1) Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are held to high expectations and must earn the trust of stakeholders (citizens, legislative, and executive bodies, auditees and others). Therefore, they need to act as model organisations and inspire confidence and credibility. As ethical behaviour is a key component in establishing and sustaining the needed trust and reputation, a code of ethics is a prerequisite for the functioning of a SAI.

2) The ISSAI 130 - Code of Ethics (the Code) intends to provide SAIs and the staff working for them with a set of values and principles on which to base behaviour. Furthermore, recognising the specific environment of public sector auditing (often different from that of private sector auditing), it gives additional guidance on how to embed those values in daily work and in the particular situations of a SAI.

3) The Code is intended for all those who work for, or on behalf of, a SAI. This includes the head of the SAI, its members in the case of collegial models, executive management and all individuals directly employed by, or contracted to conduct business on behalf of, the SAI. The Code also applies to those in the governance structure of a SAI. All these individuals, hereafter referred to as staff, should adhere to the stated values in their professional activity and, as applicable, in their private life.

4) Ethical behaviour of staff is also influenced by the environment they work in. Accordingly the Code addresses the responsibilities of SAIs in promoting and safeguarding ethics and ethical values in every aspect of the organisation and its activities.

5) The Code comprises an overall approach to ethical behaviour, a description of the SAI’s overall responsibilities and the five fundamental values that guide ethical conduct. The descriptions of the SAI overall responsibilities and of the values include:
a) requirements that SAIs and their staff should comply with;
b) application guidance to help SAIs and their staff meet the requirements – this includes the meaning of the requirements, underlying concepts, suggested procedures for implementing the requirements, and examples of good practices.

6) No code can address all ethical circumstances that will arise in practice. Accordingly, the Code is written at a principle level. SAIs and their staff should apply their professional judgement to the circumstances they encounter and follow the relevant requirements set out in this Code.

7) To satisfy the diversity of culture, and legal and social systems (such as specific rules applying to SAIs of judicial nature), each SAI is encouraged to develop or adopt a code of ethics and an appropriate ethics control system to implement it. This Code constitutes the foundation for each SAI’s code, which should be at least as stringent as the INTOSAI Code.

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