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Ongoing project: revision of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) Performance Audit Implementation Handbook

PAS project team: Ms Cathleen Berrick and Ms Alissa Czyz (United States Government Accountability Office); Mr Andy Fisher and Mr Jeremy Weingard (United Kingdom National Audit Office); 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.

Project description and status:

The first version of IDI´s PA handbook was completed in 2014, but after 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 substantially. 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 current project is to update the handbook substantially with detailed guidance at an individual audit level on how to conduct ISSAI compliant performance audits.

Background for PAS involvement in the handbook:

From September 2018 to February 2019, the PAS conducted an initial assessment of project 3.8* in the Strategic Development Plan for the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements 2017-2019. The project group (US GAO; SAI South Africa and SAI Norway) concluded that there is no need to expand on the socalled “three Es” (Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness) in ISSAI 3000. However, there may be need for additional guidance on how to apply these in an audit.

Following discussions at the 2019 PAS meeting in South Africa, the subcommittee decided to work more closely with the IDI on some of their products, and through those products provide implementation guidance on how to do performance audits. In this process, the subcommittee will most likely be able to identify any needs for additional guidance on the “three Es” and other methodological issues. At the start-up of the revison of the Performance Audit Implementation Handbook, the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO) and the United Kingdom National Audit Office (UK NAO) formed the core handbook drafting team together with the IDI and the PAS Secretariat. To ensure a solid foundation for the PAS´ contributions, the chair decided that additional reviewers should look specifically at the ISSAI content of drafts. We call this the ISSAI reviewer function. The purpose of the ISSAI reviewer function is twofold: firstly, to ensure the correct representation and interpretation of the PA standards in the handbook and, secondly, for a broader group of PAS members to be able to draw from this experience as we enter into a new three-year term where we will start the 3000 series maintenance process.

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

The handbook drafting team met for three workshops in the last year: in Oslo 18-20 June 2019; in London 18-20 November 2019; and in Washington DC 4-6 February 2020. PAS members and observers will be notified a soon as Version 0 of the handbook is ready for exposure.