International cooperation

By cooperating internationally, we foster our own continued professional development and also enhance the quality and impact of our audits. Moreover, international cooperation helps us to strengthen public finances, transparency and good public governance, both in the Netherlands and abroad. How do we do this? Read more below about our policies and activities, and their results.

Our international cooperation revolves around two core activities:

The basis of our international policy


International knowledge exchange and cooperation is based on our strategic priorities and audit programme, financed from own funds. Institutional development cooperation is based on the development requirements of peer audit institutions, funded externally. With these two core activities, we seek to bolster our mission of fostering a trusted public sector and sound public finances.

Strong, dynamic and relevant through international cooperation

We are the Netherlands Court of Audit.
We check whether the government spends its money efficiently, effectively and economically so that the government acts transparently and in the public interest.
To strengthen the quality and impact of our work, we are part of a worldwide network of supreme audit institutions.
We are linked to each other by our common organisations professional standards and the same mission: the independent audit of government revenue and expenditure.
Through international cooperation, we nourish each other with knowledge and expertise.
Together, we carry out audits of cross-border issues such as air quality and banking supervision and we improve our techniques, such as data analytics.
We also strengthen one another by talking to each other about current affairs and dilemmas and we coach each other in audit methods and effective communication.
We stand up for each other if the independence of one of us is being compromised. 
Some audit institutions are firmly rooted in their societies.
Others are still young and are finding their feet but through international cooperation we help each other to be strong, dynamic and relevant.
This is how we contribute to sustainable development and good governance for people in the Netherlands and worldwide.

The world is becoming increasingly complex and public trust in government is declining. There are a growing number of cross-border policy challenges, fuelled by the COVID-19 crisis and climate change among other factors. In some countries, the independence of our peer supreme audit institutions (SAIs) is under pressure. At the same time, technological progress is creating new opportunities for SAIs, e.g. to perform more real-time and data-driven audits. Audits performed by SAIs are focusing  more and more on citizens and the social impact of policies. 

International cooperation is a two-way street

Two way street

By cooperating against this backdrop with peer audit institutions from all over the world, we can strengthen each other’s status, role and professional expertise, with the aid of shared principles, standards and guidelines. More informal, practice-orientated knowledge-sharing, either online or offline, offers us new opportunities to respond – rapidly and cost-effectively – to requests for support from our peer audit institutions, and to obtain new insights ourselves.

SDG Wheel

Our work is based on a multi-year international policy that aligned with our Trust in Accountability institutional strategy. Our international activities are legally enshrined in the Government Accounts Act of 2016 and the Kingdom Charter. The support provided to foreign SAIs is financed by different donors. Important foundations for our international activities are the United Nations (UN) Resolutions on Supreme Audit Institutions, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the international standards for supreme audit institutions (ISSAIs). In implementing our activities, we consciously target strategic partners from within and beyond the public sector.

Priorities in our international policy for 2021-2025

  1. Contributing towards the implementation of our strategic choices and the recommendations for improvement included in the Peer Review (2020);
  2. Strengthening the external audit function in the Netherlands and our partner countries: closing the accountability gap; and
  3. Investing in institutional learning from and innovation in international cooperation.

Online cooperation

We have gone fully digital in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We intend to use our experiences to go digital also as much as possible in our international cooperation activities, thereby increasing the impact and scope of our work while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint.

Our international work is coordinated by our International Affairs team. Expert staff from all corners of the organisation participate actively in performing these activities.