INTOSAI Development Initiative- An overview

The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) is a non-profit umbrella organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) across the world. Established in 1953, it currently has 192 regular members and five associate members.

The IDI is the INTOSAI body which works across INTOSAI’s strategic goal areas and supports SAIs in developing countries, in their efforts to sustainably enhance performance, independence and professionalism.

The IDI provides support to SAIs by facilitating

  • Implementation of international standards, including the ISSAIs
  • Development of institutional, organisational and professional staff capacities
  • Knowledge sharing and implementation of good practices
  • Scaled up and more effective support to SAIs through partnerships with stakeholders

Using a client centered approach the IDI facilitates SAI development initiatives at global, regional, sub regional and SAI level; including bilateral support on a needs basis.  

The IDI also serves as secretariat to the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation, established in 2010 to enhance the volume and coordination of support for strengthening SAIs in developing countries.  

The IDI was established by resolution of the INTOSAI Congress (INCOSAI) in 1986, and was hosted by the SAI of Canada from 1986 to 2000 prior to being hosted by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway (OAGN) since 2001. 

The IDI actively partners in its operations with INTOSAI which has regional groupings and different working groups and task forces on specific areas of SAIs’ operations. The regional groupings are ASOSAI (Asia), AFROSAI-E(English speaking Africa), ARABOSAI(Arabic speaking SAIs), CAROSAI(Caribbean), CREFIAF(French speaking Africa), EUROSAI(Europe), OLACEFS(Spanish speaking Latin America) and PASAI(Pacific). INTOSAI recognizes AFROSAI-E and CREFIAF as part of AFROSAI. 

The organisation comprises the IDI Board, the IDI Secretariat and the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation Secretariat. The IDI Board is chaired by the Auditor General of Norway and has eight other members from the audit offices of Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK and Zimbabwe. Secretary General of the INTOSAI and the Chairman of the INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee are observers to the Board.

The IDI Secretariat implements the IDI’s strategic and operational plans, executes capacity building programmes, liaises with other organisations, prepares meetings of the IDI Board and its Working Committee and follows up on their decisions. The Secretariat operates in four official working languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish). 

The IDI and INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat’s operations are financed by an annual grant from the Norwegian Parliament through the Office of Auditor General Norway. In 2015, funding for the IDI capacity development programmes was received from development partners in Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, USA, UK, SAI of Saudi Arabia, Austria, Australia, France, Ireland, Switzerland, the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the INTOSAI. The in-kind support provided by SAIs to IDI capacity building activities contributed to the cost-effectiveness of IDI programmes. SAIs and the INTOSAI regions make a significant contribution to the capacity development programmes by hosting and administering meetings and activities, and by making technical equipment, training specialists, subject matter experts and administrative staff available free of charge for these events. 

Importance of Communities of Practice for the IDI

The IDI supports the capacity development of SAIs in order to jointly develop and improve government auditing on a worldwide scale. The IDI supports the INTOSAI motto of ‘Mutual Experience Benefits All’ through its programmes by knowledge sharing and facilitating exchange of experience and expertise amongst peer SAIs. The common interest of professionals working in SAIs across the three streams of audit and different areas of audit lays the foundation for developing this online portal to host the communities of practice. Besides facilitating the development of professional capacity of SAI staff through training, the IDI works to strengthen the organisational capacity of the SAIs by facilitating cooperative audits in the participating SAIs on a variety of audit topics across the three audit disciplines. The audit systems and core business processes of the SAIs are strengthened through these audits. Sharing of knowledge of legal frameworks and mandates also help the SAIs in working towards strengthening their institutional capacity.