Between June 8 and 26, 2020, the Virtual Workshop for Training and Planning of the Coordinated Audit on Governance Structures for the Comprehensive Management of Mining Environmental Liabilities, CA MEL, took place, which is executed within the framework of the OLACEFS Public Works Audit Working Group (GTOP), which is chaired by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile.

The activity, which was initially programmed for March 2020 on a face-to-face basis and which would be carried out on the premises of the SAI of Chile in the city of Santiago, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that involved the suspension of all face-to-face activities, had to be adapted to a virtual format in which the participating auditors would have access to all technical and methodological information with regard to carrying out the audit in an rapid and expeditious manner.

Thus, 73 people who are part of the audit teams of 13 superior audit institutions and 2 subnational audit institutions shared knowledge associated with MEL management mechanisms, emphasizing the evaluation of the planning matrix proposed by the Coordinating Team.

Likewise, the virtual workshop was complemented by videoconferences, where the Coordinating Team, led by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile, reinforced the contents and objectives of the coordinated audit, adopting the methodological improvements that were revealed during the discussions at the workshop.

The virtual workshop culminated on June 26, 2020 with the holding of the Closing Plenary Meeting, which was attended by Heads of the Audit Division and the International Relations Unit of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile; Erwin Ramirez, Director of the Regional Project of the GIZ, Strengthening External Control in the Environmental Area; experts in the field and participants of the workshop such as Dr. Rosa María Flores Serrano, of Universidad Nacional de México and Achim Constantin of the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources of Germany (BGR), in addition to the auditors of the 13 SAIs and 2 participating AIs.

Finally, in accordance with the development of the virtual workshop, the assessments of participating auditors, as well as the agreements adopted at the activity, the working group began with the execution of national and subnational audits, projecting the consolidation of results for November of this year. In this way, the participating control entities will carry out their inquiries on a theme with a strong impact on people, especially for those who are affected by the MEL, which requires urgent attention from the region’s governments.

The success of this workshop marks a milestone in the development of coordinated audits, as it is being offered for the first time in a virtual format and thus allowing the participation of the complete teams of each SAI, overcoming the budgetary limitations in terms of travel and accommodation, becoming a new alternative and an example for future initiatives, which has been the object of profound interest on the part of the TCU of Brazil and the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador.

Below, you can watch the recording of the closing plenary session: