The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) was established in 1953 to promote cooperation between national supreme audit institutions and to improve government audit around the world.
The current membership includes 194 full members. The supreme body is the congress, which convenes once every three years in different countries.
This year the INTOSAI Congress (XXIII INCOSAI) is being held in Moscow under two themes: Information Technologies for the Development of Public Administration, and The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of National Priorities and Goals.
The congress is being attended by over 600 delegates representing 168 audit institutions. During the congress, the powers of INTOSAI President and Chairman of the INTOSAI Governing Board will be handed over to Chairman of Russia’s Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin for the next three years.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,
I am delighted to welcome all of you to Moscow and the 23rd Congress of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.
This is the first time that Russia hosts the main forum of this representative and highly respected international organisation. First of all, I would like to say that it is very important for us that our consistent efforts to improve the system of external public auditing have been highly appreciated by our international partners.
The Congress traditionally attracts interest from around the world. Attending this Congress in Moscow are over 600 delegates from 168 countries, or rather, as your colleague, Mr Kudrin, has just told me, they are from 169 countries, including top audit officials from 128 countries.
I would like to note that we did our best to create the best possible conditions for a fruitful, free and meaningful discussion at your congress. As far as I know, it has practically started. Moreover, your discussion will go well beyond strictly professional subjects and will have truly system-wide significance.
Cooperation, interaction and exchange of experience between national external audit agencies is one of the key steps leading to confidence building, predictability in the global economy and finance, and the basis for our joint work to overcome structural problems, promote economic growth, improve people's well-being, and protect the environment – all the priority areas identified by the United Nations as its Sustainable Development Goals.
These steps are consonant with our long-term plans. Like many other countries, Russia is implementing major projects – on a grand scale without exaggeration – concerning the economy and the social sphere, the environment and technological progress. These national projects are primarily aimed at achieving fundamental, tangible changes in the quality of life of our citizens.
We are focusing on addressing these problems and concentrating significant resources on them, integrating the efforts of the state, the regions and municipalities, businesses and individual citizens into the national projects and programmes, combining all this together to achieve a common goal.
To achieve truly breakthrough results, we need constant feedback, and a comprehensive and objective vision of the entire picture, to be able to see where changes work, and where, unfortunately, they do not, just like everywhere else in the world. We identify the best management decisions to be replicated, as well as the lingering risks of inefficiency, corruption and stagnation. And we make decisions how to deal with them. How the invested resources work and how that investment pays off; how to best manage these resources to achieve the results that people expect from us; how to identify this specific aspect of our work – these are our tasks.
A huge role in building the full picture, in the ongoing testing of reforms, of the entire state and budgetary economy, is played by public control, by parliamentary control. And, of course, it is your job as representatives of the country’s supreme financial control bodies – you have a huge role to play in achieving our common goals – by your status, you are called upon to promote fair and responsible public administration aimed at ensuring sustainable development of society and raising living standards to a decent level.
In this connection, I would like to note the substantial and top-quality work of your colleagues from the Accounts Chamber of Russia, their striving to be guided by strict, principled and unbiased standards in evaluating the efficiency of budgetary spending and investment, overall state administration, as well as readiness to provide society and individuals with more transparent and accessible information.
I support the striving of the Accounts Chamber’s top managers to expose and record problems and to augment financial audits with a comprehensive analysis of national projects and investment programmes and an assessment of how their specific content and practical measures meet the challenges currently facing the entire world and Russia, how they help boost the entire country’s competitiveness and improve each person’s living standards and expand his or her capabilities. This is all the more topical because top state audit agencies use this conceptual, proactive and targeted approach more often all over the world. I would like to note that we see this as a highly important and interesting experience.
We hope very much that here in Russia you will take part in discussions on professional issues, on current matters, and that we will become involved in your joint work during these discussions, and draw useful conclusions for ourselves.
I repeat, it goes without saying that well-thought-out, precise and realistic recommendations of the Accounts Chamber, namely, your colleagues from the Accounts Chamber of Russia, on how to adjust and fine-tune the current economic and social policy are in high demand. We agreed on this with the Accounts Chamber’s leadership while launching the work of new members of this state agency. I know that our colleagues from the Government and Russian regions are also ready for such cooperation.
This is what I would like to add. The pace of modern life, rapid technological changes and the ambitious tasks of our countries are setting new standards in all areas, including for the quality and instruments of audit. Today this is also an area of innovations, search for solutions and experiments.
The decision to change the work of your Congress to the paperless format is an indicative example. In this case, all documents and working materials are published on the website, on the internet and become accessible not only to the participants of this professional process but to the broadest range of experts and the public.
We see how rapidly the amount of information is growing in the economy, finance, social and other areas. Obviously, those who will be able to process quickly and precisely these quantities of data, will be able to find the optimal, the best solutions for government management at all levels and target them to the requirements of specific people. I know that you are also going to hold a substantive discussion on the development of audit in the digital and artificial intelligence era.
On a par with new technological opportunities it is necessary to ensure the continuous growth of the professional skills and competences of auditors. Needless to say, such meetings as the current one and exchange of experience are much in demand in this respect.
To develop this theme, I would like to return to the idea that I expressed at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum this year. I am referring to the formation of an open international databank with the best practices, successful cases and development projects in the economic, social, demographic, budget and state and municipal management fields. I would like to invite the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the countries you represent to join this initiative.
You have a busy, meaningful schedule for the next few days. I am sure that your Congress will become an important step towards promoting international ties and will facilitate constructive relations between countries which are based on the resolution of common tasks. These are the goals Russia sets for itself for the next three years, as we take over presidency in your authoritative organisation. We are open to dialogue and expansion of partnership.
Let me wish you successful and productive work and also very good impressions from your stay in Russia’s capital of Moscow. Thank you for your attention. I wish you all the best.
Thank you very much.