Aleksei Kudrin summed up the presidency of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation in the Council of Heads of the SAIs of the CIS Member States
Working within the pandemic and achieving sustainable development goals became the main topics of the XIX Session of the Council of Heads of the SAIs of the CIS Member States that was held via videoconference for the first time in 20 years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the development and digital capacity building of all audit cooperation international members. Nowadays we have almost completely passed into new digital reality. It is interesting that the previous Session of the Council was devoted to the IT significance. I believe this advance preparation greatly facilitated the adaptation of the Supreme Audit Institutions to the modern digital circumstances.”
— Aleksei Kudrin, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, said at the Council meeting opening.
As a recap, the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation emphasized the Council’s effective work, even amidst the pandemic. During the period between the XVIII and XIX Sessions ten meetings were held both offline and online. In particular the activities under the auspices of the Union State and EAEU took place. The Working Group on the Development of State Financial Control Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States also remained operational.
“In two years, the Russia and Kazakhstan-led development of draft guidelines for quality control of joint and parallel audits, as well as standard on information interaction of the CIS SAIs was complete.”
— Aleksei Kudrin noted.
Special attention during the meeting was focused on the SAIs role in achieving sustainable development goals. According to the Council members, the SAIs are able to advise governments on the SDGs but not to lose their independence in decision-making.
“Obviously, fighting the pandemic is today's most pressing imperative for every nation. Such conditions dramatically affect long-term programs and sustainable development projects financing. That said, effective and smooth economic transition to its pre-pandemic state becomes problematic. In this situation, the SAIs can and should ensure control over national governments’ implementation of the previously set strategic course towards achieving the SDGs, as stated in the Moscow Declaration adopted at the INCOSAI in Moscow.”
— Aleksei Kudrin noticed.
The Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has also shared the agency's experience in the SDG implementation monitoring including the risks identified during the 2020 audit of whether the public administration system is ready to implement the Sustainable Development Agenda.
“First of all, the risks are entailed by the Agenda implementation system, specifically distribution of responsibilities. Since our country has already developed a multi-level strategic planning system, an additional SDG level can complicate the goals achieving processes. In this regard, we recommend that Russia add only the missing elements to the existing system of national goal-setting.”
— Aleksei Kudrin stressed.
During the session, Aleksei Kudrin stepped down as the Chairman of the Council of Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States with the Accounts Chamber of the Republic of Tajikistan Head taking his place. Aleksei Kudrin also noted that the Council is a strategically important platform for building constructive dialogue, creating a favourable environment to share opinions, strengthen beneficial ties and cooperation between its members.
“I am confident our future work will add to practical experience availability and set the atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust, eventually building up our effectiveness and implementing an important mission to ensure the growth of well-being and prosperity in our countries.”
— Aleksei Kudrin concluded.
Within the meeting was held the election of the Chair for the next intersessional period that starts in 2023. The Accounts Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic was appointed by unanimous decision.
Another significant event was the inclusion of the Accounts Chamber of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the Council as the first new member in the history of the Association (since 2000).
It was also decided to rename the organization to the Council of Heads of Supreme State Audit (Financial Control) Institutions of the CIS Member States, since the new name reflects the Council’s commitment to conduct not only financial but also strategic audit as enshrined in the legislation of two thirds of its members.