On 14 – 15 November 2017, the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic organised an international seminar and workshop aimed at exchange of experience in performing cooperative audits in Prague under the auspices of EUROSAI. The organisation of the seminar followed on the previous EUROSAI Strategic Plan 2011-2017,as support of cooperative audits also forms an important part of Strategic Goal 1 of the EUROSAI Strategic Plan 2017-2023. More specifically, it falls under objective 1.1, which aims to promote audit-related cooperation by acting as a broker between members. It is a topical theme for a majority of the supreme audit institutions (SAIs), including the Czech SAI, which has carried out over 20 cooperative audits. Participants from 20 SAIs – member states of EUROSAI, the European Court of Auditors and IDI (INTOSAI Development Initiative) attended the seminar.
Miloslav Kala, President of the Czech SAI, opened the seminar by informing about a recently initiated project called BIEP (Benchmarking Information Exchange Project). The project offers an alternative form of cooperation carried out within the traditional cooperative audits. The project was introduced for the first time in September 2016, at the annual V4+2 meeting of the Presidents of the SAIs of the Visegrad Group, Austria and Slovenia, which was held in the Czech Republic.
The first part of the EUROSAI seminar in Prague was dedicated to the introduction of the theme. The participants were presented to a video prepared by SAI Peru (leading the INTOSAI CBC subcommittee on Cooperative Audits), which set the scene on cooperative audits from the perspective of the ISSAI 5800: Guide on Cooperative Audits. The representative of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reported on different forms of audit cooperation between ECA and SAIs. Finally, the IDI representative informed about support of SAIs in terms of increasing their performance, independence and professionalism when performing cooperative audits.
The second part of the seminar brought up experiences of SAIs recently having carried out cooperative audits, and with experience from cooperative audits in general. The SAIs presented, among other issues, Underlying Risks to Sustainable Public Finances, Biometric Passport Management, Graduate Tracking Systems and Excise Duty Administration.
An integral part of the seminar was a practical workshop in a more informal setting, that let participants discuss in smaller groups the three phases of a cooperative audit – a preparation phase, a realization phase, and a finalization phase. Furthermore, the seminar also consisted of a market place where SAIs had the opportunity to present their recent cooperative audits, audit ideas and novel attitudes beneficial to the international community. The workshop, as well as the market place, were designed to support and encourage cooperation between SAIs and exchange of experiences. For ppt-presentations or other meeting material, please contact the Subcommittee on Cooperative Audits (SAI Peru firstname.lastname@example.org), the organiser SAI Czech Republic (email@example.com) or the CBC secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).