INCOSAI, Rio de Janeiro – Stronger Together.
By Minister Bruno Dantas, President of the Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU)
Organizing the XXIV INCOSAI in Rio de Janeiro, after these past years of virtual meetings, was undoubtedly a huge challenge. The Congress brought together representatives of Supreme Audit Institutions from 147 countries and 30 partner institutions, as multilateral organizations interested in the theme of government audits and international cooperation, gathering an audience of over a thousand people to discuss INTOSAI’s most relevant topics of the last three years and to approve new initiatives for the future.
Although we all quickly adapted to on-line working methods and gained undoubted benefits from increased productivity, nothing really replaces meeting physically. Motivated by the smiles, hugs and handshakes, I had the pleasure of organizing a face-to-face Congress that left significant results.
In addition to meetings, side events, presentations, discussions, speeches, workshops and social events, the XXIV INCOSAI stood out in terms of partnership, exchange of knowledge, and professional growth, making the ties that unite us much stronger and more robust now.
Overall, the INCOSAI achieved the construction of a solid basis to strengthen the global voice of INTOSAI. As part of this global voice, action is necessary not only to overcome the challenges of emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to increase the importance and impact of public audit, as well as to improve the value of SAIs to society.
In this regard, the discussion of relevant topics related to public audit and external control through the meeting of worldwide Supreme Audit Institutions is much more than a simple exchange of information. From the moment its members unite to create a collective chorus of voices from different contexts all over the world, INTOSAI grows stronger; auditors gain new perspectives and contacts, and; SAIs receive inputs to improve work methods and results. Together we echo the important role we have in finding solutions for regional and global problems.
Certainly, INCOSAI was an excellent opportunity to explore the full potential of INTOSAI and the members of the Supreme Audit Institutions in terms of exchanging information, techniques and knowledge. This collaboration and sharing will surely contribute to making the work developed more relevant and effective, providing more transparency, accountability and governance to ensure governments offer the best possible products and services to citizens.
All of the integration and articulation work resulted in the approval of the Rio Declaration, which marked the closing of the XXIV INCOSAI, where there was a consolidation of understanding around the matters discussed and the establishment of guidelines for the performance of the SAIs in the coming years, such as the ability to respond to crisis situations.
Even if we face adversities on the way, we are better prepared now. This became very clear during the discussions of Theme I – The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Emergency Situations , an opportunity in which we could observe how SAIs from all over the world quickly created responses to the problems presented by the pandemic and showed us that, now, we are ready for new challenges.
Henceforth, as chair of INTOSAI, I am committed to leading efforts to strengthen the global voice of INTOSAI community through a strategy to communicate values, independence, and results of Supreme Audit Institutions. I strongly hope that three years from now, we will be an organization whose voice is heard broadly in the major global and regional discussions. We have a lot to contribute with our work of oversighting government actions.
In that respect, the discussions of Theme II – Global Voice, Global Outcome, Far-Reaching Impact, aimed to create a coordinated strategy to communicate the consolidated results of the work of Supreme Audit Institutions in high relevance themes. In addition to benefiting Supreme Audit Institutions and auditors, a coordinated communication strategy would also raise international awareness of the importance of public audit by independent organizations such as SAIs.
My desire is to put INTOSAI’s motto into practice: “mutual experience benefits all”. To make this happen, I invite all INTOSAI members to join us in this mission.