Involvement of all sides and full use of technologies could help SAIs to cope with COVID-19 pandemic

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July 28, 2020
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More than 150 experts from over 50 countries have participated in the webinar on remote auditing challenges and technological solutions under the SCEI Expert Group on COVID-19.

To cope with this new normality, realize what challenges and solutions emerge, it is important to go on monitoring the current situation. Participants of the meeting shared their best practices and lessons learned during the pandemic. Generally, SAIs are doing well in this field: in order to help governments, particular SAIs, regional organizations and INTOSAI working bodies have come to more profound reflection and analysis of their own recent experience. 

Many national SAIs also make valuable contribution by sharing their individual experience and solutions with the community. According to the Accounts Chamber of Russia analysis, the resilience of SAIs during the crisis, the challenges of ensuring transparency and accountability in the worsening conditions, and the importance of external audit in general regarding control over emergency government expenditures are among the main topics of interest. 

SAIs should perform corroborative procedures remotely using both technology developments and modern data-driven approaches to achieve high level of flexibility without any compromise to the audit objective. But different countries have different levels of preparedness. Some of them were fortunate that their investment in “remote working” quickly became the building blocks for full “working from home” without significant impact on their ability to deliver a professional public audit service, while the others had to start from scratch. 

During the conversation auditors from France, Indonesia, Peru, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Unites Stated of America highlighted the most popular solutions to the challenges they faced with during the pandemic: cloud-based infrastructure, flexible working policy, relevant equipment, broadband connectivity and well-established network architecture. 

Finally, it was stated that involvement of all sides, full use of technologies and actually right mental behavior could help to cope with such kind of difficulties in the future. The SCEI Expert group on COVID-19 will continue to collaborate with colleagues from all over the world and share best practices with the whole auditing community. 

Full information about this meeting will be available in the follow-up summary report on the updated SCEI webpage on INTOSAI Community Portal. 

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