Auditing: Royal Audit Authority (RAA) yesterday organised a stakeholders meeting in Thimphu as part of its strategy to adopt and implement International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI).

Implementation of ISSAI is expected to provide basis for measuring the audit and reporting works. It is also expected to enhance the quality of and professionalism in the way the audit authority conducts its business.

According to RAA, public-sector auditing profession in Bhutan has evolved over the period of time responding to growing complexities and technological advancement in the conduct of business operations in audited entities. The RAA’s auditing standards is no more relevant and responsive enough to gauge the evolving auditing practices, according to RAA.

Speaking at the meeting, Auditor General Tshering Kezang said ground works for implementation of ISSAI are being done. He said auditors have been trained as part of its preparation to adopt ISSAI.

Director General of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI), Einar Gorrissen, said RAA has already made some progress towards adoption of ISSAI. Some of standards in fact are already being implemented.

He said that the adoption and implementation of the standards would help enhance government credibility, which he said, is on the decline worldwide.

The IDI supports the enhancement of audit capacities of INTOSAI members for long-term regional training programmes, regional satellite and partnership programmes.

Assistant Auditor General, Dechen Pelden, made a presentation about ISSAI to the stakeholders. She said the implementation of ISSAI aims to promote independence and effective auditing by public auditors.

Its implementation will also provide necessary yardsticks for the stakeholders of the audit authority to gauge the performance of the RAA and basis for the auditors to speak uniform and accepted language while auditing and reporting. The implementation of ISSAI is expected to enhance the professionalism of the auditors, which in turn would promote the RAA’s reputation and credibility through quality delivery of auditing services.

However, implementation of ISSAI will be a long-term work stream, because of which the RAA has recognised ISSAI implementation as one of the strategic goals under its Strategic Plan 2015-20.

The pilot project will focus on both professional staff development and organisation systems development for sustainable implementation of ISSAI in the RAA. The objective of the collaboration programme is to see that RAA conducts high quality audits by sustainably implementing ISSAI across audit systems.

The RAA became a member of INTOSAI, the umbrella organisation for external government audit community in 1987.

Following the recommendations in SAI PMF (Performance Measurement Framework) assessment conducted by the office of Attorney General (OAG), Norway in collaboration with the IDI, RAA has prioritised ISSAI implementation as part of its strategy for 2015-20. The SAI PMF report indicated the need to further strengthen the audit processes and documentation of audit work performed, if the audits conducted by the Authority were to meet the requirements of ISSAIs.

RAA’s ultimate aim is to claim ISSAI compliance in its audit practices.

However, achieving ISSAI compliance is not an end in itself. RAA strives to conduct high quality auditing that would add significant values and benefits to the clientele and general public,.

MB Subba