Welcome to the INTOSAI Performance Audit Subcommittee (PAS) website

The Performance Audit Subcommittee (commonly known as “PAS”) is one of four subcommittees under the umbrella of the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee (PSC – Home). We constitute the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institution`s (INTOSAI) expert community on public sector performance audit and are responsible for the development and maintenance of standards and methodological guidance for performance audit in INTOSAI. Read more about the committee under “about“. Below, you can find shortcuts to the most recent news and updates on PAS activities.

October 2021: What is new on the PAS website?

We are pleased to launch the new PAS blog, where members and other partners are invited to contribute with interesting texts on topics relevant for the INTOSAI standard setting community. Contributions could, among other things, focus on knowledge sharing and implementation support, and members, observers and partners can present existing material from their SAI, region or working group. Observers and other partners are also welcome to write blog posts to introduce themselves and share performance audit relevant projects, publications and initiatives. We hope the blog will inspire PAS members to get together and produce new material to share knowledge and help supreme audit institutions implement the performance audit standards. Please contact us if you have ideas for such initiatives.

Interesting ideas for blog posts should initially be discussed with the PAS chair and secretariat before they are drafted. The chair, as editor, makes the final decision on whether the piece is relevant. We will work continuously to improve the blog, and eventually map out a set of detailed requirements for publishing.  Long-term, we are also considering setting up a board of editors. 

We want to thank the US GAO and SAI Sweden for contributing to our first blog posts.

Please note also that we now have a page called “Archive” under “About”. You will now find the 2019 initial assessment conclusions on the 3Es in the archive (the US GAO´s blog post refers to this document).

IDI Performance Audit ISSAI Implementation Handbook

(1 September 2021): Since March 2019, PAS members United States GAO, United Kingdom NAO and PAS Secretariat have been heavily involved in the revision of the INTOSAI Development Initiative´s (IDI) Performance Audit ISSAI Implementation Handbook. Version 0 of the updated Handbook was out for public exposure from August to October 2020 and, following the review process, underwent a final revision in early 2021.

Version 1 has now been published by IDI on: IDI PA ISSAI Implementation Handbook 2021. You can read more about the handbook and why PAS got involved, here.

PAS online meeting 25 and 26 May 2021 (1-3 PM Central European Time)

Meeting documents have been posted under PAS online meeting 25-26 May 2021.

Online workshop on performance audit 23 February 2021

A number of dedicated performance audit experts participated in the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee´s (PSC) online workshop on performance auditing 23 February. The session was part of a series of workshops focusing on the clarity and sufficiency of INTOSAI pronouncements under Component 1 of the Strategic Development Plan 2020-2022. The first phase of Component 1 concluded that there was a need for further analysis of the framework in order to better define, scope and plan its future development.

More information about the series of workshop sessions as part of the Component 1 review (including minutes) is to be found on the PSC website. You can read more about PAS involvement in Component 1 and more about the workshop on performance auditing (including discussion questions) here (under construction).

Recommended reading

It has come to our attention that groups of SAIs and individual SAIs are producing interesting publications that are highly relevant for performance auditors. We recommend that you have a look at some recent publications:  

The use of artificial intelligence is rising fast in governments across the globe. This will inevitably become an important field also for performance auditors. An informal group of SAIs recently produced a whitepaper on “Auditing machine learning algorithms”. This should be a highly useful guideline for performance auditors examining areas where machine learning or artificial intelligence is used. Four of the five SAIs involved in producing the guideline are PAS members, and the former chair of PAS, Mr Jan Roar Beckstrom, has also been personally involved. You get access to the whitepaper on: auditingalgorithms.net. The whitepaper has been developed outside of INTOSAI´s due process for pronouncements, and is as such not part of the IFPP.

We would also like to direct your attention to a fresh report from the Netherlands Court of Audit (PAS member) on “Understanding Algorithms”, available in English here: Rekenkamer_NL_understanding-algorithms. The Netherlands Court of Audit has investigated the Dutch government’s use of algorithms and developed an audit framework for this, which also considers ethical aspects of algorithms. The Court of Audit recommends that more account should be taken of questions from concerned citizens about the use of algorithms.

And in Public Finance Focus (published 30 March 2021): “Democracy demands that public auditors step up to provide assurance and accountability over governments’ use of algorithms, says Jan Roar Beckstrøm, deputy director general and chief data scientist in Norway’s national audit body”.

See also: External Publications

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