The State Audit Office of Viet Nam actively responds to climate change

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( – As an active and responsible member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the Governing Board of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) for the period of 2021 – 2024, and with an aim at implementing commitments in the Hanoi Declaration on “enviromental auditing for sustainable development”, the State Audit Office of Viet Nam (SAV) pays great attention to national climate actions and actively responds to climate change.

To promote environmental auditing and respond to climate change

During 25 and 26 March, Auditor-General Ngo Van Tuan led the delegation to the meeting “ClimateScanner Global Call: Engaging Supreme Audit Institutions in assessing national climate action”, together with leaders of more than 60 SAIs in the world. The meeting officially took place under the co-chairing of the Federal Court of Accounts – Brazil (TCU), INTOSAI Chair for the period 2022 – 2025 and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

Sharing with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Auditor-General Ngo Van Tuan emphasized that environmental and response to climate change auditing is one of the SAV’s priorities in which SAV shall improve the quality and increase the quantity of such the audits.

Over the years, the SAV has focused on and implemented many audits related to environmental protection and climate change response, namely: Audits of “National Target Programme for Climate Change Response and Ggreen Growth” for the period 2016 – 2020; “Programme for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” for the period 2012 – 2015; “the Five Million Hectare Reforestation Programme”; parallel audit of “the Management of Water Resources in the Mekong River basin” in association with realizing sustainable development goals (with participation of SAIs Thailand and Myanmar); the Results-Based Rural Water Supply and Sanitation under the National Target Program; Management of scrap imports in the period 2016 – 2018; the implementation of solutions to reduce the use of plastic bags; Environmental Protection and Management of economic zones, industrial parks, industrial clusters, craft villages, thermal power plants, hospitals, etc.

The above-mentioned audit topics are “in spotlight”, attracting great concern to the Government, National Assembly and public as they represent potential negative impacts on the environment and magnify climate change issues. At the same time, the SAV, before putting them into its audit plan, had thoroughly collected and assessed the relevant information. Through these audits, the SAV has pointed out inadequacies and limitations in environmental management, protection and response to climate change. It has also recommended measures and solutions to rectify and correct violations in the State management in terms of environment protection and climate change, and amend and supplement to documents and policies which are still inconsistent and inappropriate with applicable legislation and practical conditions. These have contributed to improving the economy, effectiveness and efficiency in implementing the Government’s strategies, programs, plans and projects on the environmental protection and climate change.

The SAV has always played the role of an active and dynamic member of INTOSAI in all of its activities, especially promoting audits of climate change adaptation. The SAV wishes to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the international organizations and SAIs in conducting audits of environmental issues, climate change and SDGs; actively participating in cooperative audits; assigning auditors to join the relevant audits presided over by ASOSAI and INTOSAI members to learn and exchange knowledge and experience, etc.

To actively contribute to responding to global climate change

During the period 2023 – 2024, to contribute to the global climate change response plan, the SAV has actively participated in the cooperative audit on climate change adaptation actions co-presided over by the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (INTOSAI WGEA) with the theme “Implementation of climate change adaptation plans and actions” (related to SDG no. 13). Up to now, audit outline by SAV has been completed and submitted to IDI experts for comments. The audit is expected to conduct in May 2024.

In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of audits in evaluating the Government of Viet Nam’s actions on climate issues, and also effectively implement international commitments to making practical contributions to actions for responding to the global climate change, the SAV has adopted clear orientations.

The SAV needs to successfully implement the Development Strategy of the State Audit Office by 2030 (the Strategy), in which there is a goal toward strengthening environmental, climate change and sustainable development audits; promoting performance, thematic and Information Technology audits which take account for approximately 30% - 40% of the total number of annual audits; paying attention to detect inadequacies in mechanisms, policies and laws, subsequently making appropriate recommendations; enhancing the audit quality to meet the requirements of the Government’s management and administration and the National Assembly’s supervision.

Apart from that, the SAV shall develop its annual audit plans and periodically review the mid-term one to ensure the achievement of the goals set out in the Strategy. In particular, the SAV continues to focus on and prioritizing the key issues related to environmental protection, climate change and sustainable development of the Government’s and the public’s concern, affirming these are one of significant and groundbreaking issues in the coming time.

The SAV shall also pay attention to develop and enhance the capacity of auditors; improve the monitoring and evaluation of audit quality; flexibly apply appropriate standards, guidelines and international practices into audit process in order to further enhance audit results and recommendations.

Last but not least, the SAV shall continue to increase the application of IT in audit activities in general and audit of climate change response through access to, extraction and analysis of data from software systems, management and supervision database of management agencies from central to local levels.

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