About YES 2013

The IX EUROSAI Congress brings a novelty: the future generation will be involved. Young staff members of European supreme audit institutions came together for their own separate conference in November 2013 to share their views on innovation. The outcome will help set the agenda for the regular IX EUROSAI Congress in June.

Young EUROSAI 2013 on Vimeo.


YES - The Diary

Bulgarian YES-participant Milian Istatkov captured his two and a half days of YES 2013 on film. The film is his own initiative and he produced it in collaboration with the YES team. 
See the conference through the eyes of an insider >


 

Innovative reporting: entire congress in one mindmap

During YES 2013 the participants brainstormed about the most important challenges that SAIs face, they learned about innovation in their work during the workshops, were confronted with the ‘yes-but’ attitude, and talked about solutions for the main challenges.

How to inform others about the most important outcomes of the congress? A YES report wouldn’t be innovative…

The YES participants are proud to present their YES product in a ‘Master Mindmap’, in which the most important discussion points, findings, ideas and outcomes are summarised.



View the Master Mindmap >

Theme

One of the conclusions of the VIII EUROSAI Congress was that supreme audit institutions need to adapt to changes in society and innovate. Where better to start then with the congress itself? The IX EUROSAI Congress will be an interactive event with input from all EUROSAI members, thus creating a truly shared experience. During YES 2013 young SAI professionals worked together and inspire each other, thus adding their own agenda to the proceedings of the IX EUROSAI Congress in The Hague in June.

Programme

3 Days of interaction and inspiration

On Wednesday 20 November 2013 more than 100 young staff members from all over Europe came together in Rotterdam for the first time. A special programme introduced them to each other and to the innovation theme. They were challenged in the Rotterdam City Game, doing assignments in small groups. The first day ended in the Kookfabriek (Cooking Factory), where they were shown the infinite possibilities of preparing one of the simplest and cheapest vegetables, that is red beet. The message: it’s not about thinking out of the box, it’s all about being out of the box! The demonstration was concluded by together preparing and enjoying a three-course meal.

Thursday 21 November inspirational speaker Jons Janssens shared his experiences as a young independent innovative entrepreneur. Using the bankruptcy of Kodak as an example, he stressed the importance of innovation. Kodak continued to view itself as a photo printing company. If they had remained true to their overall mission of capturing memories, they might have come up with Instagram themselves. The app for sharing photograps for social media was sold for over a billion euro to Facebook last year, about the same time Kodak went bankrupt. Every organisation needs to have a clear vision to survive the future and to meet ever changing needs of people. Next, participants were invited to look for the challenges for supreme audit institutions in a rapidly changing world. In the afternoon the first of four rounds of workshops started, for the most part given by participants themselves.

Friday 22 November, the final day of YES 2013, dealt with how to reach impact with audits. Frédérik Ruys showed new forms of data visualisation. Again two rounds of workshop sessions in which all participants were invited to actively participate. After lunch, the entire group presented an inspiring end product of YES 2013 to the President of the Netherlands Court of Audit, Saskia Stuiveling. Two mindmaps with challenges for supreme audit institutions and possible solutions. Saskia Stuiveling will present this result to all EUROSAI colleagues during the IX EUROSAI Congress in June 2014 in The Hague. Marie Schelde Holde and Jannek Jörgensen from the Rigsrevisionen of Denmark received the first prize for their workshop on “how to pick your colleagues’ brains”. They will present this workshop in June 2014 during the IX EUROSAI Congress in The Hague.

> Concrete ideas to break down barriers in and between SAIs from the prizewinning workshop can be found on the EUROSAI discussion platform





What's next?
YES participants will inform their direct colleagues, managers, up to their Auditor General about the most useful things they have learned during YES by using the smart and innovative Master MindMaps. Secondly, YES participants will try and apply ‘Think Big and Start Small’ in their daily routine: start doing new things at their organisation, inspired by YES 2013. Each SAI can take its own set of ideas and inspiration which is most applicable in their organisation. A third and very important task for the YES generation is to stay in touch with each other. YES 2013 was a first step in creating a young international network of auditors. It is important to keep on sharing ideas on innovations, experiences and keep each other sharp.


Impressions by participants

What was it like to join YES 2013? Some enthusiastic participants:

"The atmosphere of the YES Conference is something I will keep in my thoughts and in my heart for a long time"

"YES 2013 has allowed me to meet and share with young auditors from all the world"

"Discussions have been very informative and enriching. We hope that we can incorporate these inspiring innovative methods and contributions in our daily work"

Thursday

21 Nov 2013

  • ROUND 1
  • 1. Democracy and audit (United Kingdom)
  • 2. Performance audit methods (European Court of Auditors)
  • 3. Ethics as an audit topic (EUROSAI Taskforce on Audit & Ethics)
  • 4. Internal control frameworks (INTOSAI sub-committee on Internal Control Standards and Risk Management)
  • 5. Worldwide SAIs (Norway and Cameroon)
  • 6. Serious game (Delft Technical University)
  • ROUND 2
  • 1. Auditing policy-making process - How to create better regulation? (Finland)
  • 2. Improvements in performance audits (Iceland)
  • 3. Auditing from a citizen’s perspective (Kafka Brigade, the Netherlands)
  • 4. Showcases: IT in audit (Portugal)
  • 5. Improving ethics within SAIs (EUROSAI Taskforce Audit & Ethics)
  • 6. Serious game part II (Delft Technical University)
Read more

Friday

22 Nov 2013

  • ROUND 3
  • 1. Innovative reporting in audits (the Netherlands)
  • 2. Go green: environmental auditing (EUROSAI-WGEA)
  • 3. Combating fraud through (IT) audit (Dutch Customs)
  • 4. Follow the money! (the Netherlands)
  • 5. How to pick your colleagues’ brains (Denmark)
  • 6. EU financial and economic governance (European Court of Auditors)
  • 7. Real time audit (Germany)
  • ROUND 4
  • 1. Building successful partnerships (the Netherlands)
  • 2. Impact: audit with a twist (the Netherlands and Azerbaijan (to be confirmed))
  • 3. Geospatial auditing (the Netherlands)
  • 4. No small beer: local auditing (Audit office Rotterdam, NVRR and Audit Office Tirol (Austria))
  • 5. Open data (European Commission)
  • 6. Education innovated: e-learning (INTOSAI Development Initiative)
Read more

YES team

Seven enthusiastic innovative Dutch auditors staff members of the Netherlands Court of Audit, all under 36 years old, take care of organising YES 2013. What are their experiences with innovation?

From left to right: Dirkjan Klip, Bas Leenheer, Simone Melis, Ronnie Takens, Suzanne Pietersma, Jeroen Doornbos, Louise van Loon

Simone Melis (33), Senior auditor: "Infographics can make our reports more user-friendly"

1. What do you consider a good example of innovation and why? 

The way the Netherlands Court of Audit is exploring the use of infographics in its audit work. We stay close to our core values for the audit work but we try to report the results in an innovative way. The use of infographics can make our reports more user-friendly.
2. Please describe the performance of supreme audit institutions in 5 years from now. What should they aim for? 
They are connected to the ‘outside world’: to the citizens and to national parliament. They are aware of the critical issues at stake in society and the way government responds (or doesn’t respond) to these issues. They publish clear and useful reports. The SAIs themselves strive to attract talented individuals and to be a dynamic, knowledge-intensive and stimulating work environment.
3. What have you learned from organising a conference, something new and outside your normal line of practice? 
Organisation skills: keep in mind the big picture while also paying attention to all the little details that can ‘make or break’ a conference.

Jeroen Doornbos (31), Auditor: "A good and fruitful congress is a product of co-creation"

1. What do you consider a good example of innovation and why?
Bringing the message visually instead of publishing a weighty report. Good examples are the Netherlands Court of Audit's simple infographic of all financial flows involved in funding the public railway service and NCA’s movie clip telling the story what happens with aid money for Haiti. These innovative ways of bringing the message on the one hand forces us to think the message through. On the other hand the message is more effective by being compact and easily understandable for politicians and the public.

2. Please describe the performance of supreme audit institutions in 5 years from now. What should they aim for?
SAIs should monitor nonstop relevant societal changes and evaluate what it means for auditing and reporting. Do we have to change to stay the same in an age of information overload and decaying authority of institutions? We should continue working on smart auditing with innovative reporting when the message is still relevant.

3. What have you learned from organising a conference, something new and outside your normal line of practice?
Even more than writing a report, a good and fruitful congress is a product of co-creation.

Suzanne Pietersma (31), Auditor: "SAIs need to make a continuous effort to stay up to date"

1. What do you consider a good example of innovation and why?
I'm intrigued by innovations related to reporting styles; using more infographics in reports or using a magazine style in which all chapters can be read separately. These new ways of presenting information make it easier to get a main message across and to grab people’s attention (besides policymakers and journalists). It's a shame when well-executed research is scarcely read due to the way it is presented.

2. Please describe the performance of supreme audit institutions in 5 years from now. What should they aim for?
Supreme audit institutions conduct sound and unbiased research. That should not change. I do believe that SAIs need to make a continuous effort to stay up to date by, for example, using new methodological techniques and by experimenting with new ways of reporting. SAIs should also underline the importance that governments are transparent, which in my opinion includes stimulating governments to provide open data that everybody can use.

3. What have you learned from organising a conference, something new and outside your normal line of practice?
That it is really possible to have a discussion which almost 100 people at the same time that does not result in utter chaos. During YES 2013 we will organize a brainstorm session for all participants. This session will be mediated by World of Minds. They convinced me that it's possible to mediate such an immense discussion and that it will also result in valuable outcomes.

Ronnie Takens (35, Auditor): "In 5 years SAIs also work on a regular basis with universities and other centres of expertise"
 
1. What do you consider a good example of innovation and why?
Together with three local SAIs the Netherlands Court of Audit made a user guide on auditing local policies for reintegration of  the unemployed. Several local SAIs have used parts of the user guide for their audit design.

2. Please describe the performance of supreme audit institutions in 5 years from now. What should they aim for?
In 5 years from now I hope that SAIs work more and more from the outside in. SAIs work more together with each other in cross border issues, probably even worldwide, and with regional or local SAIs for country wide audits of local issues.  In 5 years SAIs also work on a regular basis with universities and other centres of expertise. My aim is that we are very good in bringing relevant knowledge from the outside world into our work and even better in sharing knowledge and ideas with others.

3. What have you learned from organising a conference, something new and outside your normal line of practice?
In the end it all depends on good teamwork. If you are able to define an appealing goal everybody agrees on and you are willing to support each other during the whole process, you are already more than halfway. Further, I’ve learned to just ask people with different backgrounds to help you and your team. Most people are more than willing to help.

Dirkjan Klip (31), Auditor: "Use of citizens´ knowledge in audits is an important innovation"

1. What do you consider a good example of innovation and why?
The increasing use of knowledge, thoughts and ideas of citizens in (performance) audits as an important innovation. This, for instance, helps to better understand how citizens experience the effects of certain policies.

2. Please describe the performance of supreme audit institutions in 5 years from now. What should they aim for?
I think one of the biggest challenges for supreme audit institutions (SAIs) is to maintain legitimate by meeting the increasing expectations of citizens. Groups of engaged citizens could use the increasing amount of free available information to draw their own and independent conclusions on certain issues and perhaps question the results of our audits. This requires our audits to maintain excellent quality and transparancy about research methodologies. I also think that we should collaborate actively with these ´armchair´ auditors.

3. What have you learned from organising a conference, something new and outside your normal line of practice?
I´ve learned to combine the demanding task of organising a new and innovative congress with my normal audit work. This is sometimes hard but at the same time it´s a nice change from the ‘normal’ work. Organizing this congress gave me also the opportunity to work together with new colleagues from other departments and foreign SAIs.