About INTOSAI WGEI

What is WGEI

Background

Audit of Extractive Industries (EI) has received increased attention in the past years, both within the INTOSAI community and in other international fora. Strong and effective Supreme Audit Institutions can contribute to better and more transparent oversight of Extractive Industries (EI) and help to ensure that governments manage natural resources in the best interest of the public. A number of initiatives are underway to strengthen SAI’s ability to fulfill this function. At the same time, several stakeholders have made a strong call for more systematic compilation of the many experiences, tools and lessons held by different SAIs and partners, and a more formal platform for advancing this field of work in a coordinated way.

In October 2012, the Steering Committee (SC) of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Donor Cooperation mandated the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat to conduct a survey on Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) involvement in Extractive Industries (EI) governance. The survey indicated many challenges in auditing extractive industries which include; technical complexity of the EI, lack of knowledge of business processes, the governance set up and associated risks, the need for capacity building and retention of specialised staff and mandate limitations. SAIs came forward to express a need for more knowledge of the EI and a need to exchange experiences in EI audit. The survey report was endorsed by the Congress in October 2013. In line with INTOSAI Strategies to support Goal 3 to establish new and maintain existing Work Groups, the INTOSAI Congress established a new Working Group to study the EI and develop guidance and best practice.

The WGEI is chaired by SAI Uganda and currently composes of some 42 members from all five INTOSAI regions. The WGEI held its first meeting in Kampala, Uganda 25-27 August 2014. Running up to the meeting, the WGEI Chair and Secretariat had conducted a survey amongst WGEI members confirming that knowledge and experience sharing, networking, and also outreach to stakeholders outside the INTOSAI community are seen as priority objectives. The WGEI Activity Plan mirrors these needs with a wide range of capacity building and networking activities within and beyond the INTOSAI community. The WGEI meeting in Kampala acknowledged that some of these activities expand the current mandate and resource capacity of the WGEI and Secretariat.

The meeting therefore underscored the need to establish a Community of Practice as an operational tool to achieve specific WGEI objectives, and as a platform for interaction both within and beyond INTOSAI. The CoP will be headed by a CoP Coordinator who manages activities.

The scope of the Working Group on Audit of Extractive Industry covers oil, gas and solid minerals.

Goal of the WGEI

The Working group will strive to promote the audit of extractive industries within the INTOSAI community in order to promote good governance and Sustainable development for UN post-2015 agenda.

For more information on the goal and objectives of the WGEI – see WGEI Terms of References.

Membership

The Working Group on Audit of Extractive Industries is based on open and voluntary membership by SAIs with expertise, experience and (or) interest in extractive industries. The Working Group may invite observing membership from related industries, bodies and organisations.

There will be a community of practice which shall be open to all members of INTOSAI. The Working Group may invite participation by other organisations, institutions, individuals and other stakeholders working in the extractive industries or related industries.

For more information on the members of the WGEI – see WGEI Members.

Organisation

The Chair

The Working Group on Audit of Extractive Industries is chaired by the Auditor General of Uganda, Mr. John Muwanga. The Chair’s responsibilities are:

  • To Coordinate and supervise the progress of the Working Group’s activities in accordance with the adopted activity plan.
  • To facilitate the exchange of information, both internally and externally, by means of modern communication technology. This involves developing and hosting the Website in accordance with the INTOSAI Website and the INTOSAI Communications Policy and in close cooperation with the INTOSAI General Secretariat. The Chair is also responsible for receiving WGEI meeting minutes and communications, and displaying documents and relevant information on the WGEI Website.
  • To coordinate work with other INTOSAI bodies to avoid overlaps of activities on matters of common interest.
  • To participate in INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee meetings. The Chair will prepare an annual report to the INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee on the WGEI activities, current initiatives and planned projects for the coming year. The Chair will also prepare a three year report to INCOSAI on the Working Group activities.

For more information – see the WGEI Terms of Reference.

Working Group Secretariat

The chair has set up a secretariat to run the activities of the Working Group. The role of the secretariat is to support the chair in implementation of the Working Group activities.

For more information – see the WGEI Terms of Reference.

Community of Practice (CoP)

Running up to the first WGEI meeting, the WGEI Chair and Secretariat had conducted a survey amongst WGEI members confirming that knowledge and experience sharing, networking, and also outreach to stakeholders outside the INTOSAI community are seen as priority objectives. The WGEI Activity Plan mirrors these needs with a wide range of capacity building and networking activities within and beyond the INTOSAI community. The WGEI meeting in Kampala acknowledged that some of these activities expand the current mandate and resource capacity of the WGEI and Secretariat.

The meeting therefore underscored the need to establish a Community of Practice as an operational tool to achieve specific WGEI objectives, and as a platform for interaction both within and beyond INTOSAI. The CoP will be headed by a CoP Coordinator who manages activities.

The objective of the CoP will be to strengthen SAIs’ role in fostering accountability and transparency in Extractive Industries, in line with the overall objective of the WGEI.

Whilst the WGEI represents the overall umbrella forum to convene SAIs and promote Extractive Industries as a focus area within the INTOSAI framework, the CoP should function as the operational and technical arm of the WGEI linking it with extractive industry community outside INTOSAI. For a brief overview of the respective roles and responsibilities of various entities within the WGEI, see the organogram and role description attached.

The CoP will be international and open to all interested SAIs in all INTOSAI regions. It will also invite participation by other institutions and individuals working in and with the Extractive Industries and affiliated with the objectives outlined above.

CoP functions include:

  • Exchange and networking
  • Consolidation of best practice
  • Training, research and development
  • Outreach

For more information – see the WGEI CoP Terms of Reference.

For more information – see the WGEI Community of Practice Concept Note.

Working Group Steering Committee

A Steering Committee has been set up, comprised of five members approved at the 1st meeting of the WGEI. The members are SAI Uganda, SAI South Africa, SAI Brazil, SAI Iraq and SAI Norway. The Steering Committee is headed by the Chair and is supported by the secretariat in supervising and coordinating activities of the Working Group.

The Steering Committee term coincides with the term of the Chair of the Working Group. Members of the committee shall exit on voluntary basis after informing the Chair. The hosting of the Steering Committee meetings will be undertaken in consultation with the Chair.

For more information – see the WGEI Steering Committee Terms of Reference.

About SAIs

The Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are the highest Audit Institution of a country/ state with the main role of overseeing the management of public finances. This role involves promoting the public sector’s transparency and accountability within a wider climate of good governance.

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) are national-level watchdog agencies responsible for the audit of government revenue and expenditure. By scrutinising public financial management and reporting they provide assurance that resources are used as directed by national governments.

There are three established institutional models of SAIs: Westminster, Judicial or Board.

  • The Westminster model, also known as the Anglo-Saxon or Parliamentary model, used in the United Kingdom and most Commonwealth countries including many in sub-Saharan African, some European countries, and Latin American countries such as Peru and Chile. Key features include a National Audit Office headed by an independent Auditor General or equivalent, which submits audit reports to a committee of Parliament (often the Public Accounts Committee).
  • The Judicial or Napoleonic model used by France, many Latin countries in Europe, Turkey, francophone countries in Africa and Asia and several Latin American countries including Brazil and Colombia. Here the SAI, often a Court of Accounts or Cour des Comptes forms part of the judicial system and forms judgements on the use of public funds by government officials.
  • The Board or Collegiate model used by many Asian countries including Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and some European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands. This approach has similarities to the Westminster model, except an audit board or boards produces audit reports and submits these to Parliament.

The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) operates as an umbrella organisation for the external government audit community. For more than 50 years it has provided an institutionalised framework for supreme audit institutions to promote development and transfer of knowledge, improve government auditing worldwide and enhance professional capacities, standing and influence of member SAIs in their respective countries. In keeping with INTOSAI’s motto, ‘Experientia mutua omnibus prodest’, the exchange of experience among INTOSAI members and the findings and insights which result, are a guarantee that government auditing continuously progresses with new developments.

Source: Transparency International, CMI and INTOSAI

For more information – see http://www.intosai.org/.