Econ. Nelson Shack Yalta
Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru
President of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions – OLACEFS (Period 2019 – 2022)
In the year 2020, governments around the world have been confronted with the need to rearrange their priorities and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, all governments have put in place a series of measures both to contain the spread of the virus through mechanisms for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease and to reactivate the economy through mechanisms that help restore the chain of payments in the economy and the execution of public investment.
The measures taken by governments to contain the pandemic focus on measures aimed at strengthening capacity in the health sector, measures of social isolation, social initiatives to alleviate the decline in household income, and measures to reactivate the economy. To achieve all this, governments have made use of a large amount of public resources and external funding.
It is in this context that the Supreme Audit Institutions acquire a central role, since they are the bodies responsible for overseeing the correct use of public goods and funds, which must act with the same flexibility as their respective governments to ensure transparency and correct use of resources.
Different SAIs around the world have been addressing this citizen mandate, taking into account that each SAI has its own regulations to fulfil the mandate of audit services. Therefore, in order to learn from comparative international experience and to contribute to the dissemination of knowledge, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic has created this Portal called the International Observatory on Government and SAI Initiatives in relation to the COVID-19.
For the development of this observatory, the SAI of Peru has carried out an online mapping to identify both the measures taken by the governments and by the SAIs. A total of 65 countries are included from the regional bodies of AFROSAI, ARABOSAI, ASOSAI, CAROSAI, EUROSAI, OLACEFS, PASAI and other non-associated members of INTOSAI.
The information shown, to date, was obtained from official media (social networks, websites, among others). A great benefit of this observatory is that it allows information to be updated in a collaborative way, so that each SAI can download the form and thus add new initiatives to be incorporated.
We hope that this initiative can contribute to SAIs worldwide by providing tools and good practices that can be replicated taking into account each SAI's own regulations and uniqueness.
The pandemic has generated a conceptual and operational challenge for the SAI, especially because in the emergency context, activities such as the purchase of perishable goods do not admit the practice of subsequent control, since when this is carried out, everything is already accomplished. The same happens with the services that are contracted. Therefore, ex-post control alone is ineffective in this particular context.
Therefore, due to the mandate of the SAI of Peru to control the use of public resources in a parallel manner, a more preventive, proactive and propositional control modality is required in a complementary manner; one that accompanies the manager during the process. Furthermore, when these reports are made public, social control is activated by the citizenry and the other institutions that make up the control ecosystem in a society. This has been the bet of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic when creating the model of concurrent control, which is being applied to the control of the Covid-19 Health Emergency and this motivated approximately 1600 auditors across the country to carry out this modality of simultaneous control at the national level producing to date more than 8000 reports. We believe that this approach in itself constitutes good control practice in times of emergency. However, it is not the only one, which is why this initiative was undertaken to identify other good practices worldwide and make them known.
We invite you to get to know it. Come on in!
Chair of INTOSAI (Period 2019 – 2022),
Chair of the Supervisory Committee on Emerging Issues (Period 2019 – 2022),
Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation (Period 2018 – 2022)
The COVID-19 Expert Group initiative within INTOSAI Supervisory Committee on Emerging Issues is aimed at analyzing the strategic role of SAIs in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Expert Group shall integrate new practices, technologies and response measures in view of the pandemic in a strategic way. The key objective is to analyze the occurring changes in the long-term perspective.
Great job is being done in collecting and systematization of information on the initiatives of particular SAIs and international organization to address the COVID-19.
This Observatory shall become an analytical, interactive and visual part of the SCEI initiative.
The gathered information will be represented in open access in a systemic way providing an easy-to-use single database of diverse and segmented sources of information on SAIs experience during the pandemic, as well as underlie the SCEI recommendations to the INTOSAI Governing Board.
We invite all INTOSAI members to make their contribution to the development of this initiative!