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ISSAI Executive Summaries

Executive Summary:

ISSAI 12 – The Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions – making a difference to the lives of citizens


Taking into account the increased interest from external and internal stakeholders and the widening range of audit services provided by Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), INTOSAI recognized the increasing need to demonstrate the value and benefits that SAIs provide. ISSAI 12 records the value and benefits of independent government auditing and what SAIs need to do to be able to add value to society and make a difference in the lives of citizens.

ISSAI Category:

Level 2: Prerequisites for the Functioning of Supreme Audit Institutions

Target Group:

All INTOSAI members, INTOSAI Governing Board, Professional Standards Committee, other INTOSAI committees, those who undertake work on behalf of SAIs, Parliamentarians, United Nations


The principles set out in ISSAI 12 are constructed around the fundamental expectation of Supreme Audit Institutions making a difference to the lives of citizens.

Scope - Content:

ISSAI 12 states that the extent to which a SAI is able to make a difference to the lives of citizens depends on the SAI:

  • Strengthening the accountability, transparency and integrity of government and public sector entities

    • Principle 1: Safeguarding the independence of SAIs
    • Principle 2: Carrying out audits to ensure that government and public sector entities are held accountable for their stewardship over, and use of, public resources
    • Principle 3: Enabling those charged with public sector governance to discharge their responsibilities in responding to audit findings and recommendations and taking appropriate corrective action
    • Principle 4: Reporting on audit results and thereby enabling the public to hold government and public sector entities accountable

  • Demonstrating ongoing relevance to citizens, Parliament and other stakeholders

    • Principle 5: Being responsive to changing environments and emerging risks
    • Principle 6: Communicating effectively with stakeholders
    • Principle 7: Being a credible source of independent and objective insight and guidance to support beneficial change in the public sector

  • Being a model organisation through leading by example

    • Principle 8: Ensuring appropriate transparency and accountability of SAIs
    • Principle 9: Ensuring good governance of SAIs
    • Principle 10: Complying with the SAI’s Code of Ethics
    • Principle 11: Striving for service excellence and quality
    • Principle 12: Capacity building through promoting learning and knowledge sharing

Author - Committee:

INTOSAI Working Group on the Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions


Adopted by XXI INCOSAI 2013, Beijing, China


Related Documents - Executive Summaries:

ISSAI 1 - The Lima Declaration

ISSAI 10 – The Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence

ISSAI 20 – Principles of transparency and accountability

ISSAI 30 – Code of Ethics

ISSAI 40 – Quality Control for SAIs

Related Documents - ISSAI Full Versions:
Related Documents - Others:

Communicating and Promoting the Value and Benefits of SAIs: An INTOSAI Guideline – The endorsement version of the guideline would be presented at the 64th meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board and XXIst INCOSAI for final approval, as an official INTOSAI committee product.

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