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News 2014

1st meeting of the FAC Task Force on Strategic Planning in Vienna

The INTOSAI Task Force on Strategic Planning held its second meeting and first in-person meeting on 5 November 2014 at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.  Over 40 individuals representing 22 SAIs and the INTOSAI Secretariat participated.

The Task Force reviewed the progress that had been made to-date in identifying key strategic themes that need to be considered in the context of the next plan covering the period 2017-2022.  Those themes were developed based on the results of the Task Force’s internal and external scans and related planning efforts underway within INTOSAI.  The Task Force endorsed a planning perspective that recognizes the need – and opportunity – for INTOSAI to be more "external facing", that is, fully prepared to assume a central role in enhancing good governance globally and within our respective nations.

The Task Force heard presentations on

  • "Current and Emerging Global Governance Risks", by Davide Taliente,  Managing Partner, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and Suresh Kumar, Partner, Public Sector and Health & Life Sciences Practice, from the global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman; and
  • "UNDESA and INTOSAI Strategic Outlook: Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals" by Elia Armstrong, Chief, Development Management Branch, Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

The Task Force generally agreed on a framework of three overarching strategic themes:

1) Assuring that INTOSAI is alert to emerging opportunities and challenges,

2) Creating INTOSAI programs and initiatives that respond to emerging opportunities and managing related challenges, and

3) Ensuring that INTOSAI’s governance structure and internal management processes support its goals and strategies.

The Task Force also generally agreed on 17 related sub-themes to guide the development of the next plan.

Within those themes, the Task Force committed to give special attention to several priority areas:

  • SAI independence remains an overriding value and concern of INTOSAI.  We need to identify specific examples of what SAI independence looks like in practice as well as concrete steps SAIs and INTOSAI can take when SAI independence is threatened or undermined.
  • We need to ensure that the strategic plan is clear on specific substantive areas where we expect SAIs--subject to their respective mandates --and therefore INTOSAI may have key roles. The global community’s clear expectations for the essential role that SAIs and INTOSAI will play in monitoring and assessing the implementation of the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals is one obvious substantive area.  Other areas discussed by the Task Force include Open Data and civic engagement, financial regulatory systems, and sustainable public financing.
  • The strategic plan must be based on realistic financial expectations and consistent with the resources available to INTOSAI and that many of those resources are provided through in-kind support from individual SAIs.
  • We need to be prepared to revisit the INTOSAI vision, statutes, and our other foundational statements and documents for possible updating to reflect the evolving role of INTOSAI as articulated in the new plan.
  • The plan must reflect our strong commitment to ensuring a standards-setting process that provides for wide involvement within an organized framework that ensures uniform quality, due process, sustainability, periodic updates, coherence, and integration.
  • Related to standards-setting, the Task Force on Strategic Planning must remain fully engaged with the INTOSAI-wide discussions on auditor certification.
  • The strategic plan must recognize and leverage the regional working groups as the lynchpin that links individual SAIs to wider INTOSAI efforts.  We need to look for more effective mechanisms for sharing information and experiences across regional working groups and globally, including “what works” practices on the full range of audit and SAI operational issues. The increased and better use of information and communications technology (ICT) was prominently mentioned as one such mechanism.
  • We must insure that the plan fully integrates standard setting, knowledge sharing, technical assistance and training, and capacity building across INTOSAI to ensure we are collectively building off  INTOSAI’s achievements to date and each others’ efforts going forward to minimize fragmentation and duplication.

The Task Force will hold a staff-level working meeting on 28-29 January 2015 in Washington, DC to prepare for the next in-person meeting of the Task Force on 5 March 2015 in Vienna.

The Task force continues to welcome all questions, comments, and suggestions. It can be reached at INTOSAIStrategicPlan(AT)gao.gov.

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9 December 2014


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