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Environmental auditing contributes to sustainable development: ASOSAI 14 opening

Update: September, 19/2018 - 21:00
Madinah Binti Mohamad, Auditor General of Malaysia and chair of Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) 2015-18 (left), and Auditor General of Việt Nam, Dr Hồ Đức Phớc (right) watches as National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (centre) struck the gong to mark the opening of the 14th assembly of ASOSAI on September 19 in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Environmental auditing—the fair and objective vetting of environmental regulation compliance—is becoming more and more important as countries aim to achieve a fine balance between economic development and environmental protection.

Each country’s supreme audit institution (SAI), which is tasked with not only ensuring efficient and economical use of public funds, but also ensuring that the State’s policies and mechanisms on environmental protection are fully respected within the public sector, holds significant role in helping their country meet the United Nations’ goals of sustainable development.

The Hà Nội Declaration, the main outcome of the 14th assembly of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), is expected to make significant contributions to State members’ capabilities to deal with environmental issues, as well as put forth important proposals that will further improve auditing processes and standards, Dr Hồ Đức Phớc, Auditor General of State Audit of Việt Nam (SAV), said in his remarks at the opening ceremony.

“The choice of this year’s theme ‘Environmental auditing for sustainable development’ showcases the Asian auditing community’s commitments and efforts to the issue,” Việt Nam’s auditor general Phớc said.

Dr Phớc also pledged that the SAV “would do its best for a robust ASOSAI that brings great contributions to the Asian and global economy” and turning ASOSAI into the "model regional organisation within INTOSAI" as the Vietnamese auditor officially assumes the chair position of the organisation in the 2018-21 period.

He also wished that ASOSAI members would together overcome the challenges arising from an ever changing world and the advent of the fourth industrial revolution.

Madinah Binti Mohamad, Auditor General of Malaysia and chair of ASOSAI 2015-18, in her opening remarks asked that State audits pay due attention to new realities as their role is increasingly important, with citizens becoming “better informed and more critical of Government” while the Government’s lead in the distribution of information is no longer taken for granted.

She urged State audits to “listen to claims from citizens who are becoming more and more involved in public decisions and actions,” and calling for “independent SAIs, highly technical and sophisticated, acting under strict ethical codes.”

Also addressing the opening ceremony, President of International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), of which ASOSAI is one of the seven regional members, Harib Al Amimi, said INTOSAI had benefited substantially from the formation of its regional groups over the past 50 years.

“With a combination of countries of different sizes, languages and cultures, ASOSAI has emerged as an active professional body and has managed to thread together the global initiatives into the regional context,” he said.

The first plenary session of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) on September 19 in Hà Nội. Việt Nam Auditor General Hồ Đức Phớc officially assumes the chairmanship of ASOSAI for the 2018-21 period today. — VNS Photo Trọng Kiên

Chairwoman of Việt Nam National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, was also present at the event where she praised the State Audit of Việt Nam’s proactive efforts in its regional and international co-operation.

The top legislator also expects that as the highest-level and asset oversight body of the country, the 24-year-old State Audit of Việt Nam should “always strive towards more transparency, professional competency, and the modernisation of its operations,” NA Chairwoman Ngân said.

She also conveyed her congratulations towards ASOSAI as it marks the 40th anniversary of its charter, adding that ASOSAI “has been and will continue to play a critical role in each country’s development as well as the development of the region.”

Held every three years, the ASOSAI assembly hosted by Việt Nam this year sees the largest attendance to date, with around 250 delegates from 46 supreme audit institutions in Asian countries. For the first time ever, private sector audit firms including the “Big Four” have also attended the event as co-operation between public and private finance oversight entities is stressed by the Vietnamese organisers. 

After the opening ceremony, the group gathered to hear reports on ASOSAI’s budget and activities in recent years, and review various proposals to improve the organisation’s inner working and facilitate co-operation.

Later in the day, auditor generals and leaders of foreign delegates paid a courtesy visit to Việt Nam President Trần Đại Quang where he expressed appreciation towards ASOSAI for entrusting Vietnamese State Audit with the chairmanship and asked for stronger collaboration, especially sharing of experience and good practices, between members. — VNS

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