1 September 2021 update: The Performance Audit Handbook is now available at: IDI Professional SAIs work stream. It will be available in Spanish, French and Arabic by October 2021.

PAS´ involvement in the revision of the IDI Performance Audit ISSAI Implementation Handbook

The first version of the INTOSAI Development Initiative´s (IDI) performance audit handbook was completed in 2014, but following the endorsement of the ISSAI 3000 series in 2016, the IDI found that the handbook required an update. At that time, a draft was developed and sent to experts for comments but the IDI eventually put the project aside until they decided, in 2018, to change the handbook significantly. Such change was required based on needs arising from the IDI´s Professional Education of SAI Auditors (PESA) pilot as well as the IDI Sustainable Development Goals Audit Model (ISAM). The purpose of the handbook revision project was to update the handbook substantially to include detailed guidance at an individual audit level on how to conduct ISSAI compliant performance audits.

Around the same time, between September 2018 and February 2019, the PAS conducted an initial assessment as part of project 3.8 in the Strategic Development Plan for the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements 2017-2019. The objective was to assess if there was a need for more guidance material on how to obtain an understanding of Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness (3Es) of an entity and apply relevant methods in the context of a performance audit. The project team consisted of colleagues from the United States Government Accountability Office (lead), the Auditor General South Africa, and the Office of the Auditor General of Norway. The project concluded* that there is no need to expand on the so-called “3Es” (Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness) in ISSAI 3000, but that there may be need for additional guidance or manuals on how to apply these in an audit.

Following discussions at the 2019 PAS meeting in South Africa, the subcommittee decided to work closely with the IDI on revising their performance audit handbook. The expectation was that through this process, the subcommittee would be able to identify any needs for additional guidance on the “3Es” and other methodological issues in performance auditing. The PAS handbook development team, established early 2019, consisted of the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO), the United Kingdom National Audit Office (UK NAO) and PAS Secretariat. To ensure a broader, more solid foundation for PAS´ involvement, the chair decided that additional reviewers should look specifically at the ISSAI content of drafts. Colleagues from SAIs Sweden and Norway were assigned as ISSAI reviewers, a function with a dual purpose: Firstly, to ensure the correct representation and interpretation of the performance audit standards in the handbook and, secondly, for a larger group of PAS members to be able to draw from this experience before PAS starts planning for future maintenance of the ISSAIs for performance auditing.

PAS drafting team: Mrs Cathleen Berrick and Ms Alissa Czyz (United States Government Accountability Office); Mr Andy Fisher and Mr Jeremy Weingard (United Kingdom National Audit Office); Mr Morten Nordberg (acting chair of PAS, SAI Norway) and Ms Hege Larsen (PAS Secretariat).

PAS ISSAI reviewers: Mr Lars Florin (Swedish National Audit Office); Mr Jan Roar Beckstrom (Office of the Auditor General of Norway); Ms Hege Larsen (PAS Secretariat).

IDI project team: Ms Maria Lucia Lima (project manager), Ms Archana Shirsat, Ms Jade Quarrell.

The handbook drafting team convened for three workshops during the work on Version 0: in Oslo 18-20 June 2019, in London 18-20 November 2019 and in Washington DC 4-6 February 2020.

The photo below is from the London workshop, hosted by UK NAO 18-20 November 2019. From the left: Ms Maria Lucia Lima, Ms Archana Shirsat (both IDI), Ms Alissa Czyz (US GAO), Ms Jade Quarrell (IDI), Mr Andy Fisher (UK NAO), Mr Morten Nordberg (PAS Chair, SAI Norway), Ms Hege Larsen (PAS Secretariat, SAI Norway), and Mrs Cathleen Berrick (US GAO).

*For more information about project 3.8, see conclusions (Annex 1) in the document below:

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