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by Nelson Shack Yalta, Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru.

“Throughout the world, the interaction of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) with citizens and civil society organizations has become an increasingly relevant aspect of their work. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance and importance of including citizens and civil society organizations in the work SAIs do to audit government resources and promote greater transparency and accountability.

At the INTOSAI level, the Capacity Building Committee (CBC) itself, in the course of its activities, addressed the issue of the link between SAIs and civil society organizations, in virtual events and publishing in 2021 the document ” Civil Society Engagement: A Framework for SAIs”. Likewise, the importance of citizen participation has also been recognized at the level of the INTOSAI Regional Organizations, as is the case of OLACEFS, which created the Citizen Participation Commission (CPC) in 2009. This permanent advisory body promotes citizen participation, social audit and social capital from the perspective of the exercise of fiscal control.

For the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru, the issue of citizen participation in the work of SAIs is of particular importance.

In our role as presidency of the OLACEFS CPC, we are aware of the progress made in this area at the regional level. Within the framework of the CPC, we have carried out training activities on citizen participation in governmental control; we have followed up on initiatives regarding citizen participation mechanisms within SAIs; and we have prepared documents and workshops, among others.

Internally we have developed several programs that have involved the population in the control of public resources carried out by public managers.

Aware of the benefits derived from a closer relationship between SAIs and citizens and seeking to promote the importance of social control and good practices among the SAIs of INTOSAI, the SAI of Peru proposed that the CBC work systematically on this issue.

This September, the CBC Steering Committee approved the creation of the Task Force on Citizen Participation and Civil Society Engagement (TFCP), which aims to identify and share good practices for citizen participation and/or civil society engagement in the work of SAIs. It will also develop initiatives, tools and approaches to support the implementation of identified good practices as a means to promote the value and benefit of SAIs. The motion for the creation of the TFCP will be submitted for approval to the INTOSAI Governing Board at its 76th Annual Meeting, to be held within the framework of the XXIV INCOSAI, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro on November 7-11, 2022.

The TFCP intends to achieve its objective through various actions and specific projects such as developing a Toolbox; collecting and spreading best practices and successful initiatives of citizen participation and engagement with civil society in SAIs; organizing international online events; proposing ways in which international civil society organizations, and development partners can strategically partner; among other initiatives.

The SAI of Peru will chair the TFCP due to its experience in the OLACEFS sphere and given its significant progress and recognition in the area of Citizen Participation in its institutional activities. As an example, we can mention the citizen participation volunteer program called Citizen Control Monitors (CCM) of the SAI of Peru, which is a citizen oversight mechanism and an institutional effort that reveals the commitment of our SAI with the enhancement of citizen voice and action, valuing it as an important source of information to strengthen governmental control. In 2021, the CCMs carried out more than 45,000 on-site visits and remote monitoring, generating reports, which in turn served as input for the auditors of the SAI of Peru to issue their own warnings about risks and adverse situations to the heads of local governments in order for them to correct the detected situations. Given its important achievements, the CCM program received the Inter-American Award for Innovation in Effective Public Management (PIGEP) 2020 in the category of “Innovation in Open Government” from the Organization of American States, and in 2021 the ” Business Creativity 2021″ Award from the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences in the categories of National Public Management and Innovation in Processes.

For all these reasons, we are confident that the INTOSAI Governing Board will vote for the creation of the Task Force on Citizen Participation and Civil Society Engagement, and we thank you in advance for your support. The SAI of Peru expresses its best disposition to achieve the best results through a joint and articulated work with its members, and is ready to work with them to move forward with this new challenge”.

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