The audit of UN Women activities is carried out by UN Women’s external and/or internal auditors:
- External audit: fulfilled by the United Nations Board of Auditors (BoA); and
- Internal audit: assigned to the Internal Audit Service (IAS) of the Office of Independent Evaluation and Audit effective 1 January 2018. (Note: Prior to 2018, the Office of Audit and Investigations [OAI] of UNDP had been designated as the service provider of internal audit services to UN Women.)
The UN Board of Auditors was established by the General Assembly in 1946 to carry out the external audit of the accounts of the United Nations organization and its funds and programmes. The Board’s report on the UN Women financial statements is a public document; it is presented to the General Assembly through the Fifth Committee and after review and advice by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The UN Board of Auditors’ report on UN Women financial statements is also presented to the UN Women Executive Board.
As defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA): “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.”
The Internal Audit Service (IAS) of Office of Independent Evaluation and Audit is responsible for conducting internal audits of UN Women and reports on them to the Executive Director. IAS also submits to the UN Women Audit Advisory Committee (AAC), for review and advice, its strategy, workplans, budget situations and periodic progress reports. In addition, every year IAS prepares a report on internal audit activities, which summarizes significant observations from audits undertaken during the year. This report is presented to the UN Women Executive Board at its annual session in June. (For more information, see “Disclosure of Internal Audit Reports.”)
The Charter sets out the purpose, authority, policies and procedures that shall be applied in the operations of the Office of Independent Evaluation and Audit (OIEA) of UN Women.
Audit Advisory Committee
A five-member Audit Advisory Committee (AAC) is established to advise the Executive Director in fulfilling her responsibilities regarding oversight, financial management and reporting, internal audit and investigation, external audit, risk management, and systems of internal control and accountability. (See the AAC Terms of Reference.)