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Mrs. Averil James-Bonnette, Secretary General, CAROSAI, Director of Audit - St. Lucia

In 2012 the Caribbean region began the journey of implementing the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs). This is a region that is characterized by small audit offices with very limited human and financial resources; therefore the implementation of the standards seemed like a tall order. However, the Caribbean region was the first of the seven INTOSAI regions with the joint efforts of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) to launch the 3i Programme. To date the region has realized some progress towards implementing the ISSAIs.

In August 2012 ISSAI mentors for compliance, financial and performance audits from this region participated in the design meeting for the e-course on conducting the ISSAI Compliance Assessment Tools (iCATS). The e-course was subsequently launched during the months of November and December.

The response to the e-course was overwhelming with forty three (43) participants from the region completing the program. This was unprecedented because it was the first that so many participants from the Caribbean region took part in a course via an online forum. These participants will continue the second phase of the program, the facilitation skills workshop and e-course until 2014.

The Auditors General, Directors of Audit and senior management got an opportunity in November 2012 to participate in the Management Workshop on the implementation of the ISSAIs. At the end of the program there was a great level of commitment from the Heads to continue the process of implementation. As of March 2013, at least six (6) of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) had completed the iCAT for compliance audits and most have agreed to complete all three iCATs by September 2013.

Full compliance with the ISSAIs is not without some severe challenges for most of the SAIs i the region. Most SAIs are small and lack the appropriate level of human and financial resources. Some are still lacking the appropriate mandates and independence. Notwithstanding those challenges, having a quality audit function is important if the SAIs are to gain credibility and be seen to render added value to the stakeholders from the work they produce. Therefore, it is extremely important for the Caribbean to devise a regional ISSAI implementation strategy that will assist in ensuring that all SAIs despite the challenges faced can conduct their audit work in accordance with the standards.

There has been some progress made in this regard. At the recently concluded CAROSAI Congress a decision was taken for all SAIs to complete the iCATS by July and submit to the SAI of the Cayman Islands. The SAI of the Cayman Islands has agreed to analyze the results of the iCATS and prepare a document outlining the existing gaps. It is envisaged that a regional ISSAI compliance strategy will be developed from the report.

At the end of the 3i programme the region would have a pool of trained ISSAI facilitators. These facilitators are expected to drive the ISSAI implementation process within their SAIs and the region as a whole. It is hoped that with the support of the facilitators and mentors the region will be able to see tremendous gains from the 3i programme. 

You are here: Home ISSAI Talks ISSAI Implementation in the Caribbean