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The cooperation between the various players in the public audit environment in the Flemish community of Belgium Ignace Desomer President of the Court of.

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Presentation on theme: "The cooperation between the various players in the public audit environment in the Flemish community of Belgium Ignace Desomer President of the Court of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The cooperation between the various players in the public audit environment in the Flemish community of Belgium Ignace Desomer President of the Court of Audit of Belgium

2 Two prelimary observations Cooperation is not limited to the internal auditors Cooperation can take different forms (INTOSAI GOV 9150): exchange and harmonization of risk analyses … exchange of planning information … building on each other’s audit outcomes Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

3 Various players in the public audit environment: audit committee internal audit of the Flemish administration internal audit services of the public entities government commissioners chartered accountants Court of Audit Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

4 Complex audit landscape with shortcomings: Not sufficiently under control Various players worked in parallel Exchange of information was not sufficient Overlaps of control which increased the burden on the ones under scrutiny Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

5 Three questions: Why is it sound for SAIs and other audit institutions to work together ? How do the various parties involved apply this in Belgium and how is the coordination actually organised ? What are the success factors and which traps are to be avoided? Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

6 First question: Why is it sound for SAIs and other insitutions to work together? Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

7 Each audit or control institution has a different target group and purpose, but all of them somehow share one objective: they intend to improve the working of public services. Cooperation could allow the audit institutions to avoid shortcomings and overlaps between the different forms of control or audit. Cooperation does not necessarily mean less audits or controls. It is meant to improve the audits’ quality and efficiency and to help better cover the audit areas and risks. It is interesting to bring more added value to own audits using the audit results of the other internal and external control services or institutions. Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

8 Second question: How do the various parties involved apply this in Belgium and how is the coordination actually organized? Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

9 The audit and control institutions signed agreements by which they commit themselves to work together and exchange information about strategy, monitoring, risk analysis, control methods and audit results. The cooperation is enacted. The various institutions worked hand in hand to introduce the concept of single audit. The Court of Audit is recognized as the leading institution. Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

10 Concept of single audit Creates synergies Harmonizes the audit activities Objective : to design an audit framework Single audit must result in more effective and efficient financial audits (no more overlaps, better risk overage, less audit burden) Court of Audit = group auditor Responsible for direction and supervision See ISSAI 1600 Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

11 Third question: What are the success factors and which traps are to be avoided? Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

12 The traps: The institutions under scrutiny would not trust the audit or control institutions There would be a lack of confidence towards other audit or control institutions The various control institutions would have conflicting points of view The confidentiality could be disturbed The agreements made concerning planning, execution and exchange of information would be poor Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

13 The success factors: Cooperation should be supported by government and parliament. Applying international audit standards (such as INTOSAI GOV 9150 which provides guidance on how to achieve coordination and cooperation between SAIs and internal auditors in the public sector). Using common references frameworks for the control of the organisation, the financial audits, etc. Mutual trust and respect for everyone’s autonomy and responsibility. Confidentiality: the audit and control institutions have access to all pieces of information but must handle them with the necessary confidentiality. Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May

14 Conclusion: Cooperation is a way to increase the performance of the audit function within the public sector. We do not look at other audit institutions as a threat. Cooperation and coordination between the different audit partners in the public sector should be seen as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the audit (see INTOSAI GOV 9150). single audit is not meant to create one single umbrella organisation based on one common risk analysis. Cooperation is in the benefit of everyone Some prerequisites : respect for everyone’s specificity, maximum transparancy, trust Single audit does not diminish the responsibility of the audit players Court of Audit of Belgium Meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Control Standards Vilnius, 27 – 28 May


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