The Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is the internal oversight body of the United Nations (UN). The Office assists the Secretary-General in fulfilling his oversight responsibilities in respect of the resources and staff of the Organization through the provision of internal audit, investigation, inspection and evaluation services.
The mandate of OIOS is derived from relevant General Assembly resolutions and decisions, including founding resolution 48/218 B of 29 July 1994.
The Office exercises operational independence under the authority of the Secretary-General in the conduct of its duties and, in accordance with Article 97 of the Charter, has the authority to initiate, carry out and report on any action which it considers necessary to fulfil its responsibilities.
The OIOS vision is a strong and accountable United Nations, fortified by world-class internal oversight. Our mission is to deliver objective oversight results that make a difference.
Our strategic priorities
The Office adopts a risk-based approach to the planning of its work, consulting with senior management (and other oversight bodies) to ensure that its activities focus on those areas of strategic importance or significant risk to the Organization and its mandates and goals.
For example, one area of priority focus for the Office has been organizational culture, particularly given its importance to the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reforms. The programme of work includes assignments that are either primarily focused on, or include within their scope, examination of questions related to organizational culture and its impact on the control environment, risk management, achievement of results, and misconduct within the Organization.
Similarly, the Office has continued to provide assessments, advice and recommendations to those entities that perform centralized, business-enabling functions, thus contributing to strengthening the “second line of defence” within the Organization.
The Office regularly communicates with management, and the respective audit committees, on the status of implementation of its work plan and on its assessment of risk and areas of focus.
The Office integrates a gender perspective in its operational activities, deliverables and results and is also committed to pursuing the goals of inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities and their rights, well-being and perspectives. The Office is also committed to environmental sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of its operations.
Through its audit, inspection and evaluation activities, the Office will also enhance its support for ensuring that United Nations entities are accountable for their performance with regard to gender diversity, the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their human rights, and environmental stewardship.
The internal auditing function is an independent and objective assurance and advisory activity designed to add value and improve the UN's operations. Internal audits help the UN to accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assess and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control processes.
The Inspection and Evaluation Division conducts independent assessments of UN work to help deliver better results, enable managers to learn and adapt, and provide public accountability for activities and resources. Our evaluations cover the normative, programmatic, and operational areas of the Organization.
We aim to foster greater transparency and accountability within the Organization. The Investigations Division strives to protect the human and financial resources of the UN by investigating, fraud, corruption, sexual exploitation and abuse and other misconduct in the workplace
Highlight of recent work
Evaluation Synthesis of Organizational Culture
11 June 2020
OIOS has recently published a synthesis review of its recent inspections and evaluations that provides an over-arching summary of key results and recommendations pertaining to the topic of Organizational culture.
This is the first of several anticipated OIOS-IED synthesis reports that will pull together evidence from different inspections and evaluations on topics of strategic importance to the United Nations Secretariat, in order to speak collectively on their relevance and impact on the critical work of the Organization. It is meant to facilitate a learning process by sharing trends and insights than can be helpful to senior leaders.
Key areas on which programme managers should focus to improve organizational culture include:
- Strengthen accountability through enhanced performance management
- Promoting greater teamwork and collaboration
- Exercising strong leadership through communicating a clear vision
- Paying close attention to staff morale
- Ensuring gender mainstreaming
Further detail can be found in the synthesis report.
Statistics as at 30 October 2020
OIOS impact | 2020 results
During 2020, OIOS issued 758 recommendations, contained in 415 reports, including those pertaining to peace operations.
100% of the 758 recommendations issued were accepted.
Links to relevant information
- Independent Audit Advisory Committee
- UNJSPB Audit Committee
- UNHCR Independent Audit and Oversight Committee
United Nations offices
- Ethics Office
- Office of the United Nations Ombudsman
- Office of Administration of Justice
- Special Coordinator on improving the UN response to SEA
- Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Prevention from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
- Departments within the United Nations Secretariat
- Structure of the United Nations System