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Executive Summary:

ISSAI 5120 – Environmental Audit and Regularity Auditing


The document provides guidance to SAIs on how to conduct environmental audits by applying regularity (financial and compliance) auditing practices.

ISSAI Category:

Level 4: Specific Auditing Guidelines - Guidelines on Environmental Audit

Target Group:

Heads and Audit Directors of SAIs, External Governmental Auditors, Internal Auditors.


The paper illustrates the possibilities for conducting audits with an environmental focus using a financial and compliance framework. Audits of sustainable development may be approached in similar ways (see ISSAI 5130).

Scope - Content:

During an audit of financial statements, environmental issues may include the following:

  • Initiatives to prevent, abate or remedy damage to the environment;
  • The conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources;
  • The consequences of violating environmental laws and regulations and
  • The consequences of vicarious liability imposed by the state.

Compliance auditing with regard to environmental issues may relate to providing assurance that governmental activities are conducted in accordance with relevant environmental laws, standards and policies, both at national and international level.

The Annex provides questions and guidance notes that might prompt possible dimensions of environmental audits.

Author - Committee:

INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing


Approved at XVIIIth Congress of INTOSAI, Budapest 2004


Related Documents - Executive Summaries:

ISSAI 5110 – Guidance on Conducting Audit Activities with an Environmental Perspective

ISSAI 5130 – Sustainable Development: The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions

ISSAI 5140 – How SAIs may co-operate on the audit of international environmental accords

Related Documents - ISSAI Full Versions:
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