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China to Lead World's Government Auditors
Source: china.org.cn
Source Date: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Country: China
Created: Nov 27, 2012

China is expected to lead government auditors across the world next year to respond to challenges in fiscal discipline and governance amid the financial crisis, the leader of a global audit organization said.

Terence Nombembe, chairman of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, said on Tuesday that the organization is "encouraged" to have China as the chair in 2013.

The organization, founded in 1953, is an autonomous, independent, non-political group. Its 191 members are supreme audit institutions from around the world.

Since the beginning of the financial crisis, it has been widely acknowledged that a key cause of the crises was the lack of attention given to fiscal discipline and governance, Nombembe said on Tuesday.

"It's time we address the issue of governance and financial discipline very seriously," Nombembe told China Daily on the sidelines of the 63rd governing board meeting of the organization in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

He said the organization is expecting a "clear sighted" new chair who "has to come up with ways to make the decisions more sustainable".

"The next incoming chair … is a timely move for China to make ... We are privileged to have the National Audit Office of China taking over next year."

Liu Jiayi, head of the National Audit Office of China, proposed on Tuesday two themes for discussion at the international organization's 21st congress in Beijing in 2013. One is "national audit and governance" and the other is "the roles supreme audit institutions can play in safeguarding the sustainability of fiscal policies".

Elaborating on the proposal, Liu said the financial crisis, subprime crisis and the sovereign-debt crisis in recent years have ushered in a new era for change in order and governance of the global economy.

He said the world needs to form new economic and governance systems that are fair and efficient to face its problems.

The board meeting approved Liu's proposal and decided to document the results of the discussion as part of the Beijing Declaration to be adopted in next year's congress.

Nombembe, who is also the auditor-general of South Africa, said the approval of Liu's ideas indicates how China will work to be progressive in the world of finance and governance and accountability.

Liu said the Beijing Declaration will not only summarize and exchange global practices from the past, but also set a vision for supreme audit institutions.

Former declarations of the organization set independent grounding as the core value, while the Beijing Declaration will specify the roles and effects of auditing, said Liu, who is also serving as first vice-chair of the global group.

"It is a new beginning for auditing, a new beginning for national, global governance and accountability," he said.

Nombembe said he is keen to learn from China.

He said that during the coming congress: "We can learn from China on its experience and the more we can learn from developing countries like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) the better."

He said China has demonstrated the appetite to be a meaningful player and has the capability to drive and coordinate issues.

And the benefits of having China lead the challenge is "its capacity to drive others, its ability to reach a level of progression and its plentiful resources".

According to Nombembe, China has already provided support and guidance to many countries and hosted a group of developing countries with the aim of playing a meaningful role in building the capacities of those countries.

Gry Midtbo, a senior official with the Office of the Auditor General of Norway, said she has seen a much stronger China in terms of public auditing.
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