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The Common Forum for INTOSAI Framework of Professional Standards met for the first time December 6-11, 2015, in New York and Washington D.C., USA.

The Common Forum held its first meeting, hosted by the Professional Standards Committee (PSC). The experts met with the United Nations and the World Bank to hear about external stakeholders’ expectations on SAIs, and with other standard-setting bodies (the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board – IAASB, The International Accounting Education Standards Board – IAESB, Institute of Internal Auditors – IAA and US Government Accountability Office) to share their experiences of working with standards. The members of the Common Forum also met with the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee, Capacity Building Committee (CBC) and Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC) to hear first-hand about the expectations of the goal chairs.

Furthermore, the Common Forum had a chance to, for the first time, meet amongst themselves to discuss the task at hand and plan how they will be able to deliver results in time for INCOSAI in December 2016. The first meeting was both a great learning experience and served as an inspiration for the future work in the group, which will deliver its results to the congress.

Creation of the Common Forum

The Common Forum was created jointly by the Chairs of the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee, Capacity Building Committee and Knowledge Sharing Committee and was presented to the INTOSAI Governing Board during its meeting in Abu Dhabi in November. The Forum consists of one chair and fifteen experts, selected from more than 80 candidates from 30 organizations. The members reflect the diversity of the INTOSAI community, including a variety of professional expertise, audit systems and regions. The membership combines significant experience and expertise in public sector standard setting, implementation of standards, SAI capacity development, training, cooperation and public sector auditing including financial, performance and compliance audit.

Common Forum Membership

Ms Ganga Kapavarapu (Chair, SAI India), Mr Alhassane Baro (SAI Senegal), Mr Stuart Barr (SAI Canada), Mr Richard Bellin (SAI France), Mr Kristoffer Blegvad (SAI Denmark), Ms Beryl Davis (SAI United States of America), Mr Jens Gunvaldsen (SAI Norway), Mr Einar Gørrissen (INTOSAI Development Initiative), Mr Khalid Hamid (SAI United Arab Emirates), Mr Saharuddin Mahamud (SAI Malaysia), Ms Josephine Mukomba (AFROSAI-E Secretariat), Mr Novy Pelenkahu (SAI Indonesia), Ms Shelmadene Petzer (SAI South Africa), Ms Aleksandra Popovic (SAI Sweden), Mr Greg Schollum (SAI New Zealand), Mr Neil Usher ( European Court of Auditors).

Task of the Common Forum

In the joint goal chairs’ report to the Governing Board it was clarified that, until INCOSAI 2016, the Common Forum will primarily focus on how the ISSAI Framework can be further developed. The Forum had its 2nd meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, from 7-11 March, during which they continued to pursue their immediate objectives:

  • Clearer distinction between auditing standards, other standards (requirements), guidelines, best practice documents, etc. covering both auditing, ethics, independence and capacity development, and
  • Clearer directions on the format and quality requirements for each of these different categories of documents as established by the Common Forum.

The forum will report on progress made at the PSC, CBC and KSC steering committee meetings in 2016, and prepare a final project report for the Governing Board meeting in 2016.