Vietnam proposes audit on water resources in Mekong River basin hinh anh 1At the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) proposed that an audit on water resources in the Mekong River basin be conducted by the agency called "ASOSAI's cooperative environmental audit in Southeast Asia in the 2020-2021 period", at the 55th Governing Board meeting of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), which was held in the form of a teleconference on July 27.

According to a report presented at the meeting, in the framework of ASOSAI cooperation in the 2012-2013 period, a parallel audit on water issues in the river basin was successfully carried out with the participation of five Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, with technical assistance from the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

Audit results show that, at the national level, the system of policies and laws and compliance with policies and laws on water resources management in general and water resources management in the Mekong River basin in particular still bear limitations, leading to the unreasonable exploitation and use of water, absence of planning, and increases in water pollution.

The success of the audit provided valuable lessons on the efficient and sustainable use and management of water resources, especially water resources flowing through the territories of many countries, for ASOSAI members in general and SAIs in Southeast Asia in particular, thus reducing negative impacts on the environment and the social security of residents in relevant areas.

A SAV representative said that in the field of environmental auditing, the agency has been working with several countries on auditing the Mekong River’s water sources to make recommendations on water quality assurance and avoid any negative impacts on water and social security.

Following these efforts, the agency will preside over the implementation of ASOSAI’s cooperative environmental audit in Southeast Asia in the 2020-2021 period, with the aim of auditing the management of water resources in the Mekong River basin in association with realising sustainable development goals.

The audit is expected to be held in the fourth quarter of 2020. Three SAIs have confirmed their participation, including those from Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It also received confirmation of technical assistance from the World Bank (WB) and the Canada Audit and Accountability Foundation (CAAF).

Representatives from SAIs expressed their support for SAV’s proposal at the meeting.

Regarding the receipt of support from external organisations for SAIs in the process of auditing, SAV’s representative affirmed associated issues always have the compliance of SAIs, including Vietnam’s, in line with ASOSAI’s regulations to ensure independence during the auditing process.

The report from ASOSAI WGEA (Working Group on Environment Auditing), which consists of 33 members and one observer, shows that, since the 54th Executive Board meeting of ASOSAI WGEA in September 2019, WGEA has been implementing its functions and tasks and deploying its activities under the 2017-2019 Work Plan.

Throughout this period, WGEA has actively prepared for the 8th ASOSAI workshop on environmental auditing and conducted surveys using a questionnaire, built a work plan for 2020-2022, initiated a Green Vision award, attended meetings of the WGEA on environmental audits of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), and publicised the results of environmental audits in Asia through a variety of means.

According to the plan, ASOSAI WGEA will promote the UN’s sustainable development audit programme, conduct a second cooperative audit on sustainable mobilisation, and carry out the 2nd collaborative scientific research project related to climate change adaptation.

During the meeting, the ASOSAI Governing Board also discussed capacity-building activities in the organisation, its cooperation with regional organisations, its targets and priorities for 2022-2027, a report on the 12th ASOSAI Research Project, and the organisation’s role in assisting members to cope with COVID-19./.