In June 2011, the EUROSAI Governing Board set up a Task Force to deal with Audit & Ethics (TFA&E), aiming at promoting ethical conduct and integrity, both in Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and in public organizations. After three successful mandates, a proposal was made to close the activity of the TFA&E.
However, since the activities in this area are still of interest for SAIs and are a growing topic in INTOSAI and other Regional SAIs organisations, the TFA&E members as well as the European SAIs advised that the promotion of ethics and integrity should be kept high in the agenda of both SAIs and EUROSAI. Furthermore, fraud and corruption concerns during emergencies, such as the Covid-19 current one, enhance the importance of an integrity approach to the use of public funds. Results of the TFA&E discussions and conclusions from the survey indicated that a permanent platform should exist to allow a continuous exchange of information, documentation and experiences.
To meet those expectations, the TFA&E submitted the proposal for approval by the EUROSAI Governing Board and the Congress to establish, within the Strategic and Operational Plan, a «EUROSAI Network for Ethics», in charge to manage an on line permanent platform that keeps SAIs informed and collaborative in the topics of SAIs’ ethics management and SAIs’ integrity awareness raising, ethics related audit initiatives and anti-corruption role.
Based on that proposal, the XI EUROSAI Congress decided to keep the Audit & Ethics subject as a topic in the Agenda of EUROSAI. For that purpose, a "EUROSAI Network for Ethics" was established, to be in charge to manage an on line permanent platform that keeps SAIs informed and collaborative in the topics of SAIs’ ethics management and SAIs’ integrity awareness raising, ethics related audit initiatives and anti-corruption role.
The objectives of the Network for Ethics (N.ET) are as follows:
- to focus on information and activities related to SAIs’ ethics management and to SAIs’ integrity awareness raising, ethics related audit initiatives and anti-corruption role
- to keep an updated information flow on those subjects, by collecting and disseminating studies, guidelines, reports, articles, information on conferences, seminars, workshops and training courses and any other related tools
- to encourage EUROSAI members to share relevant information, development initiatives and experiences on the mentioned topics with the SAIs’ community
- to explore and share knowledge in areas that may raise new ethical concerns, such as the use of artificial intelligence, data protection and whistleblowing
- to promote an active liaison and cooperation on these subjects, acting as a broker and contact point and putting SAIs with shared interests in contact with each other or with external partners
- to facilitate contacts that may provide support to SAIs, as they may request, regarding the reinforcement of ethics control systems or the promotion of integrity in the public sector
- to keep liaison activities with INTOSAI, IDI, INTOSAI Regional Organisations, OECD, ECIIA and other relevant partners on the topics at stake, and
- to identify and encourage EUROSAI SAIs to conduct activities for strengthening their capacity or role in the identified areas.
EUROSAI Congress entrusted the SAI of Croatia with the responsibility to build and keep the Network, for an initial period of 3 years, until the next EUROSAI Congress, with the support of the SAI of Portugal.
The leading SAIs of the N.ET will coordinate the work and develop an agile process that adds value to the EUROSAI community.