Journal Of Goverment Audit and Accounts

Role of INTOSAI Performance Audit Sub-Committee In developing standards and guidelinesBy Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Principal Director (Direct Taxes), O/o the CAG of India, New Delhi

The Performance Audit Subcommittee was created by the Professional Standards Committee of INTOSAI in September 2005.The INTOSAI Governing Board approved the establishment of the Subcommittee at their 54th meeting in November 2005.The PAS mandate includes the dissemination of the INTOSAI Implementation Guidelines for Performance Auditing; developing standards and guidelines for performance audit on the basis of the present INTOSAI Implementation Guidelines for Performance Auditing; monitoring the development and reforms of the public sector and continuously estimate the consequences for performance audit; monitoring the development of relevant theories, methods, evaluations etc. at universities and other relevant research centers and continuously estimate the consequences for performance audit.

PAS has 26 members (as in January 2018): Norway (Chair) • Australia • Austria • Brazil • Canada • Denmark • European Court of Auditors (ECA) • France • Georgia • Germany • Guyana • Hungary • India • Iran • Kiribati • Netherlands • Peru • Romania • Russia • Saudi Arabia • Slovenia • South Africa • Sweden • Tunisia • United Kingdom • United States of America

PAS has three observers: AFROSAI-E, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI).

The role of all Subcommittees of PSC including that of PAS, inter alia, include

  • Preparing initial assessments for new pronouncements.
  • Developing project proposals for the development of new pronouncements.
  • Applying the appropriate quality processes to the development of the pronouncements
  • Proposing the inclusion of new projects in the strategic development plan
  • Preparing drafts of new pronouncements for submission to the Forum for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements (FIPP).
  • Exposing the drafts of pronouncements approved by FIPP to INTOSAI members and other stakeholders
  • Forwarding the comments and the Subcommittee’s considerations to the FIPP.
  • Considering, in conjunction with FIPP, if the changes in the draft require re-exposure
  • Following-up and maintaining the pronouncements.
  • Proposing and justifying withdrawals of professional pronouncements.

The PAS Secretariat approaches all PAS members or targets specific members according to their expertise, if and when the PSC requests for PAS involvement in SDP projects about to start up, and given that specific projects have performance audit relevance.

The overall strategies of the PAS are recorded in a triennial work plan, which corresponds with the INCOSAI cycles and is approved by the PAS. There were some significant decisions from the 2016 INCOSAI which have affected the ongoing and future activities of the PAS. The most significant change was the introduction of the Strategic Development Plan for the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements (SDP for the IFPP) 2017-2019.The SDP provides the general strategy and overall working plan for the development of INTOSAI principles, standards and guidance on auditing in 2017-2019.The SDP is a ‘living’ document, which the PSC Steering Committee updates if necessary to include new initiatives or reflect changing priorities.

So far PAS has produced the following Guidelines on performance audit:

  • ISSAI1 31002 Guidelines on Central Concepts for Performance Auditing
  • ISSAI 3200 Guidelines for the Performance Audit Process.

The PAS work plan is the authoritative document steering the Subcommittee towards its next term and the next work plan. Work plan for the PAS for the period 2017-2019, includes the following:

  1. Support the implementation of the new ISSAI 3000 series in close cooperation with the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI).
  2. Work with the PSC/FIPP on realizing the “SDP for the IFPP 2017–2019” by active participation in the relevant SDP projects by all PAS members.
  3. Work with the INTOSAI Chair3 on realizing “Crosscutting Priority 24 ” in the INTOSAI Strategic Plan by contributing to the follow-up and review of the Strategic Development Goals within the context of each nation’s specific sustainable development efforts and SAIs’ individual mandates (from the INTOSAI Strategic Plan).
  4. Be an arena for sharing good practice in performance audit where best practices and innovative approaches for performance audit are shared, debated and disseminated.

The PAS holds annual meetings, in different countries each year. The last meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary, on 18-19 April 2018 which decided on the following priorities for PAS for 2018-2019:

  1. Work with the PSC to get a better strategic basis for the next SDP for the IFPP.
  2. Continue the follow-up of the existing SDP, including existing engagements.
  3. Continue working with the IDI to secure the quality of IDI-material on implementation.
  4. Participate in the IDI project5 on SDG lessons learned/audit results.
  5. Set up a project group to collect and analyze existing information on implementation of performance audit standards.

The PAS has to face several challenges in the process of standard setting - the diversity of the member SAIs, and availability of limited resources being two such prime challenges. As the member SAIs have different structures, cultures, audit mandate along with different degrees of autonomy, finding a common ground is often a difficult task. The PAS tries to address this issue by following a consultative process in its working. To address the issue of limited resources, PAS involvement focus primarily on projects with close connection to performance audit, and where involvement could potentially contribute to reaching other goals in its work plan.

  • 1. International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • 2. ISSAI 3100 & ISSAI 3200 have now moved to the GUID 3900 series as per the new Classification principles for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements brought in by the SDP for the IFPP 2017-2019
  • 3. The Chairman of the Governing Board is the head of the SAI that hosted the last congress.(last Congress – 2016-UAE)
  • 4. This is the second of the INTOSAI’s five Crosscutting Priorities included in its Draft Strategic Plan 2017–2022.
  • 5. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and IDI are planning to come out with a cobranded document on lessons learnt and audit findings from cooperative audits regarding Agenda 2030 or Sustainable Developing Goals in 2019. This document will be presented in the UN. Presently 85 SAIs are conducting audit of Sustainable Developing Goals programmes. The objective of this programme is to support SAIs in conducting high quality audits of Sustainable Developing Goals. PAS can join this to secure the quality of this document.

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