Tuesday 17 June - seminars and work sessions day 1

The theme sessions took place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June. In the vicinity of the Netherlands Court of Audit, various small 90-minute sessions asked for active contributions from all delegates at the congress. These sessions were the heart of the IX EUROSAI Congress. No innovation without interaction!

Round 1: 11:00 - 12:30 (overview)

Seminar Innovation and leadership SAIs in the twenty-first century

  1. Managing ethics within SAIs (TF Audit & Ethics)
  2. Radical transparancy: open data/open spending (UK and the Netherlands)
  3. Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations 
  4. Involving citizens: new media (Israel)
  5. Public Private Partnerships: audit challenges and findings (Malta & the Netherlands)
  6. Highlights of paperless auditing (Estonia)
  7. How ISSAI-proof is your SAI? (IDI)
  8. Innovation PowerBoost work session (the Netherlands)
  9. SAIs and Sustainability maximising our impact (the Netherlands)

Round 2: 13:30 - 15:00 (overview)

Seminar Predicting integrity incidents by assessment of organisational culture and boardroom behaviour

  1. SAIs working together: experiences from EWG Environmental Auditing
  2. Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations
  3. Geospatial auditing (the Netherlands)
  4. How to pick your colleagues brains (Denmark, YES)
  5. A new audit approach for the auditing performance-based budgetting (Turkey)
  6. Electronic rendering of accounts (Portugal)
  7. The increasing relevance of SAIs in the 21st century (United Kingdom)
  8. Innovative approaches for building SAI capabilities (Sweden)
  9. Radical transparency: open data/open spending (UK and the Netherlands)

 

Round 1: 11:00 - 12:30 (details)

Seminar Innovation and leadership SAIs in the twenty-first century

Session moderator: Mr Arno Visser, Member of the Board, Netherlands Court of Audit
Society is changing rapidly. The role and tasks of central government are also changing drastically and so are SAIs. What we have grown accustomed to no longer exists. What does this mean for leadership and innovation in SAIs? How can we respond and anticipate to the changes in society and government in a proactive instead of reactive way? Can we take the lead in discussions or should we follow? There is not a single solution, but the seminar will help to sort out the relevant issues and define possible answers. 

1 Managing ethics within SAIs

Session moderator: EUROSAI Task Force on Audit and Ethics 
Participants will be asked to share and discuss good practices of managing ethics in SAI on a specific aspect (for example, how to implement codes of ethics, how to manage ethical dilemmas, how to enhance ethical leadership).

2 Radical transparancy: open data/open spending

Session moderators: National Audit Office UK and the Netherlands Court of Audit
Governments know a lot about us. We know far less about our governments. Either we trust what government officials tell us, or we go through lengthy procedures to get government information that is not available now. In the digital age, where information travels quicker than light, this is simply unacceptable. Government information should be fully accessible 24/7 for anybody with an internet connection. So how to remedy this situation?

All governments have a treasure-trove of data on what they do, how much that costs and what the results are. Most of this data is not available to the public. The Open Data movement aims to change this. By making this data publicly available, without registration, costs or legal restrictions, we can get a much better picture of what governments are doing. We can start following government spending, the timeliness of public transport, the quality of our schools and the implementation of legislation.
How does this affect us as auditors? Will we become obsolete as more and more government data becomes available and citizens can audit governments from their home laptop? The NAO, two seasoned open data experts and the NCA’s open data team will guide you through all these questions and more.

3 Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations

In the open mic sessions SAIs of different countries will give short presentations on innovations in their SAIs.

  • Value and benefits of SAIs (Hungary)
    At the end of 2013, the State Audit Office of Hungary (SAO) adopted a methodological document entitled ‘Principles on the utilization of the SAO’s work’ and included this document into the framework of its professional rules on auditing. The SAO is ready to share its experiences with the EUROSAI community concerning the ISSAI 12 and the importance of the broad social impact of our work.
  • Audit and advisory activities by SAIs: risk and opportunities (Austria)
    The purely retrospective identification of shortcomings and deficiencies is no longer sufficient for SAIs to be perceived as an effective control element. SAIs can harness their full potential much better in striving for better public governance by a combination of audit work (retrospective) and counselling (forward-looking based audit work). 
  • Innovation through integration (United Kingdom)
    The UK National Audit Office has transformed the way it works by bringing together the skills and expertise of financial and performance auditors, including analysts, to produce a wider range of assurance products for Parliament.  Our corporate services, such as finance and human resources, work in an integrated way to support our audit teams.
  • Open data: What’s at stake for SAIs? (France)
    The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is the founding text of democracy in France. The French Cour des comptes' prerogatives still rely on its fifteenth article, which states that "Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of his administration."
    This is one among many reasons why the Paris Conference on Open Data and Open Gov was held at the French Cour des comptes on 24 April 24. The open mic session will explain how Open Data and Open Government in France have improved in the past few months. It will also be the occasion to discuss the next steps in public organisations and in our SAIs.

Downloads

4 Involving citizens: new media

Session moderator: Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel 
In recent years we have been witnessing a real revolution in the media world. New media have become key communication channels. This revolution has a dramatic impact on the activity of SAIs. New media are both an effective and a challenging two-way communication tool. First, it is a very effective way to disseminate the audit findings without intermediaries (such as journalists). Second, it is an efficient way to obtain information from the public. However, new media also pose challenges to public institutions such as SAIs, since we are obliged to strike a proper balance between those new tools and the rules applicable to our organisations. We will show how we in SAI Israel have taken advantage of new media's opportunities and have dealt with the challenges.

5 Public Private Partnerships: audit challenges and findings

Session moderators: Mr Anthony C. Mifsud, Auditor General of the National Audit Office of Malta, and Mrs Diny van Est and Mr Freek Hoek, Netherlands Court of Audit
If you are curious about what Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are and about the challenges in auditing PPP, you are more than welcome in this session. We will present an overview of the audit findings on PPPs by various SAIs. We will also reflect on two recent studies on PPPs from Malta and the Netherlands. In this work session you will learn more about the importance of this topic for SAIs, the state of the art in PPP audits, possible risks of PPPs and possible audit topics. 

6 Highlights of paperless auditing

Session moderator: National Audit Office of Estonia 
The aim of the session is to demonstrate the highlights of paperless auditing. Paperless auditing is not about how to use audit software, CAAT etc. The key question is how to use smart and innovative ways to incorporate public sector IT solutions to our audit work. With the help of visualised examples of different electronic sources in daily auditing Estonia NAO will share ways to make the audit process more efficient. 

This session also shows that SAIs can play a role in IT developments of public sector through its audit practice and audit recommendations. In co-operation with various public sector institutions paperless audit can have a positive impact on work of our auditees as well.

7 How ISSAI-proof is your SAI?

Session moderator: Ms Archana P. Shirsat, INTOSAI Development Initiative
The ISSAI Compliance Assessment Tools (iCATs) are detailed mapping tools that help a SAI in mapping their current audit practice against ISSAI requirements at entity level and audit practice level (level 2, 3 and 4 in the ISSAI framework). The tool provides a format for recording mechanisms of compliance and reasons for non-compliance with ISSAIs. Such a mapping exercise is expected to result in an ISSAI Implementation strategy. The toolkit consists of three iCATs – Financial Audit iCAT, Performance Audit iCAT and Compliance Audit iCAT. 

The purpose of this session is to raise awareness about the iCATs and discuss how to use these tools in SAIs in the EUROSAI region. 

8 Innovation PowerBoost work session

Session moderator: Ms Esther van der Storm (Ynnovate)
How can you boost your innovation power and become more innovative in your work? The Innovation PowerBoost work session by Ynnovate will show you the possibilities of changing your perspective to find new solutions for the challenges you face in your work. You will experience the world of innovation and will discover your own innovative potential (both on the personal and on the organisational level) by using the power of your brain and the power of well-known superheroes and super-organisations to solve each other’s innovation challenges. Not afraid of some serious speed? Buckle up for a true Innovation PowerBoost!

9 SAIs and sustainability - maximising our impact

Session moderators: Ms Andrea Connell and Mr Ronnie Takens, Netherlands Court of Audit
People-Planet-Prosperity - this session will explore what SAIs are doing or can do in terms of social responsibility (SR), which contributes to sustainable development. 

  • How can SAIs lead by example in their strategy, operations and accountability? 
  • How can we provide a positive contribution via our audit work?
  • What dilemmas do we face? 
  • What can we learn from the private sector and from other partners? 

Beginners and experienced practitioners are equally welcome!

Round 2: 13:30 - 15:00 (details)

Seminar Predicting integrity incidents by assessment of organisational culture and boardroom behaviour

Session moderators: Ms Femke de Vries, division director National Central Bank in the Netherlands and Ms Ellen van Schoten, Secretary-General, Netherlands Court of Audit
The Central Bank of the Netherlands (DNB) is the prudential supervisor on the financial sector in the Netherlands. DNB continuously monitors the financial solidity and integrity of financial institutions and the network they operate in. In doing so DNB also looks at organisational culture and behaviour. This new supervisory method is internationally recognized as an innovative and exemplary approach.

Ms Femke de Vries, division director at DNB, will show you how DNB assesses behaviour and culture within financial organisations and how DNB uses this methodology to signal possible malfunctions in an early stage. This makes it possible to get to the root cause and take preventive measures or minimise harmful effects. And it makes the supervisory role of DNB more effective.
Ms Ellen van Schoten will facilitate discussion on the lessons learned and application of this approach in SAIs.

1 SAIs working together: experiences from EWG Environmental Auditing

Session moderator: Ms Camilla C. Fredriksen, EUROSAI WGEA
Environmental issues are in themselves global because of the way all ecosystems are interconnected. Environmental auditing issues therefore serveas a good basis for cooperation across SAIs. The European Working Group on Environmental Auditing has experienced an increase in cooperative audits between its members in the last decade.

The work session will share experiences from the cooperation between SAIs on environmental issues, and seek to identify what positive impacts different audit cooperation can have. The participants will be invited to share their experiences as well as their ideas on how good cooperation can be achieved and what topics will be important to establish cooperation on in the next years.

2 Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations

In the open mic sessions SAIs of different countries will give short presentations on innovations in their SAIs.

  • Cooperation​ with civil society (Albania)
    During 2012-2013 ALSAI has been implementing cooperation agreements with eight NGOs active in the fight against corruption and involved in environment protection and increase of public institutions’ transparency.
  • The role of SAIs in promoting and protecting human rights (Israel)
    As far as SAI Israel is concerned, the business of the State Comptroller must include human rights issues and especially socioeconomic rights. This should be done in addition to - not instead of - all the other "regular" norms and standards which are used in auditing the functioning of the state. 
  • Exit and sustainability of Swiss development cooperation (Switzerland)
    Ex-post analysis of 14 projects in South Africa and India, where the development of the completed projects and the achievement of their objectives were traced back, taking particular account of Switzerland’s exit scenarios as donor country. 
  • Accountability Platform (Spain)
    The Spanish Court of Audit has developed a Web Accountability Platform for local entities. It entails the submission of accounts in an electronic format and by telematic systems through the website that hosts the platform, avoiding the previous paper-based accountability system.

Download

3 Geospatial auditing

Session moderators: Ms Frederique de Graaf and Mr Egbert Jongsma, Netherlands Court of Audit 
In this work session we will explore the possibilities of a smartphone and tablet as an audit tool. We will show you how to gather audit observations of a specific location with a smartphone or tablet. And how to analyse and visualise (map) these observations in a Geographical Information System (GIS). Curious and want to know more? Check this

Download the presentation Geospatial Auditing - From maps to participatory auditing (pdf, 11.5 MB)

4 How to pick your colleagues brains
The whys and hows of knowledge sharing in and between SAIs

Session moderators: Mr Jannek Vedøe Jørgensen and Ms Marie Schelde Holde, Rigsrevisionen Denmark
Does your Department A know what your Department B is auditing? Does your SAI know which performance audits your neighbouring country’s SAI initiated last year? If your answer to the above is “no” or “maybe”, come join this session. Starting from our experience with lack of knowledge sharing within the Danish SAI, its consequences, and not least what we have done to overcome the problem, we will work together in the session to come up with concrete ideas to break down barriers to knowledge sharing in and between SAIs – ready to take home, be shared and put into practice.

Download presentation How to Pick Your Colleagues' Brains by Denmark (pdf, 556 KB)

5 A new audit approach for the auditing performance-based budgetting

Session moderators: Fevzi Girgin, Nuray Yilmaz and Çigdem Aslankara of the Turkish Court of Accounts
In this session the Turkish Court of Accounts will present and discuss the new audit approach they developed for the performance-based budgeting of government. The focus will be on the following issues:

  • General information on the audit methodology (scope and the objective of the audit)
  • Benefits of performance information audit
  • Possible challenges.

6 Electronic rendering of accounts

Session moderator: Mr João Carlos Pereira Cardoso, Tribunal de Contas of Portugal
In the current economic environment, public entities are struggling how to do more with less: to provide more and better services to their citizens, spending less money. 

The demand for new and increased services creates pressure on IT to deliver these services in order to support the desired growth. These constraints and new services are often addressed in the form of new applications, such as an electronic service to address the internal verification of accounts. Whether for web or mobile access, or for social networking or business intelligence, these new applications developed around entity/citizen-centric models, can have a direct impact on the entities’ activity. The SAI of Portugal will share and discuss their experiences.

Download presentation Electronic rendering of accounts (pdf, 1.9 MB)

7 The increasing relevance of SAIs in the 21st century

Session moderators: Mr Martin Sinclair and Mr Nick Lacy, UK National Audit Office
Across the EUROSAI region governments are continuing to face a climate of austerity and rising demands for public services. SAIs have an important role to play in safeguarding public money, ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, upholding proper standards of conduct in the provision of public services and helping achieve value for money. This work session provides an opportunity to explore how SAIs have innovated in response to the changing environment. It provides a forum to discuss the key opportunities and challenges for SAIs and how they have responded to show their relevance to their wide range of stakeholders and provide insight into the complex issues of the day.

Download presentation Increasing the relevance of SAIs in the 21st Century (pdf, 1.9 MB)

8 Innovative approaches for building SAI capabilities

Session moderators: Mr Magnus Lindell, Deputy Auditor General of Sweden and Mr Einar Gørrissen, Director General of IDIThe public sector audit profession is evolving rapidly. To remain relevant, SAIs need to continuously develop as organizations that can meet emerging expectations from citizens, parliaments and other stakeholders, and deliver and document results that add value to society. This entails continuous efforts to develop the SAI, both in terms of staff, organizational and institutional capacity, and importantly turning this capacity into performance. This interactive session will seek to explore the lessons learned in terms of effective and innovative capacity development, drawing on the experiences of the participants as well as the work of the EUROSAI GT1, the CBC and the IDI. It will seek to identify practical and innovative tools, approaches and key success factors that can be pursued to effectively enhance the capacity and performance of your SAI. 

Radical transparency: open data/open spending

Session moderators: National Audit Office UK and the Netherlands Court of Audit
Governments know a lot about us. We know far less about our governments. Either we trust what government officials tell us, or we go through lengthy procedures to get government information that is not available now. In the digital age, where information travels quicker than light, this is simply unacceptable. Government information should be fully accessible 24/7 for anybody with an internet connection. So how to remedy this situation?

All governments have a treasure-trove of data on what they do, how much that costs and what the results are. Most of this data is not available to the public. The Open Data movement aims to change this. By making this data publicly available, without registration, costs or legal restrictions, we can get a much better picture of what governments are doing. We can start following government spending, the timeliness of public transport, the quality of our schools and the implementation of legislation.
How does this affect us as auditors? Will we become obsolete as more and more government data becomes available and citizens can audit governments from their home laptop? The NAO, two seasoned open data experts and the NCA’s open data team will guide you through all these questions and more.