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The Journal is the official communication and information sharing tool of INTOSAI and is published by the Government Accountability Office–the SAI for the United States. The Journal is translated into its five official languages with the help and in-kind contributions of SAIs, and the Board of Editors, Board of Directors, and GAO’s Strategic Planning External Liaison provide oversight and/or operational responsibilities. 

The INTOSAI Journal: new ways of promoting SAI capacity building

Sep 16, 2016

When I assumed responsibility as Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Government Auditing (the Journal), of course the first thing I did was take a look at previous issues. I wanted to get an idea of the typical content, the typical structure.

Mind you, I do not have a background in auditing and admit being unfamiliar with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). But, what I do bring to the table is many years of experience in the communications field, including writing, editing, graphic design, broadcast journalism and public affairs. As I perused what was considered to be the voice of INTOSAI, I wondered…could it do more? Could it be more? Apparently, I was hungry when I began writing this blog, for the first thought that came to mind was that reading is a lot like eating.

You eat with your eyes first. One of my initial goals was to completely overhaul the layout and design of the Journal. I wanted to give it a more modern, yet corporate, look with an emphasis on accessibility and readability. And, you may have noticed the incorporation of fresh, dynamic graphics. Nothing quite says “dig in” like a good corresponding visual or two. The idea is to get beyond the first bite, to engage the reader, to entice those who have opened up the pages to delve wholeheartedly into the articles.

A source of nourishment. Just as food sustains the body, reading feeds the mind. After having read numerous submissions, it was clear…the auditing community has a ton of good material to digest, and you can really get a lot out of it. What the Journal should be is what I would like for it to become…a more robust, helpful instrument for auditors.

The Journal should be a conduit for learning, a path to promote transparency and good governance, a means to communicate and transfer knowledge and experiences. I am captivated by the notion of capacity building and inspired by the efforts the INTOSAI community has embraced to develop and cultivate innovative practices that enable Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to gain and enhance competencies.

To help fulfill this notion and further expand the mind (and not the waistline), the Journal will feature a new section, “Spotlight on Capacity Building.” The goal is to highlight tools, guidance and testimonials from the audit community, inspire contributions and encourage the sharing of best practices.

You can eat something once, but you can read something several times. To broaden international auditing publicity, foster connectivity, and boost collaborative efforts, I would like to build on existing opportunities to share auditing news…whenever and wherever possible.

Blogs, articles, images, and links to published newsletters and journals developed by the various working groups, committees and regions throughout INTOSAI are just some of the things we can exchange to encourage readership and engagement. If we combine resources, use all of the media at our disposal and avoid duplicating efforts, we can certainly increase our efficiencies in disseminating news and events on a global scale. It isn’t about what I do or what you do…it is about what WE do!

Working together to create an exciting, informative, educational reading experience that can further enable capacity building and grow from best practices in communication is my goal. I close by reflecting on a previous blog in the CBC newsletter authored by the SAI of Norway’s Head of International Relations.

It is true…“No SAI is an Island”, but a good Journal can be like an island to those who want an escape.

Heather Santos

Assistant Editor, The International Journal of Government Auditing , U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)