Conclusions of the 25th UN/INTOSAI Symposium
On 28–30 June, the 25th United Nations/INTOSAI Symposium dedicated to the work of SAIs in the conditions of a global health crisis took place. The Symposium addressed both, the impact of the pandemic on the organisation of the work of the SAIs and as well as the auditing of public measures and recovery plans implemented for the fight against Covid-19.
The Chair of ITWG, Auditor General of the Estonian SAI Mr Janar Holm made a speech in a session dedicated to innovative approaches to auditing crisis measures, stressing the important role of digitalization, speed and flexibility - for the SAIs to be able to effectively respond to the crisis. He also underlined that SAIs can help push for further digitalization, data interoperability and exchange in the public sector at large.
The final conclusions and recommendations of the Symposium approved by participating SAIs includes various information technology and data related messages, such as:
- Encourage SAIs to build on their experiences in leveraging new technologies and adopting new, more agile working methods, and to continue integrating new tools and technologies in their future work; leveraging technology in this way can allow for earlier insight and, where appropriate, better foresight based on the SAIs’ work.
- Encourage SAIs to find a balance between remote and on-site audits, taking into consideration the importance of the verifiability of information and data.
- Further emphasize the necessity of national governments to have contingency plans in place and to ensure data interoperability in order to address emergencies and enable national authorities to interact in an efficient and effective manner.
- Highlight the importance of SAI capacity building, for example through developing online educational programs open to all SAIs and involving external partners.