Greenlines is a resource that updates the members of the Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) on the status of their activities and other developments in environmental auditing. It also provides a summary of the current activities and initiatives of the Working Group to the members of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the general public.
The 8th meeting of the Working Group was held 23-27June 2003 in Warsaw, Poland, hosted by the Polish Supreme Chamber of Control. The meeting started with two days of information exchange and sharing followed by a two-day business meeting.
During the two days of information exchange, Ms. Anna Stabrawa from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) presented the results of the recently released third Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-3), providing an overview of the many environmental threats facing our planet. As noted by UNEP, "GEO-3 and other UNEP assessments show that there have been significant changes in our lives and the environment over the past 30 years. Some notable improvements have been achieved but the overall state of the environment is more fragile and degraded than in 1972. Scientific research and monitoring have provided the scientific evidence for these conclusions." The United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development, represented by Ms. JoAnne DiSano, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, addressed the group by a specially prepared videotape, summarizing how the international community is responding to the challenges of sustainable development.
|Ms. Anna Stabrawa,
United Nations Environment Program (GEO)
|WGEA members participating in
the 8th WGEA Assembly
This was followed by workshops and presentations on over 20 audit-case studies by SAIs in the areas of water management, waste, and sustainable development. The purpose of the workshop sessions was to share the latest environmental audit achievements from various regions of the WGEA community. The sessions on sustainable development, protection of water, and waste management were excellent opportunities to communicate methodologies used and lessons learned from innovative environmental audits and appreciate their results, benefits, and impacts.
The very good evaluation of the first session of WGEA interactive workshops encourages us to continue on this path.
|List of Working Members Participants at the 8th WGEA meeting in Poland, 2003|
Rob de Bakker
Hans de Groot
Eirik Larsen Kvakkestad
Iftikhar Hussain Tariq
Bragadireanu Elena Carmen
South Africa (Republic of)
United States of America
Abdulman Eric Harid
|List of Regional Working Groups Members Present|
Fu Li Chong
Hajah Hartini Haji Abdul Halim
Lidija Pavica Pernar
Macedonia (Republic of)
|Special Guests Present|
United Nations, Division for Sustainable Development (video conference)
|United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Outlook
|WGEA members participating in workshop sessions|
The WGEA has finalized two papers to be adopted as formal INTOSAI guidance documents at the upcoming 18th International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI) in Budapest, Hungary, in 2004. These papers are entitled:
These two papers were sent to all INTOSAI members for consultation early in December. Based on changes proposed by INTOSAI members, the papers will be reviewed and the updated papers will be sent for approval at the next INCOSAI Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, in October 2004.
Both papers are now available on the WGEA Web site in all INTOSAI languages: Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish, except the Spanish version of the paper on Environmental Auditing and Regularity Auditing (more…).
The WGEA members have adopted during their last meeting in Warsaw, in June 2003, the following papers as Working Group Papers:
The draft documents are available on the Web site, and the final version should be ready shortly (more…). These papers are also in the process of being translated into French, German, and Spanish.
On 3-14 November 2003, 29 participants from 15 SAIs in the ASOSAI region gathered in Antalya, Turkey, to attend the first of two pilot courses on environmental auditing. This pilot was the product of a unique partnership between the INTOSAI Development Initiative (the IDI) and the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) and was under development for more than a year.
The course is part of the WGEA's long-term strategy to build capacity within SAIs to undertake environmental audits. The emphasis in this course was on the 'how to' conduct environmental audits, using the IDI learner-centered approach to training. Using a performance audit model of auditing, the course is intended to transmit knowledge in a number of key areas (for example in global environmental issues and trends, public policy tools, ecosystems, water, waste, air and biological diversity) as well as practice in applying that knowledge. Overall, the course was a resounding success as evidenced by the enthusiastic evaluations by the students and instructors. The second pilot is scheduled to take place in Kenya in February 2004 for the AFROSAI region.
The report of the meeting held in June, 2003, in Oslo, Norway is posted in the Learning Centre on the WGEA Web site (more…).
|Trainers and Trainees at the First Pilot Project in Antalya, Turkey, October 2003|
At the 8th WGEA meeting, members were briefed on the outcomes and activities at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2002. Audit templates for selected aspects of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, identifying auditable commitments, associated criteria, and possibly other information were distributed, and members were asked to comment.
In addition to undertaking audits related to these topics, the WGEA discussed opportunities to:
These ideas will be further refined and presented to the working group at its next meeting, taking into account the following elements:
The 4th questionnaire on environmental auditing was sent to all INTOSAI members in June 2003. We thank all the SAIs who completed the questionnaire and provided us with key information. This information will be useful to prepare the next WGEA Work Plan 2005-2007 and for other activities like updating the Web site. We have received 113 completed questionnaires so far.
The results of the 4th questionnaire will be presented at the next Steering Committee meeting in February 2004. The final survey report will be made available at the WGEA Assembly in June 2004; and the results will also be presented at the XVIII INCOSAI, in 2004.
The 9th WGEA Assembly Meeting will be held in Brasilia, Brazil, on 31 May - 2 June 2004. The WGEA meeting will be followed by an international seminar organized by the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Brazil with the collaboration of the WGEA Chair, the SAI of Canada. A draft agenda will be sent to all INTOSAI members early in 2004.
Greenlines is the electronic news bulletin of the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.
The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) is the professional organization of supreme audit institutions (SAI) in countries that belong to the United Nations or its specialized agencies. INTOSAI was founded in 1953 and has grown from the original 34 countries to a membership of over 180 SAIs.