Terms of Reference and Criteria for Membership in the Independent Audit Advisory Committee

Role

  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.

Responsibilities

  1. The responsibilities of the Committee are:
    1. General

      1. To advise the General Assembly on the scope, results and effectiveness of audit as well as other oversight functions;
      2. To advise the Assembly on measures to ensure the compliance of management with audit and other oversight recommendations;
    2. Internal oversight

      1. To examine 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;
      2. To review the budget proposal of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, taking into account its workplan, and to make 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;
      3. To advise the Assembly on the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the audit activities and other oversight functions of the Office of Internal Oversight Services;
    3. Management of risk and internal controls

      1. To advise the Assembly on the quality and overall effectiveness of risk management procedures;
      2. To advise the Assembly on deficiencies in the internal control framework of the United Nations;
    4. Financial reporting

      1. To advise 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;
      2. To advise the Assembly on the appropriateness of accounting policies and disclosure practices and to assess changes and risks in those policies;
    5. Other

      1. To advise the Assembly on steps to increase and facilitate cooperation among United Nations oversight bodies.

Membership

  1. The Committee shall comprise five members, no two of whom shall be nationals of the same State, appointed by the General Assembly on the basis of equitable geographical representation, personal qualifications and experience.

Meetings and reporting

  1. The Committee may adopt its own rules of procedure, which shall be communicated to the General Assembly. The Committee shall meet up to four times a year, in coordination with the relevant activities of the United Nations and the Assembly and in accordance with Assembly resolutions on the pattern of conferences. The Committee shall work on the basis of consensus. Any three members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
  2. The Committee shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly containing its advice. The Committee shall also report key findings and matters of importance to the Assembly at any time. The Chairperson of the Committee shall attend hearings to respond to questions on the activities and findings of the Committee.

Conditions of service

  1. The members of the Committee shall receive a per diem and shall be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred to attend the sessions of the Committee.
  2. The members of the Committee shall be appointed and shall serve for three years, and can be reappointed for a second and final term of three years, with the exception of two of the initial five members of the Committee, who shall be appointed by drawing of lots to serve for four years.

Review of the terms of reference 

  1. The terms of reference and mandate of the Committee shall be subject to review by the General Assembly.

Secretariat support

  1. The Committee shall be supported by a dedicated secretariat that will operate with autonomy similar to that of the secretariats of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and the International Civil Service Commission.

Criteria for membership

 

Experience, qualifications and independence

  1. 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. They shall be independent of the Board of Auditors, the Joint Inspection Unit and the Secretariat and shall not hold any position or engage in any activity that could impair their independence from the Secretariat or from companies that maintain a business relationship with the United Nations, in fact or perception.
  2. All members of the Committee must have recent and relevant senior-level financial, audit and/or other oversight-related experience. Such experience should reflect, to the extent possible:
        (a)   Experience in preparing, auditing, analysing or evaluating financial statements that present a breadth and level of complexity of accounting issues that are generally comparable to the breadth and complexity of issues faced by the United Nations, including an understanding of relevant accepted accounting principles;
        (b)    An understanding of and, if possible, relevant experience in the inspection, monitoring and evaluation and investigative processes;
        (c)    An understanding of internal control, risk management and procedures for financial reporting;
        (d)    A general understanding of the organization, structure and functioning of the United Nations.
     
  3. Former senior United Nations Secretariat officials shall not be eligible for appointment to the Committee for five years following their separation from service. The members of the Committee shall not be eligible for appointment in the Secretariat for  five years following  the expiry of their terms.

Identification and selection

  1. Members of the Committee shall be nominated by Member States and shall be appointed by the General Assembly, preferably from a compendium of at least ten suitably qualified candidates, with due regard being paid to equitable geographic representation. Before nominating candidates, Member States are recommended to evaluate their candidates and attest to their qualifications on the basis of paragraph 11 above on the criteria for membership in the Committee through consultation with an international organization with relevant expertise in the functions performed by audit and oversight organizations, such as the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, and to make this information available to Member States.

Source: A/RES/61/275