Modus Operandi of the Board

Standards of Auditing

The Board conducts its audits in conformity with the International Standards on Auditing. The audits are also conducted in accordance with the additional terms of reference set out in the annex to the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.

Financial and Compliance Auditing

The core responsibility of the Board is in relation to financial and compliance auditing. In this regard, the Board is required to, inter alia, ascertain whether:

Performance Auditing

The Board derives its mandate to conduct performance audits from the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations. In this regard, the Board may make observations with respect to the efficiency of the financial procedures, the accounting system, and the internal financial controls and, in general, the administration and management of the organization.

The results of performance audits are integrated with those of the financial and compliance audits and are reflected in the Board’s long-form reports to the General Assembly.

Rules of Procedure

The Board is guided in its work by Rules and Procedures of the Board.

Coordination with Other Oversight Bodies

Board members are also members of the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations, the Specialized Agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was established by the General Assembly in 1959 (Resolution 1438 (XIV)). Through annual meetings of the Panel, views and experiences are exchanged on technical matters with the objective of achieving as far as possible uniformity of practices and commonality of approaches.

The Board also interacts regularly with the Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) as well as other internal audit services of the United Nations system. This interaction takes the form of sharing of work plans, management letters and reports as well as regular meetings to discuss matters of common importance, the main objective being to ascertain the extent to which reliance can be placed on the work of the internal audit services and to avoid duplication of efforts. Similar interactions take place with the Joint Inspection Unit.

Audit Operations Committee

To enable the Board to discharge its mandate, an Audit Operations Committee (AOC) was established in 1976. Located at United Nations Headquarters, the AOC is composed of three full-time Directors of External Audit, each representing a member of the Board, as well as the Executive Secretary of the Board. The chairmanship of the Committee is rotated every two years among the Directors of External Audit, and is held by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for 2013-2014.

The current members of the Audit Operations Committee are:

Mr. Fransis Kitauli Mr. Fransis Kitauli
Director of External Audit
(The United Republic of Tanzania)
Mr. Hugh O'Farrell, Director of External Audit, (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Chairman Mr. Hugh O'Farrell
(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Mr. Long Zhang Mr. Long Zhang
Director of External Audit (People's Republic of China)

The AOC coordinates the work of the Board to ensure that professional standards are maintained. Co-ordination is achieved through:

Statements by Committee Members

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UN Familiarisation Programme conducted at India's National Audit Office, New Delhi (20-25 March)

The Audit Operations Committee of the UN Board of Auditors and Client representatives familiarised the staff of India's National Audit office on critical risks, risk mitigation strategies, UN regulations, rules, policies and procedures and audit approaches for some of the key entities in India's audit portfolio. This programme conducted from 20-25 March, at New Delhi was in preparation of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India assuming Board membership on 1 July 2014 for a six year tenure.

staff of India's National Audit office

Communication of Audit Findings

On completion of each audit, the Audit Operations Committee discusses the draft audit report prepared by the responsible Director of External Audit. The revised draft is then forwarded to the head of the organisation for comments. Based on the response received, the final report is prepared for consideration by the Board members.

The Board provide a long-form report and an audit opinion on the financial statements of each organization. These are submitted to the General Assembly or to other governing bodies along with the audited financial statements. The reports that are transmitted to the General Assembly are first examined by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions which forwards its own comments thereon to the General Assembly.

Published Reports

The Board produces some 30 reports over a 2-year cycle to the General Assembly. These reports are available to the public and can be accessed through this website.

Reports of the Board of Auditors

Other Publications

There are no other publications available at the time of update.

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