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ISSAI Talks

AFROSAI-E is the English-speaking subgroup of AFROSAI and part of the INTOSAI Community. It is composed of 24 members which include 2 Portuguese speaking countries. The vision  is “AFROSAI-E is committed to ensuring that the highest degree of accountability, transparency and honesty is attained in government operations in sub-Saharan English-speaking Africa and that public resources in the region are properly used and managed”.  The mission is “AFROSAI-E will co-operate with its member SAIs and help them through institutional strengthening initiatives to reach the level of audit performance necessary to fulfill their mandates”.

The XX INCOSAI resolved to call upon its members and other interested parties to:

  • Use the ISSAI framework as a common frame of reference for public sector auditing;
  • Measure their own performance and auditing guidance against the ISSAIs;
  • Implement the ISSAIs in accordance with their mandate and national legislation and regulations.

AFROSAI-E has effectively used its role to assist SAIs in ISSAI implementation. This has been done by ensuring that ISSAI implementation is integrated in all AFROSAI-E strategies and activities. The AFROSAI-E activities include :

  • Development of guidance material
  • Needs Driven Workshops – regional, sub-regional
  • Extensive Training Programs
  • Annual technical update
  • Bilateral support projects
  • Quality assurance reviews

These are briefly explained below.

Development of guidance material

Guidance material is produced through a rigorous process which involves experts from SAIs and Institutional Partners. An annual Technical Committee reviews and approves the guidelines. All guidelines are regularly updated in accordance with a maintenance program and are presented at an Annual Technical Update which includes presentations on current developments in relation to ISSAIs.

The guidelines cover the whole range of the ISSAI Framework from Level 1 – Level 4 and INTOSAI Govs. Below are examples of guidance material for the different levels:

Level 2 – Independence Toolkit, Reporting on SAI Performance, Quality Assurance Handbook

Level 4 – Regularity Audit Manual (includes financial audit and compliance audit guidelines), in addition, there is related guidance on some ISSAIs or audit areas, for example Detecting fraud while auditing (ISSAI 1240), Consolidated Financial Statements (ISAI 1600), Audit of Revenue, IT audit and Environmental Audit. Another key Level 4 guideline is the Performance Audit Manual with supplementary guidance like Waiting Time and Maintenance of Assets.

INTOSAI Govs – Risk Management for SAIs and various SAI planning guidelines.

Needs Driven Workshops – regional, sub regional

Various courses are conducted covering the areas mentioned above to assist in ISSAI implementation. Annually, refresher courses are held after the Technical Update. This gives the opportunity for participants to share their experiences in relation to the actual implementation of methodologies based on the ISSAIs. An example is the risk based methodology based on the financial audit guidelines.

Extensive Training Programs

Extensive training programs are developed and presented for the core areas which are regularity and performance audit. The regularity audit program includes intensive training on the working papers for the various phases which is followed by pilot audits and on the job training where necessary. The performance audit program consists of three modules over a combined period of five weeks. The program takes the participants through the phases of actual planning for performance audits, execution and reporting. In between the modules, participants work on planning and conducting a performance audit in their SAI.

Bilateral support projects

AFROSAI-E provides ongoing assistance through bilateral and in-house support. This is based on individual requests and needs as agreed in individual terms of reference. This helps to ensure that the implementation of ISSAIs takes local circumstances into account and is tailored to the mandates of the different SAIs. This normally includes the customisation of the regional guidance documents, local workshops, pilot audits and in some cases, on the job training.

Quality assurance reviews

Every SAI in AFROSAI-E is subjected to a quality assurance review after every two years. The main objective of these reviews is to assess compliance with ISSAIs. The reviews cover both the institutional (SAI level) level and individual audit levels (review of audit files) for both regularity and performance audit. Upon receiving the review report, each SAI is supposed to develop an action plan which details the actions which the SAI will take to improve in its implementation of ISSAIs.

Co-operation with other stakeholders

AFROSAI-E cooperates with different stakeholders in the endeavours outlined above. The institutional partners (Swedish National Audit Office, Office of the Auditor General of Norway, Netherlands Court of Audit, IDI and CCAF) assist with technical expertise in various areas. AFROSAI-E has also been involved in the development of the IDI ISSAI Implementation Initiative (3i).

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