ASOSAI Governing Board: Effectively operate amid COVID-19 pandemic

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(BKTO) –Reporting at the 55th Governing Board Meeting of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institution (ASOSAI) on the ASOSAI Governing Board since its 54th Meeting, Auditor General of Viet Nam, ASOSAI Chairman for 2018-2021, Dr Ho Duc Phoc highlighted: while the world in general and the Asia are facing up with COVID-19 pandemic, the Governing Board keeps operating effectively, in time with great efforts made to contribute to the ASOSAI’s development.
Delegation of the State Audit Office of Viet Nam participates in the 55th virtual meeting of ASOSAI Governing Board. Photo by Nguyen Loc

Enormous achievements in multi-faceted areas

Mr. MORITA Yuji, President of the Board of Audit of Japan, Capacity Development Administrator of ASOSAI, through his report at the Meeting, embolded that according to the ASOSAI Strategic Plan for 2016-2021, ASOSAI shifted all of its trainings in from of workshops to more comprehensive capacity development activities, trying out a new blended approach on pilot basis. The ASOSAI Capacity Development Program combined a training through eLearning for more participants (3 participants from each SAI), with the relatively short face-to-face meetings at sub-regional level and at regional level.
Following the successful completion of the first Pilot ASOSAI Capacity Development Program on IT Audit from 2018 to 2019, the second Pilot Capacity Development Program will be organized from 2020 to 2021. Considering that the Hanoi Declaration of the XIV ASOSAI Assembly focuses on environmental auditing for sustainable development, the program will focus on environmental aspect of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is expected that the program will provide SAIs’ participants with opportunities to learn how to audit on implementation of SDGs, by which ASOSAI could help member SAIs enhance their contribution to the UN 2030 agenda for SDGs.

In respect of the cooperation with other regional organizations, Mr Hou Kai, Secretary General of ASOSAI and Auditor General of the People’s Republic of China shared that, ASSOSAI has maderemarkable achievements in this regard since the previous Governing Board Meeting. The 3rdEUROSAI - ASOSAI Joint Conference, hosted by SAI Israel in March 2019, not only produced fruitful results as mentioned in the previous cooperation report, but was also highly appreciated by SAIs on both sides. Many SAIs continued to share knowledge and experience across regions, contributed their articles to the EUROSAI magazines. Apart from that, ASOSAI has enhanced the tight cooperation with AFROSAI under the MOU taken effect from 2016.  Representatives of the Secretary General of ASOSAI participated in the 13th Assembly of ARABOSAI in Doha in November 2019, and held a sideline meeting with the representatives of the Secretary General of ARABOSAI. Auditors from member SAIs of ASOSAI participated in the ARABOSAI international webinar on how to engage with partners in order to face this pandemic impact on 22 June, 2020.

Reporting on the ASOSAI Strategic Plan by Mr Hou Kai, Auditor General of the People’s Republic of China, the Chair of Task Force on ASOSAI Strategic Plan Management - SPTF, informed the Meeting that, Mid-term Report for the ASOSAI Strategic Plan 2016 - 2021has been finalized to include a satisfactory survey completed by SAI Korea prior to the 54th Governing Board meeting and a KPI analysis as a performance assessment tool completed by the Secretariat upon the requirement of the previous SPTF meeting.

Regarding the draft of the new ASOSAI Strategic Plan for 2022-2027, SPTF shall be finalized in accordance with the decisions of this Governing Board Meeting so the SPTF brings to the 56thGoverning Board Meeting held in 2021 in Thailand, and immediately to the ASOSAI Assembly for final approval.

Mentioning about the development of ASOSAI Journal, Mr. Rajiv Mehrishi, Comptroller and Auditor General of India said that, from April 2016 issue onwards, the ASOSAI Journal is available only in electronic form on the The Journal can also be accessed through the ASOSAI website. For revamping the Journal, Comptroller and Auditor General of Indiasuggested three potential focus areas, including (i) improving the Quality, (ii) enhancing the Ease of Access and (iii) increasing the Readership. The revamping process will be started after approval of the proposal by 55 the Governing Board.

Staying flexible and responsive against newly emerging crisis 
In the meeting, the Governing Board members discussed and shared initiatives, measures and approaches to timely respond to the new crisis, especially the COVID-19 pandemic which have been developing more complicated and promised non-stop in short-time. This is a convincing proof of the increasingly important responsibility, capacity and role of ASOSAI in general and member SAIs in particular in addressing the regional issues. 
According to a representative of Korean SAI, we are witnessing and facing up severe crises such as epidemics, terrorism, environmental issues. If these crises are not resolved, they will affect the global economy and pose a threat to human life. In this context, ASOSAI needs to focus on sharing contributions of its member SAIs to helping the Governments to prevent and respond to crises.

Korean SAI proposed to create an ASOSAI working group to manage the newly emerging crises to enhance SAIs in response to the crises. “We strongly believe that such a working group will serve as a breakthrough channel for member SAIs to share their experiences. We hope that this initiative will be approved in the next meeting and we will prepare a detailed plan of this working group”- said the representative of Korean SAI. 
In agreement with Korean SAI, Chinese SAI proposed initiatives to help conduct audits amid pandemic, such as running a column in ASOSAI website on SAIs’ responses to the COVID-19; organising virtual conferences among SAIs discussing the conducting audits amid pandemic, remote auditing, solving issues related to the ASOSAI Strategic Plan.
Well noting the initiatives, ASOSAI Chairman said that Korean SAI’s idea on creating new working group will be discussed in the 56th ASOSAI Governing Board meeting in Thailand.

Within the Meeting, Governing Board members focused on discussing and reached agreement on important issues of ASOSAI, i.e ASOSAI financial statement, capacity development and cooperation with other regional organizations; ASOSAI Strategic Plan for 2022-2027; Action Plan of the Working Group on Environmental Auditing for 2020-2022 with two cooperative audits on sustainable transportation and water management in Mekong River Basin, 01 research project on climate change. Governing Board also basically approved proposal and budget estimate for revamping the ASOSAI journal. After this Meeting, issues related to the award of ASOSAI Journal will be discussed further at technical level. A related Proposal will also be introduced and submitted to the 56th ASOSAI Governing Board meeting for approval. 

On basis of the member SAIs’ suggestions, the Meeting agreed to change the time to vote for host of the 16th ASOSAI Assembly and to extend the tenure of ASOSAI Secretary General ASOSAI 2021-2024 as per Chinese SAI.


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