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Overview to XX INCOSAI 2010 and Auditor General South Africa as host

1. BACKGROUND OF XX INCOSAI 2010

The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) (www.agsa.co.za) is a member of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) (www.intosai.org). This is an autonomous organisation for the external government audit institutions and has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. The Congress of INTOSAI, known as INCOSAI (International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions) (www.incosai.co.za) takes place every three years and is chaired by the hosting SAI.
The AGSA has been appointed as the host of the XX INCOSAI 2010 which will take place from 21 – 27 November 2010 in Sandton, Johannesburg. It is expected that approximately 600 delegates, observers and spouses will be attending the event.
The hosting of XX INCOSAI 2010 will give the AGSA an opportunity to strengthen its position in Africa and internationally. Being appointed to host this event is an acknowledgement that the AGSA is an important player in the global public auditing community. The Auditor-General of South Africa, as the host of the XX INCOSAI 2010, will assume chairmanship of INTOSAI at the event in November 2010.
The aim of INCOSAI is to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between SAIs in the field of government auditing and financial management, to discuss and adopt resolutions on subjects of common and technical interest, to draw conclusions and make recommendations accordingly and to make decisions on issues relating to international cooperation between SAIs.
Thus the hosting of XX INTOSAI 2010 vigorously fulfils the AGSA‟s constitutional mandate to report on the finances of all national, provincial and local government administrations as well as to audit any institution that receives money for a public purpose. It delivers on the AGSA‟s reputation promise to help strengthen democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, thereby building public confidence. This will greatly contribute to realising the vision of the AGSA; namely „to be recognised by all their stakeholders as a relevant Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) that enhances public sector accountability‟.

2. CONGRESS CONTENT

As the host of the XX INCOSAI 2010, the AGSA is responsible for chairing the congress, however, each theme presented at the congress is managed and developed by nominated members. The two key themes to be presented in November 2010 are:

  • Theme 1: The Value and Benefits of SAIs, chaired by South Africa
    Chaired by the SAI of South Africa, this Working Group has facilitated the development of this theme as SAIs are often challenged to demonstrate their value and the benefits that they offer to society. The responsibility that SAIs have to citizens in their role of auditing the public sector must be recognised within each SAI - that is to add credibility to the management of public funds and practices of good governance enabling public accountability. The scope of this theme has covered a reflection on the conduct of the SAI‟s own activities, a reflection on the impact of auditing and the development of an appropriate tool and measurement indicators.
  • Theme 2: Environmental Auditing and Sustainable Development, chaired by China.
    Chaired by the SAI of China, this Working Group has been dedicated to improving the use of audit mandate in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development by SAIs of all countries. It will increasingly become the responsibility of the SAIs to oversee the effective implementation of sustainable development within the environmental sector by conducting audits on such and hence make their own contributions to the advancement of environmental sustainability. The purpose of the development of this theme is to assist SAIs in acquiring a better understanding of environmental auditing, to facilitate the exchange of information and experience among SAIs and to publish guidelines and other informative material for their use.
In addition, XX INCOSAI 2010 will be used as a platform to launch the International Standards of Supreme Auditing Institutions (ISSAIs) (www.issai.org). The ISSAIs are a collection of standards stating the basic prerequisites for the proper functioning and professional conduct of SAIs and the fundamental principles in auditing of public entities. The AGSA has been a key player within the development of the ISSAIs together with Denmark who heads up this Working Group. SAIs face different challenges within each of their countries and so it is impossible to offer a universal remedy. The aim of this framework of standards is therefore to provide greater focus and attention on professional standards within the broader accountability community and to facilitate and improve their practical use within the INTOSAI community and in public administration in general.
Another highlight of the event will be the launch of the Global Audit on Climate Change. This has been managed over the last few years by Estonia who heads up this Working Group. The Working Group has looked at requirements of both developed as well as developing countries.

3. SOUTH AFRICAN INVOLVEMENT

Given the huge benefits in terms of learning and knowledge-sharing that comes from active INTOSAI involvement, South African Supreme Audit Institution (SA SAI) is directly represented on a number of the structures, as follows:

 

Professional standards steering committee (PSC) Pramesh Bhana
Subcommittee on financial audit guidelines (FAS) and its related special expert groups (SETs) Jan van Schalkwyk
Sub-committee of performance auditing George Lourens
Sub-committee on compliance auditing Prakash Narismulu
Subcommittee on internal control standards Shelmadene Petzer
Ad hoc group on transparency and accountability Pramesh Bhana
Workgroup on IT audit Jabulile Nkosi
Workgroup on environmental auditing Wynand Wentzel
Workgroup on value and benefits of SAIs Terence Nombembe (Chair)
Workgroup on Key National Indicators Tini Laubscher


Of particular importance is the fact that the SA SAI chairs the Work Group on the “Value and Benefits of SAIs” – a topic that features as Theme 1 for discussion during XX INCOSAI 2010. The SA SAI is further active in the working of other structures, albeit not through direct interaction. Three key INTOSAI developments, especially from a South African perspective are:

  • INCOSAI theme 1 development - The Value and Benefits of SAIs, and
  • INCOSAI theme 2 development – Environmental Auditing and Sustainable Development.
  • The development of International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs),

These three developments will form the subject of articles over the next year until INCOSAI XX.

4. THE AUDITOR-GENERAL

Mr. Terence Nombembe
The Auditor-General of South Africa
BCompt (Hons) CA (SA)

Personal history
Terence was born on 30 September 1961 in Qumbu, Transkei. He matriculated at Umtata Technical College in 1979. He was awarded a BComm degree by the University of Transkei in 1982 and was awarded BCompt (Hons) by the University of South Africa in 1986. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1990. Terence gained valuable experience during his work in the private sector which developed his technical competencies as an accountant, external auditor and internal auditor. He also developed solid management and leadership competencies upon which he bases his leadership style. Terence is married to Nokwanda and has three children, Mphiwa, Fezekile and Kamvalethu.

Career developments
Terence started his career as a trainee accountant with KPMG in Umtata in 1983. He left KPMG in 1987 and joined Unilever in Durban as internal auditor and later as an accountant in the Lipton Tea and Soup factory in Pietermaritzburg. He then joined BP Southern Africa (BPSA) in Cape Town in 1991 as senior internal auditor. While with BP, Terence joined BP Botswana in Gaborone as finance manager in 1994. He returned to BPSA in Cape Town as market research manager in 1996. In May 1997, Terence helped establish and was a partner-in-charge of the auditing firm Gobodo Incorporated in Cape Town where he initiated the establishment of Gobodo Corporate Governance Services, an internal audit division which operates nationally with regional offices in Cape Town and Pretoria.

Auditor-General
Terence joined the Auditor-General on 1 June 2000 in the capacity of Deputy Auditor-General and Chief Executive Officer. He brought to the organisation a firm commitment to supporting mechanisms for instituting stable governance within government.
He is the first African to hold the position of Auditor-General in the history of the organisation‟s 99 years.
Terence believes that the vision of the Auditor-General of South Africa – namely that “To be recognised by all our stakeholders as a relevant Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) that enhances public sector accountability" – is his biggest motivator. Terence regards this as a powerful vision that should be carried through.
Terence says his office will continue to help unearth and groom young accountants and financial managers who will, in turn, use their acquired skills to help boost and continue upgrading the public sector financial management systems.
“South Africa is a rich mine of young, bright and talented youths. It is our task to help unearth and polish this latent talent. Through our trainee accountant scheme we have started that search, and we are going to all corners of the country looking for future auditors and auditors-general who will take over from us and continue helping our country manage its public resources effectively.”
On taking over the helm as Chair of INTOSAI for a tenure of three years, Terence responds, “This great honour that I accept graciously will provide South Africa with great opportunities to form an integral part of the creation of benchmarks in auditing standards for Supreme Audit Institutions and showcase AGSA‟s tenacity in promoting accountability and transparency and eradicating corruption.“

5. PRELIMINARY MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES AT XX INCOSAI 2010

Whilst the session of XX INCOSAI 2010 are closed to the media and public, daily briefings for the media will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in order to provide daily updates and opportunities for interaction with the media.
There will be selected sessions open for media attendance including:

  • Opening Ceremony with dignitaries
  • Daily media briefings
  • Launch of the Global Audit on Climate Change
  • Press Briefing for the reading of the Johannesburg Accords

Please note that this is subject to change by the Congress Hosts at any time and the media will be notified accordingly

6. FACT SHEET

6.1 Auditor General South Africa
As determined by the Constitution of the Republic of SA, the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) is the only institution that audits and reports on the public sector expenditure of the South African taxpayers‟ money. The mandate of the AGSA is outlined in Chapter 9 of the Constitution. The AGSA annually produces audit reports on all government departments, public entities, municipalities and public institutions. Audit outcomes are analysed in general reports which are tabled and discussed with our stakeholders at relevant platforms. Reports on discretionary audits, performance audit, and other special audits are also produced. The vision of the AGSA is to be recognised by all our stakeholders as a relevant SAI that enhances public sector accountability. The AGSA has a constitutional mandate and, as the SAI of South Africa, it exists to strengthen our country‟s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, thereby building public confidence. This is the AGSA‟s reputation promise/mission. Moving towards celebrating our centenary of existence in 2011, the AGSA is steps ahead in upholding our values:

  • Value, respect and recognise our people
  • Our accountability is clear and personal
  • Performance driven
  • Value and own our reputation
  • Work effectively in teams and
  • Proud to be South African

6.2 INTOSAI was founded in 1953 at the initiative of Emilio Fernandez Camus, then President of the SAI of Cuba. At that time, 34 SAIs met for the 1st INTOSAI Congress in Cuba. At present INTOSAI has 189 Full Members and 4 Associated Members.
INTOSAI operates as an umbrella organisation for the external government audit community providing and institutional framework for SAIs to promote development and transfer of knowledge, improve government auditing worldwide and enhance professional capacities.
INTOSAI consists of:
Governing Board: 18 voting members
Secretary General: Permanent Seat – Vienna, Austria
Regional Working Groups: Promote INTOSAIs goals regionally and consist of:

  • Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS), established in 1965;
  • African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), established in 1976;
  • Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI), established in 1976;
  • Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), established in 1978;
  • South Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (SPASAI), established in 1987;
  • Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI), established in 1988;
  • European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI), established in 1990.
Committees: Deal with issues of significant, recurring interest to members and have a balanced representation of the organisation‟s membership.
Working Groups: Formed to deal with areas of specific technical interest publishing specific guidelines and presented at INCOSAIs. Members are free to join based on their interests.
Task Forces: Formed by Congress or Governing Board as required to deal with significant interest to many member SAI‟s. They have a balanced representation of the membership and operate for a finite period of time being dissolved as their tasks are complete.


6.3 Previous INCOSAI events:

- 1st Congress Cuba 1953
- 2nd Congress Belgium 1956
- 3rd Congress Brazil 1959
- 4th Congress Austria 1962
- 5th Congress Israel 1965
- 6th Congress Japan 1968
- 7th Congress Canada 1971
- 8th Congress Spain 1974
- 9th Congress Peru 1977
- 10th Congress Kenya 1980
- 11th Congress Philippines 1983
- 12th Congress Australia 1986
- 13th Congress Germany 1989
- 14th Congress USA 1992
- 15th Congress Egypt 1995
- 16th Congress Uruguay 1998
- 17th Congress Korea (republic of) 2001
- 18th Congress Hungary 2004
- 19th Congress Mexico 2007

6.4 Relevant links

AGSA  -   www.agsa.co.za
INCOSAI  -  www.incosai.co.za
INTOSAI  -   www.intosai.org
ISSAI  -  www.issai.org

7. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

AGSA - Auditor General of South Africa
INCOSAI - International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions
INTOSAI - International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions
ISSAI - International Standards of Supreme Auditing Institutions
SA SAI - South African Supreme Audit Institution
SAI - Supreme Audit Institution

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