The XXVI Annual Meeting of the Coordination Group and the XXV Meeting of the Joint Commission of Audit Institutions of Mercosur and Associates – EFSUR- took place on September 4 and 5 in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The meeting was attended by the Auditor General of the Argentine Nation, Maria Graciela de la Rosa; the Comptroller General of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Dr. Henry Lucas Ara Pérez; the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador, Dr. Pablo Celi de la Torre, and the President of the Court of Accounts of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Cra. Susana Díaz; as well as technical teams on oversight and monitoring from the SAIs of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Dr. Pablo Celi de la Torre, Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador, which holds the pro tempore presidency of EFSUR, gave the welcoming speech at the opening ceremony, stating that “in the region, beyond the ups and downs of the different projects, integration and cooperation in oversight have provided exemplary continuity. Both in OLACEFS and now in EFSUR, we are managing to nurture continuity in the projects; continuity in incorporating countries, continuity in the strategic mission, something that unfortunately is being lost in other aspects of integration in the region.” He went on to talk about the importance of sustaining continuity in oversight and of watchful dialogue to build institutional stability in the region.
Maria Graciela de la Rosa, meanwhile, representative of the EFSUR Executive Secretariat, spoke on the important contribution of EFSUR in terms of coordinated audits relating to regional integration “as is the case of governance audits on border crossings that emerged within the framework of EFSUR and were later shared with OLACEFS; and also the auditing of infrastructure in border crossings of Mercosur member countries.” The Auditor General of the Nation also highlighted the important work on gender equity carried out by EFSUR SAIs, such as the international seminar held this year in the AGN, which was “a forum for debate on the decisions that the governments of the region take on gender issues, establishing the position of each country within the framework of the global coordinated audit focusing on SDG 5 – achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in which more than 100 SAIs from all over the world are participating.”
On the first day, strengthening the EFSUR image was discussed at the meeting of the Technical Coordination Group, by presenting the new EFSUR website. Face-to-face planning and implementation training sessions were also held on the following coordinated audit topics:
- Governance of public policies in border areas (SAI Brazil).
- Special fact-finding and assessment report on COSIPLAN border crossing infrastructure projects for MERCOSUR member countries and partners.
- Consideration and selection of 2019-2020 audit topics.
The next day technical documents and reports specified in the 2018 action plan were presented on the study of contributions, distribution and projects for the MERCOSUR structural convergence fund (FOCEM), the report on the resources contributed for the maintenance of MERCOSUR, and the updating of the compilation of gender norms in Mercosur and associate countries, carried out by the SAI of Ecuador.
Finally, the 2019 action plan and the proposal for future audit projects were presented, highlighting the project to study and assess policies implemented in compliance with SDG 1 from a gender perspective, which addresses the mainstreaming of SDG 5 as applied to Goal 1, Ending poverty.