2013-12 SOLUTIONS LAB: Cooperative Audits
DATE: December 12, 2013
TIME: 10:00 am
Location:Abu Dhabi, The UAE
December 11-12, 2013
Location: Cairo, Egypt, with video conference connections with experts from the Supreme Audit Institutions of Brazil and Poland
Audience: 15 participants from the Central Auditing Organization of Egypt (CAO) and the ARABOSAI.
The Solutions Lab will be a targeted discussion on CAO's plans for cooperative audits with other Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs). Cooperative audits can be an effective tool for enhanced learning between SAIs. The virtual format will enable CAO to draw on the experiences of the SAIs with the widest experiences in the field.
Accountability State Authority of Egypt (ASA), December 2013
Supreme Audit Institutions of different countries can cooperate on audits, usually if the issue that will be audited has a transnational character or if the cooperation is part of a capacity building program to introduce new audit methodology, for example. The Solutions Lab connected experts on such cooperative audits from different countries via video-link in order to share experiences and ideas with ASA staff. It had 15 participants from ASA, including managers and experienced auditors working on environmental audits. The participants were introduced to the three types of cooperative audits: parallel audits, joint audits, and coordinated audits. The event included discussions on choosing the appropriate type of cooperative audits, the critical success factors in cooperative audits, contents of cooperation agreements, and considerations for increasing the chances of success of early efforts at cooperative audits. Various practical ideas emerged during the discussions, including:
· While selecting the audit approach and topic, carefully consider the mandates and capacities of the SAIs that plan to cooperate, as these may vary between countries;
· Avoid topics/issues on which there are strong sensitivities among the cooperating countries;
· Effective communication among the cooperating SAIs is key for the success of cooperative audits. Ensure frequent and open communications through different channels, including face-to-face meetings, tele- and video conferencing, and emails;
· Adopt a narrower, rather than broader, audit scope to increase the chances of success at early efforts in cooperative auditing;
· Consider using the relevant ISSAIs to ensure quality and consistency in auditing approach among the cooperating SAIs;
· Use common working paper templates. This will ensure that the audit teams from the different SAIs pursue the same (or at least similar) audit objectives and collect information that can easily be compared and collated.
Provide for more time and resources for cooperative audits than for national audits.