Wednesday 18 June - seminars and work sessions day 2

The theme sessions took place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June. In the vicinity of the Netherlands Court of Audit, various small 90-minute sessions asked for active contributions from all delegates at the congress. These sessions were the heart of the IX EUROSAI Congress. No innovation without interaction!

Round 3: 11:00 - 12:30 (overview)

Seminar About YES

  1. Integrity self-assessment: dare to look in the mirror (the Netherlands)
  2. Open Mic Goal Team 1 EUROSAI innovations
  3. Delivering the message: Innovation in external communication (Estonia)
  4. Synergy mindset: working together with other public institutions (Lithuania)
  5. Auditing the crisis (the Netherlands)
  6. How is your SAI performing? An introduction to PMF (IDI)
  7. Change of role (the Netherlands)
  8. VFM through the mirror of ethics within public procurement system (Croatia)
  9. To manage job-crafting: key to happiness and excellence at work (the Netherlands)

Round 4: 13:30 - 15:00 (overview)

Seminar Auditing the financial crisis

  1. Map together the corruption risks of the public sector (Hungary)
  2. Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations
  3. Information design: balancing text, visuals and numbers (the Netherlands)
  4. How to audit wicked problems (Finland)
  5. Good practice guides for public managers (Germany)
  6. Measuring your performance (European Court of Auditors)
  7. Working together: with other public sector-auditors (Belgium)
  8. Change and leadership in the information era (the Netherlands)


Round 3: 11:00 - 12:30 (details)

Seminar About YES

Session moderators: Mr Alar Karis, Auditor General National Audit Office Estonia and Ms Louise van Loon, Netherlands Court of Audit
We have to change to stay the same! SAIs need to be innovative to continue to prove their added value. What are the main challenges and opportunities for SAIs? In November 2013 the first ever young EUROSAI congress took place. More than 100 young auditors discussed innovation: for example, how can we do more with less, getting our message across, use innovative audit methods, and make use of new media? Curious about the major good practices and what your SAI can learn from YES? Join the seminar 'about YES'.

1 Integrity self-assessment: dare to look in the mirror

Session moderators: Ms Terry Lamboo of the Ministry of the Interior (the Netherlands) and Ms Ina de Haan, the Netherlands Court of Audit
In this work session we will explore two integrity self-assessment tools for organisations. Both tools make use of the knowledge and experiences of the organisations’ employees. We will be looking at IntoSAINT and how this can be used in our audit practice. The other tool is Internetspiegel, an employee perception survey that is used in the Netherlands and that allows us to benchmark organisations on various quality aspects, including integrity.

2 Open Mic Goal Team 1 EUROSAI innovations

Capacity Building has up until now published two issues of EUROSAI Innovations, highlighting innovation in European SAIs. This open mic session will present some examples, including:

  • Developing capacity to audit EU financial and economic governance (European Court of Audit)
    Under the new legislative measures introduced by the EU, a special project team has been established by the ECA that focuses on the role of the Commission in designing and implementing the macro-financial assistance programmes.
  • Promoting medium-term fiscal sustainability (State Audit Office of Georgia)
    To strengthen transparency in the public financial management system, the Draft Law of the State Budget has been updated to assess the reasonableness of the medium-term economic outlook and budgetary estimate; and to promote better practices for the disclosures and transparent fiscal report. This ensures that the Parliament and the public have an accurate and realistic picture of the proposed draft budget for the year in the light of the medium-term fiscal framework.
  • Online system for reporting on the rectification of defects (Israel)
    In accordance with the law, an online defects rectification reporting system has been introduced to improve the transparency and accountability within the audit reporting process. The system is also available to the public to address their queries.
  • Auditor’s General staff breakfasts (Swedish National Audit Office)
    Once or twice a year each member of staff from the Swedish NAO is invited to an informal breakfast with the Auditor General. There is no set agenda and various issues, big or small, are open for discussion, everything from office coffee quality or technical support, to leadership and specific audit related matters. Five years after starting these breakfasts, they are still considered a highly rewarding channel of communication, contributing to taking matters of mutual interest forward and serving as an inspiration in the daily work for all.


3 Delivering the message: innovation in external communication

Session moderators: Ms Liisi Uder and Ms Thea Teinemaa, National Audit Office of Estonia
This session will focus on innovative methods of communication between an audit organization and its external stakeholders. How to get key information across at different stages of the auditing process? Tailored approaches can be used when communicating with the press, experts and opinion leaders, parliament, and the general public. Aspects such as the timing and mode of communication as well as the use of visuals all influence how audit results are received and used by stakeholders. A number of inventive examples from the Estonian NAO and several other countries will be presented as a starting point for group discussion.

4 Synergy mindset: working together with other public institutions

Session moderator: National Audit Office of Lithuania
“How to achieve the synergy in cooperation: 1+1=?”  “Compromise means 1+1 = 1.5. Synergy means that 1+1 may equal 10 or 100 or even 1000”. Stephen R. Covey
How to achieve the best cooperation with Parliament, law enforcement institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders? How to get the best effects of the cooperation? How  to create and maintain a successful relationship? In order to find the best ways of cooperation you should have a team that is ready to look for synergy in solving issues. This is called synergy mindset. It is not your way or my way, it’s a better way. Join this session and together we will learn how to create an enviroment of synergy, how to find a better way for cooperation.

5 Auditing the crisis

Session moderators: Mr Peter van Roozendaal and Mr Peter Kempkes, Netherlands Court of Audit 
Since late 2008, successive financial, banking and economic crises have severely affected government budgets. This posed policymakers throughout whole Europe for a number of serious challenges, which have among others led to more international cooperation and alignment of policies which used to be mainly of national concern. As a consequence, this opens new perspectives for SAIs: How can the crisis be audited? Should SAIs audit the crisis, and if so, how? How can the results of such audits be presented?

In this work session first the approach of the Netherlands Court of Audit in auditing the crisis – both at the European level and for the Netherlands in particular – will be briefly discussed, with an emphasis on the innovative ways that have been chosen to publish results. Afterwards a number of statements will be presented, on the basis of which the audience is invited to share their views. It is our aim that at the end of the session participants are inspired to seek further cooperation between SAIs regarding auditing the crisis.

6 How is your SAI performing? An introduction to PMF

Session moderator: Dr Meike Pätzold, INTOSAI Development Initiative
SAI Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF) is a global performance measurement framework to measure SAI performance that is currently being developed and piloted. It provides a holistic picture of the SAI and consists of measurable indicators and a qualitative assessment, assessing SAI Performance. It also includes an analysis of the environment the SAI is operating in. 
The purpose of the session is to raise awareness of SAI PMF and to involve participants in discussions on the use of SAI PMF.

7 Change of role

Session moderator: Ms Barbara Goezinne, Netherlands Court of Audit
The Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) used the decentralisation operation of central government as an opportunity to ´reinvent´ itself as advocate of accountability and efficiency. The NCA abstained from prescribing ‘the usual’: an elaborate central system of monitoring and evaluation. Instead, the NCA worked closely together with ministries and local government to come up with a multi-level, interactive M&E-system that benefited all.

New technologies make it both possible and necessary for SAIs to rethink their role in helping the nation spend wisely. In this work session we will focus on the NCA-experience and discuss what we learned.

8 VFM through the mirror of ethics within public procurement system

Session moderator: State Audit Office of Croatia
Public procurement is considered as a high risk area and therefore the assessments of regularity and performance of public procurement procedures is often a regular part of SAIs' scope of work. Although most of the countries have adopted the regulations on public procurement procedures, practice has taught us many times that it does not seem to be enough.
A central question for SAIs therefore is: What more can be done? Can SAIs contribute to improvement and assuring public procurement procedures also in line with value for money principle and ethics? If yes, how?
While reflecting on SAIs’ role, we will try to answer the following questions in this session:

  • How to assess the influence of power (authority and/or knowledge) within the audited subject, on decision making regarding the public procurement and through all the public procurement phases from the planning to the signing of the contract?
  • Is it possible to ensure, within the public procurement process, the application of the principle of justice and equality of participants in the process, to protect common good, not only from the point of government body conducting the public procurement, but from the point of all participants in the process?
  • Can audit recommendations, which are based on the VFM principle and on ethics, prevent and decrease unethical behaviour, particularly regarding fraud, corruption and bribery?

9 To manage job-crafting: key to happiness and excellence at work

Session moderators: Mr Piet Rozendal and Ms Lizet Hoekstra, Netherlands Court of Audit, together with 2KNOWHOW
In this work session we will focus on key factors of future-leadership: managing job-crafting. ‘Job-crafting’ is a tool that enables managers to create a working environment for their employees in which they use their talents and excel in their work. This work session gives you practical tools and guidance to create happiness and excellence at work. The world changes fast, standards are high, we need to be flexible and make the most out of every situation. But how do we manage this in the most effective way? Do you recognize one or more of the questions below?

  • What kind of leader am I?
  • What is the role of future leadership?
  • What does this mean for my day-to-day management?
  • What can I do to let all employees excel in their work?
  • How do I combine high international standards and heavy workloads with less control?
  • I have very talented people in my SAI, how can I support them in the right way?
  • How can I act tomorrow to create more happiness and excellence at work?

In the work session we will hand out a ‘Leadership Innovation Model’, a practical model that describes how to manage your employees and what evolution could take place in your management style. After you have classified yourself on the leadership-innovation-ladder we will discuss the importance of managing more personal leadership of your people. By stimulating personal leadership, you invest in your employees in a way that will bring happiness and excellence. Are you in for innovative leadership? Please join our work session!

Round 4: 13:30 - 15:00 (details)

Seminar Auditing the financial crisis

Session moderator: Mr Claes Norgren, Auditor General Sweden  
How did national SAIs respond to the financial economic crisis? First Mr Bas Jacobs (professor of economics and public finance at Erasmus University Rotterdam) will give a brief overview of the financial crisis and its risks for public finance. Next several SAIs will express their views on the impact of the crisis on their institute and audit work. Themes like strategic planning, audit approaches and selecting strategic partners will be addressed. After the presentations there is plenty of room for discussion.

1 Map together the corruption risks of the public sector

Session moderator: State Audit Office of Hungary
Would you like to measure the corruption vulnerability of the institutions of the public sector in your country? Would you like to receive exact figures to what extent the institutions are protected against corruption? The State Audit Office of Hungary has for several years successfully applied an online survey and GIS application to map and visualise corruption risks of the institutions of the public sector, based on self-assessment. In this work session:

  • we are going to initiate you into the secrets of compiling questionnaires aiming at mapping corruption risks;
  • you can fill in a questionnaire and observe the assessment of the results;
  • we will discuss how your SAI can benefit from the results of integrity surveys.

2 Open Mic Sessions Ten-minute presentations

In the open mic sessions SAIs of different countries will give short presentations on innovations in their SAIs.

  • General risk assessment methodology (Turkey)
    The Turkish Court of Accounts (TCA) developed its own tailor-made Audit Management System (i.e. SAYCAP) in 2012 so as to conduct and manage regularity audits of the TCA with a systematic approach to enhance overall effectiveness of audits. The SAYCAP is comprehensive enough to cover all stages of audits and customized to meet the sui generis requirements of TCA audits stemming from the judicial power of the TCA.​
  • ​​Risk-based system for audit work planning (Georgia)
    The SAO presents how they have managed to put the theory of risk-based approach to audit work planning into practice using their Public Finance Management (PFM) system.​
  • Audits on the use of IT by the Public Administrations (Italy)
    Practical examples, in particular on the interoperability of the Ministry of Defence.
  • Real-time audit (Germany)
    The Bundesrechnungshof's audit mandate provides for audit of all government programmes that have financial implications even if expenditures have not yet  incurred (such as real-time audits in ongoing infrastructure and procurement projects). In our point of view, it is an innovative approach to start performing an audit at an early stage of large-scale projects as this allows us to detect and correct faulty decisions at an early stage.

3 Information design: balancing text, visuals and numbers

Session moderators: Mr Pim Boers, Ms Cora Kreft and Ms Diny van Est, Netherlands Court of Audit 
Are you interested in effective information sharing among your stakeholders? Do you want to learn more about visuals in audits and what is needed to create them? We will show you how you can balance text, visuals and numbers in an audit report, in order to arrive at better information. We will present the three building blocks (text, visuals and numbers) combining theory and exercises. Bring your own examples to learn from.

4 How to audit wicked problems

Session moderators: Mr Tuomas Pöysti, Auditor General and Mr Marko Männikkö, Assistant Auditor General National Audit Office of Finland 
The subjects and issues SAIs audit today are becoming more and more complex (wicked). Is it better for SAIs to try to find out prudent and clever formulations or hypotheses of important questions/interpretations of auditing wicked problems … or to be busy to audit wicked problems with our currently structured auditing processes, with our current methods and our current ways of thinking (economically)? Or perhaps there is a third way ...? The work session addresses the different dimensions needed to successfully approach the wicked problems: strategic or policy/governance level; steering/management level; operative/grassroot level and interaction between levels.

5 Good practice guides for public managers

Session moderators: Mr Horst Erb, Ms Birgit Meichsner and Mr Markus Bangert, Bundesrechnungshof Germany 
Many audit findings are of a generalizable nature beyond the individual case under audit. In a step-by-step approach, the President of the German SAI (as Federal Performance Commissioner) has compiled a structured collection of good practice guides. This is a living document that will be continuously expanded. 
The guides set out key recommendations to help public managers avoid repeating common mistakes of the past when preparing future decision-making. They are presented in a concise format. Each recommendation is supplemented by comments on the underlying audit findings. The guides are an innovative approach to achieving good governance.

6 Measuring your performance 

Session moderator: European Court of Auditors
With fewer resources available there is a growing demand for public sector bodies to demonstrate not only their value, but also their value for money. SAIs are no exception, and should lead by example. Effective performance measurement is both an essential element of credibility, as well as a basis for accountability. In order to make best use of its resources it is imperative that an organisation know how they are used and the impact of its work. The resulting data should be used to improve and optimise. Participants will be invited to exchange their ideas and experiences on measuring and reporting their performance: challenges, successes and pitfalls!

7 Working together: with other public sector-auditors

Session moderator: Belgian Court of Audit
The work session will be devoted to the relations between SAIs and other public sector auditors, including other external auditors, internal auditors and audit committees in the public sector. Opportunities and challenges regarding this relationship will be discussed. We will address the relevance of the respective international standards and guidance, the diversity of the national legal and organisational frameworks and setups and the national practices. Some generic aspects will also be dealt with. What has EUROSAI done so far and what the organisation can/should do in the coming years with regard to these issues?

8 Change and leadership in the information era

Session moderator: Mr Cornelis van der Werf, Netherlands Court of Audit
We are living in the information era. Information technology is inevitably interconnected with our daily activities. It determines how we perform our own operational work, but it is also nestled in our auditees’ working processes. One way or the other, we will have to deal with it. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) deals with strategic questions of how to use information, from an internal perspective, but also with regard to the external world. So do we, as SAIs, need CIOs? And if so, what would he or she do? This work session explores the needs, the different CIO-roles and some practical steps to successfully embrace this role within the organization.