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INTOSAI Guidance on Independence

The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) operates as an umbrella organisation for national Supreme Audit Institutions or SAIs. INTOSAI currently provides the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) that serve as a global set of professional standards for SAIs.

The INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) has initiated a capacity development program to contribute to the ongoing efforts to enhance the independence of SAIs globally. A working draft of the program’s Guidance component is available for use as guidelines and for further comment to IDI:

Towards Greater Independence - A Guidance for Supreme Audit Institutions.

INTOSAI also issued a handout in February 2019 on the Independence of SAIs, for SAIs to use in discussions with their Permanent Missions and other influencers or stakeholders:

Handout on Independence of SAIs

Independence-related ISSAIs

Many of the ISSAIs are directly relevant to SAI independence, the most famous being the Lima Declaration of 1977 (ISSAI 1) and the Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence (ISSAI 10). Both set out the fundamental principles of SAI independence.

There are four levels of ISSAIs as shown in the diagram (left).

Level 1 comprises ISSAI 1, the Lima Declaration;

Level 2 encompasses ISSAIs 10-99, including the Mexico Declaration;

Level 3 encompasses ISSAIs 100-999, and

Level 4 contains ISSAIs 1000-5999.

You can find out more about the purpose of ISSAIs and the ISSAI framework in:

“The purpose of INTOSAI professional standards”.

The ISSAIs that relate most directly to SAI independence are listed below.

You can find out more about the purpose of ISSAIs and the ISSAI framework in this document: