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Independent Audit Advisory Committee

Rules of Procedure

In paragraph 4 of the annex to its Resolution 61/275, the General Assembly indicated that the IAAC may adopt its own rules of procedure, which shall be communicated to the General Assembly.

At its first session in February 2008, the IAAC adopted its rules of procedure that would govern its operations. These rules supplement the terms of reference of the IAAC and shall be read in a manner consistent with those terms.

The IAAC agreed that it may review and amend those rules of procedure from time to time provided that they remain consistent with the terms of reference.

The following Rules of Procedure for the Independent Audit Advisory Committee were communicated to the General Assembly at its 63rd Session.

Adopted by the IAAC on 22 February 2008 at its First Session

I. BACKGROUND:

  1. The Rules of Procedure (Rules) are adopted by the Independent Audit Advisory Committee; hereinafter refer to as “the Committee”. These Rules supplement the Terms of Reference of the Committee and shall always be read together with and construed in a manner consistent with the Terms of Reference.

II. APPOINTMENT AND REPRESENTATION

  1. In accordance with Section II, Paragraphs 10 and 11 of the annex to General Assembly resolution 61/275, the members of the Committee shall be nominated by Member States, and shall be appointed by the General Assembly with due regard being paid to equitable geographic representation. All members of the Committee shall reflect the highest level of integrity and shall serve in their personal capacity, and in performing their duties they shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government. All members of the Committee must have recent and relevant senior level financial, audit, and/or oversight experience.
  2. The Committee members, selected in accordance with Section II of the Terms of Reference of the Committee, shall serve an initial term of three or four years and can be reappointed for a second and final term of three years. The members cannot delegate their duties and they cannot be represented by any other person in the sessions of the Committee.
  3. The Committee shall elect a Chairperson and one Vice-Chairperson for a one year renewable term commencing on 1 January of each year. Before the term ends, the members shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the next term.
  4. The Chairpersonship shall be automatically declared vacant if the Chairperson no longer holds membership in the Committee. The Chairpersonship may be declared vacant if the incumbent is disabled or otherwise unable to discharge his/her responsibilities for the balance of his/her term.
  5. In the case of a vacancy in the office of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the Office of the Chairperson until the expiration of his/her predecessor’s term of office. Members of the Committee shall appoint an acting Vice-Chairperson from among the other members of the Committee.
  6. In the event that the Vice- Chairperson ceases to hold membership of the Committee, the members of the Committee shall appoint another Vice- Chairperson from among the other members of the Committee. The Vice-Chairpersonship may be declared vacant if the incumbent is disabled or otherwise unable to discharge his/her responsibilities for the balance of the term.
  7. Under authority of the Committee, the Chairperson shall represent the Committee, shall attend hearings to respond to questions on the activities and findings of the Committee and shall serve as the Chief spokesperson of the Committee before the press or other key stakeholders based on input received from the Committee. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall act on behalf of the Chairperson.

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III. ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Independent Audit Advisory Committee, as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, serves in an expert advisory capacity and assists the Assembly in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities.
  2. The responsibilities of the Committee are to provide independent advice to the General Assembly on the scope, results, and effectiveness of audit as well as other oversight functions, especially the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS); and on measures to ensure the compliance of management with audit and other oversight recommendations; and on various risk management, internal control, operational, accounting and disclosure issues.

IV. PLAN OF ACTIVITIES

  1. The Organization of activities of the Committee shall be carried out on the basis of an annual work plan to be adopted at a formal session of the Committee.
  2. The plan of activities of the committee may include any of the following items:
    1. Advising the General Assembly on the scope, results and effectiveness of audit as well as other oversight functions;
    2. Advising the Assembly on measures to ensure the compliance of management with audit and other oversight recommendations;
    3. Examining the workplan of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, taking into account the workplans of the other oversight bodies, with the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services and to advise the Assembly thereon;
    4. Reviewing the budget proposal of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, taking into account its workplan, and making recommendations to the Assembly through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions; the formal report of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee should be made available to the Assembly and to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions prior to their consideration of the budget;
    5. Advising the Assembly on the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the audit activities and other oversight functions of the Office of Internal Oversight Services;
    6. Advising the Assembly on the quality and overall effectiveness of risk management procedures;
    7. Advising the Assembly on deficiencies in the internal control framework of the United Nations;
    8. Advising the Assembly on the operational implications for the United Nations of the issues and trends apparent in the financial statements of the Organization and the reports of the Board of Auditors;
    9. Advising the Assembly on the appropriateness of accounting policies and disclosure practices and assessing changes and risks in those policies;
    10. Advising the Assembly on steps to increase and facilitate cooperation among United Nations oversight bodies;
    11. Advising on any other items requested by the General Assembly.

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V. SESSIONS

  1. The Committee shall convene up to four times a year, in coordination with the relevant activities of the United Nations and the General Assembly and in accordance with Assembly resolutions on the pattern of conferences.
  2. The Committee may convene at such times and in such locations as may be necessary for the performance of its duties at the call of the Chairperson or at the request of any member of the Committee and as agreed to by the full Committee. Sessions of the Committee shall generally be held at least quarterly with due adherence to the maximum number of sessions each year as provided for in paragraph 4 of the Terms of Reference. The dates for sessions of the Committee are to be established by the Chairperson in consultation with the members.
  3. The members of the Committee shall normally receive the provisional agenda and accompanying documents for the session in question at least twenty-one calendar days before the session is held.
  4. The Committee shall normally hold closed sessions. The Committee may invite to its sessions individuals or parties as it deems appropriate, including representatives of the Secretariat of the United Nations, the representatives of the Board of Auditors, the Joint Inspection Unit and the representatives of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.
  5. Any three members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
  6. The Executive Secretary shall prepare the draft report of the sessions of the Committee and shall submit it for the review and approval of all Committee members.

VI. INFORMATION AND DECISIONS

  1. The Executive Secretary shall bring to the attention of the members of the Committee any information, communication, or reports, relevant to the Committee’s responsibilities.
  2. The Committee shall make every effort to arrive at its recommendations and advice by consensus. However, in the event that one of the members does not agree then such member shall have the right to briefly state his/her view in any related publication by the Committee. However, such a minority view is not binding on the Committee. A member unable to attend a session of the Committee may make his/her views on the matters to the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson to be considered in writing, or by way of telephone or video-conferencing.

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VII. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

  1. The Chairperson shall:
    1. Convene the sessions in accordance with Article V of these Rules;
    2. Present the provisional agenda for the session;
    3. Conduct the meetings of the session;
    4. Issue such correspondence on behalf of the Committee as may be required;
    5. Represent the Committee before such bodies, committees, etc. as may be required;
    6. Submit an annual report to the General Assembly on behalf of the Committee;
    7. Serve as the Chief spokesperson of the Committee.
  2. The Vice-Chairperson shall:
    1. Conduct the meetings during periods of absence of the Chairperson;
    2. Represent the Committee before such bodies, committees, etc. as the Chairperson may request;
    3. Assume the functions of the Chairperson in the event the Chairperson ceases to be a member of the Committee.

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VIII. AGENDA

  1. The Chairperson shall direct the preparation of the provisional agenda for each session after consulting with the other members of the Committee.
  2. Notwithstanding the general requirement that members receive at least twenty-one calendar days notice of the provisional agenda for each session, additional items shall be included on the provisional agenda of a session of the Committee, if a member requests the Chair to do so at least five days before the date set for the session.
  3. An item may be deleted from or added to the provisional agenda of a meeting during the meeting with the unanimous approval of all members.
  4. At the beginning of each session, the committee shall adopt the agenda for its session which shall include approval of the minutes of the prior session.

IX. THE SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE

  1. The full-time Executive-Secretary of the Committee, provided by the Department of Management in the United Nations Secretariat shall:
    1. Maintain the minutes and other official records of the Committee which shall remain in his/her office at United Nations Headquarters;
    2. Assist the Chairperson in the preparation of the agenda, other correspondence, and technical papers for discussion during the session;
    3. Conduct research and in-depth analysis of the key issues most relevant to the work of the Committee;
    4. Write reports and present information based on the research and analysis conducted;
    5. Prepare the drafts of the session’s minutes and circulate them to all members for approval at the next meeting of the Committee;
    6. Distribute the session’s final minutes;
    7. Keep the Committee informed of developments in the United Nations which may include such items as policy decisions, decisions of the intergovernmental bodies, discussions by expert bodies, etc. that relate to the work of the Committee;
    8. Promptly provide members with any information or documents needed to allow members to make complete and accurate reports on the Committee’s work to the General Assembly;
    9. Prepare briefing notes for the Chairperson of the Committee;
    10. Draft the Committee’s annual report to the General Assembly containing the advice of the Committee to the General Assembly, and describing its work in discharging its responsibilities; and submit the draft report for review and approval of all Committee members;
    11. Maintain liaison with management, with key personnel of entities that audit the United Nations Secretariat and with the Secretariats of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, the Fifth Committee, the Joint Inspection Unit, and the Committee for Programme Coordination;
    12. Take the necessary steps to ensure that the physical arrangements such as conference rooms, interpretation services, etc. are available;
    13. Ensure the effective management of the Committee Secretariat office including maintaining a reference library of documentation on audit/oversight related administrative and budgetary matters;
    14. Ensure that the Secretariat makes timely travel arrangements for travel of Committee members and for timely reimbursements relating thereto;
    15. Such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Chairperson in consultation with other members of the Committee.

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X. OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE COMMITTEE

  1. Each member will promptly circulate among members of the Committee, communications related to the functions of the Committee, which he/she either receives or originates.
  2. If a Committee decision is required between sessions, and in the opinion of the Chairperson a special session is not required, but the consent of the members is needed, the Chairperson may solicit the views of the members by direct communication and give effect to the opinion as a Committee decision.
  3. The Committee shall determine the manner and form of its formal communications to the General Assembly, the Secretary-General and other parties. Such communications shall be subject to the requirements prescribed by the Terms of Reference and in accordance with the General Assembly Rules and guidelines on documentation. To the extent possible and appropriate, the Committee shall take responsible and practical steps to informally communicate its findings and conclusions to any directly affected parties prior to publication of any formal Committee communication.

XI. DISCLOSURE

  1. The Committee Secretariat, observers or any third person who have been invited by the Committee to attend its sessions shall not make any document or information public without the Committee’s prior authorization.
  2. Any Committee member reporting on the Committee’s work shall ensure that confidential materials are secured and shall keep other members adequately informed.

XII. MISCELLANEOUS

  1. The Committee may amend these Rules of Procedure, consistent with the Terms of Reference.

Source: A/63/328

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