Vietnam to host audit of water management cooperation in Mekong River basin

Wednesday, 2020-12-23 10:11:42
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At the launch of the audit. (Photo: NDO/To Ha)
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NDO – In the second and third quarter of 2021, the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) will be responsible for leading the regional supreme audit institutions (SAI) to participate in a cooperative environmental audit on water management in Mekong River basin in associated with the realisation of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

That was announced at a launch ceremony held by SAV in Hanoi on December 22. The Vietnamese agency, as the Chair of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) for the 2018-2021 term, chaired the online launch meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc said that from the proposal of the SAV on initiating an audit of cooperation among ASOSAI’s SAI members in Southeast Asia, on the basis of consultation with related stakeholders, the participating SAIs agreed to choose the subject for the collaborative audit on water management in the Mekong River basin in line with SDG implementation.

In July 2020, the 55th ASOSAI Executive Board Meeting officially approved the project with the participation of three SAIs, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. The audit has been included in the 2020-2022 working plan for the ASOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (ASOSAI WGEA) and the 2019-2021 working plan for the ASEANSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee (ASEANSAI KSC).

At yesterday’s online meeting, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar signed a Statement of Commitments with terms of reference (ToR) for the cooperative audit, confirming cooperation among the three SAIs and the coordination relationship between the parties to the audit.

Accordingly, the cooperative audit is to be carried out in the form of a parallel audit, applying an operational audit type and will be conducted simultaneously by three SAIs. Each participating SAI may apply a different audit method tailored to the needs and interests of each country.

The two main objectives of the audit are defining the responsibilities of countries involved in implementing national SDGs in the Mekong River basin, and assessing whether the countries concerned have fulfilled the commitments linked to the implementation of the international SDGs in relation to the management, use and protection of water resources in the Mekong River basin.

The SAI of Vietnam, as the initiating and leading SAI of the audit, will be responsible for leading other SAIs in the project, while creating a mechanism for information exchange and close cooperation between the parties, as well as coordinating the support of international audit experts and participating SAIs to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the audit.