Meeting of SAI Heads of Visegrad Group (V4+2)

This year’s meeting dealt with three main issues: latest solutions applied in SAI management, the COVID-19 pandemic in audits and strategic planning of audit tasks. The pandemic and remote work forced Supreme Audit Institutions to change their approach to auditing in many ways, as well as the auditing itself. The Visegrad Group SAI representatives presented modern methods used in audit management, latest solutions related to digitalisation of public institutions, systems improving the audit process quality as well as systems designed to protect employees and monitor their health. It has been stressed many times how important it is to develop a system for collecting and processing audit data that could cooperate with auditees’ IT systems. The Supreme Audit Office of Slovakia presented a system which monitors employees moving around the building, measures their body temperature and other life functions in their working hours.

Discussions and presentations on the second topic - COVID-19 in audits – showed that the V4+2 countries were not prepared for the pandemic and to-date audits revealed similar irregularities: high prices of face masks, respirators and other devices, limited access to healthcare services not related to COVID-19, equipment shortages in hospitals and medical facilities, low effectiveness of work in public administration. The NIK delegation presented subjects of pandemic-related audit subjects, an international database with relevant audit results and a platform for audit methodology exchange in that area.

SAI Heads of Visegrad Group (V4+2)
From the left: President of Slovakian SAO, NIK President, President of Austrian SAI, Vice-President of Slovenian SAI, Vice-President of Hungarian SAI and President of Czech SAI

In general, auditors were well prepared for remote work as most of them have had laptops and mobile internet connection for many years now. The Supreme Audit Institutions, out of concern for the health of their employees and the audited institutions’ employees, complied with all sanitary requirements in their work organisation: they monitored their employees’ body temperature, provided face masks, disposable gloves, disinfection and testing. Those solutions helped SAIs to prevent work paralysis.

Also, details of the Strategy of NIK for 2021-2024 were presented at the meeting. It assumes continued digitalisation of NIK, audit quality improvement, NIK’s evolution as a model institution and a prestigious workplace. NIK’s Strategy was discussed as part of the third topic addressed at the meeting: strategic planning. Currently SAIs are changing and improving the audit planning system, both annual and long-term. The dynamically changing conditions force SAIs to respond faster to current developments by increasing the number of ad hoc audits and shortening their duration.

NIK President Marian Banaś also presented information on the SIRAM procedure. It was applied to the Supreme Audit Office of Poland which experienced significant difficulties in conducting independent audits of public spending. The SIRAM mechanism operates as part of the INTOSAI Development Initiative. This is a four-stage process, which looks into independence threats and provides advisory and support to SAIs and their heads to whom the threats are related. The independence of Supreme Audit Institutions has to be clearly stated in the constitution and legislation of a country in question. SAIs need to be free to select audit subjects and methods. They also need freedom in planning and organising their work as well as in managing their institutions. The legislative and executive power should not interfere in the activity of SAIs. At the same time, auditors should have open and unlimited access to documents and information necessary to properly discharge their obligations.

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Date of creation:
18 May 2022 12:58
Date of publication:
18 May 2022 12:58
Published by:
Marta Połczyńska
Date of last change:
18 May 2022 12:58
Last modified by:
Marta Połczyńska
SAI Heads of Visegrad Group (V4+2) at the meeting in Rajecké Teplice

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