Cooperation with other audit institutions
The Austrian Court of Audit internationally shares its experience in the fields of auditing and advisory activities to strengthen public auditing around the globe. It harnesses the knowledge and experience shared by affiliated audit institutions and partner organizations to better fulfil its own duties, benefitting from external comparison and transfer of knowledge. Therefore, the ACA fosters bi- and multilateral relations with foreign SAIs and also cultivates an intensive exchange of ideas in various technical areas. Jointly conducted (coordinated) audits are a particular form of international cooperation between SAIs as they offer an international and comprehensive perspective. Owing to their cross-border character they also facilitate the exchange of experiences and skills of auditors and provide helpful conclusions to be used by the ACA on a national level.
Furthermore, the cross-border cooperation of SAIs concerning climate change is quite intense. This is crucial in order to effectively deal with the global challenges associated with climate change. Government measures in this area are usually very costly and have far-reaching ecological, social and economic consequences, hence there is a particular need for auditing.
Therefore, in June 2007, 14 national SAIs decided to work together on audits concerning national government projects in the area of climate change. In the booklet "Coordinated International Audit on Climate Change", published in November 2010, the Working Group on Environmental Auditing has summarized the most important findings of 33 audits in the area of climate change. The findings were obtained on six different continents and offer a comprehensive overview of the governments' adhesion to their responsibilities in terms of climate change and demonstrate how to use potential for improvement. The booklet also serves as an aid for future audits of government projects and strategies concerning climate change as it sharpens awareness and identifies appropriate auditing techniques.
The ACA contributed to this booklet with two reports: the provinces' report "Climate-relevant Measures of the Provinces in the Area of Energy" (Vienna 2009/6) and the federal report (Federation 2008/11) "Implementation of Austria's Climate Strategy on a Federal Level".
The Visegrad 4+2 Group consists of the heads of the SAIs of the Visegrad countries - Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland - as well as of Austria and Slovenia. This informal, independent and personal forum is based on the principles of voluntariness, equal status and partnership.
Following the example of the Visegrad Group established on 15 February 1991 by the heads of state and government of Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republic, also the Supreme Audit Institutions of these states cooperate with one another. Since the mid-1990s, Austria has also been invited to attend these meetings. Austria and Slovenia have developed a close regional cooperation, to be seen i.a. in the 4+2 meetings of the SAIs. Since 2004 the president of the ACA has regularly taken part in the annual meetings.
The Visegrad 4+2 Group pursues the following objectives:
- identifying common interests of external public audit,
- discussing problem areas and developing solutions,
- providing a forum for the exchange of experiences,
- representing common interests in the Contact Committee of the Heads of the EU SAIs and the ECA,
- acting as a link between the SAIs of the Visegrad 4+2 Group and the SAIs of the EU acceeding countries.
To achieve these objectives, the Visegrad 4+2 Group pursues the following strategy:
- annual working meetings
- elaboration of common standpoints and solution approaches for external public auditing (such as the relations with the ECA);
- bilateral and multilateral cooperation and
- professional exchange of experience.