2008/37
Internal audit and oversight (UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS)

The Executive Board


1.     Recalls its previous decisions concerning internal audit and oversight in UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS, including 2006/13, 2007/29, 2007/44, 2008/8 and 2008/13; and recalls General Assembly resolution 59/272;

2.     Notes with appreciation the efforts of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS to strengthen management, accountability, oversight and transparency in a harmonized and standardized way;

3.     Takes note of the report on the UNDP accountability system (DP/2008/16/Rev.1) and approves the accountability framework and oversight policy contained therein, subject to the provisions of this decision;

4.     Also takes note of the report on the UNFPA oversight policy (DP/FPA/2008/14) and approves the oversight policy contained therein, subject to the provisions of this decision;

5.     Further takes note of the report on the UNOPS accountability and oversight policies (DP/2008/55) and approves the accountability framework and oversight policies set out therein, subject to the provisions of this decision;

6.     Reaffirms the operational independence of all oversight mechanisms, including those related to audit, oversight and ethics;

7.     Underscores the importance of Executive Board oversight and recognizes that nothing in the above-mentioned reports should restrict the authority of the Executive Board, as set out in its Rules of Procedure;

8.     Underlines the importance of enhanced results-based management for the accountability of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS to States members of the United Nations;

9.     Urges the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UNOPS, in appointing (a) members of their Audit Advisory Committees; (b) directors of their Ethics Offices; and (c) directors of the UNDP Office of Audit and Investigations and the UNFPA Division for Oversight Services, and the Head of the UNOPS Internal Audit Office; while applying existing guidelines, to ensure the avoidance of conflicts of interest;

10.     Decides that the Ethics Office of UNDP should submit a report to the Executive Board at its annual session;

11.     Reaffirms the prerogative of the Executive Board to approve country programmes, and also reaffirms the importance of continuity in supporting programme countries, and underscores the value of internal audit reports as management tools to improve the capacity of country offices;

12.     Decides, after taking into consideration the views expressed by the members of the Executive Board, that the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UNOPS may disclose internal audit reports to Member States in accordance with the relevant provisions stipulated in documents DP/2008/16/Rev.1, DP/FPA/2008/14 and DP/2008/55, and in accordance with the provisions of this decision, exercising the greatest extent of discretion and protecting the legitimate rights of the programme country;

13.     Requests the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UNOPS to immediately inform the Executive Board and the concerned Government of the request for internal audit reports, prior to disclosure, with a copy of the request provided by the requesting party, and to provide the concerned Government with adequate time to view and comment on the report;

14.     Reaffirms that information disclosed shall be kept confidential, and that written requests for access to internal audit reports should include the reason and purpose for the request and an affirmation to adhere to the procedures of disclosure, as stipulated in documents DP/2008/16/Rev.1, DP/FPA/2008/14 and DP/2008/55;

15.     Requests UNFPA to provide the Executive Board with the annual report of the Audit Advisory Committee and the management response thereto, as annexes to the annual report on internal audit and oversight;

16.     Requests UNOPS to provide the Executive Board with an annual report from the Strategy and Audit and Advisory Committees, and the management response thereto, as annexes to the annual report on internal audit and oversight;

17.     Requests the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UNOPS to orally report on the implementation of this decision at the second regular session 2009 of the Executive Board;

18.     Requests the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UNOPS to submit, for consideration by the Executive Board, at its annual session 2010, a report on the implementation of this decision, including, inter alia, the number of requests for internal audit reports; the conclusions of reviews by the Audit Advisory Committees of the implementation of this decision, including audit information redacted or withheld from disclosure; and confirmation of adherence to the principle of confidentiality for audit information disclosed to members of the Executive Board.

19 September 2008