On the eve of the 71st meeting of the Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Alexei Kudrin held bilateral meetings with the President of INTOSAI, Harib Said Al Amimi, the President of the State Audit Office of the United Arab Emirates, and Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General of the United States.
In 2019, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation will be the Chairman of INTOSAI and will hold the 23rd
Congress in Moscow. Therefore, many issues related to the preparation of this international event have been discussed at the meeting.
Mr. Al Amimi shared the UAE’s experience of chairmanship in INTOSAI and offered their support for planning the Congress.
The meeting participants also agreed that they should continue their work to develop the Organization’s Charter: it must be more responsive to modern technological challenges and the new role of audit institutions as strategic advisors to their governments. “I am sure that, following the Congress, we will be able to formulate the key conclusions that will give a fresh impetus to the development of the audit community,” Alexei Kudrin said.
During the meeting, Alexei Kudrin and Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General of the United States, discussed the development of cooperation between the financial audit institutions of the two countries. “Our organizations have accumulated a vast experience of interaction in multiple areas, including participation in a joint audit in environmental protection and sustainable development of the Arctic and cooperation in the INTOSAI Working Group on Big Data. By the way, the Accounts Chamber was the first to support this initiative. I hope that we will not only continue our constructive cooperation but also find new areas of cooperation,” the Head of the Russian SAI stressed.
Both in Russia and in the USA, audit institutions introduce new approaches in the public audit system, such as performance audit, digitalization, and project management. Alexei Kudrin and Gene Dodaro agreed to expand the exchange of best practices.
At the end of the meeting, Alexei Kudrin invited Gene Dodaro to take part in the Gaydar Forum to be held in January 2019 in Moscow. “We plan to gather the chairpersons of the Accounts Chambers to discuss some audit issues, including new approaches to its procedure,” Alexei Kudrin noted.
The Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) met in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation on November 15–16.
Aleksey Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, is sure that Russia needs to reduce the State’s share in the economy. In his speech at the plenary session of the Moscow Financial Forum, he said that it was necessary for an economic breakthrough.
“I think that we are deploying insufficient efforts in this area. We still have a low confidence in investments. In our country, about 6% of the population have their own businesses, but only 2% want to create a new business. In Eastern Europe, about 8%, in developing countries, 30% and more. 2% are ready to take risks, create a new business, create an innovative product, who are not afraid of making a mistake – it’s really not enough,” he said.
For people to consider the possibility of creating their own businesses, the country needs to create a stable, predictable and transparent system of public administration, to carry out a reform of control and supervisory activities.
“We need to start with the reform of public administration. The quality of the regulatory environment and methods no longer meets the challenges both in terms of speed and in accuracy of decision making. We have not heard enough about the reform of the control and supervisory activities which, as has already been proved both in figures and examples, significantly overloads both businesses and budgetary institutions,” Aleksey Kudrin noted. According to him, “to reach the European level, we need to reduce the control and supervisory load by half!”
The speed of public administration processes can be increased through digitization and optimizing the work of ministries. “The speed of public administration can also be increased through digitalization. We must recompile some functions of the government; their number should be reduced. We can remove redundant functions of many ministries, especially in working with information,” Aleksey Kudrin stated.
Speaking of work of the Accounts Chamber, he promised that it would change. The audit institution would pay more attention to strategic audit: “The Accounts Chamber will be the institution that, I hope, will objectively and impartially assess the achievement of national goals and objectives.”
“In our Strategy of the Accounts Chamber, we said that we would rather be consultants, and we want to become partners of the Government. Speaking of shortcomings, estimating them, however, we should make suggestions how to do it better,” Aleksey Kudrin concluded.
Promoting the digitalization of the public administration systems is one of the key tasks faced by Supreme Audit Institutions worldwide. This statement was made by Aleksey Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, who opened the meeting of the XVIII session of the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States, which was held today in Moscow.
The meeting of the Council was attended by the heads of SAIs of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan. The main topic of the regular session was information technology and its role in developing and improving the effectiveness of public administration.
Addressing the Council members, the Head of the Russian Accounts Chamber noted that modern information technology not only transforms the usual life of people, but also becomes an important tool in modernizing the system of public administration, providing a basis for more rational and effective government decision-making, its openness and transparency to society. “Today, without using modern digital technology, it is simply not possible to deal with global challenges. That is why Supreme Audit Institutions worldwide see one of their key strategic objectives in not only digital transformation of its operating activities, but also in promoting the digitalization of the whole system of public administration,” he stated.
According to Aleksey Kudrin, the Russian Supreme Audit Institution is ready to become one of the platforms for introducing the digitalization. For example, the Accounts Chamber is applying the information system of remote external public audit, allowing them to conduct audits without going to the audited entity. “Even now our remote audit system can, as soon as at the stage of preparation for an audit, find the signs of violations by 65 algorithms, including in the texts of public contracts using semantic analysis, including facts of concealment of violating the procurement standards,” Aleksey Kudrin noted.
At the same time, he stressed that the work on digitalization of his department will not stop there, and in the near future, the Accounts Chamber plans to allocate a special subdivision for digitalization within its structure. “The Accounts Chamber has already a team who works with electronic resources and examines databases. In the near future, we will have a dedicated head of the ‘digital office’, which will be responsible namely for the analysis of databases, as far as they are comparable, applicable and in demand during audits. Such an audit will be part of our work, we are forming a common base with more than 400 public audit institutions of all levels, where it would be possible to compare the data and to build a common analysis based on the results of the work of all institutions,” Aleksey Kudrin said.
As part of the work of the Council, Aleksey Kudrin also held bilateral meetings with all heads of SAIs of the CIS. During the meeting with the head of the Chamber of Auditors of the Republic of Armenia, an Agreement on Cooperation was signed.
Alexey Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, met with Moermahadi Soerja Djanegara, the Chairman of the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia. The event was hosted by the Accounts Chamber as part of the visit of the Indonesian delegation to Russia.
Alexey Kudrin said that Indonesia is one of the Russia’s key partners in the Asian-Pacific Region. According to him, many joint projects in trade, economic, and technical fields testify to the high level of cooperation between the two states. The Head of the Accounts Chambers noted that the year of 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of signing the Declaration on Principles of Friendly Relations and Partnership between Russia and Indonesia in the 21st century.
Alexey Kudrin emphasized the special role of the Audit Board of Indonesia in the activities of the INTOSAI’s working group on environmental auditing and the active involvement of the Indonesian party in the INTOSAI’s working group on key national indicators. He drew attention to the high importance of cooperation between the Russian and Indonesian SAIs in the INTOSAI’s working group on public debt auditing and in the INTOSAI’s working group on the fight against corruption and money laundering.
Alexey Kudrin noted the constructive work of the Indonesian party on preparation of the draft program of cooperation between the supreme audit institutions of Russia and Indonesia in the medium term. “In turn, we would also like to update our 2007 cooperation agreement. The document has already passed our internal procedures, and we are ready to present it to you”, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber stated.
In addition, the Head of the Accounts Chambers noted the significant role of cooperation between the Russian and Indonesian SAIs in the preparation of the forthcoming 23rd INTOSAI Congress to be held in 2019 in Moscow. “I would like to thank you personally and your colleagues for your active participation in the preparation of the informative part of the forthcoming congress”, Alexey Kudrin said in his address to the Indonesian party.
The Russian and Israeli Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) signed a Collaboration Agreement, which became an updated revision of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding collaboration issues dated January 4, 2006.
The signing procedure took place on June, 2018 as a result of the meeting of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Alexey Kudrin with the Israeli SAI delegation headed by the State Controller and Ombudsman of Israel Joseph Haim Shapira.
During the meeting, both parties highly appreciated the level of development of interdepartmental relations between the control agencies of Russia and Israel, which successfully cooperate for many years not only on a bilateral basis, but also within the framework of international audit organizations.
At the same time, the leaders of the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Israel were unanimous that new challenges appearing nowadays, including an active development of interstate relations between the two countries, require the Supreme Audit Institutions to apply new formats of interdepartmental cooperation. "I am sure that the updated cooperation agreement signed today not only will determine the vector of development of our bilateral relations for the years coming, but will also bring it to a new, even higher level," the head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation said after signing the document.
Along with signing the agreement, Aleksey Kudrin and Joseph Haim Shapira approved the Cooperation Program for 2018-2019, which implementation starts immediately after the meeting. On June 4, a Russian-Israeli seminar on the exchange of experience in the audit of socio-economic development forecasts will be held at the Accounts Chamber.
A special attention at the meeting was paid to the issues related to the preparations for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress, which will be held in 2019 in Moscow. Alexey Kudrin invited his colleague to join the work on preparing the topics for the forthcoming Congress. "The preparation for the largest forum of the international audit community is one of the most urgent issues for us these days. And I hope that the supreme audit body of Israel, as a member of INTOSAI, will share its rich experience and developed solutions in the areas related to the topics of the forthcoming Congress, "Alexey Kudrin stated.
The Russian and Israeli controllers are going to discuss more details of the preparation for the Congress within the framework of the forthcoming seminar.
A round table meeting arranged by Russia’s Accounts Chamber took place at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in preparation for the 23d INCOSAI and involved leaders and representatives of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in 19 countries*.
The welcoming address was delivered at the opening by Alexey Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. First of all, while addressing to his foreign colleagues, the head of the Russian supervisory agency thanked them for joining the round table discussion and for taking a contributing stance in the development of the upcoming Congress agenda. “Our meeting is undoubtedly a key meeting for the entire international audit community,” he said. “Indeed, those conceptual ideas we are planning to discuss today will shape the evolution of the auditing theory for years to come. We see a window of opportunity to hold a new meaningful conversation on how the position and role that SAIs hold in their countries, economies and society are to change.”
The major topic of the round table discussion was the draft Basic Documents on the two INCOSAI themes**, which were approved at the meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board in November 2017 in Graz, Austria.
The draft Basic Document on Topic II Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals*** that outlined a strategic and integrated approach to government audit, evolution of the performance audit methodology, SAI advisory activities and required researches was presented by the Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber.
While talking about the importance of the issue proposed, Alexey Kudrin stressed that the role that SAIs play in achieving national priorities and goals should be reshaped in line with new challenges in public administration. “Not only should government audit give focus to identifying non-compliances, but it should also aim at building capacity of the Government to address issues emerging in achievement of the national goals,” he said.
According to Alexey Kudrin, the accountability of executive body is shifting at the moment from the accountability for a process to the accountability for its outcomes and for learning from any errors made. “This kind of accountability means that the Government should take corrective steps based on the review of what is made.” he noted. “This is consistent with the development of public administration aimed at goal achievement and continuing improvements."
The document presented by the Accounts Chamber also calls attention to the need for a more proactive involvement of citizens, open data initiatives and real-time communication with stakeholders. “SAIs should communicate the results of their activities through a language that is plain and understandable and using a vast array of communication tools. And they should also strengthen ties with the expert community that is a valuable source of expert information and opinions,” Alexey Kudrin said.
Following the discussion, the round table participants approved the draft Basic Documents on the INCOSAI themes. They are to be translated into the INTOSAI official languages and distributed for discussion among the INTOSAI member supreme audit institutions at a later stage. The Master Discussion documents are expected to be developed by May 2019 with a view to be talked over at the 23d INCOSAI. They will be also published on the INCOSAI website.
In addition, Alexey Kudrin held bilateral meetings with the leadership of SAIs in the Austrian Republic and the Republic of Cuba.
Further close and constructive liaison to cover INTOSAI activities from A to Z between the Accounts Chamber, a chair of this international organization throughout the next year, and INTOSAI General Secretariat was the leitmotif of the meeting with Mrs. Margit Kraker, INTOSAI Secretary General, President of the Austrian Court of Audit.
At the meeting with Mrs. Gladys Maria Bejerano Portela, Cuban Vice President of the Council of State and Comptroller General, the parties noted with appreciation the excellent relationships between the Russian and Cuban SAIs and reaffirmed the willingness to strengthen them further on. “The meetings between the leadership of the Russian and Cuban SAIs have become a good tradition. And I am sure that we will carry it on especially because we have a good reason for this. It is active audit activities performed by our agencies,” the head of the Russian Accounting Chamber noted during their conversation.
* Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Hungary, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Cuba, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, and Finland.
**- Theme I: Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration (to be chaired by SAI of the People's Republic of China);
- Theme II: The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals (to be chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).
*** The INTOSAI Expert Group embracing 25 SAIs was forged to develop the Basic Document on Theme II of the 23d INCOSAI and they did a lot of work and held a number of online meetings to discuss Topic II in February-May. Alexey Kudrin has been approved by the State Duma as Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber at the plenary session. He received 58.7% of the vote.
Tatiana Golikova, Chairperson of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, met with Natalia Godunova, Chairperson of the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the Republican Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Head of the Accounts Chamber of Russia congratulated her colleague on the appointment to the post of Chairperson of the Supreme Audit Institution of the Republic of Kazakhstan and wished her success in her new career. “You have a very responsible mission to further improve the system of public audit in the Republic of Kazakhstan. I am sure that your knowledge and many years of managerial experience will guarantee the achievement of any tasks set,” Tatiana Golikova emphasized.
During the meeting that was also attended by Aleksandr Zhdankov and Sergey Shtogrin, auditors - members of the Board of the Accounts Chamber, topical issues of interdepartmental cooperation were discussed, which is being actively developed not only in a bilateral but also in a multilateral form within international organizations (INTOSAI, EAEU, SCO and the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States). “Our long-term cooperation should be highly appreciated. At the same time, in our opinion, our potential can be realized with even greater efficiency,” Tatiana Golikova said.
In order to implement the agreements outlined in the updated Cooperation Agreement, which was signed in September 2017, the parties agreed to carry out joint and parallel monitoring and expert-analytical engagements on topics of mutual interest for both states. “Taking into account the implementation of major interstate projects and programs, we have enough topics. They are the energy sector, military and technical cooperation and cooperation in the field of space exploration,” Head of the Russian Audit Institution said.
The members of the meeting also agreed to strengthen cooperation within the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “These are the priority areas of our international activities and we are aimed at their further development,” Tatiana Golikova stressed during the conversation.
In addition, there was an exchange of experience of audit activities in various areas within the meeting, including in the field of organization of cooperation with the government and parliament, improvement of budgetary legislation, development of audit methodology, personnel training. At the same time, the members of the delegation of Kazakhstan showed particular interest in the experience of the Accounts Chamber of Russia in the field of organization of cooperation with regional control and accounts bodies and use of information technologies.
Special attention during the meeting was paid to the issues related to the preparation for the 23rd Congress of INTOSAI, which will be held in 2019 in Moscow. Tatiana Golikova thanked Natalia Godunova for the active position of the representatives of SAI of Kazakhstan in terms of assistance rendering to the Accounts Chamber of Russia in the study of the Congress topics within the framework of a special expert group. Head of the Accounts Chamber of Russia also expressed hope to see her colleague at the meeting of Heads of SAIs involved in the work on the preparation of Congress topics, which is planned to be held within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
On March 27-28, 2018 the 11th meeting of INTOSAI Working Group on Key National Indicators (KNI) and Expert Group on Key National Indicators of the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States* chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was held in Rome (Italian Republic).
Representatives from SAIs in Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, the United States, Finland and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) also took part in the WGKNI meeting. In addition, it was attended by Monika Gonzalez-Koss from the INTOSAI General Secretariat and Robert Cox (SAI of New Zealand) who represented the Forum for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements (FIPP). They also invited some external experts such as Giuseppe Pisauro, Chairman of the Parliamentary Budget Office in the Italian Parliament, and Professor Enrico Giovannini from University of Rome Tor Vergata to participate in the WGKNI meeting.
At the meeting, the Russian delegation reported on the main outcomes of the WGKNI activities in 2017-2018, including on the progress in preparing methodological documents developed by the group. They are guidelines on auditing the KNI developed and used within the INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements System and macroeconomic forecasts.
The Russian delegation also presented Theme II core provisions and areas for the 23d INCOSAI** to be held in 2019 in Moscow. The presentation was aimed at discussing the structure of and the progress in developing the INCOSAI Principle Paper with those WGKNI members, who were also engaged in the Theme II Expert Panel. Agreed wording of the Principle Paper is planned to be developed by the meeting of the SAI leaders who participate in the Expert Panel, which will be held on May 24, 2018 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (St. Petersburg).
A bilateral Russian-Italian meeting was also held as part of the visit to negotiate the interagency cooperation aimed at consolidated argumentations of the Russian and Italian SAIs in the preparation of the Principle Paper on the 23d INCOSAI Theme II.
*The INTOSAI Working Group on Key National Indicators was launched in 2007 following the resolution of the 19th INCOSAI held in Mexico. WGKNI currently includes 21 Full Members and chaired by the Russian SAI. Its main objective is to collect and disseminate information related to key national indicators and share the best practices, methodological documents and lessons learned. The WGKNI meetings are held annually. The WGKNI dedicated webpage is available on the website of the Russian Accounts Chamber to ensure the information interaction between the participants in between the meetings.
The Expert Group on Key National Indicators started its work in 2008 in accordance with the decision of the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States. At the moment, the Expert Group consists of 9 members. The group is chaired by SAI Russia. The main objective of the Expert Group is to promote the implementation and monitoring of the key national indicators system of socio-economic development at national and international levels, as well as the development of performance auditing in the CIS Member States. Expert Group meetings are held annually. To ensure the information interaction of members between the meetings, an Expert Group page was created on the basis of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation web-site.
** The meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board held in November 2017 in Graz (Austria) approved the following INCOSAI themes:
- Theme I: Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration (to be chaired by SAI of the People's Republic of China);
- Theme II: The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals (to be chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).
In order to ensure the principles of openness and transparency provided for by the Law on the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, as well as to implement the mechanism by which the public could submit proposals for the audit plan, the supervising authority is making active efforts to involve citizens in its audit activities.
Last year, the Accounts Chamber has considered 2764 complaints, applications, petitions and proposals from citizens received through the public reception office, which is 15% more than in 2016. The information from petitions was taken into account when carrying out control and expert-analytical activities.
In particular, audit branches of the Accounts Chamber have examined materials of 21 petitions of citizens in the framework of the implementation of the control measures plan. The facts stated in the petitions were confirmed in 4 cases. For example, violations were detected in the course of audit of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post in August-December, 2017 under the petition for examining the efficiency of budget funds use by Russian Post.
In 2018, in the framework of the implementation of the control measures plan, it is intended to use information of 14 petitions of citizens. In particular, the information on possible violations when spending funds allocated for the maintenance of marine mammals, when reforming the hunting control and supervision service in the Komi Republic, as well as when reconstructing the student dormitory of the Moscow Academy of Water Transport will be considered. The main control measures with the use of information from citizens will be taken as part of the audit of the federal budget execution for the year 2017.
Public polls that the Accounts Chamber has been regularly conducting since 2016 have become another important tool of citizens involvement in the participation in control activities.
Polls are conducted to determine the most "urgent" topics for the society, to determine the auditees on the basis of the received results, as well as to obtain information from the society about the change of the situation in the relevant areas that have already been affected by the control activities.
During 2017, 25 public polls were conducted on the quality of the performance by the auditees of state functions and the provision of services to the public, the results of which were used by the Accounts Chamber when planning and conducting 32 control and expert-analytical activities, the objects of which were 47 state bodies and organizations.
The Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Kyrgyzstan have entered into the Agreement on Cooperation and approved the 2019-2020 Program of Cooperation. The instruments were signed by Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, and Ulukbek Maripov, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of Kyrgyzstan.
The parties undertake under the Agreement to share best practices and run joint research projects, cooperate in the field of vocational education and professional development, share information and reference materials and interact in the vein of the Eurasian Economic Union within the framework of multilateral joint supervision activities.
Tatyana Golikova said in her welcome speech that the two countries cooperated on a wide range of audit issues, including in the context of co-joint audits. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber expressed her confidence that the parties would start discussing new plans for their cooperative activities after the signing. “We will certainly strive to implement all clauses of the agreement; I mean seminars, round tables, and training. Nevertheless, taking into consideration our experience in cooperative audits, I hope we will define new inspection agenda as the most effective professional development is where the parties work as team,” said Tatyana Golikova.
Ulukbek Maripov said in turn that he saw the Russian Accounts Chamber as a strategic partner: “Indeed, not only our agencies, but also our countries cooperate closely. We receive a great deal of support from Russia, our great friend. And we would like to always maintain good and fruitful relationships, both on a bilateral and on a multilateral basis.”
The representative of Kyrgyzstan invited the delegation of the Russian Accounts Chamber to attend the next SCO meeting in Bishkek. In turn, Tatyana Golikova asked her Kyrgyz colleagues to take part in the preparations for the 23d INCOSAI to be held in Moscow next year. “I hope that the Kyrgyz SAI as a member of INTOSAI will join our work on the forthcoming INCOSAI agenda and share their expertise and achievements,” said Tatyana Golikova.
Within the framework of the Program of Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Azerbaijan, a bilateral Russian-Azerbaijani training seminar on budget process, methodology, public relations and informatization was held in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.
Andrey Bazin, Director of the External Relations Department of the Accounts Chamber spoke at the opening ceremony.
Welcoming the participants of the seminar on behalf of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova, Andrei Bazin noted the high level of cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Azerbaijan, both bilateral and in the international organizations - INTOSAI, EUROSAI, ASOSAI and the CIS Council of Heads of SAI. He added: "For more than 15 years our cooperation has been successfully and steadily developing under the general political course of the bilateral relations between our states and the potential for our cooperation has not been exhausted yet."
Andrey Bazin also thanked his Azerbaijani colleagues for their active participation in the work of the special expert group formed to study the themes of the XXIII INTOSAI Congress to be held in 2019 in Moscow.
During the seminar, the parties exchanged experience in auditing the state budget, discussed national peculiarities of drawing up conclusions and reports.
The Azerbaijani specialists got acquainted with the main methods of obtaining and processing information used by the Accounts Chamber of Russia, studied the possibilities of the unique remote audit information system that allows Russian specialists to conduct auditing activities without visiting the inspected sites.
Issues related to reporting audit findings to the public were also raised in the discussions. Participants studied the main forms of presenting information and the potential risks associated with its provision.
Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, held a meeting with Levon Yolyan, Chairman of the Control Chamber of the Republic of Armenia.
The Head of the Russian Accounts Chamber congratulated Levon Yolyan on his appointment as the Chairman of the Armenia’s Control Chamber and wished him success in accomplishing the tasks his agency is faced with.
During the meeting, the parties highly appreciated the level of development of interagency relationships between the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in Russia and Armenia, which have been beneficially cooperating for many years, not only bilaterally, but also within the framework of international audit organizations and the Eurasian integration processes.
At the same time, the parties were unanimous in their opinion that the new challenges of our time and the active development of interstate relationships dictate that supreme audit institutions should apply new formats of cooperation. "The dynamic progress in the political dialogue between Russia and Armenia and the increasing fields of interstate cooperation enable us to set up new areas for our cooperation," said Tatyana Golikova.
The joint audit of the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University will be one of the first steps in this direction. "The supervisory agencies of Russia and Armenia will conduct joint audit for the first time over many years. It shows a high level of openness and trust between the SAIs in our countries," Tatyana Golikova noted.
The parties also agreed to cooperate and share best practices in IT development and application. Tatyana Golikova told her colleagues about the latest IT innovations used in the activities of the Russian Accounts Chamber. The Armenian delegation showed a special interest in the information and analytical system for remote external public audit/control. They had an opportunity to explore its capabilities in more detail at a later stage, during the working meeting on the exchange of best practices in the use of information and communication technologies in auditing.
The meeting was focused on the preparation for the 23rd INCOSAI to be held in 2019 in Moscow. Tatyana Golikova thanked Levon Yolyan for the active stand of the Armenian SAI representatives who assisted the Russian Accounts Chamber to finalize the Congress agenda within the Expert Task Group. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber also invited her colleague to take part in the meeting of the SAI chairs involved in the preparation of the Congress agenda to be held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
In addition, Tatyana Golikova thanked her Armenian colleagues for their active participation in the activities of INTOSAI Working Groups on Public Procurement Audit (WGPPA) and Key National Indicators (WGKNI).
Following the meeting, the parties signed an updated version of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Armenia to support the arrangements made. "This is a very significant document and it will be of crucial importance for the development of our bilateral cooperation and enable us to reach a new qualitative level of our joint work," the Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber said after the signing.
In preparation for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress, which will be held in September 2019 in Moscow, the first kickoff meeting of the Expert Group formed to study Theme II of the Congress "The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals"* took place in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.
The meeting was attended through video conference by representatives of the Supreme Audit Institutions and audit organizations from 16 countries. **
The participants identified six key areas for discussion under the main theme (1. Advisory activity; 2. Strategic audit; 3. Information and analysis in the activities of the Supreme Audit Institutions; 4. Risk management; 5. Information transparency; 6. New communication strategy), and also agreed the work schedule for the preparation of the Basic Document on Theme II. It is expected that the Basic Document will be posted on the Congress website in May 2019. According to the schedule, the draft Basic Document will be prepared by the end of March 2018, and then sent to the group participants for consideration and making comments and suggestions. It is planned to engage external experts to work on the preparation of the Document, including representatives of international organizations (UN, OECD, etc.). Next meeting of the group is scheduled for late May 2018.
- Theme I “Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration" (under the chairmanship of the SAI of China);
- Theme II: "The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals" (under the chairmanship of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).
In preparation for INCOSAI XXIII that will be held in September 2019 in Moscow, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, as the host of the Congress, is now engaged in an active organizational and substantive work.
They expert groups with a view to work out the Congress themes are currently at the final stage of organization, while the groups are to include representatives of a variety of regional audit organizations and supreme audit institutions (SAI).
As part of this work, a facilitation meeting was held in January 2018 in Vienna (the Republic of Austria), which involved the experts from the INTOSAI General Secretariat, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the SAI of the People's Republic of China. During the event organizational issues, including coordination of the activities to be run by the Congress thematic chairpersons* and the timeframe for preparing the Congress thematic materials have been discussed.
In addition, a video conference was held in February 2018 to talk with the experts of China’s SAI on developing the Congress themes. Such meetings are to take place regularly.
* The meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board held in November 2017 in Graz (Austria) approved the following Congress themes:
- Theme I: Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration (to be chaired by SAI of the People's Republic of China);
- Theme II: The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals (to be chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has held a bilateral seminar under an international cooperation program to share expertise in auditing major road management investment projects.
Tatyana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, came up with a welcome speech at the opening of the seminar.
The head of the Russian accounting institution expressed strong approval of the development of bilateral relations between the supreme auditing agencies of Russia and Slovakia, noting their openness and trustworthiness. At the same time, she pointed out that in conditions of intense development of trading and economic cooperation of the two countries, the supreme auditing agencies face the need for further progress of interdepartmental efforts. “We’ have much to think about in terms of joint or side-by-side work in monitoring the implementation of large-scale interstate projects envisioned by the Russo-Slovakian cooperation program, including in the fields of power efficiency and conservation, oil and gas production, pharmacy, transportation and other industries,” said Tatyana Golikova.
In her speech, the head of the Russian accounting institution paid special attention to issues related to preparation and conduct of the INTOSAI XXIII Congress due to be held in Moscow in 2019. For instance, Tatyana Golikova proposed that Slovakian colleagues consider the possibility of cooperation in formulating the Congress agenda, including through participation in the Working Group established by the Russian Accounting Chamber for preparation of the Congress’s documents.
Concluding her speech, Tatyana Golikova wished fruitful work to the seminar participants and expressed confidence that its results will further enhance the cooperation between the supervising agencies of Russia and Slovakia.
In the course of the seminar, the parties have exchanged expertise in auditing major road management investment projects. In particular, the Russian and Slovakian experts have been introduced to the national methods and techniques used in checks and verifications and discussed major problems of auditing in this area and how to address them.
The seminar was attended by the representatives of the two countries’ supervising agencies, including Valery Bogomolov, the Auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, Igor Shulay, Vice-President of the Slovak Republic Supreme Supervision Chamber, directors of dedicated departments, and officers of inspectorates
The Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan held a regular joint meeting of the Collegium via videoconference.
The meeting summarized the results of the 2016 inspection of compliance by the competent authorities of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation with the Protocol on the Procedure for Crediting and Distribution of Import Customs Duties (Other Duties, Taxes and Charges of Equivalent Effect) and their transfer to the budgets of the EAEU Member States.
According to Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, giving a welcoming speech at the opening session, the Eurasian Economic Union is a successfully developing integrated entity. “We note the positive dynamics of economic growth of our countries. This year, the total GDP of the Union increased by 1.8% percent,” she said.
The head of the Russian Audit Institution also gave a high evaluation of the activities of Supreme Audit Institutions in the framework of the EAEU. “Our cooperation can be described as effective and productive. We have accumulated considerable experience in carrying out joint control activities and continue to improve our interaction. Thus, in the interests of providing prompt solution to all issues, a working group was established from among specialists of our departments directly involved in the inspections,” reported Tatyana Golikova.
The reports to the Board were made by the representatives of audit institutions of the five countries.
The parties were unanimous in their assessment of the inspection results, noting that in 2016 the competent authorities of the EAEU member countries generally ensured compliance with the procedure of distribution of import customs duties. Import duties are distributed in accordance with the established values* for each Party.
The total amount of import duties received by the budgets of the Parties in 2016 amounted to USD 9.8 billion. Compared with 2015, there has been an overall decrease in the amount of credited import duties by USD 782,7 million or 7.4%.
In 2016, the import customs duties in the Russian Federation amounted to RUB 570 billion, in the Republic of Armenia they totaled AMD 33.5 billion, in the Republic of Belarus – BYN 974,5 million, in the Republic of Kazakhstan – KZT 190,2 billion, in the Kyrgyz Republic – KGS 12.1 billion.
However, the results of the inspection indicate the persistence of a number of issues that Supreme Audit Institutions have already noted following the previous inspections.
One of them is the lack of a working system of information and technical support for the overall processes of the Union in the field of customs. The inspection has shown that, despite the adoption of the technical documents regulating information exchange between the central customs authorities using a common process of integrated information system for the foreign and mutual trade, the work on the implementation of measures provided for therein and the introduction of the overall process has not been organized. As a result, the exchange of information between the central customs authorities has not been implemented yet. As the representative of the Eurasian economic Commission, who also attended the joint meeting, explained, the information subsystems are currently being finalized and configured and the final introduction of the information process is scheduled for the end of 2018.
Moreover, the member countries have not yet adopted the Agreement regarding the procedure for conducting joint audits by the SAI on the issues of compliance with the procedure for crediting and distribution of import customs duties and their transfer to the budgets of the EAEU member states.
In addition, the inspection has once again revealed the problematic issues related to the distribution of import customs duties for which the obligation to pay arose on September 1, 2010.
In particular, in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the import duties on goods imported by organizations operating in the field of mineral resources management were being credited to a undistributable account during the period from 2014 to 2016, after September 1, 2010. Taking into account the result of consideration of the claim submitted by Kazakhstan in the EAEU Court, the competent authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan were requested to take measures to comply with the provisions of the Protocol in respect of such import duties.
Following the meeting, the Board resolved to submit the inspection report to the governments of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, the inspection report will be sent to the Chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Zhogorku Kenesh (the Supreme Council) of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Eurasian Economic Commission.
The delegation of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation headed by Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber, participated in the 70th meeting of the Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which was held in Graz (Austria).
The event was attended by representatives of Supreme Audit Institutions from 21 countries.
In her speech at the meeting, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation touched upon the issues of organizing the activities of the international audit community, noted the involvement of INTOSAI members in the discussion of proposals on priority areas of further SAI cooperation and provided information on the preparations for the XXIII International INTOSAI Congress which is scheduled to be held in Moscow in 2019.
48 audit institutions have participated in the elaboration of topic proposals for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress. Upon the results of the inter-institutional cooperation, two main topics have been chosen: “Information Technology in Public Administration Development" (topic I, the Chairman is the Supreme Audit Institution of the People’s Republic of China) and “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Achieving National Priorities and Goals” (topic II, the Chairman is the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).
In her speech, Tatyana Golikova noted that the exchange of good practices on innovative approaches in the field of audit contributes to achieving the main strategic goal of the organization which is updating the system of professional standards, building the capacity of national authorities and strengthening their role in the system of public administration, as well as enhancing the authority of INTOSAI community.
The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber noted that the Chamber has currently been actively working on the organization of the XXIII INTOSAI Congress and that it plans to launch the website of the event by the end of 2017. The importance of the upcoming event is highlighted by attention from the Administration of the Russian President which has created and approved the inter-departmental Organizing Committee composed of representatives of Federal Ministries and departments.
At the end of her speech, Tatyana Golikova has drawn attention of the participants to the extensive experience of Russia in organizing large international forums and expressed confidence in the successful holding of such a significant for the global audit community event which will take place in Moscow in 2019.
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of audit.
The document was signed by Tatyana Golikova, Chaiworman of the Accounts Chamber, and Mr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Alangari, President of the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The MOU is the first bilateral document signed by the General Auditing Bureau of Saudi Arabia with a supreme audit institution of another country.
The main objective of the Memorandum is development of cooperation between the two countries in the field of financial audit and performance audit within INTOSAI and other regional organizations of which they are members. In accordance with the signed agreement, the parties will implement joint research projects and activities including conducting training programs, organizing round tables and conferences on the relevant topics of financial audit and performance audit.
During the meeting, the participants noted the significance of the first state visit to Russia of His Majesty Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. This historic moment, as was the general opinion of both parties, will serve as an impetus for the development of the entire complex of interstate relations and, first and foremost, will affect trade and economic relations of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
During the meeting, participants also confirmed their readiness to exchange good practices in fields of mutual interest, including the activities of the two control agencies in the international INTOSAI community.
“We would like to invite you to cooperate in the framework of the INTOSAI Committee on Goal 3. As you know, we head two working groups on public procurement and on key national indicators, and we would like to invite the specialists of your country to participate in the work of these groups,” addressed her Saudi colleagues Tatyana Golikova.
In turn, Mr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Alangari expressed hope that the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation will head INTOSAI in 2019. “We, the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are looking forward to this along with all of our international community – I mean the Supreme Audit Institutions. This will enable us to cooperate closely and to have the opportunity to offer our experience in this important international organization,” - said Mr. Alangari.
Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the parties exchanged kind wishes and expressed confidence in the success of further professional cooperation.
In order to provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the national Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), it is necessary to implement unified regulations and result planning procedures for the public audit and control activities. This statement was made by Tatiana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, during her speech at the XVII Council Session of the Supreme Audit Institutions Heads from the member-countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Tatiana Golikova stated that there are already international accounting and financial reporting standards in legal force, but unfortunately no approved documents for unified standards of accounting and reporting in the areas of public audit and control activities. "Mostly identical facts of audit are reflected in different ways by the auditing and controlling bodies, such as the budget expenditures and the monetary assessment of the irregularities identified," noted the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber.
Tatiana Golikova also mentioned to the session participants that the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation always submits an annual report to the national parliament, which contains, among other things, a detailed analysis of quantitative data on the key performance indicators of the supervisory institution. "In its performance report the Accounts Chamber uses the main performance indicators which can also be used as key indicators of performance for SAI," said the Chairwoman.
In the annual activities report, the Accounts Chamber first directs its attention to the increase in the total amount of reported irregularities and deficiencies during the transfers and usage of the budget as a result of monitoring and expert-analytical activities, and to the reduction of budgetary resources, with signs of untargeted and inefficient use of federal and other resources. "Just in 2016, 145.6 million RUR had been returned to the Russian budget during the control activities of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, which is 4.9 times more than in 2015," explained Tatiana Golikova.
In 2016, in accordance with range of its powers and responsibilities, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has sent out 434 submissions and prescriptions (and 352 in 2015). 131 control measure submissions have been directed to the prosecuting authorities, preliminary investigation bodies and state security agencies. As a result of the measures taken by the Public Prosecutor's Office after submissions from the Accounts Chamber, the country has recovered 142.5 million rubles. (which is 8.5 times more than in 2015). In 2016, the stance of the Accounts Chamber has been fully taken into account in the 126 final draft legal acts, and has been partly applied to the 98 final draft legal acts. Also, the control over the implementation of the audit results as well as the number of decisions taken as a result of control activities, are the criteria for evaluating the performance of the Accounts Chamber.
"If performance indicators are accepted and approved, there will be a need for a period of harmonization and their implementation." "But the main thing is to start work in this direction, and today's meeting offers an excellent opportunity to focus on advanced and forward-looking methodologies for improving performance assessment, as well as to share experiences and new ideas", summarized Tatiana Golikova.
The Council Session of SAIs Heads of the CIS member States will continue until the evening. Before the official opening ceremony, Tatiana Golikova, along with other heads of delegations, has met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
On September 5, 2017, on the sidelines of the XVII Council of Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States in Baku, Tatyana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, signed the renewed inter-institutional cooperation agreements with Leonid Anfimov, Chairman of the State Control Committee of Belarus, and Nurmukhambet Abdibekov, Chairman of the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the Republican Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In the course of bilateral meetings, the heads of audit institutions unanimously acknowledged prominent bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The focus of attention was holding of annual joint events in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union on distribution of customs duties, as well as external audit (control) in the EAEU bodies.
Following the meetings, the Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) discussed the idea of establishing an expert group of SAI representatives from EAEU countries which will perform a task of updating the relevant methodological and regulatory framework.
Tatyana Golikova also particularly marked the lively dialogue of the Russian and Belarusian SAIs within the Union State. The cooperation between the two agencies is based on the annually updated Plan of Joint Events. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber proposed to her Belarusian counterpart to proceed with drafting this document for 2018.
“The diversity of formats and areas of cooperation of Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Belarus have necessitated the updating of the bilateral cooperation agreement”, explained Tatyana Golikova.
The cooperation of the SAIs of Russia and Kazakhstan, which has begun in 2004, also includes exchange of experience and implementation of control and expert analytical activities on issues of mutual interest.
“I am confident that the signing of the updated cooperation agreement between the Accounts Chamber and the Accounts Committee will contribute to enhancing our cooperation in a variety of formats,” - said Tatyana Golikova at the official ceremony. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber proposed to her colleague to consider the possibility of establishing the multi-year cooperation program that could provide for relevant seminars at the sites of the Accounts Chamber and the Accounts Committee, as well as videoconferencing.
The updated versions of the agreements provide for the exchange of information and reference materials, including standards and methodological developments in the field of external public audit, joint or concurrent control and expert analytical events and external assessment of each other’s activities.
In addition, participants expressed their interest in information analytical system of remote external state audit (control) developed and actively used by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.
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