ALSAI participates in the first meeting for the reconciliation of the parallel audit with focus on “Immediate marine pollution”

18.11.2019

On november 12-13, in Rijeka, Croatia, it was developed the first meeting for the reconciliation of the parallel audit with focus on “Immediate marine pollution”. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Supreme Audit Offices of Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The idea of such an audit arose from the previous cooperation, under the IPA project, of the performance audit executives of the SAI-s of Croatia and Albania, concretely Mr. Božo Vuletić-Antić and Mr. Rinald Muça. In support of the success of two performance audits in collaboration with the Croatian SAI, conducted in the period 2017-2018, the audit on “Strategic Tourism Development” and “Quality of School Buildings” and fulfilling the INTOSAI-s motto “Mutual experience benefits all”, it was concluded that one area of potential interest in extending further cooperation is the environmental one, and especially that of common natural resources, such as the Adriatic Sea.

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On the initiative of the re-elected President of the Croatian SAI, Mr. Ivan Klešić, the audit was decided to expand to a regional audit, inviting all representatives of the Adriatic coastal countries to participate. The Rijeka meeting served precisely to identify common problems in the management and protection of this natural asset, focusing the audit on a specific topic, and agreeing on a working calendar for 2020, the year in which this audit is envisaged.

The first day of the meeting, after the presentations of Mr. Damir Zec, Professor at the University of Maritime Studies in Rijeka and Mr. Vedran Martinić, director of the Center for Research and Training on Readliness and Response to Immediate Marine Pollution, the audit representatives agreed that parallel audit should focus precisely on the immediate pollution of the Adriatic Sea. Such pollution is usually caused by natural disasters at sea, drowning of heavy tonnage vessels, lack of preventive measures or mismanagement of existing measures to avoid such events having a negative impact on the environment, etc. Although no events of such dimensions have occurred in the Adriatic Sea to be classified as environmental emergencies, increased commercial activity, development of coastal sites and environmental factors increasingly affecting the global and regional climate, may lead to environmental catastrophes, the size of which can be multiplied by the closed character of the Adriatic Sea and failure to take precautionary measures on time.

If the first day the activity was focused on recognizing the problems and raising the awareness of the participants about the importance of the potential audit issue, in the second day it was discussed the technical side of the audit. Concretely, it was discussed that, in order to maintain the autonomous character of dealing with the matter, the audit should take the form of a parallel audit rather than a joint audit. This means that each participating country will prepare an individual audit report, in accordance with its mandate and work plan, presenting to those stakeholders that the SAI deems as appropriate. Also, the audit methodology will be individual. Subsequently, a synthetic report will be prepared, summarizing the messages, findings and recommendations of each country involved to understand and address the problem at a wider level. The Croatian SAI also proposed the pyramid of questions for this audit. From this pyramid of questions, all countries, except Bosnia and Herzegovina which has a short coastline (about 10 km), agreed that the main question was relevant to all. With the proposal of Mr. Rinald Muça, the next part of the pyramid of questions was supposed to focus on auditing the inputs and outputs of the disaster management intervention process, a proposal that was accepted by the participants and further detailed. In the following meeting, the audit colleagues of the participating countries will present the audit plan to learn from and comment by everyone's work.

As always, the hospitality of the Croatian SAI, especially towards the Albanian group comprising by Mr. Rinald Muca, Ms. Mr Elfrida Agolli, Mr. Alfred Zylfi and Ms. Megi Kurushi, was impressive and a testimony of the support that Croatia has given and constantly gives to our country. Of particular importance at this meeting were also the discussions between the Albanian and Slovenian parties, headed by the Director of Performance audit at the Slovenian SAI, Mr. Miroslav Kranjc, a genuine innovator in performance auditing.