Oceans are suffering serious damages, prices of food and oil are increasing and there’s a lack of water. “How does this have to do with INTOSAI? Everything!” said Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs in his opening remarks for the 21st session of the United Nations – International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (UN-INTOSAI) Symposium on “Effective Practices of Cooperation of SAIs and Citizens to Enhance Public Accountability”, held in Vienna on 13-15 July.
Mr. Sha links the solutions to these global problems with the importance of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), by affirming that “SAIs play a major role in auditing government accounts and operations and in promoting sound financial management and overall accountability” arguing that “without good governance, sustainable development will not be sustained”.
Mr. Sha also stressed the importance of fighting corruption as the root towards bad delivery of public resources. “Only by fostering accountability, transparency and anti-corruption, we can create an enabling environment to achieve the vision of sustainable development”.
The 21st session of the UN-INTOSAI Symposium focused on current developments and the need to include the citizens in the public accountability process. Different methods, practices and models to reach this aim were discussed, shared and developed as best practice examples during this Symposium.
Mr. Josef Moser, Secretary-General of INTOSAI highlighted that “as SAIs we will be recognized for our work only if we manage to clearly communicate to the citizens what we do and which added value we generate for the state and society so that we are perceived as indispensable, strategic institutions serving the interests of the citizens”. This action will give citizens the best platform to empower themselves in an active way to demand the implementation of audit findings.
Finally the cooperation between citizens and SAIs can benefit all, both share the same objectives about increasing efficiency of government, securing public governance, enhancing transparency, warranting accountability of the public sector and, ultimately, to foster development for all, contributing to the achievement of the MDGs.