The Working Group on Public Debt (WGPD), under the auspices of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), recorded many ‘firsts’ in Calendar year 2020.
Chaired by the Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) for three years since 2017, the WGPD’s mandate is to publish guidelines and other informational materials to be used by Supreme Audit Institutions to encourage proper reporting and sound public debt management.
While the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to reassessments and changes in priorities and undertakings the overall direction for WGPD remained in accordance with its mandate set under INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services Committee (Goal 3). Looking back, WGPD takes pride in accomplishing the following feats:
GUID 5250 officially released
Now available in all INTOSAI languages, WGPD’s priority project formally-named the Guidance on the Audit of Public Debt or GUID 5250 gained the approval of the INTOSAI during the November 2020 Governing Board meeting. GUID 5250 is the first official document contributed by the SAI Philippines-led WGPD for the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements.
It aims to effectively support INTOSAI goals and objectives to improve, develop, and adopt audit guidance and contribute to independent, high-quality public debt audits. SAI Philippines’ Technical Working Group (TWG) and four sub-task teams led by member-SAIs of Chile, India, Russia and the United States committed to a series of careful drafting of proposals, revisions of draft versions, quality reviews, finalization followed by the endorsement and translation.
Cooperative efforts with World Bank
In September 2020, the TWG proposed topics including ”Exploring SAIs' Roles in the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the light of COVID-19” as well as ”Challenges and Opportunities for Public Debt Auditors in Audit of Public Debt and its Management” to the World Bank for future collaborations. WGPD and World Bank will steer series of webinars by 2021.
The collaboration will be the first partnership of WGPD outside INTOSAI in an effort to engage major global public debt stakeholders while working its way to become a leading forum on audit of public debt practices and debt management issues. (WGPD Vision)