In his presentation to the EUROSAI Congress on 15 March 2021, IDI's Director General opened with a discussion of IDI and EUROSAI cooperation over the last four years.
"There is a long history of cooperation between IDI and EUROSAI, reflecting the cohesion between their goals. Both IDI and EUROSAI work across the three INTOSAI goal areas of knowledge sharing, professional standards, and capacity development.
EUROSAI remains a key partner of the IDI and more than 90% of the EUROSAI membership have participated in IDI initiatives since the last EUROSAI Congress in 2017.
IDI has also benefitted extensively from in-kind contributions from EUROSAI members. Between 2017 and 2021, approximately 37% of EUROSAI SAIs provided resource people for IDI initiatives, which has made it possible to offer capacity development support both within the region and globally.
Focus on flexibility, agility and resilience
More than two thirds of SAIs globally, including many in EUROSAI, report that their operations have been seriously affected by COVID 19. Many are torn between the challenges of maintaining staff safety and business continuity and public calls for SAIs to scrutinize the massive levels of emergency financing and contribute to ensuring accountability in crises.
New and immediate needs have emerged, and since March last year, IDI has worked to both support the SAIs during the crises, and to help them prepare for the post-COVID period. The demand for our support has grown, all our support has been moved to virtual means and a number of new initiatives have been introduced.
I strongly believe that the current crisis requires us to adapt to a new reality and seek new ways of working and collaborating. At the IDI, we see the need for:
o Strengthening our and SAIs flexibility, agility & resilience
o Developing capabilities for strategic foresight
o Strengthening online work & communication
o Exploring, experimenting & innovating to find fit for purpose solutions
o Focusing on gender and inclusiveness
o Striving for audit impact
We plan to mainstream these new ways of working and thinking in our support for independent, well governed, professional and relevant SAIs.
Despite the circumstances, 2020 turned out to be a record number in terms of IDI support. 220 SAI teams from 126 unique SAIs participated in 19 long term IDI capacity development initiatives. We also launched 5 new flagship initiatives to support SAIs in remaining operational, relevant and adding value during COVID -19, and have entered into a partnership with IMF in light of the massive amount of emergency financing being provided by them.
Focus on the future
In focusing on the future, we are trying to develop solutions that will support SAIs in effectively responding to emerging challenges, while staying rooted in what is essential.
I encourage SAIs in EUROSAI to take advantage of IDI’s new offerings like - The Professional Education for SAI Auditors pilot (PESA-P), Leveraging on Technological Advancement, Facilitating Audit Impact, and Enhancing ICT Governance.
We also continue to provide practical advocacy support to SAIs that face independence threats. Backsliding in SAI independence is a stark reality globally and in Europe; in this regard, we have supported the SAIs of Cyprus and North Macedonia in recent times.
Even as we start new initiatives, we will continue to maintain GPGs for ISSAI implementation, work on ISSAI based cooperative audits, grow SAI young leaders, support SAIs in ensuring audit quality and provide a robust & accessible platform for online education and collaboration."