Posted by indonesia On April 20, 2015

BPK was invited by Contralor General de la República (CGR) as the Secretariat of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACFES) to engage in an exchange on how to run a successful Secretariat for a regional organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).


The work of SAIs and their cooperation through regional organizations are gaining more and more importance and recognition not only in the SAI Community but also in the international development debate[1]*. Strong coordination and fluent communication within SAI regional organizations, supported by its Secretariats, are crucial to meet with the expectations towards SAIs´ contribution to accountability and the welfare of citizens[2]*.


The delegation from Indonesia was led by the Chairman of BPK, Mr. Harry Azhar Azis, who was accompanied by the Secretary General of BPK, the Head of International Relations Bureau and the Head of Chairman Secretariat. From the side of CGR, Mr. Ramiro Mendoza Zúñiga, and the Chief of Staff greeted the delegation while the sessions were moderated by the Head of International Relations.


The discussions of the three days meeting focused on the reasons for a SAI to engage in regional cooperation through the establishment of a long-term Secretariat. It was agreed that the creation of a long-term Secretariat enables a regional organization to:

  • develop an institutional memory of the organization,
  • know the needs of the member SAIs and its history, and establish a center to support them,
  • follow-up on the activities supported by the regional organization as well as to
  • Position itself well in the international SAI Community.
Also, success factors to establish a well-functioning Secretariat were discussed. The experiences from OLACEFS included the following.

Need for high level commitment within the SAI hosting the Secretariat:

  • Provision of full-time staff (4 ½ in the SAI of Chile)
  • Integration of Secretariat function in the structure of the SAI hosting the Secretariat (e.g. support from IT division for the running of the OLACEFS Website and Knowledge Management System)

Need for good communication and acceptance by the member SAIs:

  • Development of standardized procedures
    • The need for clearly set procedures for the organizational does not counteract the appreciation of the diversity of its members. Conflict management systems support the functioning of the organization in case a consensus cannot be reached.
  • Constant and transparent internal communication with members on their needs from and visions for the regional organization
    • Many of the responsibilities that the Secretariat assumes involve the interaction with member SAIs or other organs of the organization. Thus, only if the rules and procedures are clearly defined and accepted by all members, these will support the Secretariat in its work. Without the support of the member SAIs the Secretariat cannot function successfully.
  • Constant external communication with the international SAI Community to show good practices and look for possibilities of support.

The meeting which was facilitated by the German Development Cooperation through two GIZ projects supporting OLACEFS and ASEANSAI also included in-depth discussions on the OLACEFS´ Knowledge Management System, the experience of systematic peer learning within OLACEFS, and an IT System for SAIs to manage their planning, implementation and reporting processes (SICA – Sistema Integral de Control de Auditoria), developed by SAI Chile.


[1]* See UN Resolution A/66/209 on SAI Independence and the discussion at the 23rd UN/INTOSAI Symposium, March 2015, http://www.intosai.org/news/020315-23-un-int-symposium.html#c5474.
[2]* See ISSAI 12 on SAI Value and Benefit for Citizens.