The Technical Commission on Good Governance Practices (CTPBG) of the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions virtually presented the panel discussion “Strengthening Internal Communication in SAIs of OLACEFS,” in two meetings held on July 8 and 15.

The 2-day virtual event was held with the main objective of sharing experiences and internal communication processes of the organizations in the region, taking advantage of the opportunity to present the documents that the CTPBG prepared, so that each member can validate and put them into practice.

The President of the General Audit Office of the Nation of Argentina and the CTPBG, Mr. Jesús Rodríguez, welcomed the participants and opened the first day. Miriam Insausti, technical liaison of the CTPBG; the managers of the Commission’s internal communication project, Mónica Britos and Ethel Ockier; and the head of the Press and Communication Department, Danila Terragno, also participated. The first meeting was attended by representatives from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Curaçao, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic; and the second by Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.

On the first day, the President of the Commission, Jesús Rodriguez, celebrated the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge about Internal Communication in Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), highlighting its importance in these pandemic times, when most entities carry out their work remotely. “For several years, this Committee has been promoting the approach and improvements in external communication to be accountable to citizens and stakeholders. Today we are committed to advancing and improving this communication based on the Citizen Information Availability Index (IDIGI),” and he added “we also need to work on communication within organizations, share good practices, identify positive experiences and learn from the experiences of others.”

On the other hand, Terragno from the AGN said at the panel discussion that “it is essential that the people who are involved in the day-to-day work with Internal Communication, or who want to develop it and still do not have it in their SAIs, are the ones who participate in this process and who then generate the material to share and disseminate.”

Britos explained the internal communication process in the AGN and the work experience in the CTPBG “for us this meeting was fundamental, since the communication managers of each institution have to try to reflect, think and systematize our work tools (…). When we present them with the Audience Segmentation Guide, they will see that there is a continuity of work; we believe it is important to take advantage of all the resources, even at the regional level.”

The Guide was projected, and Ockier explained the importance of audience segmentation “at the beginning of the project, we had worked with a segmentation of incipient audiences (…) and we only determined who our strategic partners were and developed communication tools from there. Now we believe it is necessary to take another step and, therefore, necessary to give it a regional framework.” He proposed a novel idea that supports the Internal Communication: “the internal public are the ones who know the task of the SAIs; therefore, they must be the first ambassadors of the task of these organizations.”

After a very productive exchange between the communication managers of the participating SAIs, Insausti invited them to look at the organization itself, identify the good practices, which surely exist, and share them. In this way, from the Commission, a Toolbox of Good Internal Communication Practices will be set up, available to be used by those who need them in due course.

On both days, the representatives of the participating SAIs took the floor. Each one detailed the different internal communication initiatives that were carried out in the context of the pandemic, expressing the particularities and differences that each organization found according to the uses and customs of each society. In particular, he emphasized the difficulties regarding the attempts to implement the “Whatsapp” personal messaging system for internal communication.

Britos invited each of the participants to maintain the dialogue and the proposals because the challenge of internal communication is constant and necessary for the work teams and, hence, for society.

Finally, Insausti, in her capacity as technical liaison for the Commission, closed the meeting, urging the creation of a community where work and collective construction are present, in order to contribute to the transparency and institutional quality of our organizations.