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Rules of Procedure of the Panel

Adopted on 27 November 1967 at its 10th Regular Session
Amended on 10 December 2012 at the Fifty-third (2012) Regular Panel Session in New York


1. In accordance with paragraph 1 of the Annex to General Assembly resolution 1438 (XIV) the members of the United Nations Board of Auditors and the appointed external auditors of the specialized agencies and of the International Atomic Energy Agency shall constitute the Panel of External Auditors, hereafter referred to as the Panel.

2. Except as otherwise provided in para 32,,in the event that a member ceases to be a member of the UN Board of Auditors or the appointed external auditor of a specialized agency and the IAEA, his membership in the Panel automatically terminates.

3. The vacancy thus created will be filled by the newly appointed member of the UN Board of Auditors or the newly appointed external auditor of the specialized agency and the IAEA as the case may be.


4. The objective of the Panel shall be to further the co-ordination of the audits for which its members are responsible and to exchange information on methods and findings. The Panel may also submit to the executive heads of the participating organizations its opinion, observation or recommendation, on matters within its competence for their guidance and in an effort to achieve a greater degree of uniformity of audit standards and use of accounting principles within the UN family of organizations. Additionally, the executive heads of the participating organizations may, through their auditor (or auditors), submit requests to the Panel for its advice or opinion.


5. The Panel shall determine the frequency of its regular sessions and in any event such sessions shall be held at least once each year. The dates for these sessions are to be established by the Chairman in consultation with the members.

6. The Panel may be convened for a special session at such other times as a need for the Panel’s attention arises. In such cases the Chairman will communicate the reasons for such a session to the members and request their opinion on whether or not meetings should be held. If the Chairman receives a majority vote in the affirmative he will fix a date and place for the special session in accordance with the principles of Article 9.

7. A member who is unable to attend a session may be represented by a proxy nominated by him in writing to the Chairman.
8. A simple majority of the members and duly appointed representatives shall constitute a quorum at all sessions. Each member, or duly appointed representative, shall be entitled to one vote. When the votes are equally divided the proposal is to be dropped.

9. Sessions shall be held wherever the members decide after giving due consideration to such factors as economy and the convenience of the members.

10. The meetings of the Panel shall be closed. However the Panel members may be accompanied by members of their staffs. The Chairman may also invite such other persons to attend as may be desirable during the consideration of a particular item of business.


11. The officers of the Panel shall be a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman. These officers shall be elected by the members at the end of each regular session to serve until the end of the next regular session.

12. The offices of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Panel shall at all times be held by a member of the UN Board of Auditors and by the external auditor of a specialized agency and the IAEA.

13. The Chairmanship shall be automatically declared vacant if the Chairman no longer holds membership in the Panel.

14. In the case of a vacancy in the Office of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall assume the Office of Chairman until the expiration of his predecessor’s term of office and shall appoint an Acting Vice-Chairman from among the other Panel members; guided by the policy provisions of Article 12 of these Rules of Procedure until an election may be held.

15. In the event that the Vice-Chairman ceases to hold membership in the Panel the Chairman may designate an Acting Vice-Chairman as provided in Article 14 above from among the other Panel members.


16. The Chairman shall: (a) Convene the sessions in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of these rules; (b) present the provisional agenda for the session; (c) conduct the meetings of the session; (d) issue such correspondence on behalf of the Panel as may be required; (e) represent the Panel before such bodies, committees, executive heads, etc. as may be required; (f) appoint members to such Panel committees as considered necessary.

17. The Vice-Chairman shall: (a) Conduct the meetings during periods of absence of the Chairman; (b) represent the Panel before such bodies, committees, executive reads, etc. as the Chairman may request; (c) assume the functions of Chairman in the event the Chairman ceases to be a member of the Panel.


18. The full-time Secretary of the UN Board of Auditors, provided from the Office of the Controller in the UN Secretariat, shall also serve as Secretary of the Panel.

19. The duties of the Secretary are: (a) To maintain the official records of the Panel which shall remain in his office at the UN Headquarters; (b) assist the Chairman in the preparation of the Agenda, Chairman’s Memoranda and technical working papers for discussion during the session; (c) take the necessary steps to ensure that the physical arrangements such as conference room, interpretation services, etc. are available; (d) prepare the drafts of the session’s confidential summary record and the sessions report for approval by the Chairman and the Panel members; (e) keep the Chairman informed of such developments at UN Headquarters as policy decisions, General Assembly, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and Administrative Committee on Co-ordination, etc., actions on matters of interest to the Panel; (f) circulate the various annual audit reports, the Chairman’s Memoranda, working papers and other pertinent documentation to the members; (g) maintain liaison with various bodies such as the Joint Inspection Unit and arrange such meetings with key personnel as the Chairman requests.

20. In case the Secretary is not able to perform his duties, the Chairman will arrange through the Office of the UN Controller for a temporary Secretary until the full-time Secretary can resume his duties or a new appointment is made, as the case may be.


21. Each member shall advise the Chairman, before the date established by the Chairman and communicated to the members in his Memoranda of items that he proposes should be included on the agenda of the regular meeting of the Panel. Whenever necessary or practicable, explanatory notes should be provided in order that members may appreciate the purpose and scope of the item. The Chairman shall, not less than 30 days before the date fixed for the regular meeting, transmit to the members a provisional agenda for the meeting, which also shows the place and time of the meeting.

22. Additional items may be proposed for the agenda during the session and may be included therein at the time when this is proposed.


23. As a rule, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be the Panel’s representatives, but if for any reason it is impracticable for them to represent the Panel at any conference or meeting. the Chairman may designate a member to represent the Panel. This rule of procedure shall not be construed as restricting the right of any member to attend any such conference or meeting, and it shall be the duty of the Chairman to give notice to all members of the Panel of any such conference or meeting.

24. Whenever the Panel is represented before a committee or other body, it shall be the duty of the representative to make forthwith a report to any member not present.


25. Unless duly authorized by the Panel so to do, no understanding given by any member shall be binding on the Panel.

26. Each member will promptly circulate among members of the Panel communications which he either receives or originates having relationship to functions of the Panel.

27. No opinion, observation or recommendation of the Panel resulting from the meetings shall be transmitted or published in any form other than that agreed upon by a majority of the members present at the session.

28. In the event that a member dissents from a decision, opinion, recommendation or conclusion of the majority of the Panel, he may:

  1. Request that the fact of his dissent be officially noted in the summary records of the Panel; and/or
  2. Request that, in addition, the reasons for his dissent be recorded in the records of the Panel; and/or
  3. Set out in the Panel’s report, with a statement of reasons, the fact that he is not in agreement with the consensus with respect to the particular matter; and, regardless of the mode he selects to record his dissent, the other members shall so conduct themselves that his view is fairly represented in the event of any question arising with respect to the matter.

29. If a Panel decision is required between sessions and in the opinion of the Chairman a special session is not required, but the consent of the members is needed the Chairman may solicit the views of the members by direct communication and give effect to the majority opinion as a Panel decision.

30. Unless otherwise directed by the Panel, communications to each organization shall be transmitted over the signature of the member who is the auditor (or an auditor) of the organization.


31. Panel members that cease to perform the functions of external auditors of UN agencies would like to preserve their link with the Panel as Observers. It helps the existing and incoming Panel Members in learning from their experiences, transfers institutional knowledge seamlessly and prevents the exiting Panel members from losing their knowledge of the UN and related auditing standards.

32. Panel members that cease their external audit functions are therefore granted an Observer status for a limited duration of three years after the cessation of their membership. In the role of Observers, they will participate fully in the Panel meetings but shall not exercise voting rights.