Every year, the CBC subcommittee on Peer reviews runs a global survey about various aspects of peer reviews within the INTOSAI community. The survey 2019 was conducted in January and February. The questionnaire (in English, French and Spanish) was sent to almost 480 INTOSAI addressees.
The return rate was approximately 10 %, this decline from over 20 – 30 % in the past, was the lowest participation ever. In the survey 2019, nineteen SAIs replied positively to the challenge to become a possible peer reviewing entity: Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, Finland, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, South Africa, Sudan, and Togo.
The survey included a question: Would your SAI be interested to attend a working seminar Getting ready for a peer review in May/June 2020 in Bratislava, Slovakia focusing on hands-on and other practical aspects and experience in peer review process?
Twenty-five SAIs expressed preliminary interest attending this seminar: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, and Togo.
You can find the summary of peer review surveys here: https://intosaibc.wpengine.com/download/2019-survey-flyer/.
The CBC subcommittee on Peer reviews also ran a stocktaking exercise of the web page usage devoted to the peer review. The review revealed the following:
Number of documents related to peer reviews in the library: 73.
Total number of document downloads: 2080.
Average of downloads of any document: 29.
Highest number of downloads:
- 74x – Hungary Report 2016
- 71x – ECA Report 2014
- 55x – Sweden Report 2013
- 54x – Indonesia Report 2004
- 51x – USA Report 2017
Single digit downloads of a report:
- 5x – Switzerland Summary in French 2006
- 5x – Netherlands Report in Dutch 2007
- 4x – Mongolia 2010
- 3x – Mexico – Summary 2008
- 3x – Cyprus Report 2019
- 2x – Lithuania Summary 2006
- 2x – Albania Report 2017
- 0x – FYROM Key Questions 2007
Memoranda of Understandings (MoU)
Twelve documents published, all registered 529 downloads, e.g. the average number of downloads was 44. The three highest number of downloads:
- MoU of Lithuania 2014: 64
- MoU of Canada 2004: 59
- MoU of Norway 2011: 51
The numbers suggest that the use of the peer review related documents is moderate to low. This may not be too surprising, as the peer review frequency is quite moderate. If a SAI conducts two peer reviews, the break between them is 8 – 10 years. Usually, by the second peer review, the SAI has changed its top management. The only exceptions are SAIs bound to have peer reviews as part of their law like the GAO US, Indonesia and a few others. Furthermore, the follow-up on peer reviews, as suggested in ISSAI 5600 (point 9.5), seem very rare and are almost never made.