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Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) play an important role in strengthening domestic accountability and governance. They help governments improve performance, enhance transparency, ensure accountability, fight corruption, promote public trust, and foster the efficient and effective receipt and use of public resources for the benefit of their peoples. The work of SAIs in reducing waste and abuse of public resources has the indirect effect of making more money available for programs for fighting poverty. Recognizing the importance of well functioning and independent SAIs, and that progress with donor support to SAIs so far has been varied, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the Donor Community have over the last years engaged in dialogue to develop a strategic approach to strengthen and maintain the capacity of SAIS.

Memorandum of Understanding between INTOSAI and the donor community

In October 2009 INTOSAI and several donors signed a milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to augment and strengthen support to the SAI community. The MoU recognises the potential value of SAIs in strengthening governance, accountability and poverty reduction.

The MoU has been signed by INTOSAI and representatives of the following 23 donor agencies: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrian Development Agency, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Canada, European Commission, France, GAVI Alliance, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Inter-American Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Monetary Fund, Ireland, Islamic Development Bank, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, OECD, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, and the World Bank.

The MoU brings together all the SAIs and the Donor Community in a common approach that provides a strategic focus for donors and the SAI Community in strengthening SAI capacity in developing countries and a variety of mechanisms for facilitating donor funding and support in line with donor mandates, priorities and requirements. Donor support will be provided through a hierarchy of activities, principally at the country, and then at the INTOSAI regional and INTOSAI global levels.

The Steering Committee appointed IDI to provide administrative support to the Cooperation, thereby recognizing the importance of INTOSAI ownership as well as IDI’s broad experience from SAI capacity building and the organisation’s wide network within INTOSAI.