ECA cooperation with international audit Organisations
INTOSAI is the professional organisation of SAIs in countries that belong to the United Nations or its specialised agencies. SAIs play a major role in auditing government accounts and operations and in promoting sound financial management and accountability in their governments. As citizens, international donors and others have increasingly higher expectations of national governments, these governments depend on SAIs to help ensure public accountability. INTOSAI supports its members in this task by providing opportunities to share information and experiences about the auditing and evaluation challenges facing them in today's changing and increasingly interdependent world.
INTOSAI was founded in 1953 and has grown from the original 34 countries to a membership of 186 SAIs. Its Lima Declaration of Guidelines on Auditing Precepts, adopted at the ninth international Congress (and known as the Magna Carta of government auditing), provides the philosophical and conceptual framework for INTOSAI's work. INTOSAI's Statutes, revised and adopted at its 1992 Washington Congress, is the organization's charter and describes INTOSAI's structure, membership, mandate and rules. Also adopted at the Washington congress were two landmark publications: Auditing Standards and Guidelines for Internal Control Standards.
As the internationally recognized leader in public sector auditing, INTOSAI issues international guidelines for financial management and other areas, develops related methodologies, provides training, and promotes the exchange of information among members. INTOSAI works in five languages: Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish.
In October 2004, at the XVIII INTOSAI Congress in Budapest, the ECA was granted membership of INTOSAI following a modification of its statutes to allow supranational organisations full membership.
The ECA is a founding Member of EUROSAI, the regional organisation of INTOSAI that was created by its European members in 1989. EUROSAI is the European Organisation of SAIs, currently grouping together 47 supreme audit institutions. Its objectives, as defined in article 1 of EUROSAI's statutes, are primarily: to promote professional cooperation among SAI members, to promote the exchange of information and documentation, to promote the study of public audit, to stimulate the creating of academic posts in the subject and to ensure the unification of terminology in the field of public audit.
EUROSAI undertakes its activity via its organs which are the Congress, the Governing Board and the Secretariat. The five official languages of EUROSAI are English, French, German, Russian and Spanish.
With the creation of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1994, an agreement was reached between the EU and the participating countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway - that the financial mechanism of the EEA should be audited in accordance with the related EU legislation in force. It also stipulates that appropriate arrangements should be made between the ECA and the external audit authorities of the participating EFTA States to facilitate the audit of income and expenditure. To that end close working relations were established between the ECA and the EFTA Board of Auditors.