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09/26/2019

INCOSAI XXIII: Day 4

Day 4 of INCOSAI became a day of discussions.

It began with a plenary session on one of the main themes of the forum, the role of SAIs in achieving national priorities and goals.

Participants discussed the role of SAIs in the modern world and in achieving national goals, discussed risks and challenges that public audit faced, and what auditor of the future should be like.

Aleksei Kudrin, the Chair of INTOSAI and the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, opened the session. He pointed out that today supreme audit institutions should primarily act as consultants and partners of the government: 'Today auditors are required to help auditees with recommendations on the basis of comprehensive analysis rather than simply provide evidence-based criticism of failures, and thus be an independent and unbiased consultant that promotes better quality of decision making in public bodies.'

Dmitry Zaitsev, auditor of the Accounts Chamber, described challenges associated with the strategic approach to audit. First of all, this is lack of knowledge and weak mandates of SAIs, methodology and data problems, including the openness of data. 'Audit of complex topics imposes new requirements for the data quality. Today there are more and more data, but it is not always suitable for audit,' Mr Zaitsev stressed.

Basic skills of the auditor of the future became one of the main discussion topics. Quantity analysis, artificial intelligence and big data analytics are among the priorities and meet the needs of the time.

According to the SAI Russia, strategic thinking, knowledge in several scientific areas and communication skills must be the main skills of the auditor today. 'As for consulting, without communication skills, no matter how good your experts are, they will not succeed in building trust in their outcomes,' Mr Zaitsev added.

The second plenary session was dedicated to another INCOSAI theme, "Information technologies in the development of public administration". It was prepared by the SAI China.

"In recent years we have seen that information technologies have influenced all the aspects of life, we witness the exponential growth of big data. Now it is easier for us than ever to measure efficiency of decision making in public governance,' Hu Zejun, the Auditor General of the People's Republic of China, stated upon opening the discussion.

The participants discussed the importance of digital information for the development of public administration, identified the position and role of big data in their activities. They all agreed that it is impossible to conduct high-quality strategic risk-oriented audit without big data analytics.

Summing up the meeting, the Audit General of the People's Republic of China, pointed out that thanks to IT technologies, SAIs could improve the quality of their data, forecasts, and, as a result, enhance the quality of public audit. INTOSAI should become a platform for exchange of best practices and auditor training.

A meeting of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber with representatives of the SAIs of BRICS member states was among the highlights of Thursday. The parties have adopted a cooperation plan. Joint monitoring and analysis of projects aimed at achieving national priorities and goals, including environmental audit, are among promising areas of cooperation.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Congress. We are waiting for the adoption of the Moscow Declaration.


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