EUROSAI. Magazine N24 - 2018

eurosai 72 Studies and other articles In order to support SAIs and to ensure high quality SDG audits, also several INTOSAI Working Groups – like • The Working Group on Environmental Auditing, • The Working Group on Key National Indicators, • The Working Group on Value and Benefits of SAIs, • The Performance Audit Subcommittee or • The Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards – are currently integrating the SDGs in their work and developing SDG-related tools and products. First results of SDG audits A lot of SAIs around the world have already initiated audits – both performance audits on topics relating to the SDGs and audits on the preparedness of national governments to implement the SDGs. Especially preparedness audits in line with Approach I of INTOSAI have particular relevance in this first phase of the SDG implementation. Such preparedness audits are not the “typical” audits SAIs are normally carrying out (they are traditionally performed purely ex post). In the framework of these audits, SAIs can assume an important advisory function. Therefore, an early review of the national implementation mechanism is particularly essential as our recommendations can provide important incentives for our national governments with regard to the future implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Our first experiences show that in most cases SAIs have seen positive reactions from their national governments. They could for example spur governments into action by their audit questions, and they could enhance their awareness of the role of SAIs in the implementation of SDGs. These practical examples prove the important role of SAIs as independent oversight institutions in ensuring good governance in the implementation of the SDGs. However, we have also seen that SAIs starting to contribute to the Agenda 2030 face challenges related to their mandate and legal framework and challenges related to capacities, methodology and resources. In order to support SAIs in their involvement in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, it is therefore important to support the sharing of knowledge and experiences among SAIs. To this end, the General Secretariat of INTOSAI is publishing the already concluded SDG reports of the INTOSAI members on the INTOSAI website (http://www.intosai.org/about- us/sdgs-sais-and-regions.html) . This publication of SAIs’ SDG audit reports should also contribute to give the broad public the opportunity to learn about the important role SAIs are realizing in this regard. Conclusion The recent months have shown that SAIs are very aware of the great opportunity, but also of the responsibility they have in their task to monitor the implementation of the SDGs. There are, however, some challenges which SAIs face – because only capable and independent SAIs at the national level will help to substantially strengthen transparency and accountability and thereby provide the basis for effective review and monitoring of the implementation of the SDGs. INTOSAI’s overall goal is to support SAIs in making a decisive contribution to the success of the 2030 Agenda, in order to thereby help improve the lives of citizens around the world. Source: General Secretariat of INTOSAI

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