EUROSAI. Magazine N26 - 2021

Magazine No. 26 - 2021 53 EUROSAI Working Groups and Task Forces The second day of the 14th meeting was focused on ITWG projects and related developments at international level. Presentations during this day clearly demonstrated that the projects are being implemented and developed further despite the pandemic. For instance, several new functionalities have been added to the CUBE database as well as to the Active IT Audit Manual. Furthermore, two IT audit self-assessments (ITASAs) were conducted (inperson!) in Denmark and Austria in 2020, providing the SAIs’ managements valuable feedback on how to better embrace the capacity already present at the institution. For 2022 and 2023, there are several ITSA/ ITASA exercises foreseen. One of the main tasks for a working group is to find topics of mutual interest to encourage SAIs to perform cooperative audits with a cross-border impact. For this purpose, SAI Czech Republic has collaborated with the ITWG secretariat to map common audit areas among members and proposed to investigate population and housing census, taking place throughout Europe in 2021. As this largescale process is relevant for most SAIs in Europe and is based on a common legal framework, the outlook for cooperative efforts seems promising. Taking over the chairmanship of ITWG in 2020, SAI Estonia initiated a novel project “Research and Training Hub” to develop an IT-auditing and data analytics training programme and to prepare e-courses for auditors. After multiple negotiations with SAIs and the academic community and taking into account the feedback from members, the pilot project has focused on regular auditors and providing them with entry-level knowledge about the ways to integrate IT into their financial, performance and compliance audits. The first courses are expected to be launched already in late 2022. The 14th meeting also showed that there is room for more initiatives to make the best use of the ITWG expert network and share work plans and results with fellow auditors. During the workshops, participants discussed creating an IT expert database on the ITWG website and establishing a new way of informal communication – the so-called “virtual coffee break with a colleague”. The first courses are expected to be launched already in late 2022. To give an overview of EUROSAI experts and their competences, the database on ITWG intranet includes information about experts’ certification and previous work experience, including the list of audit projects they have been involved in. This allows interested SAIs to find suitable experts with relevant experiences to help with selecting proper frameworks, setting up criteria or using specific tools for auditing. A virtual coffee break with a colleague is an informal way of extending auditors’ professional network and reflecting on challenges they are facing in their everyday work. During the workshops the participants expressed their thoughts about future ad-hoc discussions – these being a regular chat one would usually have with colleagues by the coffee machine about ongoing work without any presentations or formal commitments. The pandemic has definitely influenced the way the working groups function these days. We can be successful by adapting to the changing needs of our members and believe the new ITWG initiatives launched in previous years and envisioned for 2022 and beyond are something the SAIs will benefit from – increasing the capacity of auditors in IT auditing, finding experts to tackle challenges not experienced before and exchanging ideas both formally as well as informally at auditor level. The EUROSAI ITWG secretariat is continuing with virtual and hybrid events in 2022. As this group has established a great cooperation network with INTOSAI partners, we also foresee continued participation of SAIs from all over the world – IT is a borderless topic, and our cooperation should and is already crossing EUROSAI “borders”. We hope we can follow the trends our international community is challenged by. Behind the scenes of producing a hybrid meeting