has assumed the office of the Chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). This means that in the next three years the SAI Russia will head one of the biggest international organizations and shape the global audit agenda.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, and representatives from the chambers of the Federal Assembly, congratulated the Accounts Chamber with the chairmanship in INTOSAI.
The key moment of the ceremony was the passing of the INTOSAI symbol to the Russian Federation as Aleksei Kudrin received a wooden gavel from H.E. Harib Saeed Al Amimi, the former President of INTOSAI.
Immediately after the inauguration ceremony, Aleksei Kudrin as the INTOSAI Chair opened the first general plenary session of the Congress. He made a statement before the delegates and described the main priorities of the Accounts Chamber for the period of the INTOSAI Chairmanship, for example continuous dialogue, strategic approach and openness, big data and development of education programmes.
An official ceremony of postal stamp cancellation dedicated to INCOSAI XXIII also took place on Wednesday. The issue of the stamp was 150,000. The stamp was cancelled with a special souvenir date stamp with the date of main event, namely the inauguration of Russia as the Chair of INTOSAI that took place on September, 25, 2019. After the ceremony, Oleg Dukhovnitsky, the head of the Federal Agency of Communication, presented the members of the Presidium with commemorative frames with cancelled stamps.
Discussion panels with external experts organized by the Accounts Chamber within the framework of the Congress are among other highlights of the INCOSAI.
The first panel was dedicated to macroaudit. Aleksei Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation; Ksenia Yudaeva, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia; Kenneth Rogoff, economy professor from Harvard; Vinay Patrick Saldanha, Director, Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (UNAIDS) contributed to the discussion as experts.
The participants discussed global risks and challenges of today's world, talked about what the state should do to make the life of people better and about the role of the auditing community in the changing world.
The second panel session was dedicated to the problem of maintaining sustainable development in the age of Great Disruption. Herman Gref, CEO in Sberbank; Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow; Philippe Rogge, Regional Vice President in Microsoft (Central and Eastern Europe); Augusto Lopez-Claros, the Director of the Global Indicators Group in the World Bank (2011-2017) and other high-profile experts participated in the panel.
The participants addressed various questions, for example what the age of Great Disruption was and how we could deliver good performance when the existing standards were being sidelined and new ones had not been developed yet.
Tomorrow the INCOSAI continues its work with panel session on the main Themes of the Congress.
Continuous dialogue, strategic approach and openness, big data and development of education programmes. Aleksei Kudrin named the major pillars for the Accounts Chamber during its chairmanship in INTOSAI.
'We contribute to the development of INTOSAI for the purposes of the creation of a more active environment to discuss new challenges that supreme audit institutions face,' Aleksei Kudrin, INTOSAI Chair, said while opening the first general session of INCOSAI XXIII. 'It is essential to create a pool of best practices that the whole society will use to achieve progress. This fully corresponds to the INTOSAI motto "Mutual experience benefits all".’
Aleksei Kudrin also said that new challenges and objectives that supreme audit institutions face require them to seek continuous improvement: 'If we do not begin to employ new approaches more energetically and intensively, our efficiency and relevance will decrease. We will not be able to fulfill our tasks and meet the expectations of the public.'
This is why comprehensive development of INTOSAI educational environment has been formulated as one of the major tasks under the chairmanship of the Accounts Chamber. 'Our fundamental task is to launch an on-line platform where we could upload training seminars, webinars, electronic libraries and data bases, targeted courses that are relevant for our society as a whole,' Aleksei Kudrin said.
The Accounts Chamber also plans to focus particularly on big data. 'Big data is not a new reality anymore,' Mr Kudrin stressed. 'Taking into account amounts of information today, it is not feasible to process them in the old way. This is why today we all start to make relevant efforts, but we cannot all boast about good preparedness in the area. We are in the beginning of a long journey, but it is all the more important to try new approaches, share knowledge and improve together.'
The establishment of sustainable development goal audit is another essential area that the Accounts Chamber wants to focus on. 'After countries have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and corresponding international obligations, we cannot consider the achievement of national targets without implementation of the SDGs. This is why in 2019 we decided to transform the INTOSAI Working Group on key national indicators to the Working Group on SDGs and key sustainable development indicators. We are certain that joint efforts will help us to develop a truly high-quality and useful guidance on the sustainable development goals audit for all supreme audit institutions,’ Aleksei Kudrin stated.
The stamp is cancelled during an official ceremony at INCOSAI, on Wednesday. The Federal Agency of Communication traditionally dedicates issues of postage notes to memorable historic anniversaries, outstanding events and major public and political organizations. Certainly, they could not ignore this principal SAI event. The stamp shows the corporate design of the 23rd Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions.
‘Without any doubt, this is a crucial event. Both the Federal Agency of Communication and Marka Publishing House could not ignore it. This is a special way for us to celebrate it today. This issue will be sent to post offices across the country, abroad and remind of today's meeting, that Russia is going to be Chair of such a respected audit organization for the next three years,’ Oleg Dukhovnitsky, the Head of the Federal Agency of Communication, said during the official ceremony.
The issue of the stamp was 150,000. The stamp was cancelled with a special souvenir date stamp with the date of the main event, namely the inauguration of Russia as the Chair of INTOSAI that took place on September, 25, 2019.
At the end of the ceremony Mr Dukhovnitsky presented the Presidium members with commemorative frames with the cancelled stamps.
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation headed the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. It is going to shape the agenda of the international audit community for the next three years. The official inauguration ceremony took place at INCOSAI XXIII, on Wednesday.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, and representatives from the chambers of the Federal Assembly, congratulated the Accounts Chamber with the chairmanship in INTOSAI. ‘I would like to thank all the members of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions for the unilateral approval of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation as the host of your respected association and today's assembly. We see in this the acknowledgment of the role and professionalism of our Accounts Chamber, appreciation of how the parliament control over the budgetary process is exercised,’ Aleksandr Zhukov, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma, said.
The key moment of the ceremony was the passing of the INTOSAI symbol to the Russian Federation, as Aleksei Kudrin received a wooden gavel from H.E. Harib Saeed Al Amimi, the former President of INTOSAI.
‘We see the foundation of our development in the constant dialogue with a view to exchange experiences and best practices. All the aforementioned provides indispensable basis for us. However, today we should focus on the rapidly changing world. We should be ready for the new challenges of our times. The public still expects good performance, reliable reports and unbiased data from us. The relevance of the work of SAIs today is clearly greater than a few decades ago,’ Aleksei Kudrin stated. In his opinion, Russia counts on active engagement with all the members of the organization. ‘I would like to draw your attention to the logo of the Congress. It has been inspired by the works of the great artist, Vasiliy Kandinsky. You see how a complex structure consisting of many elements begins to function as a single mechanism, and the same applies to us, supreme audit institutions, who, united by INTOSAI and faced with new challenges, will be able to find common approaches to continue the efficient work for the benefit of our citizens and the whole international community,’ the new INTOSAI Chair said.
On Wednesday Mr Putin, President of the Russian Federation, visited the Congress of INTOSAI in Manege, Moscow.
‘Russia hosts the main forum of this representative and high-profile institution for the first time. I would like to say at once that for us it is important that our consistent efforts focused on the development of external public audit system were commended by our partners in the international community,’ he said in his welcoming address to the delegates.
Vladimir Putin stressed that more than 600 participants came to Moscow, including SAI leadership from 128 states. ‘We wanted to create conditions for your fruitful, free and meaningful discussion,’ President added.
Vladimir Putin also focused on the support given by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation in the analysis of national projects. ‘I support the commitment of the Accounts Chamber leadership to expose, register problems and complete financial audit with a comprehensive analysis of national projects and investment programmes, assessment of how their specific contents, practical measures address the challenges that the whole world faces today, including our own country, Russia: how they work to increase the competitiveness of the whole country and improve the life of, and create new opportunities for every person,’ he said.
What is the age of Great Disruption and how can we deliver good performance when the existing standards are being sidelined and new ones have not been developed yet? Today the participants of the Panel Discussion on “Sustainable development in the age of Great Disruption: what solution can technology and public management tools provide the governments with” tried to address these issues during INCOSAI XXIII.
Leading Russian and world experts took part in the discussion, in particular, Herman Gref, CEO in Sberbank; Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow; Philippe Rogge, Regional Vice President in Microsoft (Central and Eastern Europe); Augusto Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum; Robert Saum, Director on Standards, Public Procurement and Financial Management (World Bank).
Mr Sobyanin said that political bravery and stereotype breaking were among the main governance principles in the age of Great Disruption.
‘The main challenge of our times is the pace of change. Those who make decisions faster, adjust to the modern world and introduce the latest technologies are the ones who win in the global competition. This is why, in my opinion, the first thing is to break stereotypes. The second is to be goal-oriented everyday. The third element concerns political bravery necessary to implement what you have planned,’ he said.
Herman Gref's formula includes the introduction of innovations: ‘Despite all 4 industrial revolutions, public administration remains the same, there are too much routine and processes. We are at the threshold of the first revolution in public governance. It is necessary to introduce innovations. Run – agile – disrupt (in equal proportions) is the motto of the first public administration revolution,’ the Sberbank CEO stressed.
Augusto Lopez-Claros put the proactivity principle first: ‘The world has changed in the last 75 years, however, the governance principles have not. We must be proactive. We have to prevent crises, not respond to them,’ he believes.
The development of information technologies is yet another essential principle of the new era mentioned by all the participants.
‘We should review the paradigms, make technologies more democratic and give access to them to ordinary people. There is a need for the development of digital skills, IT ethics. We have a programme "Artificial intelligence for the benefits of the people". Our task is to show that technologies make our lives better,’ Philippe Rogge, Vice President in Microsoft, said.
The role of the auditing community in the changing world was discussed today during a panel discussion on macro audit. The term itself is not universally acknowledged and has been proposed by the Accounts Chamber. ‘This is an intellectual challenge to look at global issues, global economy, and global concerns from a broader perspective, to conduct an express audit of the main trends and risks,’ Aleksei Kudrin said.
The participants said that the global economy now was undergoing serious changes: driver countries, such as China and Germany, had their GDP decreasing, there were risks of deglobalization. ‘It is most likely that in the next 5-10 years the growth rate will be quite low across the world. This cannot be explained only by the demographic trends: technological innovation growth is slowing down, the global GDP is influenced by serious political and macroeconomic factors. What is going on now is the part of the cycle that is not over yet and now every country is in need of comprehensive reforms,’ Kenneth Rogoff, economy professor from Harvard said.
The Chairman of the Accounts Chamber covered global risks and modern challenges in more detail. In his opinion, poverty is the key problem. One quarter of the accumulated global economy growth has been in the possession of 1% of the world population since 1980. At the same time, the least prosperous account only for 12% of the growth. Income inequality results in unequal opportunities. Mr Kudrin also included education and Industry 4.0 in the list of challenges. ”States engage in the digitalization, internet of things, etc. in various formats. In Russia there is an actual national project "Digital economy". However, it is very difficult to assess state policies as well as the quality shifts in the area and in all areas of activities that result from new technologies. Here we need a continuous performance evaluation of the efforts, in particular state efforts,’ he said.
All these problems are monitored by supreme audit institutions. Time is another factor that must be considered. The pace of life today is very fast, and auditors must be quicker than everyone so that important and necessary decisions do not become obsolete and lose their relevance before they are implemented. Here cutting-edge technologies might help them. ‘Modern advanced technologies allow to transform the processes and conduct audits without delays. It frees time and resources for the analysis of how processes and institutes correspond to the goal standards,’ Ksenia Yudaeva, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, said.
Finalizing the discussion, Aleksei Kudrin outlined the plans for the INTOSAI Presidency: ‘As the future leader of the organization, I would like to increase the role of analysis, data analysis, evidence-based audit methods in the analysis, data and outcome comparison and strengthen the role of recommendations given by our auditors to their governments. We should be proactive and develop the institutional structure that allows us to achieve real outcomes.’
INCOSAI XXIII is going on, while open discussions about how INTOSAI should evolve were a major highlight of its second day. “We try to make sure that the voice of every participant is heard. Our open discussions will work to put into practice the INTOSAI motto ‘Experientia Mutua Omnibus Prodest’ (Mutual Experience Benefits All),” said Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber.
The open discussions gathered small moderated groups of 10-12 participants to brainstorm around the most disturbing issues in the auditing community. The delegates discussed the role of SAIs in maintaining and strengthening of public trust and talked about what steps should be taken so that INTOSAI could be more efficient and proactive and supreme audit institutions could be even more relevant. The participants agreed that the independence and impartiality of SAIs was crucial in this respect.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Accounts Chamber and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was another Tuesday's highlight. The parties thereby renewed the previously existing Agreement of Cooperation they signed on November 7, 2007. It is primarily intended at promoting audit cooperation and also provides for knowledge and best practices exchange alongside with joint and parallel audits by SAIs of the two countries. “We have already had some experience in cooperating with each other. We’ve made a contribution to the Arctic Environmental Impact Assessment and now we have other issues on the table, including bilateral parallel audits, which would help us scrutinize government support practices in our countries to further compare our experiences,” Alexei Kudrin said after the signing.
On Tuesday, Alexei Kudrin held bilateral meetings with his vis-à-vis from Korea, Cuba, Laos, and Bahrain.
The INTOSAI Governing Board concluded its work and took stock of the progress made by INTOSAI key committees and regional organizations (such as ASOSAI, ARABOSAI, AFROSAI, EUROSAI, etc.). Now we can finally say that INCOSAI preparations are completed and everyone is ready to begin substantive work, including the inauguration of the new INTOSAI President and the opening of the First General Plenary Session.
The INTOSAI Congress held open discussions of small moderated groups of 10-12 participants who were brainstorming around issues of public audit. “We try to make sure that the voice of every participant is heard. Our open discussions will work to put into practice the INTOSAI motto ‘Experientia Mutua Omnibus Prodest’ (Mutual Experience Benefits All),” said Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber.
“From the moment I assumed the post of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, we’ve made this possible for our employees, too. The Accounts Chamber has held three strategy sessions of the same format this year,” he added.
The delegates discussed the role of SAIs in maintaining and strengthening of public trust and talked about what steps should be taken so that INTOSAI could be more efficient and proactive and supreme audit institutions could be even more relevant. The participants agreed that the independence and impartiality of SAIs was crucial in this respect.
Outcomes of the open discussions will be highlighted in the Chairman’s INCOSAI talk.
On the margins of the INTOSAI Congress (INCOSAI) XXIII, Russian and U.S. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) entered into the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which is an updated version of the Agreement of Cooperation they signed on November 7, 2007. The instrument is primarily intended at the creation of a knowledge and best practice exchange framework.
“Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of our countries is quite positive and of a professional nature despite the uneven story of the Russian-U.S. relationships,” Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, said after the signing. “And the visit of the U.S. Government Accountability Office to Moscow in the coming months would be the next step. We will discuss strategic and social audits, information technologies, digitalization, and some environmental and staff training matters.”
The MOU also provides for joint and parallel audits by SAIs of the two countries, which will be further specified as a matter of routine.
“We have already had some experience in cooperating with each other. We’ve made a contribution to the Arctic Environmental Impact Assessment and now we have other issues on the table, including bilateral parallel audits, which would help us scrutinize government support practices in our countries to further compare our experiences,” the Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber said.
The XXIII INCOSAI*, the largest international audit forum, launched in Moscow. The event focuses on two topics: “Information Technology for the Development of Public Administration” and “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Achieving National Priorities and Goals”. Delegations from 169 countries came to discuss this issue.
The key event of the first day was the meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board. Aleksei Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, opened the meeting with his welcome speech: “Today’s meeting precedes the start of the XXIII INCOSAI. Thus, we ensure continuity and further development of the ideas laid down during the previous Congress. The most important tool in our work is sharing experience, and we consider the upcoming week in Moscow to be a great opportunity for this.”
The main item of the Governing Board’s agenda was summing up the INTOSAI’s progress over the past three years. According to Aleksei Kudrin, “Over the past time, we all have noticed the changing dynamics in the public administration development. Society is increasingly demanding in terms of the quality of public services. And now we are facing the need to clarify the role and functions of audit institutions in public administration. Today we should focus not on only on effective finance administration, but also on the quality of life, implementation of approaches to address global and cross-border issues.”
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), addressed the Governing Board members in his video message. He noted the important role auditors play in the modern world and encouraged them to continuously improve their skills: “I am absolutely convinced of the strength of auditors. You remain independent players out of politics, and it is this attitude that makes you an invaluable element. In addition, you are an important voice that supports public trust in government agencies. It is thanks to you that people can trust their government, count on the quality of the services provided and politicians’ accountability. However, the world today is changing incredibly fast and, certainly, we all expect auditors to work more efficiently too, constantly accelerate, and develop technology; otherwise, we will fall behind the pace of change. That is why, events such as this Congress are so important to us. Here, we can share our experience and best practices.”
The importance of new technology in auditing, expanding cooperation, and developing professional standards was discussed at the meetings of the major INTOSAI committees: PCS, CBC, and KSC. In particular, the Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC) addressed the issue of establishing a new Working Group on Impact of Science and Technology on Audit to focus on key developments in blockchain technology, cyber security, data analysis, etc. The group will be chaired by SAI UAE.
The Committees have also summed up their progress over the past three years and set the major strategic goals for the new period. The meeting of the KSC heard the reports of two INTOSAI working groups chaired by the Accounts Chamber of Russia. These are the Working Group on Public Procurement Audit (WGPPA) and the Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals and Key Indicators (former name: Working Group on Key National Indicators). In addition, the Committee meeting reviewed the updated INTOSAI Community Portal, designed to support regular communication and data exchange.
On the first day of the Congress, Aleksei Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chambers, held bilateral meetings with delegations of SAI UK and SAI Mongolia. The parties discussed the Forum's agenda, shared their experience in public audit, and outlined strategies for further development of their bilateral cooperation. Colleagues from the UK and Mongolia invited representatives of the Accounts Chamber to pay an official visit to their countries.
Tomorrow, on September 24, the Governing Board will continue its work with open discussions on the INTOSAI’s development.
*INTOSAI is the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions established in 1953 to promote collaboration among Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and improve public audit worldwide. INTOSAI includes 194 Member States. The Accounts Chamber of Russia has been a member of INTOSAI since its establishment in 1995.
INTOSAI’s supreme body is the Congress, convened every three years in different countries. The decision to hold the next Congress in Russia was unanimously made by the XXII INCOSAI participants in 2016 in Abu Dhabi.
Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Aleksei Kudrin met the UK National Audit Office delegation headed by Dr. Daniel Lambauer, Executive Leader, at the site of the XXIII INTOCAI. The parties discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation and outlined ways to develop further collaboration.
"During this year, we have implemented an extensive knowledge-sharing program together with the United States, France, Finland. It would be interesting for us to exchange experience with the UK SAI, first of all in the audit digitalization, big data use, as well as transparency," said Aleksei Kudrin stressing the importance of international cooperation in the field of state audit.
The UK SAI representatives noted their active cooperation with the Accounts Chamber, well-coordinated work that has been conducted in the INTOSAI subcommittees and working groups. They also stressed the high level of Congress preparation, the relevance and ambition of the Moscow Declaration theses, which is a draft final document of the Congress
"The future of audit lies in the exchange of experience between the SAIs of different countries, so we invite the Accounts Chamber delegation to visit our Office in the first half of next year," the British inspectors noted.
The XXIII International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI)*, the largest international audit forum, started today in Moscow. Delegations from 169 countries arrived in the Russian capital to participate in its sessions. In terms of the number of participants, it is the most representative Congress in the history of INTOSAI.
One of the main events of the Congress will be the accession of the Accounts Chamber to the Office of the INTOSAI President. The Supreme Audit Institution of Russia will determine the international audit agenda for the next three years. The inauguration ceremony will be held on September 25 in the Moscow Manege.
The forum will be held for five days : from 23 to 27 September. The main topics of the agenda are “Information Technologies in Development of Public Administration” and “Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of National Priorities and Goals”**. The 72nd meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board will open the Congress. Moreover, on the first day of the forum, meetings of three committees (Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building and Professional Standards) will be held. Plenary sessions on the main topics of the Congress will begin their work on September 25. The Congress will end with the signing of the Moscow Declaration, which will reflect the main results of its work.
*INTOSAI is an international organization established in 1953 to promote the cooperation of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and improve the public audit worldwide. 194 countries are members of INTOSAI. The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has been a member of INTOSAI since the moment of its establishment in 1995.
The Supreme body of INTOSAI is the Congress, which is held every three years in different countries. The decision to hold the next session of the Congress in Russia was unanimously adopted by the participants of the XXII INCOSAI in 2016 in Abu Dhabi.
** In the framework of Topic I, which will be presented by the SAI of China, the participants will discuss the importance of the use of information in electronic form for the development of public administration, identify the place and role of big data in their activities.
The second topic of the Congress, which will be presented by the Accounts Chamber of Russia, will be devoted to the role of the SAIs in achieving national goals. Participants will discuss the importance of participation of Supreme Audit Institutions in the promotion of good governance and the response to challenges associated with the achievement by national governments of their sustainable development goals.
The Accounts Chamber is ready for the XXIII Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)*. This is the main conclusion made by the second Steering Committee of the XXIII Congress (INCOSAI), which has been held today in the Accounts Chamber.
“Soon, September 23 to September 28, Moscow will host the INCOSAI XXIII, a major international audit forum. It is held every three years in different countries. And now we can say that the Moscow INCOSAI is going to be one of the most representative INCOSAIs ever. More than 600 participants have registered to represent 168 countries, which is 85% of the INTOSAI size. We expect to welcome 127 chairs of supreme audit institutions, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF representatives. INCOSAI preparations have been our priority as soon as Russia was selected to be the next host country. A lot of work has been done, and I want to thank all my colleagues for their assistance. I am confident that the Congress will be held at the highest level,” Aleksei Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, said at the meeting of the Steering Committee.
He reminded that the mandate of the INTOSAI Chair would be thereby granted to the Accounts Chamber: “The Chairman of the SAI of the United Arab Emirates is now the INTOSAI President, but the Moscow INCOSAI will entrust this mission on the Accounts Chamber of Russia. We will lead this international organization, draw up the agenda of the audit community, and contribute to the development of international standards and methodological documents pertaining to financial control and audit for three years. It is an honor and a great responsibility for us and I am confident that we will accomplish this mission properly.”
*INTOSAI is an international organization of supreme audit institutions founded in 1953 to promote cooperation between supreme audit institutions (SAIs) and improve public audit worldwide. The INTOSAI membership includes 194 countries, and the Accounts Chamber of Russia has been a member of INTOSAI since its inception in 1995.
The supreme institution of INTOSAI is the Congress (INCOSAI), which is convened every three years in different countries. The decision to hold the next Congress in Russia was unanimously made by the participants of the INCOSAI XXII in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, in 2016.
The upcoming INCOSAI will review two pressing topics, such as the Information Technologies in the Development of Public Administration and the Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Achieving National Priorities and Goals.
Theme I will be presented by the SAI of China and the Congress participants will discuss the value of electronic information for the public administration and outline the role big data play in their activities.
INCOSAI second thematic cluster to be presented by the Accounts Chamber of Russia will be devoted to the role of SAI in achieving national goals. The participants will discuss the significance of supreme audit institutions in promoting good governance and producing responses to challenges national governments face in the UN SDGs implementation.
The Moscow Declaration will be the INCOSAI XXIII key document incorporating its main outcomes.
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