Implementation of Tasks Related to Environmental Projects and Measures in the Thaya River Basin
Report ID: 144

Cooperation between Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in conducting environmental audits has become more and more common in recent years for good reason: There are many benefits, for both the institutions and the environment. For the institutions, cooperative audits facilitate mutual sharing and learning, capacity building, networking, and identification of best practices. For the environment, many environmental problems transcend political boundaries. Thus, combining forces through cooperative environmental audits allows SAIs to take a broader view of the situation, to consider the various upstream and downstream impacts of domestic actions, and to benchmark best practices.

There are many models of and approaches to cooperative audits. They are applicable to a variety of situations, including the audit of international and regional environmental agreements, of shared physical resources (for example, watersheds), and of shared environmental problems (for example, domestic waste management). SAIs now have gained considerable experience in what works, what doesn’t work, and how best to ensure success.

The paper entitled Cooperation between Supreme Audit Institutions: Tips and Examples for Cooperative Audits responds to the ongoing demand for information and ideas on how to make cooperation work effectively. Reflecting the real-world experience of practitioners from some 29 SAIs, the paper provides practical advice and tips through each phase of the audit cycle.

While the examples in this paper are drawn from cooperative environmental audits, the tips have been generalized to make them broadly applicable to cooperative audits of any topic and perhaps also to cooperation with local or regional audit institutions. Tip 1 Communicate! is essential advice that readers will find reiterated throughout the paper.

This paper was co-led by the Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland and The Netherlands Court of Audit. In particular, I would like to thank Rob de Bakker and Arien Blees-Booij from the Netherlands and Ewa Borkowska-Domanska and Monika Skrzypiec from Poland for all of their hard work and efforts in preparing this document. My thanks also goes to the many other organizations and individuals who contributed to this paper (see Acknowledgments).

I believe this paper will facilitate future cooperation between SAIs and enhance the effectiveness of their initiatives.

Cooperation between Supreme Audit Institutions: Tips and Examples for Cooperative Audits is one of four guidance papers developed by the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) in the Work Plan period 2005–2007. The other three papers are:

• Evolution and Trends in Environmental Auditing,

• Auditing Biodiversity: Guidance for Supreme Audit Institutions, and

• The World Summit on Sustainable Development: An Audit Guide for Supreme Audit Institutions.

Readers are encouraged to consult these papers as well as Appendix 4 of this paper for information on other WGEA products and services.  

Audit Parallel on EUROSAI Audit On Climate Change
Report ID: 158

The present audit was carried out on the basis of the Common Position on Cooperation for Coordinated Parallel EUROSAI Audit on Climate Change (hereinafter referred to as the Common Position on Cooperation), signed by the representatives of 10 Supreme Audit Institutions, the members of the EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing, on 16 January 2009 in Warsaw.

The following Institutions participated in the audit: the Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus, Rigsrevisionen - Denmark, the National Audit Office of Estonia, the Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel, the State Audit Office of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Supreme Audit Office of the Republic of Poland, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, the Swiss Federal Audit Office and the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, hereinafter referred to as the Cooperating SAIs. The Supreme Audit Office of the Republic of Poland was the Audit Coordinator.

The aim of the audit was to assess the actions taken in the States of the Cooperating SAIs to implement the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol to this Convention,

Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and the requirements of the national legislation, in the scope of:

• The performance of observations on climate change and its effects,

• Actions taken to mitigate climate change,

• Forecasts and assessments of the actual anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission and absorption levels,

• Reporting on the scope of the actions taken and planned to be taken in order to mitigate climate change and the achieved eff ects of these actions.

The present Report consists of three parts:

Part I contains general information on the audit, climate change in Europe, the related international regulations and presentations of the States of the Cooperating SAIs;

Part II contains the main audit findings in the four audited areas (observation, mitigation, monitoring and financing);

Part III contains summaries of national reports on audit findings, along with the assessments from the national audits, prepared by the Cooperating SAIs and provided in this Part as originally submitted.

Part III also includes the Communiqué on the Results of the Coordinated Audit of Air and Ozone

Layer Protection and Implementation of Related International Agreements, and summaries of the national reports on audits, performed by the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic, the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia, the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic and the Austrian Court of Audit.

The present EUROSAI Audit was performed under the INTOSAI Global Audit on Climate Change.

Fisheries management and monitoring of environmental impact on fish resources in the Baltic sea
Report ID: 159

1. In 2008 the Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden conducted an audit of environmental monitoring and fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Russia, and Sweden did not participate in the audit of the environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions of Latvia, Poland and Germany did not participate in the audit of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The audit was performed as a performance and compliance audit and covered the period 2005-2007.

2. The audit was divided into two parts: The first part was about environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea and the second part was about fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

3. The overall objective of the first part was to assess whether the signatory states of the Helsinki Convention are complying with the standards of the Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment (COMBINE) and how the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) will affect national monitoring.

4. The overall objective of the second part was to conduct a review of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

5. The first and the second part of the audit share the following overall objective: How have the monitoring and fisheries control authorities contributed to preserve the marine environment and protect the fish stock in the Baltic Sea.

6. The relevant national legislation in the EU Member States is supposed to be within the frame set by the EU. However, the monitoring and fisheries management and control strategies may differ significantly among the individual countries, and comparative analyses may provide an overview of what is considered good practice. Furthermore, Russian fisheries legislation is, naturally, not adjusted to the EU-regulations. The Russian Federation’s national fishery legislation takes into consideration the requirements and provisions of nine international conventions and agreements related to fishery issues in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, Russia still adheres to the recommendations of the International Baltic Sea Fisheries Commission (IBSFC) in spite of the fact that it was dissolved in 2004.

7. The audit was planned and conducted as a parallel audit. A parallel audit means that the participating audit institutions audit the same audit objectives in their respective countries and identify relevant audit criteria and audit methods together. However, it is up to the individual supreme audit institution to decide how to conduct the audit and which audit criteria and audit methods to apply in the audit. The Joint Final Report is prepared on the basis of the data provided by the participating supreme audit institutions.

Global climate change audit Coordinated International Implications for Governments and their Auditors (UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol)
Report ID: 161

Worldwide, scientific communities consider climate change to be an important social, economic, and environmental issue that needs to be addressed through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the resulting climatic changes, both current and potential. Countries have made important commitments in this regard, through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, while negotiations on the issue continue internationally. In June 2007, 14 supreme audit institutions (SAIs) embarked on a project to cooperate in the design and undertaking of national audits of our respective governments’ climate change programs and performance. The project involved a diverse group of offices—from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States that have varying degrees of experience in auditing governments’ management of climate change.

The governments of all these countries have indicated that climate change is an important issue and have made commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to addressing adaptation to climate change.

As a result of the social, economic, and environmental implications of government policies and the magnitude of public expenditures related to climate change, the actions governments take in the coming years are likely to have significant and historic implications for generations to come. As advocates of good management, effective governance, and accountability, SAIs are compelled to treat climate change policies, programs, and projects as highly material (pertinent and necessary) audit topics.

We are pleased to present the results of our audit work in this report. We hope the results of the coordinated audit will provide all SAIs—not just the 14 represented in this report—with a summary of common issues to consider as they undertake work to scrutinize their governments’ achievement of climate change commitments and delivery of related policies and programs.

The report highlights areas that SAIs may wish to examine to improve the implementation of their governments’ climate change policies and programs. The results also provide legislatures with a means to assess the progress that governments have made and challenges they face in delivering their programs and targets.

Audit of EU Regional Funds projects focused on the environment and environmentally friendly energy
Report ID: 162

1. This report concerns a coordinated audit performed by National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevisionen) and the Gdansk Regional Branch of the Supreme Audit Office of the Republic of Poland (NIK) on the EU Regional Funds projects focused on the environment and environmentally friendly energy for the programme period 2007-2013.

2. The report contains information about programmes co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) including their administration, control follow-up, and how they are organised in Denmark and the Pomorskie Voivodship (region). The report is based on information gathered from national audits, the internet and other open sources.

3. In February 2010, Rigsrevisionen and the NIK engaged in a coordinated audit of environmental projects accepted to receive grants from the ERDF. The objective of the cooperation was for both Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to gain comparable knowledge about the regional fund and find out whether administration and management of regional fund projects focused on the environment and environmentally friendly energy were adequate in the two countries. This was done on the basis of samples from environmental projects accepted to receive grants from the ERDF in the period 2007-2009.

4. Furthermore, the purpose of conducting the audit as a coordinated audit was to identify examples of ‘good practice’ on the basis of the audit findings to the benefit of both SAIs and the administrations in the two countries.

5. Rigsrevisionen and the NIK have each performed the audit relating to Denmark and the Pomorskie Voivodship, respectively. These audits have been reported separately to the administrations in the two countries.

6. On the basis of these reports, this joint report with examples of “good practice” has been drawn up. The results of the Danish audit, the conclusions of the joint audit and the examples of ‘good practice’ will form part of Rigsrevisionen’s report to the Danish parliament on the audit of EU funds for 2009 while the findings of the Polish audit were included in the information on the audit results published by the NIK.