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The supreme audit institution of Vietnam - the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) was established on 11 July 1994. For over a decade after that SAV was a subordinate agency to the Government of Vietnam. Its organisation and operation were then decided by the Government and its audit assignments, staff training activities and building of audit professional standards and processes were under direct control from the Prime Minister.

SAV turned into an independent agency in 2006 when the State Audit Law, the first of its kind took effective as from 01 January 2006. The Law prescribed for the first time that SAV was a specialized agency of the State financial inspection set up by the National Assembly and that it operated independently and acted only to the law. It was tasked with functions of financial auditing, compliance auditing and performance auditing of all agencies and organizations using the State budget, money and assets in Vietnam.

The first strategy on SAV development was launched in April 2010 by the Vietnam National Assembly Standing Committee. The Strategy covers the period of ten years between 2010 and 2020. It sets forth specific targets for developing SAV by 2020 which will focus on strengthening SAV operational capacity, promoting legal effectiveness of its audit results, and improving quality and efficiency of SAV operations. The overall strategic purpose is that SAV would be a useful tool of the State of Vietnam in verifying and monitoring the management and utilization of the State budget, money and assets and that SAV would become a highly professional and modern SAI and an accountable and trustworthy public finance verification agency in Vietnam capable to meet all requirements for national industrialization and modernization of Vietnam and those of international standards and good practices.

The legal status of SAV and the Auditor General was laid down for the first time in the Constitution of Vietnam in 2013. Article 118 of the Constitution stipulates that SAV is an independent agency set up by the National Assembly and shall abide by the law only. It also specifies the Auditor General as the head who shall be responsible for the entire operation of SAV to the National Assembly.

SAV is presently performing its operations as prescribed by the regulations of the State Audit Law which was revised in 2015. The law took effective as from 01 January 2016 to reflect the new Constitutional legal status of SAV, to re-confirm SAV independence and to broaden its mandates as well.