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:
- The financial statements present fairly the financial position as at the end of the period and the results of operations for the period then ended;
- The financial statements were prepared in accordance with the stated accounting principles;
- The accounting principles were applied on a basis consistent with those of the preceding financial period; and
- Transactions were in accordance with the Financial Regulations and legislative authority.
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
Director of External Audit
(The United Republic of Tanzania)
Chairman Mr. Hugh O'Farrell
(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
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:
- Review of audit plans, management letters and reports;
- Horizontal reviews of specific topics; and
- Quality assurance reviews.
- Opening statement by Mr. Yu Liu to the Fifth Committee on the Report of the Board of Auditors on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations for the year ended June 2011
- Opening statement by Mr. Hugh O’Farrell, Director of External Audit (United Kingdom) on behalf of the Audit Operations Committee to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on the Report of the Board of Auditors on the Capital Master Plan for the year ended 31 December 2010
- Opening statement by Mr. Liu Yu, Director of External Audit (China) and Chairman of the Audit Operations Committee on 2 May 2011 at the Fifth Committee on the Report of the Board of Auditors on the audit of the financial statements of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations for the year ended 30 June 2010
- Opening statement by Mr. Liu Yu, Director of External Audit (China) and Chairman of the Audit Operations Committee on 8 March 2011 at the Fifth Committee on the Capital Master Plan for the year ended 31 December 2009
- Remarks by Mr. Terence Nombembe, Chairman of the Board of Auditors to the Fifth Committee on 10 November 2010
- Opening remarks to the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on 20 September 2010 by Mr. Imran Vanker, Director, External Audit, South Africa and Chairman, Audit Operations Committee, United Nations Board of Auditors
- Opening remarks by Mr. Imran Vanker at ACABQ on behalf of the Audit Operations Committee during September 2009 in connection with the reports of the Board of Auditors for the year ended 31th December 2008 (UNHCR, CMP and status of recommendations)
- Opening remarks at Fifth Committee by Mr. Imran Vanker on behalf of Audit Operations Committee of the Board of Auditors, Tuesday 12th May 2009, in connection with the Report of the Board of Auditors on Peacekeeping Operations for the year ended 30th June 2008
- Opening remarks by Mr. Imran Vanker, Chairman of the Audit Operations Committee introducing the board’s report on the Capital Master Plan (A/63/5 (VOL.V), Wednesday, 4th March 2009
- Opening remarks by Mr. Imran Vanker on behalf of Audit Operations Committee on Tuesday 17th February 2009 in connection with advance copy of the Report of the Board of Auditors on Peacekeeping Operations for the year ended 30th June 2008
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.
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
There are no other publications available at the time of update.