4th SCEI Webinar on the New Normal of Teleworking
The fourth webinar of the SCEI Expert Group held by the Chair of INTOSAI, the SAI of the Russian Federation, concluded the SCEI’s series of webinars devoted to sharing COVID-19-related experiences and providing mutual support to SAIs around the world. Around 120 SAI representatives engaged in a dialogue focusing on "INTOSAI online transition: how can organizations adapt to the new normal of teleworking?". Keynote speakers from the General Secretariat of INTOSAI, the PSC, CBC and KSC, the PFAC as well as from the SAIs of the Czech Republic, Italy and Pakistan shared their experiences regarding the transition to online work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of particularly one key provision of the Moscow Declaration: "SAIs can foster an experimental mindset to enhance innovation and development": with about 40 INTOSAI meetings that had taken place in the form of webinars and virtual conferences, INTOSAI has proved that the organization and its member SAIs are open to innovation and have adapted very well to the new developments to guarantee the accomplishment of INTOSAI’s strategic objectives. Online platforms such as the INTOSAI website, the COVID-19 website established by the PFAC COVID-19 Initiative and the INTOSAI Community Portal contribute substantially to keeping all INTOSAI members informed about the latest developments in the audit community while also providing useful information with regard to remote auditing. This also includes a high-level lessons-learnt document for external stakeholders to be found on the website of the PFAC COVID-19 Initiative.
In addressing the challenges and benefits of the transition to online work, the webinar’s keynote speakers outlined the following intricate points to be considered with regard to videoconferences:
- the handling of numerous videoconference systems with their own specificities,
- many different times zones within the INTOSAI community,
- the lack of possibilities for additional and explanatory discussions, personal contacts and out-of-the-box ideas in the sideline meetings, and, therefore,
- the challenge to keep the online atmosphere lively.
The benefits, however, outweigh the challenges thanks to
- a broader reach, greater visibility and more inclusiveness through continuous virtual contacts among the working bodies,
- the possibility to meet several times a year within short timeframes,
- a greater focus on what is crucial and relevant, and
- the cost savings and positive environmental effects.
The Chair of INTOSAI concluded the webinar with the presentation of the results of two surveys on online work and a future INTOSAI working body:
1. How do you assess the experience of your SAI related to participating in INTOSAI activities during the pandemic?
2. Is there a need for an INTOSAI working group on auditing healthcare and social safety?
The aim of the SCEI Expert Group’s series of webinars is to develop recommendations to the INTOSAI Governing Board in November 2020 to keep INTOSAI operational and resilient in emergency situations. The results of these surveys will therefore feed into the recommendations.
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