Extensive exchange of experiences and ideas in EUROSAI Emerging Issues Workshop

With the assistance of the Turkish Court of Accounts, the National Audit Office arranged a EUROSAI Emerging Issues Workshop in Istanbul in November. The NAOF is a member of the EUROSAI Governing Board and responsible for the portfolio Emerging Issues and Forward Thinking. Topical issues, foresight and the manner in which Supreme Audit Institutions can meet future needs were discussed in the workshop.

Auditor General Tytti Yli-Viikari welcomed the workshop participants to the event.

The internal and external challenges facing EUROSAI member countries over the coming decade are very similar. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and strategic planning in Supreme Audit Institutions were the main themes in the presentations and discussions. There was a lively debate on these topics, both from the perspective of the audit work and the audit authorities. Uses of new technology in audit work and strengthening the right expertise and leadership skills that support development were highlighted by many participants.

 Planning Director Jenni Leppälahti presented the results of the web-based dialogue on Emerging Issues arranged by the NAOF. The results show that many of the Supreme Audit Institutions share the same challenges for future development.

In addition to the development of internal operating practices, many of the member countries are also facing the same phenomena, and the SAIs must be able to react to them through audit work or by disseminating information. These phenomena include climate change, ageing of the population and political polarisation. Many of the participants felt that Supreme Audit Institutions should support the public administration in these challenges. SAIs can only identify these challenges if they have in-depth understanding of topical issues affecting society and an ability to react quickly to the developments.

The workshop was a successful start to NAOF’s Emerging Issues portfolio. In addition to categorising current and future challenges, the participants also openly shared their thoughts and experiences of how they have tackled topical challenges in their own organisations. Sharing experiences is essential for organisations such as the NAOF that may only have a small number of reference organisations at national level.