The Eight Principles of

SAI Independence

Independence for supreme audit institutions is not a singular goal.

It is a series of principles which SAIs and society must work to achieve together.

The INTOSAI community has identified eight principles of SAI independence

These principles collectively determine if a supreme audit institution has the freedom and flexibility it needs to effectively carry out its mandate and fulfill its oversight function. Each principle highlights a key area where independence must be defined and consistently maintained if a SAI is to be successful in its work.

The eight principles of SAI independence were defined by the INTOSAI community in the Mexico Declaration and are the result of a collective effort by the international public audit community to identify the independence issues most relevant to SAIs.

Explore the eight principles below. If you would like more information, including real-world examples of each principle in action, follow the links to the individual pages.

Principle 1

The existence of an appropriate and effective constitutional/statutory/legal framework and of de facto application provisions of this framework.

Principle 2

The independence of SAI heads and members (of collegial institutions), including security of tenure and legal immunity in the normal discharge of their duties.

Principle 3

A sufficiently broad mandate and full discretion in the discharge of SAI functions.

Principle 4

Unrestricted access to information.

Principle 5

The right and obligation to report on their work.

Principle 6

The freedom to decide the content and timing of audit reports and to publish and disseminate them.

Principle 7

The existence of effective follow-up mechanisms on SAI recommendations

Principle 8

Financial and managerial/administrative autonomy and the availability of appropriate human, material, and monetary resources.

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