Thèmes - Audit

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Cote Thèmes Année
A/55/487 10. The Advisory Committee holds the view that the administations concerned should no longer be allowed to believe that qualified audit opinions are a normal feature of the audit functions. Matters that led to a qualified audit opinion should be regarded as very seious issue in the financial health of the audited UN entity. These matters warrant immediate appropriate attention and remedy on a priority basis. 11. The issuance of a qualified audit opinion and consequent deferral of approval of the related accounts by the General Assembly may have an important effect on operations. The Committee is therefore of the opinion that, wherever the Board of Auditors has qualified the financial statements and accounts of an audited administration, the Secretary-General should bring the matter to the attention of the respective governing body to allow that body to take the necessary measures in the context of accountability requirements in circumstances when the head of the administration fails to remedy the situation which gave rise to the qualified audit opinion. 12. The Advisory Committee has noted with concern a new trend whereby some administrations are now considering or have considered amending the applicable regulations or rules in order to avoid implementing the recommendations of the Board of Auditors. 13. The Committee welcomes the horizontal audit of procurement activities and notes with concern that procurement management in a number of funds and programmes has deteriorated. In view of the level of resources involved, the Committee requests that all affected administrations and, as appropriate, their governing bodies, should address urgently the weaknesses identified in the respective reports of the Board of Auditors. The Committee welcomes the use of the Internet for procurement and recommends that this experience should be shared by all entities of the United Nations system, in particular its funds and programmes. The Committee recommends also that efforts should be made to share the best practices and reforms in procurement that are currently available in some entities of the United Nations system of organizations (see A/55/458). 14. The Advisory Committee welcomes the increasing practice of expanding performance audits and encourages the organizations to continue to develop and improve performance measurement standards that could facilitate the task of the audit in assessing programme performance and achievement of objectives and mandates. In this connection, the Committee requests the Board of Auditors to pay particular attention to reported expenditures and their relationship to programme delivery.

14.The Advisory Committee commends the Board of Auditors for consolidating into one comprehensive report its three separate reports on the implementation of recommendations; namely, two by the Secretary-General regarding the United Nations Secretariat, funds and programmes and one by the Board, following the Committee’s recommendation and subsequent General Assembly resolution 58/249A of 23 December 2003.

15.The Committee believes that further improvements can be made, in particular with a view to the overall format. As noted in para. 12 above, the Committee believes that categories regarding the status of recommendations should be expanded to provide more transparency to all users, including the Administrations of the audited entities. Furthermore, the wide range of work done by the Board could be better reflected in a more reader-friendly report structure, including cross-referencing; with a view to cross-cutting issues, thought could also be given to grouping recommendations by topic. The Committee notes that, to-date, only two Administrations (UNHCR and UNICEF) issue official reports responding to external audit findings. In this respect, the Committee notes that the report issued by UNICEF ((E/ICEF/2005/AB/L.6) specifies the responsible officer for implementation. The Committee commends this approach and would welcome a similar approach by the Board, i.e. a specific departmental assignment of implementation responsibility instead of general organizational responsibility. The Committee believes that the General Assembly may wish to encourage other audited entities to provide the same type of formal feedback but that such reports by various Administrations should be consolidated into the report of the Board, consistent with the consolidation of the implementation reports of the Secretary-General, referred to above.

16. What is needed is one comprehensive report on implementation. The focal point for the preparation of such a report should be the Board which should integrate the information supplied by the Administrations with its own comments and views.

17. It should be recalled that while the Board has an interest in ensuring the implementation of its recommendations, primary responsibility for implementation rests with the Administrations of the audited entities. Where the Board has felt the need to reiterate a recommendation, the full background (including reasons for delays) should be given and a time frame should be specified for implementation.

18.There should also be a systematic analysis of the impact of the Board’s recommendations, as implemented, on the audited entities concerned.

19.Findings made by the Board of Auditors are most useful during the Advisory Committee’s consideration of budget presentation by various United Nations entities. Therefore, the Committee requests that the Board endeavor to submit its report on the implementation of recommendations early in the second quarter of a calendar year, particularly during odd-numbered years when the Committee discusses the regular budget for the following biennium during its May to July session.

A/60/7/Add.23 17.The Advisory Committee points out that the proposed independent audit advisory committee is to be an integral part of governance arrangements at the United Nations, which would include a previously established internal oversight committee. The findings of the governance review could have a significant impact on the functions, mandate and terms of reference of the proposed committee. The Committee therefore recommends that the creation of the independent audit advisory committee and the elaboration of its terms of reference be deferred until the governance review is completed. 2005
A/60/7/Add.23 18.The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that the establishment of operational and budgetary independence for OIOS is of utmost importance and that it does not depend on the creation of an independent audit advisory committee. Accordingly, the General Assembly may wish to request that the evaluation proposed in the report of the Secretary-General (see A/60/568, annex II, sect. II, para. 5 (c) (iii)) be expedited so that the requisite operational and budgetary independence of OIOS can be ensured. Until this has been completed, the Assembly, as an interim measure, may wish to authorize OIOS to submit its budget to the Assembly through the Committee. This is particularly relevant given the fact that a revised budget proposal for OIOS for 2006-2007, reflecting the approach of the recently appointed Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, is to be presented during the resumed sixtieth session. 2005