Sustainable Energy Project

The Czech Supreme Audit Office's (Czech SAO) decision to lead the project called Sustainable Energy was taken at the 11th meeting of the International Organization of the Supreme Audit Institutions´ Working Group on Environmental Auditing (INTOSAI WGEA) in Tanzania in June 2007. For more information on the INTOSAI WGEA see the official web site at www.environmental-auditing.org.

The project was a part of the INTOSAI WGEA´s Work Plan 2008-2010, Goal 1: Expand the guidance materials available to SAIs. The INTOSAI WGEA's aim is to provide supreme audit institutions (SAIs) with the guidance materials on how to audit a particular environmental or sustainable development topic.

Aside from the guidance concerning the "Sustainable Energy", two other sets of guidance materials were developed under the Goal 1 of the Work Plan 2008-2010:

  • Climate changes (leader of the project was the SAI of Norway)
  • Management of natural resources - this guidance focuses on three large resources sectors - mining (led by the SAI of Tanzania), fisheries (led by the SAI of the Republic of South Africa), and forestry (led by the SAI of Indonesia).

The President of the Czech SAO established a working group for the execution of the project Sustainable Energy and for creation a guidance material. The team consisted of the SAO experts who had long experience in auditing as regards the topics such as the environment, investments, transport etc. Its members were: Ms Blanka Bolerazká, Ms Regina Charyparová, Mr Tomáš Fiala, Ms Ilona Hýžová, Mr Štefan Kabátek, Mr Vlastislav Koderič, Mr Stanislav Koucký, Ms Jana Kožnarová, Mr Miroslav Kruchina, Ms Sylva Müllerová, Mr Petr Neuvirt, Mr Michal Rampír, Ms Michaela Rosecká, Ms Halka Sedlářová, Ms Jitka Střihavková, Ms Hana Vaňková, Ms Helena Vorbová, and Ms Barbora Zochová.

Together with the Czech SAO, there were external experts in the environment and energy issues Mr Rudolf Přibil DrSc PhD and Mr Martin Zoch MSc cooperating in this project. Other active co-workers were the SAIs of Australia, Canada, Estonia, Morocco, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom cooperating in this project.

The issue of sustainable energy is rather complex. At the same time, supreme audit institutions from all over the world have only little or no experience in audits concerning sustainable energy. Thus, the aim of the project was to help SAIs to understand issues concerning this topic and to identify the suitable audit approach.

The guidance material enables a reader

  • to understand what the sustainable energy issue refers to and what its environmental, economic, and social impacts are;
  • to understand governmental responses to this issue (such as policy instruments);
  • to choose a suitable audit topic;
  • to design an audit in connection with conditions in the respective country and to form appropriate audit questions.

Structure of the Guidance

Chapter 1 - Basic information on energy issues

  • 1.1 Energy resources
  • 1.1.1 Renewable energy resources
  • 1.1.2 Non-renewable energy resources
  • 1.2 Energy supply
  • 1.2.1 The power transmission grid
  • 1.2.2 Availability and stability in energy supply
  • 1.3 Energy consumption, energy savings, and energy efficiency

Chapter 2 - Understand the governmental response to the sustainable energy issue

  • 2.1 International agreements
  • 2.2 National legislation
  • 2.3 Energy policies/programmes and possibilities of their management
  • 2.3.1 Energy policies/programmes
  • 2.3.2 Instruments used to influence energy management
  • 2.3.3 Economic, social, and environmental impacts of energy policies

Chapter 3 - Approach to choosing audit topics

Chapter 4 - How to design the audit

Chapter 5 - Audit execution and reporting

  • 5.1 Verifying the existence of defined objectives of energy policies (programmes, projects, actions) and setting the ways to attain these objectives
  • 5.2 Verifying the existence, completeness, and veracity of preliminary analyses of the audited area
  • 5.3 Verifying the system of management and control of the progress of implementation of the national energy policy (programmes, projects, actions), and assessment of the internal control system
  • 5.4 Checking on the operability of the system employed in assessments of the implementation of policies (programmes, projects, actions)
  • 5.5 Audits at beneficiaries of support
  • 5.6 Elaboration of an audit report setting out the outcome of the audit
  • 5.7 Impact evaluation and monitoring

Annexes

  • Annex 1 - Case studies on audits performed
  • Annex 2 - Examples of criteria from international agreements
  • Annex 3 - Examples of criteria from EU legislation
  • Annex 4 - Guide for carrying out audit on grants
  • Annex 5 - Issue analysis
  • Annex 6 - Summary of information from the questionnaire survey
  • Annex 7 - List of sustainable energy audits
  • Annex 8 - Sustainable energy questionnaire template

For creating and completing of the project the team used the methodology based on:

  • the analysis of performed audits whose final reports were published on the INTOSAI WGEA website or those provided to the Czech SAO by INTOSAI members;
  • the data collected from a questionnaire* which was sent to all INTOSAI members;
  • when necessary, the team addressed external experts to get reliable information.

*The questionnaire was chosen as one of the most important information sources. The aim of the project team was to make a survey related to experience in auditing of sustainable energy all over the world. The questionnaire was divided into three parts - the first one focused on common questions related to auditing, the second one contained concrete questions relevant to performed audits. The last part was more general and contained questions related to national and international legislation in the field of energy in the specific country. An inseparable part of that questionnaire was a glossary.

The questionnaire was distributed to all the INTOSAI members and we received in total 60 responses.

The publication may be downloaded free of charge from the NKU website or INTOSAI WGEA website.

In the framework of the project, the Czech SAO performed a related audit called Financial means allotted to support programmes for energy production from renewable energy resources and for energy savings support. The audit report was approved in September 2009. The information and experience from this audit report were used in the Sustainable Energy guidance material.

If you have any questions or comments concerning the Sustainable Energy project, you can contact us at michaela.rosecka (at) nku.cz.

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