Understanding and responding to threats to independence
Threats to SAI independence can be caused by both external and internal factors and behaviours. A discussion on threats to SAI independence can be found in the INTOSAI paper “Strengthening External Public Auditing in INTOSAI Regions”, pages 81 - 84 (INTOSAI Conference 26 -27 May 2010, Vienna).
Some specific threats to SAI independence include:
Low funding levels or staffing levels, meaning the SAI can’t fulfil its mandate
Poor quality audits leading to reputational risks for the SAI
Delaying nomination or appointment of a SAI head (prolonged vacancy)
SAI accused of “politicising” its work and being biased
Political interference in the SAI’s work
The Executive or Legislature frequently imposing new tasks on the SAI without allocating additional resources
External parties trying to influence inappropriately the results of audits
Politically engaged media attacking the SAI’s credibility
Please CLICK HERE for a list of possible mitigation strategies for threats to SAI independence.