Subcommittee on Peer Reviews
About the Subcommittee
The Subcommittee on Peer Reviews (further Sub-Committee, also previously known as Subcommittee 3: Promote best practices and quality assurance through voluntary peer reviews) was created under the scope of the INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee at its inaugural meeting in London, 13 – 14 March, 2006 with the following tasks:
- To assess and document existing peer review arrangements in the INTOSAI community.
- To foster an environment where such voluntary reviews are seen as beneficial to both the SAI undertaking the review and the SAI choosing to undergo it and establish global and regional mechanisms for initiating peer reviews.
- To update the CBC guidelines on peer reviews and the developed checklist on the basis of the experience of SAIs and provide further good practices on how to undertake voluntary peer reviews.
- To disseminate the results of peer reviews, as appropriate and as agreed to by participating SAIs.
The Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic (SAO SR) is the Sub-Committee Chair since November 2012. It predecessor was SAI of Germany chairing Sub-Committee in 2005 – 2012. SAI of Germany, as the Sub-Committee Chair, achieved to present the first INTOSAI guidance on peer reviews at the XX INCOSAI in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.
The role and importance of the peer review as one of the foremost capacity building tools was underlined in the first INTOSAI Strategic plan 2010 – 2016 and that position is maintained in INTOSAI Strategic plan 2017 – 2022 in its Crosscutting Priority 1. – Advocating for and supporting the independence of SAIs that states: “INTOSAI also will continue to encourage SAIs to undergo periodic peer reviews that provide vital external validations of an SAI’s quality assurance processes.” The importance of the peer review for the INTOSAI community is also underlined in the Goal 2 and Goal 3 activities within the Strategic plan 2017 – 2022.
One of the Sub-Committee goals – to revise the ISSAI 5600 Peer review Guide and its Annex and present them before the INTOSAI community – was fulfilled at the XXII INCOSAI in Abu Dhabi when the ISSAI 5600 was adopted by the XXII INTOSAI Congress.
Agenda for work stream meeting 18 September in Washington: Agenda Subcommittee on Peer Reviews
In 2017, the Sub-Committee and its Chair are to support and perform a review of the Global peer review on independence project conducted by INTOSAI General Secretariat. SAO SR along the SAI of Norway and INTOSAI General Secretariat (INTOSAI GS) signed a trilateral MoU in 2016 to perform in 2017 an assessment of the Global peer review on independence conducted by the SAI of Austria, INTOSAI GS and other auditors from 7 relevant participating INTOSAI regions in 2016.
Documents - Progress reports
The Sub-Committee assesses and documents existing peer review arrangements and disseminate peer review results within the INTOSAI community
The peer review documentation administered by Sub-Committee Chair comprises of papers on peer reviews (Memoranda of Understanding, final reports, executive summaries, etc.; for all documentation available, see the CBC website and Document Library). Such documentation can serve as a pool for drawing on best practice case studies also included in ISSAI 5600 – the Peer Review Guide and its Annex. The documents are published on the Capacity Building Committee website after permission of the involved SAIs.
To manage and develop the documents, Sub-Committee carries out regular global email survey in a form of a questionnaire addressed to all INTOSAI. Using the questionnaire, Subcommittee also collects information on individual peer review projects, e.g. regarding focus, timeframe, number of staff involved, working days, key recommendations and changes based on these recommendations.
The global e-mail survey 2016 was 4th since 2012. By the end of 2016, the Sub-Committee was informed about more than 90 completed, on-going or planned peer review projects. That represented increase by 6 projects since survey 2015.
Surveys general conclusions:
The survey participants took a peer review as opportunity to:
- confirm good work done by the reviewed SAI;
- uncover gaps in the reviewed SAI activities;
- source and get ideas for continuous improvement in the given SAI audit activities and help to build the SAIs as modern institutions;
- benefit participants in form of information, knowledge and experience exchange.
Foster an environment where voluntary peer reviews are seen as beneficial
In order to promote voluntary peer reviews and general knowledge about them among the INTOSAI community and wider public, several initiatives are conducted by the Subcommittee:
- publishing articles in the INTOSAI Journal of Government Auditing, EUROSAI web page and other electronic media;
- giving presentations and report on peer review topics at varied fora organised by individual INTOSAI regional working groups and other national and international entities.
In 2017 [in the line of the INTOSAI Strategic plan 2017 – 2022, Strategic objectives for Goal 2 (Capacity Development) and Goal 3 (Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services) and Crosscutting priority 3 (Ensuring effective development and coordination among standards-setting, capacity development, and knowledge sharing to support SAIs and improve their performance and effectiveness)] the Sub-Committee will conduct a global survey among INTOSAI members followed by a study on topic Peer review as method to apply INTOSAI assessment tools. Selected INTOSAI bodies and possible external partners will be approached to join the project.
In the spring of 2018 based on the results of the survey and study made (see above) will propose to the INTOSAI community to hold a global seminar topic being Peer review as method to apply INTOSAI assessment tools.
In 2019 it will publish the results of the global survey, study and global seminar addressing the issues raised by the mentioned events and documents in a comprehensive material summing up the knowledge collected.
Update the peer review guidelines and provide best practice examples
The original Peer Review Guide with Checklist adopted as ISSAI 5600 in 2010 was translated into all INTOSAI official languages and some other working versions also were made (in Bengali, Hungarian, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Slovak).
ISSAI 5600 underwent complete reconstruction since 2010. The draft was a subject to extended exposure period for four and half months in the first half of 2016. The exposure draft at www.issai.org registered 30 SAIs/institutions providing 138 comments – 98 were accepted and 40 were noted.
In the period 2017 – 2022, the Sub-Committee will continue to develop and update the existing peer review documentation through global peer review surveys and in the same period, it will further develop the ISSAI 5600 Annex PRAQ to widen the scope of possible peer review areas and provide the best practice examples.
- Bangladesh (Vice Chair)
- European Court of Auditors
- Slovak Republic (Chair)
Minutes of the Subcommittee Meetings
Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic (Najvyšší kontrolný úrad Slovenskej republiky)
824 73 Bratislava 26
T: +421 (2) 50 11 49 11
Chair of the Subcommittee and President of the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic T: +421 2 50 11 44 02
F: +421 2 55 42 30 05
Daniela Bolech Dobáková Communication and Public Relations Division Directress
T: +421 2 501 14 405
Subcommittee issues team – Igor Ciho International Relations Division Director
T: +421 2 50 11 45 12
Imrich Gál International Relations Division Head Counsel
T: +421 2 50 11 45 14
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