IAD at Work

The Internal Audit Division (IAD) provides assurance services to all United Nations activities under the Secretary-General’s authority. IAD currently has approximately 90 clients comprising of the United Nations Secretariat, five regional commissions, select funds and programmes and other United Nations entities.

Through its audit reports, IAD provides transparency regarding the operations of the United Nations while also continuing to provide assurance and reporting to management to encourage improved economy and effectiveness in the management of United Nations operations and activities.

IAD uses a risk-based approach in developing its audit work plan. The purpose of risk-based work planning is to ensure that IAD assignments are directed at areas where achievement of the United Nations objectives is at higher risk. Risk-based annual work plans enable IAD to focus on how well the United Nations is managing major risks, rather than targeting audits at areas of suspected weaknesses.  Each year, IAD undertakes an annual risk assessment exercise to validate and up-date the audit universe to consider new and emerging risks. IAD takes into account the United Nations enterprise risk management framework and consults with management and other relevant stakeholders in developing the plan.

In conducting its work, IAD is guided by the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). IAD auditors are expected to be familiar with the IIA Standards and to ensure that their work is in accordance with them.

As part of its efforts to continue improving its processes and services and to comply with the IIA Standards, the Division has implemented a robust Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme.  It is designed to provide reasonable assurance to the various stakeholders of the internal audit activity that IAD: (i) performs its work to a standard which is consistent with the IIA; (ii) operates in an effective and efficient manner; and (iii) is perceived by stakeholders as adding value and improving its operations.  The programme provides continuous review and improvement to audit practices and enhanced control over audit performance through ongoing and periodic internal and periodic external assessments.

IAD has established a number of performance metrics not only to ensure that it delivers on its mandate, strategy and goals, but also to enhance internal control over audit processes and to measure the outcome and impact of its activities on the Organization. Under this system IAD measures its own performance under four perspectives: internal audit processes, management, audit committee, and staff.