14 October 2010
Press Release
ORG/1534

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Board of Auditors Holds Sixty-Fourth Session at Headquarters

 


The United Nations Board of Auditors held its sixty-fourth regular session during the period 19-21 July to review and approve the audit reports of the Board which are due to be tabled during the current session of the General Assembly and other legislative/governing bodies.


A total of 24 reports were discussed and approved, 18 of which will be deliberated upon in the coming days by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of the General Assembly.  The attached annex shows the list of entities audited and the related audit opinions issued compared with the previous biennium.


The detailed findings in the 18 reports are available through the United Nations Official Documents System (ODS) in all of the official languages of the United Nations.  These reports have already been examined by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), which will present its own report to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.


The matters of general concern contained in these reports relate mainly to:


-        The delay in the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which in the case the United Nations Secretariat has been pushed back from 2012 to 2014, mainly due to the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system not being in place.


-        Disclosure and funding of After-Service Health Insurance and end-of-service liabilities.  In organizations where the recording of liabilities led to negative equity, there is a risk that they may not be in a position to discharge their liabilities as and when they are due, unless funding strategies are in place to meet these liabilities.


-        The lack of uniformity in relation to nationally executed expenditure.  Some organizations account for cash transfers to implementing partners initially as advances while others treat them as expenditure.  Similarly, some organizations require third-party audit certificates to substantiate the expenditure while others do not.


-        Deficiencies in the management of expendable and non-expendable property, especially with regard to recordkeeping, periodic physical verifications, reconciliations, investigation of discrepancies, and taking prompt corrective action.


The Chairman of the Board, Terence Nombembe, stated today that:  “The Board’s reports highlight the many challenges and risks to effective financial management at the United Nations, in particular, in relation to the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).  We highlighted the need for the Organization to intensify its efforts to effect improvements so that the Board will be in a position to issue more favourable audit opinions and that such efforts can be sustained during the IPSAS implementation.”


For enquiries, please contact Swatantra A. Goolsarran, Executive Secretary at e-mail: goolsarrans@un.org, tel.: +1 212 963 5623, or visit the Board’s website at http://www.un.org/auditors/board.


ANNEX


List of Entities Audited and the Related Audit Opinions


Name of Organization

2008-2009

2006-2007

Unmodified opinion

Modified opinion

Unmodified opinion

Modified opinion


Qualified

Emphasis of matter


Qualified

Emphasis of matter

United Nations (Vol I)

X


X


ITC (UNCTAD/WTO)

X


X

UNU

X


X

UNDP

X


X


UNICEF

X


X


UNRWA


X

X


UNITAR

X


X


UNHCR (annual audit, 2009 compared with 2008)


X


X

X

UNEP


X


X

UNFPA


X

X


X

UN-Habitat


X


X

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

X


X


International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda


X


X

International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

X


X

UNJSPF


X

X


UNOPS

X


X

Capital Master Plan

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Concise Summary

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total

9

1

7

7

1

9


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For information media • not an official record