Learning Center

Exchanges

This page provides information on potential opportunities for auditors from INTOSAI member countries to be involved in an exchange with another supreme audit institution (SAI).

Canada

The Supreme Audit Institution of Canada has a “Fellowship Program” whereby senior government auditors from developing countries come to the Office every year as part of the International Audit Office Assistance Program and spend nine months in Canada becoming familiar with Canadian techniques in public sector auditing.

This program is run by a public-private sector partnership organized as a national non-profit foundation called the Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation (CCAF). The CCAF’s International Audit Office Assistance Program was established in 1980 with the long-term objective to help strengthen the role of comprehensive auditing in participating national audit offices, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of the performance reporting, accountability, and governance capacities of those governments. Its mission is to transfer methodology to people of influence in developing countries to help improve governance and management for better use of resources.

Since its inception, the Program has been funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and offers fellowships to highly qualified professional men and women from selected national audit offices. These “Fellows” come to Canada for nine months of intensive on-the-job and classroom training in the concepts of comprehensive auditing and the principles underlying accountability and good management and governance. Instruction and practical audit experience are provided by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada as well as the provincial Office of the Auditor General of Québec. The CCAF has offered fellowship in the environmental field on a regular basis.

United States

The Supreme Audit Institution of the United States sponsors a 4-month International Auditor Fellowship Program. The program is designed to help strengthen the ability of SAIs to fulfill their missions and to enhance accountability and governance worldwide. Since its inception in 1979, over 300 mid- to senior-level officials from the SAIs of more than 90 countries have graduated from the program.

The program's objectives are to (1) enhance the individual skills of participants in order to strengthen the institutional capacity of SAIs; (2) sustain professional competencies and skills through continuous learning and knowledge sharing; and (3) strengthen professional networks to promote institutional relationships among SAIs, donors, and other partners in the accountability community. To accomplish these objectives, fellows participate in an intensive multifaceted learning program that includes:

  • Classroom instruction, on-the-job training, inter-government experience, and development of strategies to implement change in SAIs.
  • Dialogues with international financial institutions; U.S. federal, state, and local government officials; U.S. Congressional staff; other key government officials; and the media.
  • A global forum for sharing experiences and best practices in auditing.
  • Mentoring and post-program follow-up.

In operating the program, more than 100 experienced staff from the General Accounting Office (GAO) serve as instructors and mentors. Their multidisciplinary expertise-as analysts, accountants, lawyers, economists, computer scientists, engineers, and experts in the social and physical sciences and public and business administration-is intended to provide a rich professional resource for fellows during the program and when they return home.

There is nothing specific in the program that targets in particular environmental auditing; however interests in this area among participants could be accommodated by having them "shadow" an environmental audit. For specific information on this matter you can contact:

Mr. Steven Elstein
Assistant Director
U.S. General Accounting Office
441 G Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20548
U.S.A.
Phone number: 202-512-6515
Email: elsteins@gao.gov

About Environmental Auditing

Greater awareness and understanding of environmental issues over the past 20 years have led governments (at the national, sub-national, and local levels) to rethink their roles and responsibilities as environmental stewards. Over this period, there has also been increasing concern that organizations should be held accountable for their actions that affect the environment. With regard to national public agencies, it has been the traditional role of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) to hold these state-level organizations to account for their financial transactions. Increasingly though, SAIs around the world are also holding federal bodies to account for their environmental performance through the use of environmental auditing tools and techniques.

The term “environmental auditing” is a convenient label generally used to describe a variety of activities, including management audits, product certification, governmental control measures, and many other activities, which bear little or no relation to an external audit. SAIs also often carry out activities that, by definition, do not qualify as audits, yet contribute to improving government practices. In this context, the term “environmental auditing” is used solely in reference to an independent external audit of environmental issues.

Environmental auditing, in principle, is no different from the audit approach practised by SAIs, and it could encompass all types of audit. In this context, audit attention may be devoted to the disclosure of environmental assets and liabilities, compliance with national and international legislation and conventions, and to measures instituted by the audited entity to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

The information has been extracted from the 2001 document titled Guidance on Conducting Audits of Activities with an Environmental Perspective (pdf 708k) produced by the Working Group on Environmental Auditing. The purpose of the guide is to provide SAIs with a basic understanding of the nature of environmental auditing as it has developed in the governmental sphere, and to provide a sound starting point from which SAIs can create an approach to develop environmental auditing responsibilities within the context of their own jurisdiction and mandate.

Training Dates & Material

The Environmental Auditing Training Program

The Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) are partners in developing and delivering a two-week training course on environmental auditing for supreme audit institutions (SAIs). Through this partnership, the IDI’s training expertise and infrastructure will be combined with the Working Group’s subject matter expertise to produce a training program that helps build environmental auditing capacity within the audit offices of INTOSAI members.

The courses designed by IDI training specialists have a learner-centered participatory approach and reflect the needs of regions. They include a standardized design for course materials and detailed instructor manuals.

Timeline

The training course was developed over a ten month period. A key first step of this collaborative project has been to define the objectives and curriculum for the course. Once approved by the WGEA Assembly, the objectives and curriculum will then be used by the IDI training specialists to develop the course materials and program. Key steps and project milestones are the following:

 

  • November 2002 (Oslo, Norway) – Meeting of invited subject matter experts, drawn from the WGEA membership, to define the basic objectives and curriculum of the training course.
  • January 2003 (Heredia, Costa Rica) – Review and approval of project objectives, milestones, and draft course curriculum by WGEA Steering Committee.
  • June 2003 (Warsaw, Poland) – Approval, by the WGEA Assembly, of project objectives, milestones, and curriculum.
  • June 2003 (Oslo, Norway) – A one-week environment and sustainable development seminar for the IDI training specialists, staged by the SAI of Canada, designed the training course.
  • August-September 2003 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – Course design workshop led by the IDI.
  • November 2003 (ASOSAI Region – Antalya, Turkey) – Delivery of first pilot course.
  • February 2004 (AFROSAI Region – Kenya) – Delivery of second pilot course.
  • November 2004 (OLACEFS Region - Colombia) - Translation, adaptation and delivery of course in Spanish.
  • April 2005 (OLACEFS Region - Honduras) - Translation, adaptation and delivery of course in Spanish.

IDI Contact(s)

Mrs. Else Karin Kristensen
Deputy Director General
INTOSAI Development Initiative
c/o Riksrevisjonen
Postbox 8130 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
NORWAY

Tel: +47 21 54 08 12
Fax: +47 21 54 08 50
Email: else-karin.kristensen@idi.no

Sustainable energy training materials

The SAI of Czech Republic has developed a one-day classroom training course on the topic of sustainable energy which bases on INTOSAI WGEA guideline Auditing Sustainable Energy: Guidance for Supreme Audit Institutions (published 2010; Project Leader: the SAI of Czech Republic). The training course was conducted prior to the annual EUROSAI WGEA meeting on Texel, Netherlands in October 2010.

Training course materials

Programme

1. Introduction

2. Basic information on sustainable energy issues

3. Governmental response to the sustainable energy issue

4. Approach to choosing audit topic and design the audit/audit questions

5. Audit execution and reporting

6. Financial means allotted to support programmes for energy production from renewable energy resources - case presentation by the SAI of Czech Republic

7. Auditing Green Investment Scheme in the Czech Republic - case presentation by the SAI of Czech Republic

8. EU emission trading system and its effects on Estonian energy sector - case presentation by the SAI of Estonia

9. Auditing sustainablity of energy: How energy price regulation influences sustainability of energy systems? - case presentation by the SAI of Estonia

10. The contribution of joint venture agreements between the Flemish government and municipalities to sustainable energy policy - methodological issues - case presentation by the SAI of Belgium

12. Wrap up and conclusion

 

Contact

Ms Regina Charyparová

Director, Regional department IX. Pilsen

Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic

Tel: +420 233 045 690

E-mail: regina.charyparova@nku.cz

Global Training Facility

Global Training Facility

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