38) The core principles of a SAI’s independence are described in INTOSAI-P 10 - Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence.

39) As an important part of the ethics control system mentioned in the “Overall responsibilities of Supreme Audit Institutions” section of this standard, the SAI is responsible for implementing independence and objectivity related controls such as:

a) declarations of interests and conflicts of interest to help identify and mitigate threats to independence;

b) measures to help senior staff supervise and review work according to professional criteria designed to exclude outside influences that could impact on the SAI and its staff’s independence or objectivity;

c) provisions on how to act in cases where a SAI has an obligation to provide non-audit services to an auditee or concerning audited areas, such as public procurement;

d) policies and procedures to address threats, such as removing an individual with a conflict of interest from the audit team, or reviewing any significant judgements made by that individual while on the team;

e) policies and procedures to identify and address situations where an audit staff member has recently been an employee of the auditee or has audited the same subject matter under a different organisation;

f) policies for periodic rotation of staff or equivalent measures where rotation is not feasible;

g) facilitating an environment where objective professional judgement is not affected by previous work done by the SAI.

40) In accordance with its mandate, a SAI may be unable to refuse to engage in or continue with an audit. If no controls are effective to eliminate or reduce a threat to independence or objectivity to an acceptable level, SAI leadership may consider reporting the threat.

(parent: 4. [Application Guidance for] Fundamental Ethical Values)

INTOSAI ref. Code of Ethics(pdf) (ISSAI-P 30).
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