The ALSAI participates in a meeting held by IDI on the SAI-s Sustainable Development Goals

29.07.2019

On July 22-23, 2019, it was developed a meeting on “Supreme Audit Institutions Make the Difference: Auditing the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals” with the participation of SAI leaders and other government stakeholders involved in setting and implementing the audit development goals in the country. This meeting was held with the support of UNDESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs of UN and IDI), (INTOSAI Development Initiative). Participants from 80 different countries from Europe, America, Asia and Africa shared their best experiences on auditing the development goals that are required to be consistent with the 2030 Agenda.

The opening speech was held by Ms. Spatolisano (UNDESA Representative) who after discussing the importance of this meeting explained the main goals of the organizers regarding this meeting where sharing of experiences is the key word especially in the environment of Supreme Audit Institutions. Then spoke Ms. Shirsaf - CEO of IDI, who described the meeting as important to develop audit institutions that support with their work the realization of the goals under the 2030 Agenda.

During the two days of the meeting some key issues were discussed:

1. Are countries ready for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda? And the answer to this question was given by the countries that had audited the preparatory phase for the implementation of this agenda. In this regard, the analysis carried out by IDI was launched, referring to the results of the audit work on the preparations for the implementation of the Strategic Development Goals. The analysis material was realised with the support of IDI and KSC (Committee on Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services).
The meeting continued with bringing the experiences of the countries involved in this venture and the problems that were identified. So, with great interest were the experiences brought by the SAI of the Philippines, Republic of Uganda, Mauritus. With the moderation of Ms. Vilkari, Auditor General of the National Audit Office of Finland, made that the experience gained out of the European environment to be approached a broad and in a comprehensive perspective. The discussion highlighted the fact that it is not the regulatory framework that allows or prohibits auditing with the focus on economic development goals but rather the bilateral willingness to contribute to the good of the country. Is this will part of the SAI-s agenda? This answers the first question whether SAI-s can be involved in auditing these strategies.

2. What are the challenges of the 2030 Development Agenda? Strategy integration policies, budgets and partnerships are the challenges that each country must face in order to be ready for successful implementation of Strategic Development Goals, this is the lesson from the countries that have conducted a preparatory phase audit to accomplish these goals. Interesting examples were those brought by the Audit Office of Senegal and the Solomon Islands. While the discussion of the representative of the Mongolian National Development Agency's Department of Development Policy and Planning showed that a timely and capacity-based integrated model provides assurance of achievable and most importantly measurable goals. The problem of indicators is a global problem but it is the governments that judge not only how to achieve the goals, the deadlines but what is important is the outputs of each strategy, which normally require national indicators as well. But how do governments achieve having an integrated and coherent strategy with many sectoral strategies and across several levels of government this is a challenge with which the government approach is different and the results are also different. This issue was one of the points that was most discussed by the participants.

3. How are their strategies and outcomes monitored? Accuracy and completeness of data related to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals is one of the other challenges of the strategy. How are the data provided, is their completeness and accuracy guaranteed by the role that SAI-s take in guaranteeing this accuracy? The experiences of the Court of Accounts of Gabon, the Auditor General of Chile and the CEPA representative were brought to this issue. The discussion brought to the attention how transparency and data disclosure helps development strategies to be comprehensive and there is no aspect of Agenda 2030, not covered. Not only that, but the experiences of Latin America and Spain on gender equality gave another approach to the discussions that small countries like Albania have much to do. The key lessons and challenges of SAI-s regarding gender equality and the involvement of government agencies in the implementation of the SDG (Strategic Development Goals) were moderated by the Deputy President of the Canadian Audit and Accounting Federation.

4.The last aspect that this meeting was focused on was the role of SAI-s in implementing sustainable development. The second day of discussions focused on these issues. Issues that took the attention of the participants were related to the impact of the audits on SDG-s, the most appropriate ways of communicating and collaborating with government institutions to guarantee and ensure a high level of implementation of SDG-s. The discussion of the representative of the Auditor General of South Africa focused the discussion on the communication of the audit reports. What are the opportunities and challenges for an effective collaboration with other stakeholders so that the impact of performance audits in the area of ​​implementing strategic development goals to be maximal?

5. Strategic considerations for SAI-s that should be directed towards audits of SDG-s (Strategic Development Goals) were not excluded. Deputy. IDI Director-General Ms. Shirsat and UNDESA Secretariat Representative in their discussions emphasized that before SAI-s can undertake audits at this level they must face with:

i. O rganizational issues

ii. Aspects of Audit Planning (based on the characteristics of this audit)

iii. Audit methodology

iv. Professional capacity development

v. Developed technology levels

vi. S trategic partnerships

All participants agreed that it is necessary for SAI-s to integrate SDG-s into their audit plans, regardless of the challenges they have to face and which are also in function with the charasteristics of the countries where SAI-s operate. However in the INTOSAI community the opportunities for collaboration and sharing the best practices and experiences in this area are endless. In this meeting ALSAI was represented by Ms. Manjola Naço - General Director, Mr. Rinald Muca - Director of Performance Audit Department and Ms. Amantia Patozi - Specialist, Department of Communication Publication and Foreign Relations.