Whether on climate change, prevention of terrorism or trade, it is clear that international cooperation cannot happen automatically. It requires hard work, stamina, and people with enthusiasm above all else. Many multilateral and bilateral networks exist to facilitate international cooperation. The European Union is perhaps one of the most prominent and well established examples of such a network.
What networks have audit institutions developed to share their experience and cooperate internationally? What topics do their cooperation efforts focus on most? And what are the results of those efforts? Cooperation between and among supreme audit institutions (SAIs) is the special theme of the November/December 2018 edition of the ECA Journal. We zoom in on cooperation within the EU, such as the Contact Committee of EU SAIs, which is a very important network for the ECA and Member States SAIs. And we look at networks operating beyond the EU. These include the INTOSAI global network and the more regional EUROSAI, but also networks whose common denominator is not only external audit but also language, or which are more bilateral in nature. With almost 35 articles – ranging from international cooperation in general to personal experiences through staff secondment to another SAI to contribute to knowledge exchange – we do not give an exhaustive, but nevertheless extensive picture on how SAIs cooperate with each other.
10 Cooperation works best if beneficial for both parties
15 Mapping EU SAIs: the who, the what and the how of international cooperation
32 The EU Contact Committee Working Group on EU Structural Funds – a group that really worked
77 ‘Young EUROSAI’ – International cooperation for and between young European auditors
88 Reviewing global cooperation and putting it into practice: the UN Board of Auditors
108 International collaboration in water management: water as a unifying concept
128 Participating in the IMF’s Public Investment Management Assessment of Senegal
Plus: the networked Union as an experienced partner in cooperation; several articles covering the Contact Committee of EU SAIs, INTOSAI and EUROSAI regarding their organisation, working groups and output; interviews with SAI presidents Klaus-Heiner Lehne and Kay Scheller, ECA directors Martin Weber and Gerhard Ross and several SAI staff members who have been or are currently seconded to another audit institution; the French and Portuguese-speaking SAI networks; examples of bilateral cooperation efforts. Furthermore articles on how the ECA has recently reached out to stakeholders, such as media, the academic world and blockchain and data visualisation experts. And an overview of ECA publications since November 2018.