The International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) hosted a one-day conference at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium on 27 October 2022, on financial transparency and accountability as key elements of good governance. The objective of the conference was to raise the interest and to stimulate discussion with internal stakeholders, such as the Council, National Delegations, NATO bodies, and also external stakeholders, such as the Supreme Audit Institutions and citizens of NATO member states, the Partner Nations, other international organisations, audit institutions, and academia.
The speakers at the conference were the following:
- Mr. Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO
- Ms. Daniela Morgante, Chair, IBAN
- Mr. André Joannette, Chair, NATO Resource Policy and Planning Board
- Mr. Mariusz Pomienski, Director of Audit, Chamber V, European Court of Auditors
- Mr. Manfred Kraff, Director General, Internal Audit Service, European Union Commission
- Mr. Jacob Soll, University of Southern California (USC), MacArthur Fellow, Director – Martens Economic Forum, USC
- Mr. Thomas Müller-Marqués Berger, Partner Ernst and Young GmbH, Global Leader Public Sector Accounting, Chair IPSASB Consultative Advisory Group
Audience members from NATO, National Delegations, Supreme Audit Institutions, the European Court of Auditors, the European Union Commission, and Allied and Partner Nations were able to participate in the conference both in-person and online.
The conference explored the topic of financial transparency and accountability as key elements of good governance, in light of the experiences and perspective of NATO, the European Union (EU), and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Board. NATO adopted the following definition of good governance:
“governance refers to the processes by which organisations are directed, controlled and held to account, and is underpinned by the processes of openness, integrity and accountability.”
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) define transparency and accountability as:
- Transparency is “openness about the outcomes a public sector entity is pursuing, the resources necessary or used, and the performance achieved.”
- Accountability is “the obligation of public sector entities to the citizens and other stakeholders to account, and be answerable to, democratically chosen supervisory bodies, for their policies, decisions, and actions, particularly in relation to public finances.”
These important values of transparency, accountability, and governance, tie in closely with the IBAN’s mandate – as the independent, external audit body for NATO – to provide assurance to the Council and the governments of NATO member countries that common funds were used properly for the settlement of authorised expenditure.
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