INCOSAI XX, South Africa
From 22 to 27 November 2010, delegations from 152 International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) member countries and observers from international institutions (such as the World Bank, United Nations, International Federation of Accountant) convened in Johannesburg, South Africa to participate in the 20th International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (XX INCOSAI). The Audit Department of Brunei was represented by the Auditor General, Dato Paduka Haji Mahadi bin Haji Ibrahim who led a two-member delegation to attend the congress which is held triennially.
Two technical themes; viz. the Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions (Theme I) and Environmental Auditing and Sustainable Development (Theme II) have been chosen as main topics of discussion of the congress as these themes are of particular interest and as having important socio-economic and political ramifications.
Under Theme I, the congress deliberated on how Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) serving as exemplary institutions can play an important role in strengthening the public finance management and performance by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in a democratic society. Theme II, environmental auditing and sustainable development was expected to provide an excellent opportunity for SAIs to show support for the growing movement toward responsible behaviour in preserving the environment.
The launching of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) framework on the 24th of November at the congress and its subsequent endorsement by the heads of SAIs on the same day was a significant milestone as it provided greater focus and attention on professional standards within the broader accountability community. In essence, the framework covers professional standards and best practice guidelines for public sector auditors.
Other than the discussions surrounding the two technical themes of the congress and the launching of the ISSAI framework, the six day event also bear witness to various committees, working groups and task forces reporting to delegates on the results of their work such as the Working Group on Key National Indicators and Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis to name a few. Networking events as well as informal meetings between delegates involving signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) took place at the sidelines.