Background

Recognizing the need for joint audits, since 2007, the network of UN internal audit services (UN-RIAS) developed and implemented several frameworks for joint internal audits (Multi-Donor Trust Funds, Joint programming, HACT and Delivering as One programmes).

The framework for joint internal audits of Delivering as One is the most integrated one, with a joint team composed of auditors from various participating organizations, focusing on all components of Delivering as One: One Programme, One Fund, One Leader, One Office and One Voice; and a single audit report issued to the Chair of the UN Country Team and the Chair of the UN Development Group.

A pilot joint audit of the Delivering as One programme in Tanzania was conducted in February 2012 (with a report issued in November 2012). The lessons learned were discussed at the UN-RIAS meeting in September 2012 and another two Delivering as One audits are planned for 2013

Discussion

The experience so far has proved to be very valuable to audit areas that cannot be addressed through audits by individual internal audit services, such as the governance of the UN Country Team (UNCT), joint programming, and harmonization of processes. The audit field work has been/is planned to be undertaken by joint teams of internal audit services staff.   All audit services participate as members of the team through a steering committee which oversees the audit from planning through reporting.  However as the team deployed in the field cannot practically include auditors representing all participating agencies, some of the work must be delegated by some internal services to auditors of other agencies.

UN-RIAS called for collaboration of the HLCM on ensuring meaningful scope of the joint audit exercises and efficient implementation of field visits by small audit teams acting on behalf of all participating internal audit services, and in promoting communication on the joint audit concept with UN Country Teams.

Action

Took note with appreciation of the briefing on joint internal audits and welcomed the offer by UN-RIAS to provide its professional support to the implementation of the relevant areas of the HLCM Strategic Plan, as well as its commitment to further consider enhancing its joint audit approach for Delivering as One programmes, for Multi-Donor Trust Funds and joint programmes.