INTOSAI Development Initiative

Supporting effective, accountable and inclusive Supreme Audit Institutions

SAI Independence Masterclass Fosters Global Collaboration in Paris

Leaders from Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) worldwide came together in Paris, France, from October 11 to 13, 2023, for the second Masterclass on SAI Independence.

This event, hosted by IDI as part of the Mastery series, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Court of Accounts of France, aimed to provide SAI leaders with essential tools and strategies to protect the autonomy of their institutions.

Opening remarks from both Einar Gørrissen, Director General of IDI, and János Bertók, Deputy Director of OECD Public Governance emphasised the vital role of independent SAIs in transparency, accountability, and good governance.

The Masterclass's goal was to offer participants diverse perspectives, legal expertise and advocacy tools to safeguard their institutions' independence, even in challenging circumstances.

Discussions during the Masterclass underscored the need to broaden the concept of SAI independence beyond the content of legal frameworks. INTOSAI’s independence principles, as reflected in both Lima and Mexico Declarations, are linked to informal components of the institutional framework such as organisational culture, beliefs, incentives and expectations. There is a need to address these elements to understand the way SAI independence principles are being implemented across the INTOSAI community.


In addition, SAI leaders considered how this new perspective on independence should also consider the interaction of SAIs with other oversight institutions who share the same independence needs. The Masterclass also highlighted academia’s angle on the role of SAIs as a key player in public accountability and the impact of the audit work on rule of law and transparency.

Representatives from various countries, including Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Jordan, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Chad, Zambia, and France met with distinguished figures from the INTOSAI Community, including AFROSAI-E. They also heard from esteemed speakers and partners from renowned institutions like the University of Oslo, USAID, the University of Deuso, Mexico Accountability Network, Africa Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Beyond serving as a knowledge-sharing platform, the Masterclass also provided the opportunity for active participation in shaping the IDI-OECD project on SAI independence. The collaborative spirit of the event – as evident in the group photograph - underscored these global leaders' unwavering commitment to promoting transparent, accountable, and effective governance worldwide.

Throughout the event, participants engaged in fruitful discussions, sharing their experiences and gaining valuable insights. The Masterclass, with its lively discussions and shared expertise, promised to empower SAI leaders, fostering a strong network of advocates dedicated to championing SAI independence around the world.

For more information on IDI's Masterclasses, visit Mastery on IDI's website.  

For more on SAI Independence, go to IDI's SAI Independence Resource Centre (SIRC)