The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in its Resolutions 66/209 of 2011 and 69/228 of 2014 has recognized the important role of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration, which is conducive to the achievement of national development objectives and priorities as well as the internationally agreed development goals.

In the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, endorsed by UNGA Resolution 69/313 from 2015, Member States commit themselves to strengthening national control mechanisms, such as supreme audit institutions, and to fostering the mobilization and effective use of domestic public resources.

This pledge derives from the clear acknowledgement in Resolution 69/228 of the role SAIs have in fostering governmental accountability for the use of resources and their performance in achieving development goals. To ensure that SAIs are able to deliver on this aspiration, the document encourages Member States to give due consideration to the independence and capacity building of SAIs in a manner consistent with their national institutional structures.

Aware that independence should remain an overarching goal of all SAIs, the resolutions also take note and encourage Member States to apply in a manner consistent with their national institutional structures, the Lima Declaration of Guidelines on Auditing Preceptsof 1977 and the Mexico Declaration on Supreme Audit Institutions Independence of 2007, which follows:

From the XIX Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) meeting in Mexico:

Whereas the orderly and efficient use of public funds and resources constitutes one of the essential prerequisites for the proper handling of public finances and the effectiveness of the decisions of the responsible authorities.

Whereas the INTOSAI-P 1 - The Lima Declaration (Guidelines on Auditing Precepts) states that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can accomplish their tasks only if they are independent of the audited entity and are protected against outside influence.

Whereas, to achieve this objective, it is indispensable for a healthy democracy that each country have a SAI whose independence is guaranteed by law.

Whereas the Lima Declaration recognizes that state institutions cannot be absolutely independent, it further recognizes that SAIs should have the functional and organizational independence required to carry out their mandate.

Whereas through the application of principles of independence, SAIs can achieve independence through different means using different safeguards.

Whereas application provisions included herein serve to illustrate the principles and are considered to be ideal for an independent SAI. It is recognized that no SAI currently meets all of these application provisions, and therefore, other good practices to achieve independence are presented in the accompanying guidelines.

To adopt, publish, and distribute the document entitled “Mexico Declaration on Independence”.


Supreme Audit Institutions generally recognize eight core principles, which flow from the Lima Declaration and decisions made at the XVIIth Congress of INTOSAI (in Seoul, Korea), as essential requirements of proper public sector auditing.

INTOSAI ref. Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence(pdf) (ISSAI-P10).
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