The United Nations Board of Auditors (the ‘Board’) established in 1946 by the General Assembly and comprised of the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions from three Member States, has for more than 60 years provided independent external audit services to the General Assembly. This has involved certifying the accounts of the UN and its funds and programmes, and providing reports covering a wide array of financial, managerial and value for money audits. The overarching goal of the Board is to use the unique perspective of public external audit to both help the General Assembly to hold UN entities to account for the use of public resources, and add value by identifying ways to improve the delivery of international public services.
The United Nations has, and continues to undergo major business transformation activities. The new Enterprise Resources Planning system in particular is at a critical juncture as management needs to address the issues stemming from the roll-out of foundation in peacekeeping and Special Political Missions, and plan the remaining rollouts on a more realistic basis.
The Board of Auditors fully recognises the vital role played by the UN and its funds, organisations and programmes in delivering their complex mandates often in environments that are extremely challenging, fluid and diverse.
Financial and related business management systems and control issues may, when significant, adversely affect the UN’s ability to control costs; ensure basic accountability; anticipate future costs and claims on the budget; measure performance; maintain funds control; prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse; address pressing management issues; and prepare auditable financial statements.
Without accurate, timely, and useful financial information, the UN potentially is severely hampered in making sound decisions affecting its operations. Further, to the extent that current budget constraints and fiscal pressures continue, the reliability of the UN’s financial information and ability to maintain effective accountability for its resources will be increasingly important to the UN’s ability to make sound resource allocation decisions. Effective financial management is also fundamental to achieving the UN’s broader business transformation goals.
My Board colleagues, Mr. Amyas Morse, Comptroller and Auditor General, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Mr. Shashi Kant Sharma, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, share my commitment to ensuring the Board achieves its aspirations. Reiterating from my immediate past Chairman - we are committed to working collaboratively in a fair and transparent manner with governing bodies, audit committees, oversight functions and administrations to deliver our mandate, while continuing to observe the highest professional and ethical standards.
Prof. Mussa Juma Assad
Controller and Auditor General,
The United Republic of Tanzania.
Chairman of United Nations Board of Auditors