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United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government 
Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate: 

September 2011: 

UN Internal Oversight: 

Progress Made on Independence and Staffing Issues, but Further Actions 
Are Needed: 

GAO-11-871: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-11-871, a report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on 
Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the 
District of Columbia, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, U.S. Senate. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The United States has long advocated for strong oversight of the 
United Nations (UN). In 2005, GAO raised long-standing concerns that 
the ability of the UNís Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) 
to carry out its mandate was constrained in scope and authority, and 
in 2006, GAO found that funding arrangements impeded OIOSís ability to 
operate independently. The U.S. Mission to the UN also expressed 
concern that OIOSís independence is limited in that it cannot make 
final hiring decisions for senior staff. In response to such concerns, 
the UN General Assembly in 2006 created an Independent Audit Advisory 
Committee (IAAC). GAO was asked to examine actions taken to address 
(1) impediments to OIOSís ability to provide independent oversight and 
(2) staffing issues that may have hindered its performance. GAO 
assessed OIOSís independence based on internationally recognized 
auditing standards, analyzed OIOS and other UN documents and data, and 
interviewed agency officials. 

What GAO Found: 

The UN has taken worthwhile steps to enhance OIOSís independence, but 
certain UN funding and oversight arrangements continue to impede OIOSí
s ability to provide independent oversight. The General Assembly has 
supported OIOSís independence by creating the IAAC, which reviews OIOSí
s budgets and work plans for audits of the Secretariat and 
peacekeeping missions, and by recommending that OIOS base its planning 
and budget requests on risk in accordance with standards of the 
Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The General Assembly also 
clarified the role OIOS plays in internal oversight of funds and 
programs by adopting a resolution that reaffirmed the prerogatives of 
separately administered funds and programs to decide their own 
oversight mechanisms and relationship with OIOS. However, an 
independent review found that the arrangements for funding OIOS audits 
of those entities that choose to utilize its audit services do not 
meet IIA standards for independence. OIOS also remains constrained in 
its ability to issue consolidated audit reports for joint UN 
activities that include entities over which it does not have oversight 
authority, even when directed to do so by the General Assembly. 

High vacancy rates for authorized positions have hindered OIOSís 
ability to provide sufficient oversight, but the UN and OIOS are 
taking steps to address this issue. As of July 2011, 19 percent of 
OIOS staff positions were unfilled (see figure below), and 30 percent 
were vacant for investigations of peacekeeping activitiesóthe most 
challenging positions to fill. The UNís external auditor found that OIOS
ís staffing shortages hampered its Internal Audit Divisionís 
completion of its work plans. The UN and OIOS have made filling vacant 
positions a priority, and OIOS has hired 82 staff members since the 
start of the term of the new Under-Secretary-General for Internal 
Oversight Services in September 2010. The IAAC also expressed concern 
that vacancies at the senior management level would make it difficult 
for OIOS to accomplish its work. In August 2011, OIOS filled two 
director-level positions that had been vacant for more than a year. 
Further, the Under-Secretary-General has begun an initiative to 
strengthen OIOSís management and coordination and has requested an 
additional staff position for her front office. The Secretary-General 
has concurred with this request. 

Figure: Percentage of Unfilled OIOS Staff Positions, Fiscal Biennium 
2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

[Refer to PDF for image: horizontal bar graph] 

Staff Positions: Total; 
Filled positions: 265; 
Unfilled positions: 62 (19%); 
Total: 327. 

Staff Positions: Internal Audit Division; 
Filled positions: 152; 
Unfilled positions: 34 (18%); 
Total: 186. 

Staff Positions: Investigations Division; 
Filled positions: 72; 
Unfilled positions: 24 (25%); 
Total: 96. 

Staff Positions: Inspection and Evaluation Division; 
Filled positions: 22; 
Unfilled positions: 4 (15%); 
Total: 26. 

Staff Positions: Office of the Under-Secretary-General and Executive 
Office; 
Filled positions: 19; 
Unfilled positions: 0 (0%); 
Total: 19. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

[End of figure] 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of State and the U.S. Permanent 
Representative to the UN work with the General Assembly and member 
states to address remaining impediments to OIOSís ability to provide 
independent oversight resulting from its relationships with certain UN 
funds and programs and other clients. State and OIOS generally 
concurred with GAOís findings and recommendation. However, State 
misinterpreted the reportís discussion of OIOSís oversight authority. 
GAO added language to the report to clarify this discussion. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-871] or key 
components. For more information, contact Thomas Melito at (202) 512-
9601 or melitot@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

OIOS Role Clarified and Independence Strengthened, but Some Funding 
and Oversight Issues Remain: 

Staffing Shortages Have Hindered OIOS Performance, but Efforts Are 
Under Way to Address Them: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: OIOS's Locations and Staffing: 

Appendix III: Timeline for the Preparation, Approval, and Execution of 
OIOS's Regular Budget: 

Appendix IV: UN Resolutions and Administrative Issuances Affecting 
OIOS: 

Appendix V: UN Organizations, Their Relationship with OIOS, and Their 
Oversight Capacity: 

Appendix VI: Status of Recommendations from Our 2006 Report: 

Appendix VII: Comments from the Office of Internal Oversight Services: 

Appendix VIII: Comments from the Department of State: 

Appendix IX: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Glossary: 

Related GAO Products: 

Tables: 

Table 1: OIOS's Oversight Relationships with Separately Administered 
Clients: 

Table 2: UN Resolutions and Administrative Issuances Affecting OIOS: 

Table 3: UN Organizations, Their Relationship with OIOS, and Their 
Oversight Capacity: 

Table 4: Status of Recommendations from Our 2006 Report: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Number and Location of OIOS Staff by Division as of 
September 2011: 

Figure 2: U.S. Share of Contributions to the UN Secretariat Regular 
Budget, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

Figure 3: U.S. Share of Contributions to the OIOS Regular Budget, 
Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

Figure 4: Sources of OIOS Appropriations, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 
through 2010-2011: 

Figure 5: UN Organizations That Are OIOS's Clients and Those with 
Their Own Oversight Capacity, 2011: 

Figure 6: Filled and Unfilled OIOS Staff Positions, Fiscal Biennium 
2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

Figure 7: OIOS Staff Locations as of September 2011: 

Figure 8: Authorized Staff Positions in OIOS Divisions, Fiscal 
Biennium 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

Figure 9: Budgetary Allocation of OIOS Staff Positions, Fiscal 
Biennium 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

Figure 10: OIOS Authorized Staff Positions for Each Division, Fiscal 
Biennia 2006-2007 and 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

Figure 11: OIOS Authorized Staff Positions, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 
through 2010-2011: 

Figure 12: OIOS Authorized Staff and Budget Trends, Fiscal Biennia 
1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

Figure 13: Timeline for the Preparation, Approval, and Execution of 
OIOS's Regular Budget: 

Abbreviations: 

IAAC: Independent Audit Advisory Committee: 

IIA: Institute of Internal Auditors: 

MOU: memorandum of understanding: 

OIOS: Office of Internal Oversight Services: 

UN: United Nations: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

September 20, 2011: 

The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka: 
Chairman: 
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal 
Workforce, and the District of Columbia: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

In 1994, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly established the 
Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) for the purpose of 
assisting the UN Secretary-General in fulfilling internal oversight 
responsibilities.[Footnote 1] To carry out its role as the UN's 
internal oversight unit, OIOS has over 300 staff positions worldwide 
and provides oversight services to multiple entities within the UN 
system that reported a total budget of about $15 billion in 2009. 
[Footnote 2] In 2005, we raised concerns that OIOS's internal audits 
of the Oil for Food Program were constrained in scope and authority, 
preventing auditors from scrutinizing and reporting problems with the 
program.[Footnote 3] In 2006, we found that funding arrangements 
impeded OIOS's ability to operate independently, as mandated by the 
General Assembly and called for by international auditing standards, 
severely limiting OIOS's ability to reallocate resources among revenue 
streams, locations, and operating divisions.[Footnote 4] Additionally, 
we found that OIOS depended on the provision of auditing resources by 
specific UN funds and programs[Footnote 5] and, therefore, it could 
provide oversight only when requested by the management of these funds 
and programs, hindering its ability to identify waste, fraud, and 
abuse. The U.S. Mission to the UN has also expressed concern that 
OIOS's operational independence is limited in that it cannot make 
final hiring decisions for high-level staff positions. In response to 
these and similar issues raised by the UN's Advisory Committee on 
Administrative and Budgetary Questions,[Footnote 6] the General 
Assembly in February 2006 established the Independent Audit Advisory 
Committee (IAAC) to assist it in fulfilling its oversight 
responsibilities.[Footnote 7] One of the IAAC's key roles is to advise 
the General Assembly on the effectiveness of OIOS by reviewing OIOS's 
proposed budgets and work plans. 

The United States, as the largest contributor to the UN--with assessed 
and voluntary contributions[Footnote 8] totaling about $4 billion in 
fiscal year 2010 for UN activities over which OIOS has audit 
authority[Footnote 9]--has long advocated for strong oversight of the 
UN and supported the establishment of both OIOS and the IAAC. 
Responding to your request for a follow-up study on the internal 
oversight function at the UN, we examined actions taken to address (1) 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight and (2) 
staffing issues that may have hindered its performance. 

To address our objectives, we reviewed relevant UN and OIOS reports, 
policies and procedures manuals, and other documents, and assessed 
OIOS's independence by applying internationally recognized standards 
such as those of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA),[Footnote 
10] which OIOS formally adopted in 2002. We met with State Department 
officials in Washington, D.C., and officials in New York from the U.S. 
Mission to the UN. In New York, we also met with OIOS management and 
staff, representatives of Secretariat departments and UN funds and 
programs, and members of the UN's external oversight body, the Board 
of Auditors.[Footnote 11] We also spoke with senior OIOS audit and 
investigations officials based in Geneva and Vienna via 
videoconference; with the IAAC Chairman in Washington, D.C., in person 
and via video and teleconference; and with a Joint Inspection Unit 
official in Geneva via teleconference.[Footnote 12] In addition, we 
evaluated the reliability of UN and OIOS budget data taken from UN 
source documents and concluded that they were sufficiently reliable to 
present trends of the regular, peacekeeping, and extrabudgetary 
appropriations for the biennia 1994-1995 through 2010-2011. We used 
staffing data provided by OIOS, which we determined were reliable for 
our purposes of presenting staffing levels as of July 31, 2011. We 
conducted our work between October 2010 and September 2011 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform our work to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our objectives. We believe that the 
evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our objectives. (Appendix I provides a detailed 
discussion of our objectives, scope, and methodology.) 

Background: 

Internal Oversight in the UN System: 

The UN system includes the General Assembly, the Secretariat,[Footnote 
13] peacekeeping missions throughout the world, and separately 
administered funds, programs, and specialized agencies that have their 
own governing bodies.[Footnote 14] The General Assembly established 
the separately administered funds and programs with responsibility for 
particular issues, such as children (United Nations Children's Fund) 
or the environment (United Nations Environment Program), that are 
funded mainly by voluntary contributions. While separately 
administered, these entities are under the authority of the Secretary-
General, who appoints the heads of each entity, but they have their 
own governing bodies instead of being governed by the General 
Assembly. In contrast, the heads of the specialized agencies are 
elected by their own governing bodies, and these autonomous agencies 
do not fall under the authority of the Secretary-General and therefore 
are not within OIOS's purview. 

OIOS is part of the Secretariat and is under the authority of the 
Secretary-General, who reports to the General Assembly. According to 
its mandate, OIOS's purpose is "to assist the Secretary-General in 
fulfilling his internal oversight responsibilities in respect of the 
resources and staff of the Organisation,"[Footnote 15] and OIOS's 
chief executive, the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight 
Services, reports directly to the General Assembly. The Secretary- 
General has therefore stated that OIOS is mandated to provide 
oversight only of activities that fall under the Secretary-General's 
authority.[Footnote 16] These include activities of the Secretariat in 
New York, Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna; the UN's five regional 
commissions; peacekeeping missions and humanitarian operations; funds 
and programs administered separately under the authority of the 
Secretary-General (including the Office of the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Environment Program, the 
United Nations Human Settlements Program, and the Office of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights); and other entities that 
have requested OIOS services such as the United Nations Convention to 
Combat Desertification and the United Nations Framework Convention on 
Climate Change.[Footnote 17] In addition to the OIOS mandate, the 
Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations designate OIOS 
as the financial management internal auditor for the UN.[Footnote 18] 

OIOS's Organizational Structure: 

OIOS is composed of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, an 
Executive Office, and three divisions, namely, Internal Audit, 
Investigations, and Inspection and Evaluation.[Footnote 19] Figure 1 
provides the number and location of staff for each of these divisions 
as of September 2011. Appendix II provides additional information on 
OIOS's locations and staffing. 

[Side bar: 
OIOSís Three Divisions: 
The Internal Audit Division provides assurance and advice designed to 
improve and add value to the UNís operations. Internal audits bring a 
systematic approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of 
risk management, control, and governance processes. 
The Investigations Division follows up on reports of possible 
violations of rules or regulations, mismanagement, misconduct, waste 
of resources, or abuse of authority. 
The Inspection and Evaluation Division assists UN intergovernmental 
bodies and program managers in assessing the relevance, efficiency, 
effectiveness, and impact of UN Secretariat programs. The divisionís 
role is twofold: to help assure that these programs follow their 
mandates and to foster institutional learning and improvement through 
reflection by program officials and UN member states on performance 
and results. 
Source: GAO summary of OIOS information. End of side bar] 

Figure 1: Number and Location of OIOS Staff by Division as of 
September 2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Office of the Under-Secretary-General: 
Executive Office: 

Location of staff: New York; 
IAD: 67; 
ID: 30; 
IED: 26. 

Location of staff: Peacekeeping missions; 
IAD: 70; 
ID: 15; 
IED: 0. 

Location of staff: Geneva; 
IAD: 36[A]; 
ID: 0; 
IED: 0. 

Location of staff: Vienna; 
IAD: 0; 
ID: 27; 
IED: 0. 

Location of staff: Nairobi; 
IAD: 13; 
ID: 24; 
IED: 0. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS information. 

Note: Some of the ID staff in New York, Vienna, and Nairobi 
investigate peacekeeping activities. In addition, some of the IAD and 
IED staff in New York are also dedicated to peacekeeping activities. 

[A] These IAD positions include 22 UNHCR-funded positions that are 
administered by the Geneva office, but 10 of them are actually located 
in Nairobi, Pakistan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Syria. 

Abbreviations: 

IAD: Internal Audit Division; 
ID: Investigations Division; 
IED: Inspection and Evaluation Division 
UNHCR: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

[End of figure] 

OIOS Funding: 

The majority of OIOS funding comes from two budgets approved by the 
General Assembly: one for normal, recurrent activities such as the 
core functions of the Secretariat (regular budget), and the other for 
peacekeeping activities (peacekeeping account).[Footnote 20] Both the 
regular and peacekeeping budgets are financed largely through assessed 
contributions from member states. A small portion of the peacekeeping 
account, the peacekeeping support account, provides funds for OIOS to 
conduct audits, investigations, inspections, and evaluations of 
peacekeeping activities.[Footnote 21] 

In addition to funding from the regular budget and peacekeeping 
account, OIOS receives funds from "extrabudgetary" sources. These are 
voluntary contributions from member states that pay for the activities 
of UN funds, programs, and other entities.[Footnote 22] The United 
States contributes a fixed percentage to the regular budget, which was 
25 percent prior to 2000 and 22 percent thereafter, and which funds 
the UN Secretariat and its various activities and functions, including 
OIOS (shown in figs. 2 and 3, respectively). For example, the United 
States contributed about $1.2 billion to the UN Secretariat regular 
budget in the current biennium (2010-2011). The United States also 
contributes annually to peacekeeping operations and to extrabudgetary 
items. For example, in 2010, the United States contributed about $2.6 
billion to peacekeeping operations (about 27.3 percent of the total 
peacekeeping budget) and about $4.4 billion to other UN activities, 
including those funded through extrabudgetary sources. 

Figure 2: U.S. Share of Contributions to the UN Secretariat Regular 
Budget, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: stacked vertical bar graph] 

Nominal U.S. dollars: 

Fiscal biennium: 1994-1995; 
U.S. contributions: $658 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $1.974 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 1996-1997; 
U.S. contributions: $636 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $1.907 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 1998-1999; 
U.S. contributions: $622 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $1.866 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2000-2001; 
U.S. contributions: $640 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $1.921 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2002-2003; 
U.S. contributions: $653 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $2.315 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2004-2005; 
U.S. contributions: $804 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $2.852 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2006-2007; 
U.S. contributions: $923 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $3.721 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2008-2009; 
U.S. contributions: $1.056 billion; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $3.744 billion. 

Fiscal biennium: 2010-2011; 
U.S. contributions: $1.181 billion; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $4.186 billion. 

Source: GAO analysis of UN data. 

Note: The amounts shown for fiscal biennia 1994-1995 through 2008-2009 
are derived from the final appropriations for each biennium. The 
amounts for the 2010-2011 biennium are estimates. The U.S. share for 
each biennium is derived by multiplying the total appropriation by the 
U.S. assessment rate in effect during the period. 

[End of figure] 

Figure 3: U.S. Share of Contributions to the OIOS Regular Budget, 
Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: stacked vertical bar graph] 

Nominal U.S. dollars: 

Fiscal biennium: 1994-1995; 
U.S. contributions: $2.8 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $7=8.3 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 1996-1997; 
U.S. contributions: $3.7 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $11 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 1998-1999; 
U.S. contributions: $4.5 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $13.4 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2000-2001; 
U.S. contributions: $4.6 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $14 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2002-2003; 
U.S. contributions: $4.7 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $16.7 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2004-2005; 
U.S. contributions: $5.2 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $18.5 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2006-2007; 
U.S. contributions: $6.6 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $23.2 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2008-2009; 
U.S. contributions: $7.9 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $27.9 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2010-2011; 
U.S. contributions: $8.6 million; 
Non-U.S. contributions: $30.4 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of UN data. 

Note: The amounts shown for fiscal biennia 1994-1995 through 2008-2009 
are derived from the final appropriations for each biennium. The 
amounts for the 2010-2011 biennium are estimates. The U.S. share for 
each biennium is derived by multiplying the total appropriation by the 
U.S. assessment rate in effect during the period. 

[End of figure] 

As shown in figure 4, OIOS funding from all three sources--regular 
budget, peacekeeping, and extrabudgetary--has generally increased over 
time. The peacekeeping portion has been the fastest growing component 
over the last 10 years due to the rapid rise in peacekeeping 
activities around the world, while the regular and extrabudgetary 
portions have grown more slowly. OIOS's total appropriations for the 
2010-2011 biennium were over $100 million, approximately five times 
what they were when OIOS was established in 1994. 

Figure 4: Sources of OIOS Appropriations, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 
through 2010-2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: stacked vertical bar graph] 

Nominal U.S. dollars: 

Fiscal biennium: 1994-1995; 
Regular Budget: $11; 
Extrabudgetary: $5.3585; 
Peacekeeping: $2.2258 million; 
Total: $18.584 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 1996-1997; 
Regular Budget: $14.627; 
Extrabudgetary: $4.2741; 
Peacekeeping: $2.2797 million; 
Total: $21.181 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 1998-1999; 
Regular Budget: $17.878; 
Extrabudgetary: $6.4071; 
Peacekeeping: $3.6122 million; 
Total: $27.897 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2000-2001; 
Regular Budget: $18.476; 
Extrabudgetary: $6.2076; 
Peacekeeping: $7.431 million; 
Total: $32.115 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2002-2003; 
Regular Budget: $21.38; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.558; 
Peacekeeping: $10.5596 million; 
Total: $40.498 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2004-2005; 
Regular Budget: $23.76; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.01; 
Peacekeeping: $31.6757 million; 
Total: $63.445 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2006-2007; 
Regular Budget: $29.803; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.071; 
Peacekeeping: $43.2552 million; 
Total: $81.129 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2008-2009; 
Regular Budget: $35.767; 
Extrabudgetary: $14.0879; 
Peacekeeping: $50.3497 million; 
Total: $100.205 million. 

Fiscal biennium: 2010-2011; 
Regular Budget: $38.925; 
Extrabudgetary: $17.9531; 
Peacekeeping: $48.6697 million; 
Total: $105.548 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of UN data. 

Notes: The regular budget amounts shown for fiscal biennia 1994-1995 
through 2008-2009 are derived from the final appropriations for each 
biennium. The amount for the 2010-2011 biennium is an estimate. The 
peacekeeping, extrabudgetary, and regular budget amounts for some 
periods (1994-1995 and 2004-2005) do not add to the total shown due to 
rounding. 

The following caveats pertain to the peacekeeping data: 

For fiscal biennia 1994-1995 through 2000-2001: these figures are 
taken from biennium budget proposal documents covering the calendar 
year of each year of the biennium. 

For fiscal biennia 2002-2003 through 2008-2009: these figures are 
taken from single-year budget documents covering July 1 to June 30 of 
each fiscal year and are thus not directly comparable to data for the 
prior biennia in the table. 

For fiscal biennium 2010-2011, the peacekeeping figure is taken from 
the IAAC report on OIOS's proposed budget for the 2012-2013 biennium. 

We have chosen to include the 2002-2003 and 2008-2009 data because 
they reasonably depict the overall trend of peacekeeping funding 
during this period. 

[End of figure] 

OIOS's authorized staffing levels have also increased, due in part to 
the expansion of UN peacekeeping activities (see figure 11 in appendix 
II). We have previously reported that OIOS has had difficulty filling 
its authorized staff positions.[Footnote 23] 

IAAC Role in Internal Oversight: 

The UN General Assembly strengthened internal oversight of the 
Secretariat and peacekeeping missions by creating the IAAC, which is 
responsible for advising the General Assembly on the scope, results, 
and effectiveness of audit and other oversight functions, especially 
OIOS. The IAAC is also responsible for advising the General Assembly 
on measures to ensure management's compliance with audit and other 
oversight recommendations, as well as with various risk management, 
internal control, operational, and accounting and disclosure issues. 
The committee examines OIOS's work plans, taking into account the work 
plans of other UN oversight bodies, reviews OIOS's proposed budget, 
and makes recommendations to the General Assembly through the Advisory 
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. (See appendix III 
for a timeline showing the preparation, approval, and execution of 
OIOS's regular budget and the IAAC's role in that process.) The 
committee also advises the General Assembly on the quality and overall 
effectiveness of risk management procedures, on deficiencies in the 
internal control framework of the UN, and on steps to increase and 
facilitate cooperation among UN oversight bodies. 

The General Assembly in 2007 appointed three members to serve a 3-year 
term and two members to serve a 4-year term on the IAAC, all beginning 
on January 1, 2008; the committee, which generally meets four times a 
year, held its first session in February 2008. It has issued 11 
reports, including one on vacant positions at OIOS.[Footnote 24] The 
IAAC held its 15th session in July 2011, during which it discussed 
with the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services a 
wide range of issues, including funding arrangements, risk assessments 
conducted, value provided by OIOS, and performance audits. In 
addition, the committee covered standard agenda items with OIOS, such 
as relationships with management, high risks identified by OIOS, 
coordination with various oversight bodies, implementation of 
oversight recommendations, and OIOS staff vacancies. The committee is 
scheduled to hold its next meeting in December 2011. 

The U.S. Mission to the UN strongly supported the establishment of the 
IAAC and has also supported other initiatives to improve transparency 
and accountability in the UN system. For example, it has endorsed a 
new UN effort to consolidate the management of all financial, human, 
and physical resources, including for peacekeeping and field missions, 
under one integrated information management system. 

OIOS Role Clarified and Independence Strengthened, but Some Funding 
and Oversight Issues Remain: 

The UN General Assembly is addressing some previously identified 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight, but 
certain UN funding arrangements and oversight relationships continue 
to limit the independence and authority of OIOS. In January 2003, the 
General Assembly reaffirmed the prerogatives of separately 
administered funds and programs to decide their own oversight 
mechanisms and their relationship with OIOS. The UN Secretariat's 
Office of Legal Affairs stated that this action clarified the role 
OIOS plays in the internal oversight of separately administered funds 
and programs, with these entities deciding their own oversight 
mechanisms and their relationship with OIOS. An independent review of 
UN oversight commissioned by the Secretary-General noted, however, 
that the arrangements used to fund OIOS's audits of those separately 
administered entities that choose to utilize its audit services do not 
meet Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) standards for independence. 
[Footnote 25] OIOS also reported that it is not able to issue 
consolidated audit reports for joint UN activities that included 
entities over which OIOS does not have oversight authority, even when 
directed to do so by the General Assembly. 

The General Assembly Has Clarified OIOS's Role in Internal Oversight 
of Funds and Programs: 

The General Assembly has addressed OIOS's oversight authority several 
times since the creation of the office (see appendix IV), and the new 
Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services requested a 
legal opinion from the UN Secretariat's Office of Legal Affairs 
regarding OIOS's oversight responsibility for funds and programs. 
OIOS's founding mandate states that OIOS's purpose is to assist the 
Secretary-General in fulfilling his internal oversight 
responsibilities with respect to the resources and staff of the 
organization.[Footnote 26] The Secretary-General has stated that the 
resources and staff of the organization include separately 
administered organs. The General Assembly also stated that OIOS has 
the authority to initiate, carry out, and report on any action that it 
considers necessary to fulfill its responsibilities with regard to 
monitoring, internal audit, inspection and evaluation, and 
investigations. In January 2003, the General Assembly adopted a 
resolution that reaffirmed the prerogatives of separately administered 
funds and programs to decide their own oversight mechanisms and their 
relationship with OIOS.[Footnote 27] In May 2011, in response to her 
request, the UN's Office of Legal Affairs issued a memorandum to the 
Under-Secretary-General stating that the General Assembly, through the 
2003 resolution, clarified OIOS's jurisdiction over the funds and 
programs, which suggested that the involvement of OIOS in their 
internal oversight functions is contingent on the consent of the funds 
and programs. 

According to OIOS's website and audit manual, OIOS provides internal 
oversight to UN organizations that are under the direct authority of 
the Secretary-General, including departments and offices within the 
Secretariat and peacekeeping missions and related offices, and to 
funds, programs, and other organizations under the authority of the 
Secretary-General, but administered separately, that have requested 
OIOS's audit services (see figure 5). The amounts these organizations 
pay for internal oversight are based on negotiated fees for services, 
sometimes defined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Some UN 
funds and programs, including, for example, the United Nations 
Development Program and the World Food Program, have their own 
internal oversight offices, which they use to oversee their activities 
instead of using the services of OIOS. Others, such as the 
International Trade Center and the Office of the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Human Rights, have partial or no internal audit 
capacity. Funds or programs with their own internal oversight capacity 
may also use certain OIOS services, for example, if they determine 
that they need outside experts to conduct a sensitive investigation. 
(Appendix V provides a more detailed listing of UN organizations, 
their relationship with OIOS, and their oversight capacity.) According 
to OIOS, as of September 2011, it provided oversight to a number of 
separately administered entities, including seven funds and programs 
that have partial or no internal oversight capacity. The Under-
Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services told us that she is 
conducting a review of all separately administered entities under the 
authority of the Secretary-General to determine their internal 
oversight capacities, which conforms with her mandate to support the 
Secretary-General in his oversight responsibilities. 

Figure 5: UN Organizations That Are OIOS's Clients and Those with 
Their Own Oversight Capacity, 2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

UN organizations under the authority of the Secretary-General: 

UN Secretariat[B]: 
* OHCHR[A]; 
* UNOG; 
* UNOV; and; 
* Other Secretariat departments and offices. 

UN Peacekeeping[B]: 
* Missions and related offices worldwide. 

Regional commissions[B]: 
* ECA; 
* ECE; 
* ECLAC; 
* ESCAP; 
* ESCWA. 

Administered separately: 
Other UN entities: 
* ICJ[B]; 
* ICTR[B];
* ICTY[B]; 
* UNCCD[B];
* UNFCCC[B];
* UNJSPF[B]; 
* 4 UN research and training institutes[B]: 
- UNICRI[B]; 
- UNIDIR[B]; 
- UNITAR[B]; 
- UNRISD[B]; 
* UNCC[C]; 
* UNSSC[C]; 
* UNU[C]. 

Funds and programs, Administered separately: 
Funds and programs with partial or no internal oversight capacity[B]: 
* ITC; 
* OHCHA[A]; 
* UNCTAD; 
* UNEP; 
* UN-Habitat; 
* UNHCR; 
* UNODC. 

Funds and programs with their own oversight capacity[D]: 
* UNDP; 
* UNFPA;
* UNICEF; 
* UNOPS; 
* UNRWA; 
* UN-Women; 
* WFP. 

Source: GAO analysis of UN and OIOS information. 

Notes: For definitions of the abbreviations, see Glossary at the end 
of this report. 

OIOS does not oversee specialized agencies and other autonomous 
organizations linked to the UN through special agreements, such as the 
Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy 
Agency, the World Health Organization, and other such entities. These 
entities have their own oversight capacity and are not clients of OIOS. 

[A] OHCHR is listed on OIOS's website and in its audit manual as one 
of several "Funds and Programmes administered separately under the 
authority of the Secretary-General" that "have requested OIOS audit 
services." OHCHR is also shown as a Secretariat department in an 
organization chart posted on the UN's website. 

[B] UN organizations listed by OIOS as clients, and also specifically 
mentioned in OIOSís Audit Manual as clients. 

[C] UN organizations not listed by OIOS as clients. 

[D] UN organizations listed by OIOS as clients, but not mentioned in 
OIOSís Audit Manual. 

[End of figure] 

OIOS Independence Strengthened, but Impediments to Independence Remain: 

The General Assembly Strengthened OIOS's Independence by Creating the 
IAAC and Recommending Fully Risk-Based Work Plans and Budget Requests: 

[Side bar: 
Audit Committee Purpose, Membership, and Responsibilities according to 
Best Practices: 
Purpose:
* To assist the governing body in its oversight responsibilities; 
* To act as an independent safeguard on management; 
Membership:
* Independent from the organization
* With specialized skills in financial reporting, corporate 
governance, and internal control; 
* Selected by the governing body; 
Responsibilities:
* Reviewing and approving the internal audit activityís charter; 
* Ensuring communication and reporting lines between the chief 
internal auditor and the audit committee; 
* Reviewing internal audit staffing and ensuring that the function has 
the necessary resources; 
* Reviewing and assessing the annual internal audit plan; 
* Overseeing the coordination of the internal auditor and the external 
auditor; 
* Reviewing periodic reports on the results of the internal auditorís 
work; 
* Reviewing senior managementís responsiveness to internal audit 
findings and recommendations; 
* Monitoring and assessing internal audit effectiveness. 
Source: GAO analysis of IIA guidance. See GAO, United Nations 
Organizations: Oversight and Accountability Could be Strengthened by 
Further Instituting International Best Practices (GAO-07-597, June 18, 
2007). End of side bar] 

The UN General Assembly has supported OIOS's independence in audits of 
organizations within the Secretariat and peacekeeping missions by 
creating the Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC), which 
reviews OIOS's audit plans and budget requests, and compares them to 
the Secretary-General's proposed budgets for oversight to ensure that 
they reflect the resources OIOS needs to audit identified risks. In a 
July 2006 report to the General Assembly, OIOS noted that a main 
obstacle to the independence of its audits was that it was responsible 
for auditing departments in the Secretariat, such as the Department of 
Management, which reviews its budget.[Footnote 28] While OIOS did not 
report any specific examples of budget restrictions that had been 
imposed, the IAAC mitigates the potential impairment to OIOS's 
independence caused by its dependence on funding from entities it 
audits by making recommendations that would ensure that OIOS has 
sufficient resources, and keeping the General Assembly apprised of 
issues related to OIOS's operational independence. The IAAC became 
operational in 2008 and serves some of the functions of an independent 
audit committee, which the IIA considers critical to ensuring strong 
and effective processes related to independence, internal control, 
risk management, compliance, ethics, and financial disclosure. 

The IAAC advises the General Assembly in accordance with terms of 
reference adopted by the General Assembly in 2007. The IAAC reviews a 
proposed budget for internal oversight prepared by the Secretary- 
General and compares that to the resources requested by OIOS. The IAAC 
then provides independent comments directly to the budget committee of 
the General Assembly on the resources OIOS will need (see appendix III 
for a timeline showing the preparation, approval, and execution of 
OIOS's regular budget). An IAAC official reported that, while part of 
its function is to ensure OIOS's independence, the committee does not 
automatically take OIOS's side in disputes over resources with the 
Secretary-General. In some instances, the IAAC has advised the General 
Assembly that OIOS needed more resources and independence; in others, 
it has advised that OIOS resources were sufficient or excessive. 

[Side bar: 
Some Basic Principles Related to IIA Standards for Managing the Internal
Audit Activity, Planning, and Risk Management: 
* Managing the internal audit activity: The chief audit executive must 
effectively manage the internal audit activity to ensure it adds value 
to the organization. 
* Planning: The chief audit executive must establish risk-based plans 
to determine the priorities of the internal audit activity, consistent 
with the organizationís goals. 
* Risk management: The internal audit activity must evaluate the 
effectiveness and contribute to the improvement of risk management
processes. 
* Definition of risk management: A process to identify, assess, 
manage, and control potential events or situations to provide reasonable
assurance regarding the achievement of the organizationís objectives.
Source: IIA. End of side bar] 

The UN also strengthened OIOS's independence by supporting its efforts 
to improve its risk-based planning and budgeting process in accordance 
with IIA standards, but OIOS is still working to improve its risk 
assessments in response to IAAC concerns. As part of the outcome of a 
2005 World Summit gathering at the UN, the General Assembly requested 
that the Secretary-General submit an independent external evaluation 
of the auditing and oversight system of the UN, with recommendations 
for improving these processes. The external review commissioned by the 
Secretary-General recommended that OIOS improve its annual risk- 
assessment methodology, and specified several improvements, including 
building an inventory of risks in consultation with its clients, and 
ranking the risk of each item in OIOS's audit universe.[Footnote 29] 
As the Secretary-General reported, in addition to ensuring that 
oversight resources are prioritized for high-risk areas, a risk-based 
approach also provides the General Assembly with a basis for 
determining the level of risk it is willing to accept for the 
organization. In its 2006 report to the General Assembly, OIOS 
committed to having fully risk-based work plans by 2008.[Footnote 30] 
OIOS was able to meet this schedule, completing risk assessments of 
approximately 90 percent of its clients from July 2007 to September 
2008. An OIOS official also reported that its separately administered, 
extrabudgetary clients were included in its risk assessments. 

In 2008, its first year of operation, the IAAC reported that OIOS's 
risk-assessment methodology provided a reasonable basis for 
establishing preliminary work plans. However, in 2009, the IAAC 
reported that OIOS's risk assessments were not practical for 
determining OIOS's resource requirements because they did not take 
into account its clients' efforts to mitigate these risks and 
therefore gave an inflated estimate of risks and oversight needs. The 
IAAC recommended that OIOS modify its risk assessments to include the 
effect of controls that its clients have already put in place, and in 
February 2011, OIOS officials reported that they are working to change 
OIOS's methodology in accordance with the recommendations. 

Oversight Arrangements for OIOS's Separately Administered Clients May 
Limit Its Ability to Provide Independent Oversight: 

[Side bar: 
Some Basic Principles Related to IIA Standards for Independence: 
* Definition of independence: The freedom from conditions that 
threaten the ability of the internal audit activity to carry out 
internal audit responsibilities in an unbiased manner. 
* The internal audit activity must be independent, and internal 
auditors must be objective in performing their work. 
* Threats to independence must be managed at the individual auditor, 
engagement, functional, and organizational levels. 
* The internal audit activity must be free from interference in 
determining the scope of internal auditing, performing work, and
communicating results. 
* If independence or objectivity is impaired in fact or appearance, 
the details of the impairment must be disclosed to appropriate 
parties. Impairment to organizational independence may include, but is 
not limited to, personal conflict of interest, scope of limitations, 
restrictions on access to records, personnel, and properties, and 
resource limitations such as funding. 
Source: IIA. End of side bar] 

The Secretary-General found that OIOS's funding arrangements with 
separately administered organizations do not meet IIA standards for 
independence because OIOS must negotiate oversight agreements with 
these organizations without an independent review to ensure that the 
oversight resources provided are sufficient.[Footnote 31] These 
negotiations include discussions of the number and level of staff and 
resources that will be used for an audit based on an amount of funding 
that the individual fund or program is able to provide OIOS. The IAAC 
mitigates this potential impediment to OIOS's independence within the 
Secretariat and peacekeeping missions; however, the IAAC Chairman 
stated that although the IAAC reviews OIOS's budget requests for 
separately administered organizations, it does not have the authority 
to work with the governing bodies of these entities to resolve funding 
issues, and thus potential impediments to OIOS's ability to provide 
independent oversight remain.[Footnote 32] 

OIOS officials stated that some of these clients have provided limited 
audit resources to assist OIOS in its efforts. OIOS officials 
emphasized that these resource limitations have not impeded the 
office's audit activities because improvements to risk-based planning 
have allowed it to better prioritize audit work and manage resources 
more effectively and economically. However, OIOS officials reported 
that several smaller entities that have adopted the UN financial 
regulations and rules (and therefore fall under OIOS's audit authority 
for financial management audits) have not provided OIOS with resources 
for conducting audits. These entities include the United Nations 
Convention to Combat Desertification, the United Nations Interregional 
Crime and Justice Research Institute, the United Nations Institute for 
Training and Research, the United Nations Research Institute for 
Social Development, the United Nations System Staff College, and the 
United Nations University. 

Compounding the potential for limitations to OIOS's ability to provide 
independent oversight, developing oversight relationships on a case-by-
case basis has also created inconsistent funding arrangements, and the 
IAAC has recommended that these funding arrangements be revised. OIOS 
has MOUs formalizing its relationships with only seven of the 
separately administered entities it lists as clients (see table 1). 
These MOUs describe OIOS's oversight activities and resources, but the 
IAAC does not review the MOUs and they do not necessarily ensure 
independent oversight. OIOS has not established formal MOUs with its 
other separately administered clients, including three funds and 
programs--the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations 
Human Settlements Program, and the United Nations Conference on Trade 
and Development. In its report pending with the Secretariat, the IAAC 
is recommending that the General Assembly reconsider OIOS's current 
funding arrangements with separately administered entities. 

Table 1: OIOS's Oversight Relationships with Separately Administered 
Clients: 

Funds and programs listed by OIOS as clients[A]: 

ITC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 1999; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 2. 

OHCHR; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 2005; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 11. 

UNCTAD; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 4. 

UNEP; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 10. 

UN-Habitat; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 10. 

UNHCR; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 2001, followed by letter of agreement 
in 2007. However, UNHCR does not consider the letter to be currently 
valid; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes for regular budget-UNHCR has its own 
financial regulations and rules for voluntary contributions; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 118. 

UNODC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 1999; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 15. 

Other UN entities listed by OIOS as clients (not including Secretariat 
departments and offices, peacekeeping missions and offices, and 
regional commissions, all of which fall under the authority of the 
Secretary-General and are not separately administered): 

ICJ; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 0. 

ICSC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: status as OIOS client not clear; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 0. 

ICTR; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 10. 

ICTY; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 15. 

UNCC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 1997; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 8. 

UNCCD; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 2010; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 3. 

UNFCCC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes-established in 2009; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 6. 

UNICRI; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 1. 

UNIDIR; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 3. 

UNITAR; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 1. 

UNJSPF; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: Yes; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 29. 

UNRISD; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 1. 

UNSSC; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 0. 

UNU; 
Provides funding for OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Established MOU with OIOS? Funds and programs listed by OIOS as 
clients[A]: No; 
Adopted UN Financial Regulations and Rules? Funds and programs listed 
by OIOS as clients[A]: Yes; 
Number of recent audits (2006-June 2011): Funds and programs listed by 
OIOS as clients[A]: 2. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS information. 

Note: For definitions of the abbreviations, see Glossary at the end of 
this report. 

[A] These entities, which have requested OIOS audit services, are 
described in OIOS's audit manual as funds and programs administered 
separately under the authority of the Secretary-General. 

[End of table] 

OIOS May Not Be Able to Provide Sufficient Oversight of Joint UN 
Activities When Directed to by the General Assembly: 

Since OIOS does not have oversight authority over all separately 
administered UN entities, it may not be able to provide sufficient 
oversight of crosscutting activities undertaken jointly by multiple UN 
entities even when it is directed to do so by the General Assembly. UN 
humanitarian, reconstruction, and development program activities can 
involve multiple entities not covered by OIOS's existing mandate, 
which have their own internal oversight offices. For example, the 
United Nations Development Group Iraq Trust Fund has 22 separate 
participating UN organizations, and some of these entities also have 
their own internal oversight capacity. In August 2006, an external 
review commissioned by the Secretary-General found that OIOS could not 
fully assess risks in joint activities involving entities not covered 
in its mandate, and it recommended that OIOS be given audit authority 
over joint activities that include entities within its mandate, with 
support from other audit organizations.[Footnote 33] In 2007, OIOS and 
other internal audit offices in the UN system adopted a framework for 
auditing multi-donor trust funds,[Footnote 34] in part to address this 
issue. The framework established that a summary report of all internal 
audit work would be prepared after the completion of the individual 
audits, and OIOS officials stated that OIOS has subsequently 
participated in a summary report of a joint audit of the Common 
Humanitarian Fund for Sudan that was issued by the United Nations 
Development Program. 

While OIOS is not responsible for coordinating the internal oversight 
of all joint activities, the General Assembly has previously directed 
it to prepare the consolidated report of the audit and investigative 
reviews undertaken by other UN organizations. However, in December of 
2006, OIOS reported that it had been unable to issue a consolidated 
report on the audits of tsunami relief efforts, as directed by the 
General Assembly, because the internal auditors of funds, programs, 
and specialized agencies were unable to share their audit reports with 
OIOS. In 2010, OIOS reemphasized its recommendation that the Secretary-
General, in collaboration with the heads of funds, programs, and 
specialized agencies, specify in a single policy document the 
applicable rules and regulations, coordination mechanisms, and 
reporting systems for oversight of interagency activities.[Footnote 
35] OIOS officials noted in the summer of 2011 that it still would not 
be possible for OIOS to issue a consolidated audit report because 
funds and programs, and specialized agencies cannot share their audit 
reports. 

Staffing Shortages Have Hindered OIOS Performance, but Efforts Are 
Under Way to Address Them: 

High vacancy rates for authorized positions, for both rank-and-file 
and senior staff, have historically hindered OIOS's ability to provide 
sufficient oversight.[Footnote 36] In addition, the Under-Secretary- 
General for Internal Oversight Services reported that she has 
insufficient staff in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General to 
manage OIOS's operations. The UN Secretariat and OIOS are taking steps 
to address these staffing issues. OIOS has had staffing shortages in 
its three divisions, and the UN's external auditors (the Board of 
Auditors) found that these shortages hampered the Internal Audit 
Division's completion of its work plans. The UN Secretariat and OIOS 
have prioritized filling vacant positions, particularly since the 
start of the new Under-Secretary-General's term in 2010. The IAAC also 
expressed concern that vacancies at the senior management level would 
make it difficult for OIOS to accomplish its work, but OIOS has 
recently filled the two director-level positions that had been vacant 
for more than a year.[Footnote 37] Further, the Under-Secretary-
General has begun an initiative within OIOS to strengthen OIOS's 
management and coordination; this involves a comprehensive review of 
the office's responsibilities and capabilities, and may result in 
requests for additional management resources. To facilitate this 
effort, the Under-Secretary-General has requested staff and additional 
consultant positions through the end of 2011, and the Secretary-
General has concurred with this request. 

Staffing Shortages Have Constrained OIOS's Oversight Capabilities: 

Since our last report on OIOS in 2006, OIOS has had staffing shortages 
due to authorized but unfilled positions that have limited the 
office's ability to provide sufficient oversight. (See appendix VI for 
the status of our 2006 recommendations.) According to the UN Office of 
Human Resources Management, OIOS's vacancy rate for professional 
service staff was 21 percent, as of September 2010,[Footnote 38] an 
increase from the period between 2006 and 2009 when rates were between 
12 and 17 percent. As of the end of July 2011, OIOS data indicated 
that 19 percent of its approved staff positions were unfilled and 
that, as shown in figure 6, the vacancy rates were highest in the 
Internal Audit and Investigations Divisions, with the highest rate (30 
percent) for investigations of peacekeeping activities. According to 
the Board of Auditors, staffing shortages hampered the Internal Audit 
Division's completion of its planned audits in 2008 and 2009.[Footnote 
39] In 2009 and again in 2010, the IAAC also expressed concern that 
the high rate of unfilled positions in OIOS would make it difficult 
for OIOS to accomplish its work. The Under-Secretary-General for 
Internal Oversight Services noted that this is because OIOS is 
required to submit a work plan based on 100 percent of its authorized 
positions, rather than filled positions. She further stated that OIOS 
should be allowed to submit a work plan based on anticipated staffing 
shortages. 

Figure 6: Filled and Unfilled OIOS Staff Positions, Fiscal Biennium 
2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

[Refer to PDF for image: horizontal bar graph] 

Staff Positions: Total; 
Filled positions: 265; 
Unfilled positions: 62 (19%); 
Total: 327. 

Staff Positions: Internal Audit Division; 
Filled positions: 152; 
Unfilled positions: 34 (18%); 
Total: 186. 

Staff Positions: Investigations Division; 
Filled positions: 72 (Peacekeeping: 40; Regular budget: 29; 
Extrabudgetary: 3); 
Unfilled positions: 24 (25%); (Peacekeeping: 17 (30%); Regular budget: 
6 (17%); Extrabudgetary: 1(25%)); 
Total: 96. 

Staff Positions: Inspection and Evaluation Division; 
Filled positions: 22; 
Unfilled positions: 4 (15%); 
Total: 26. 

Staff Positions: Office of the Under-Secretary-General and Executive 
Office; 
Filled positions: 19; 
Unfilled positions: 0 (0%); 
Total: 19. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

Note: These data incorporates approved positions under the 
peacekeeping account (effective July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012). 

[End of figure] 

As reasons for high vacancy rates, OIOS officials cited complexities 
in the hiring process, difficulty filling oversight positions in 
peacekeeping missions, and a new online system for human resources 
management that was unfamiliar to OIOS staff. OIOS officials stated 
that the human resource policies of the Secretariat require that 
vacancies be posted individually, preventing OIOS from conducting a 
single hiring process for multiple positions, and that this 
requirement makes reducing the vacancy rate more difficult. 
Compounding this problem, OIOS officials added that when a high-level 
position becomes vacant, it is often filled internally, which creates 
a new vacancy at a lower level. Thus, the filling of one position can 
result in the creation of a new vacancy, which requires another 
extended recruitment period. OIOS officials also stated that it is 
difficult to fill vacant positions in peacekeeping missions due to 
challenging working and living conditions. According to a high-level 
official in the Investigations Division, OIOS staff in peacekeeping 
missions feel isolated by their remote locations and by the fact that 
they are seen as outsiders by the peacekeeping staff. Finally, OIOS 
officials said the Secretariat had difficulty implementing the new 
online human resources recruitment tool, and that this contributed to 
delays in filling vacancies in the most recent biennium. UN Office of 
Human Resources Management officials confirmed that there had been 
some technical problems with the rollout of the new system and that 
vacancy rates had increased systemwide. 

The UN and OIOS have made reducing staffing shortages a priority. The 
new Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services stated 
that she has hired 82 new staff since the beginning of her term in 
September 2010 and has received clearance to bring in consultants to 
work on recruitment through December 2011. The Under-Secretary-General 
noted that the UN financial regulations and rules do not provide her 
the flexibility to redeploy funds to hire consultants, as may be 
necessary. To reduce the number of unfilled positions, the Under-
Secretary-General requested an exemption from Secretariat hiring 
policies in order to conduct mass recruitment to identify qualified 
candidates. She said that a key to this effort would be the ability to 
interview and prequalify candidates at the appropriate level in order 
to be able to fill multiple vacancies at once. She reported that she 
did not have to use the exemption because, in the final analysis, she 
was able to work within current policies to permit selection of 
prequalified candidates more expeditiously. 

Officials from the UN Office of Human Resources Management stated that 
in April 2010, the UN revised its recruitment policy to expedite the 
process for departments with high vacancy rates. The revised policy 
allows department managers (including the Under-Secretary-General for 
Internal Oversight Services) to place qualified candidates that are 
not selected for a particular position onto a roster, which they or 
other department managers can then use to fill similar vacancies 
without repeating the full recruitment process. The new policy 
provides the Office of Human Resources Management with incremental 
resources to fully verify credentials and references of rostered 
candidates (with their permission), rather than waiting until they 
have been selected for a position to complete this verification 
process, as this can delay their placement for up to 6 months. This 
revision is expected to expedite future placement of prequalified 
candidates. OIOS also reported that the difficulties with the online 
human resources recruitment tool are being resolved, and that the 
office expects vacancy rates to decline over the next year. 

Prolonged Vacancies at Director Level Resolved, but Underlying 
Weakness in Hiring Process Remains: 

OIOS had prolonged vacancies at the director level in two of its three 
divisions, one of which persisted for 5 years, but both positions have 
now been filled. In its 2008-2009 report, the IAAC expressed concern 
that these vacancies would make it difficult for OIOS to accomplish 
its work. Vacancies at the director level differ from other vacancies 
because OIOS cannot fill director-level vacancies without the approval 
of the Secretary-General, in accordance with a Secretariat-wide human 
resources policy. According to this policy, the head of a department 
or office must submit at least three candidates--one of which must be 
a woman--to the Secretary-General, who ultimately decides which 
candidate to appoint. This process was a point of contention between 
the previous Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General and 
resulted in prolonged vacancies at the director level in two of OIOS's 
three divisions. In 2009, the IAAC proposed a definition of 
operational independence for OIOS that includes the ability to select 
staff for appointment and promotion, and the General Assembly will 
consider this proposal during its 66th session starting in September 
2011. However, the new Under-Secretary-General was able to nominate 
candidates in accordance with the Secretariat's policy. She stated 
that the process was not overly restrictive and that it was 
appropriate for an internal auditor to follow the policies of the 
Secretariat. In the spring of 2011, the Secretary-General approved the 
candidates she had recommended to fill both the Director of 
Investigations and the Director of Inspection and Evaluation 
positions, who assumed their positions in August 2011. 

Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services Has Reported a 
Need for More Staff to Assist Her in Managing OIOS: 

Since assuming her position in September 2010, the new Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight Services stated that she has not had 
the ability to sufficiently oversee OIOS activities because the Office 
of the Under-Secretary-General is under resourced. She said she has 
made reviewing all of OIOS's reports prior to release a priority for 
quality control, and that OIOS issues about 300 reports per year. In 
2011, the Office of the Under-Secretary-General has been reviewing all 
reports before they are released, but this has strained available 
resources. This office is authorized seven staff, including the Under-
Secretary-General, and all of these positions are currently filled. In 
May 2011, the IAAC endorsed a new Assistant Secretary-General 
position, which OIOS had included in its budget submission. OIOS 
reported that it will request additional staff as needed after 
completing a comprehensive review of OIOS's responsibilities and 
capabilities. The Under-Secretary-General also stated that additional 
management staff could improve collaboration between the divisions to 
better share information on risk assessments and internal control 
shortfalls--such as risk of fraud identified by the Internal Audit 
Division, or systemic control weaknesses found by the Investigations 
Division--and is developing a team to identify potential areas for 
collaboration among OIOS divisions. 

Conclusions: 

The United States and other member states have long advocated a wide 
range of UN management reforms that have included a call for greater 
transparency and accountability throughout the UN system. As part of 
its efforts to advance UN reforms, the U.S. Mission to the UN has 
included among its priorities strengthening the UN's main internal 
oversight body--OIOS--to better identify, obtain, and deploy the 
resources needed to ensure that the billions in U.S. and international 
contributions are spent wisely and that UN programs are managed 
effectively. Although OIOS plays a vital role in improving the UN's 
effectiveness, OIOS's ability to provide sufficient oversight of UN 
entities under the authority of the Secretary-General is limited due 
to impediments to its operational independence in providing full 
oversight of funds and programs and high rates of unfilled staff 
positions. 

The UN General Assembly has taken steps to help strengthen OIOS--most 
notably, by creating the IAAC to review OIOS's budgets and work plans 
for audits of entities within the Secretariat and peacekeeping 
missions to ensure that OIOS resources are sufficient to address risks 
in the UN. However, in order to provide essential internal oversight 
services, OIOS still has to negotiate individual agreements with 
funds, programs, and other clients under the authority of the 
Secretary-General but administered separately and funded with 
extrabudgetary resources. This practice may unduly limit the scope of 
OIOS's oversight. As the United States and other member states place 
new demands for fiscal discipline and cost-effective management on the 
UN and the myriad funds and programs under it, strengthening OIOS 
oversight will help the UN be more responsive to these demands. 
Improvements in these areas can help OIOS address some of the 
difficulties it faces in effectively carrying out its mandate. 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

We recommend that the Secretary of State and the Permanent 
Representative of the United States to the United Nations work with 
the General Assembly and member states to address remaining 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight 
resulting from its relationships with certain UN funds and programs 
and other clients. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

OIOS and State provided written comments on a draft of this report. We 
have reprinted their comments in appendixes VII and VIII, 
respectively. These agencies also provided technical comments and 
updated information, which we have incorporated throughout this 
report, as appropriate. 

OIOS agreed with the overall conclusion of the report that progress 
has been made in addressing independence and staffing issues and that 
further actions are needed in some areas. OIOS stated that it has 
developed a comprehensive plan to address the issues we identified and 
is currently working to systematically examine options and 
implications for their resolution within the scope of OIOS's authority 
and responsibility as mandated by the General Assembly. OIOS also 
stated that the report fairly reflected its efforts and current views 
and noted that the efforts invested by GAO, OIOS, and others have 
contributed to the usefulness of the reported results. 

State endorsed most of our main findings and conclusions, noting that 
it agreed that OIOS's budgetary and operational independence could be 
strengthened further. State also accepted our recommendation that 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight be 
addressed. However, State appears to have misinterpreted our 
discussion of OIOS oversight authority over the separately 
administered UN funds and programs that have opted to use OIOS as 
their internal auditor. State attributed to GAO the assertion that 
OIOS's involvement in the internal oversight of funds and programs is 
contingent on the consent of the funds and programs. This 
interpretation was made instead by the UN Secretariat's Office of 
Legal Affairs. We have added language to make this distinction clearer. 

As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents 
of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of it until 30 
days from the report date. At that time, we will send copies of this 
report to appropriate congressional committees, the Secretary of 
State, and the Permanent Representative of the United States to the 
United Nations. This report will be available at no charge on the GAO 
website at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff members have any questions about this report, 
please contact me at (202) 512-9601 or melitot@gao.gov. Contact points 
for our Office of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be 
found on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major 
contributions to this report are listed in appendix IX. 

Signed by: 

Thomas Melito: 
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Our objectives were to examine actions being taken to address (1) 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight and (2) 
staffing issues that may have hindered its performance. 

To address our objectives, we reviewed relevant United Nations (UN) 
and Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) reports, policies and 
procedures manuals, and other documents, as well as internationally 
recognized standards such as those of the Institute of Internal 
Auditors (IIA). We met with Department of State (State) officials in 
Washington, D.C., and officials in New York from the U.S. Mission to 
the UN. In New York, we also met with the Under-Secretary-General for 
Internal Oversight Services, OIOS management officials and staff in 
each of the Office's divisions (the Internal Audit Division, the 
Investigations Division, and the Inspection and Evaluation Division), 
and with staff from the Office of the Under-Secretary-General. In 
addition, we met with representatives of UN Secretariat departments 
and UN funds and programs, and the members of the UN Board of 
Auditors, which carries out external audits of the accounts of the UN 
organization and the funds and programs that are under the authority 
of the Secretary-General. Through in-person interviews, 
videoconference, and teleconference, we spoke with senior OIOS audit 
and investigations officials based in Geneva and Vienna; with the 
Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) Chairman in Washington, 
D.C.; and with an official from the UN's Joint Inspection Unit in 
Geneva, which conducts evaluations and inspections of the UN system. 

To assess the reliability of UN and OIOS funding and staffing data, we 
reviewed the office's budget reports for fiscal biennia 1994-1995 
through 2010-2011 and vetted the data with relevant OIOS and UN budget 
officials and interviewed an international relations specialist at the 
Congressional Research Service who reports on U.S. contributions to 
the UN; however, we did not independently verify the underlying source 
data. We determined that UN and OIOS budget data were sufficiently 
reliable to present trends of the regular, peacekeeping, and 
extrabudgetary appropriations for the biennia 1994-1995 through 2010- 
2011. We used staffing data provided by OIOS, which we determined were 
reliable for our purposes of presenting staffing levels as of July 31, 
2011. 

To assess OIOS's consistency with key international auditing 
standards, we reviewed relevant internationally accepted standards for 
oversight such as the International Standards for the Professional 
Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the IIA, which OIOS adopted in 
2002. The IIA standards apply to internal audit activities--not to 
investigations, inspections, or evaluation activities. However, we 
applied these standards OIOS-wide, as appropriate. We also reviewed 
the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions issued by 
the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, as well 
as guidelines for oversight such as the Uniform Guidelines for 
Investigations issued by the Conference of International 
Investigators, and the Norms for Evaluation in the UN System issued by 
the United Nations Evaluation Group. Finally, we examined 
documentation for OIOS's risk-based planning methodology and annual 
work plans, recommendations tracking, and ethics practices. 

We conducted our work from October 2010 to September 2011 in 
accordance with generally accepted U.S. government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform our work to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our objectives. We believe that the 
evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: OIOS's Locations and Staffing: 

Figure 7 displays the locations of OIOS staff, as of September 2011, 
including the UN's peacekeeping missions. 

Figure 7: OIOS Staff Locations as of September 2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated world map] 

Regular duty stations: 
Geneva (26); 
Nairobi (40); 
New York (142); 
Vienna (27). 

Peacekeeping mission or other duty station: 
Afghanistan (5); 
Cite d'Ivoire (6); 
Democratic Republic of Congo (12); 
East Timor (3); 
Germany (1); 
Haiti (8); 
Kuwait (4); 
Liberia (12); 
The Netherlands (2); 
Pakistan (1); 
Senegal (1); 
Sri Lanka (1); 
Sudan (29); 
Syria (1); 
Tanzania (3); 
Uganda (2). 

Source: GAO based on OIOS information; Cartesia MapArt (map). 

Notes: 

The five audit staff positions located in Afghanistan (for auditing 
the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) and the four 
audit staff positions located in Kuwait (for auditing the United 
Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq) are funded by the respective 
missions' budgets, not by OIOS. They are therefore not included in the 
327 authorized staff positions as of July 2011 funded by OIOS. 

Five of the staff in Nairobi, one of the staff in Sudan, and all of 
the staff in Pakistan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Syria audit the Office 
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Netherlands- 
based staff oversee the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former 
Yugoslavia and the Tanzania-based staff oversee the International 
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The staff in Germany audits the United 
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

[End of figure] 

The Internal Audit Division is by far the largest OIOS division, 
comprising 57 percent of the office's authorized staff; the 
Investigations Division is second in size, at 29 percent (see figure 
8). 

Figure 8: Authorized Staff Positions in OIOS Divisions, Fiscal 
Biennium 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

[Refer to PDF for image: pie-chart] 

Internal Audit Division (57%): 186; 
Investigations Division (29%): 96; 
Inspection and Evaluation Division (8%): 26; 
Executive Office (4%): 12; 
Office of the Under-Secretary-General (2%): 7. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

Note: These data incorporate approved positions under the peacekeeping 
account (effective July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012). 

[End of figure] 

More staff positions are tied to oversight of peacekeeping activities 
(47 percent overall, or 153 of 327) than activities funded by the 
regular budget (37 percent, or 121 of 327) or extrabudgetary sources 
(16 percent, or 53 of 327). The Internal Audit Division is the only 
division with a significant number of staff positions financed by 
extrabudgetary sources (26 percent, or 49 of 186). (See figure 9.) 

Figure 9: Budgetary Allocation of OIOS Staff Positions, Fiscal 
Biennium 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

[Refer to PDF for image: stacked horizontal bar graph] 

Staff positions: Total; 
Regular budget positions: 121 (37%); 
Peacekeeping budget positions: 153 (47%); 
Extrabudgetary positions: 53 (16%). 

Staff positions: Internal Audit Division; 
Regular budget positions: 38; 
Peacekeeping budget positions: 89; 
Extrabudgetary positions: 49. 

Staff positions: Investigations Division; 
Regular budget positions: 35; 
Peacekeeping budget positions: 57; 
Extrabudgetary positions: 4. 

Staff positions: Inspection and Evaluation Division; 
Regular budget positions: 23; 
Peacekeeping budget positions: 3; 
Extrabudgetary positions: 0. 

Staff positions: Office of the Under-Secretary-General and Executive 
Office; 
Regular budget positions: 15; 
Peacekeeping budget positions: 4; 
Extrabudgetary positions: 0. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

Note: These data incorporate approved positions under the peacekeeping 
account (effective July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012). 

[End of figure] 

OIOS's authorized staff positions have increased slightly (by 12 
percent, or 34 new positions) from 5 years ago, largely due to a 30- 
percent increase (43 new positions) in Internal Audit Division 
positions, whereas the positions in the Investigations Division 
dropped by 15 percent (17 positions). (See figure 10.) 

Figure 10: OIOS Authorized Staff Positions for Each Division, Fiscal 
Biennia 2006-2007 and 2010-2011 (as of July 31, 2011): 

[Refer to PDF for image: horizontal bar graph] 

Staff positions: Total; 
2010-2011: 327 (12% increase); 
2006-2007: 293. 

Staff positions: Internal Audit Division; 
2010-2011: 186 (30% increase); 
2006-2007: 143. 

Staff positions: Investigations Division; 
2010-2011: 96 (15% decrease); 
2006-2007: 113. 

Staff positions: Inspection and Evaluation Division; 
2010-2011: 26 (24% increase); 
2006-2007: 21. 

Staff positions: Office of the Under-Secretary-General and Executive 
Office; 
2010-2011: 19 (19% increase); 
2006-2007: 16. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

Note: These data incorporate approved positions under the peacekeeping 
account (effective July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012). 

[End of figure] 

Total authorized staff positions have generally increased over the past 
nine UN fiscal biennium budget cycles, from 1994-1995 through 2010-2011, 
growing from just over 100 positions in 1994-1995 to over 300 in 2010- 
2011, due largely to an increase in authorized positions for 
overseeing the UN's expanding peacekeeping activities around the world 
(see figures 11 and 12). 

Figure 11: OIOS Authorized Staff Positions, Fiscal Biennia 1994-1995 
through 2010-2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph] 

Year: 1994-1995; 
Authorized staff: 110[A]. 

Year: 1996-1997; 
Authorized staff: 124. 

Year: 1998-1999; 
Authorized staff: 132. 

Year: 2000-2001; 
Authorized staff: 155. 

Year: 2002-2003; 
Authorized staff: 167. 

Year: 2004-2005; 
Authorized staff: 255. 

Year: 2006-2007; 
Authorized staff: 293. 

Year: 2008-2009; 
Authorized staff: 344. 

Year: 2010-2011; 
Authorized staff: 327[B]. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS data. 

[A] The figure for the 1994-1995 biennium does not incorporate 
temporary positions established during the course of the biennium. 

[B] As of July 31, 2011. 

[End of figure] 

Figure 12: OIOS Authorized Staff and Budget Trends, Fiscal Biennia 
1994-1995 through 2010-2011: 

[Refer to PDF for image: combined stacked vertical bar and line graph] 

Year: 1994-1995; 
Regular Budget: $11 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $5.4 million; 
Peacekeeping: $2.2 million; 
Authorized staff: 110. 

Year: 1996-1997; 
Regular Budget: $14.6 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $4.3 million; 
Peacekeeping: $2.3 million; 
Authorized staff: 124. 

Year: 1998-1999; 
Regular Budget: $17.9 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $6.4 million; 
Peacekeeping: $3.6 million; 
Authorized staff: 132. 

Year: 2000-2001; 
Regular Budget: $18.5 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $6.2 million; 
Peacekeeping: $7.4 million; 
Authorized staff: 155. 

Year: 2002-2003; 
Regular Budget: $21.4 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.6 million; 
Peacekeeping: $10.6 million; 
Authorized staff: 167. 

Year: 2004-2005; 
Regular Budget: $23.8 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.0 million; 
Peacekeeping: $31.7 million; 
Authorized staff: 255. 

Year: 2006-2007; 
Regular Budget: $29.8 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $8.1 million; 
Peacekeeping: $43.3 million; 
Authorized staff: 293. 

Year: 2008-2009; 
Regular Budget: $35.8 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $14.1 million; 
Peacekeeping: $50.4 million; 
Authorized staff: 344. 

Year: 2010-2011; 
Regular Budget: $38.9 million; 
Extrabudgetary: $18.0 million; 
Peacekeeping: $48.7 million; 
Authorized staff: 327. 

Source: GAO analysis of UN and OIOS data. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Timeline for the Preparation, Approval, and Execution of 
OIOS's Regular Budget: 

Figure 13 is a timeline showing the process of preparing, approving, 
and executing OIOS's regular budget. As shown in this figure, we have 
updated this timeline since our 2006 report to reflect IAAC's creation 
and its role in that budget process. 

Figure 13: Timeline for the Preparation, Approval, and Execution of 
OIOS's Regular Budget: 

[Refer to PDF for image: timeline] 

Budget preparation and approval for fiscal biennium 2010 - 2011: 

September-November 2008: 
OIOS divisions formulated proposed budget requests and submitted them 
to OIOS/Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG). 

October 2008: 
OIOS/OUSG and OIOS Executive Office reviewed budget estimates. 

November 2008: 
OIOS/OUSG submitted proposed budget to Office of Program Planning, 
Budget, and Accounts (OPPBA). 

December 2008-January 2009: 
OPPBA reviewed, sought clarifications, and made recommendations. 

January-February 2009: 
OPPBA drafted budget report and released it for comments. 

February 2009: 
Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) reviewed OIOS budget 
proposal in consultation with OIOS and OPPBA. 

March 2009: 
OPPBA submitted final budget report to IAAC and Advisory Committee on 
Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for review. 

June 2009: 
09IAAC issued its comments and recommendations on the budget proposal. 

July 2009: 
OIOS and OPPBA justified OIOS proposed budget to ACABQ and IAAC. 

December 2009: 
Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee) issued draft 
resolution. 

December 2009: 
OPPBA issued the first year of the 2010-2011 biennium allotments. 

February 2010: 
General Assembly (GA) formally adopted the Fifth Committee Resolution. 

Budget execution for fiscal biennium 2010 - 2011: 

November-December 2010: 
Fifth Committee and IAAC reviewed first performance report and 
approved the revised appropriations and issued draft resolution. 

December 2010: 
09OPPBA issued the second year of the 2010-2011 biennium allotments. 

November-December 2011: 
Fifth Committee and IAAC review second performance report. 

December 2011: 
GA approves the final appropriations for the biennium. 

Source: GAO based on information provided and validated by OIOS and 
OPPBA. 

Note: The budget process for trust funds and special accounts is the 
same as that for the regular budget. However, the budget cycle for the 
peacekeeping operations support account is on a July to June fiscal 
year, and the budget is prepared annually. The Peacekeeping Finance 
Division provides budget instructions in September of each year. OIOS 
submits its budget to the controller in November. The Peacekeeping 
Finance Division provides comments on OIOS's proposed budget in 
December; subsequently, they meet in January to discuss the budget. 
The ACABQ reviews the proposed budget in March, and the General 
Assembly reviews and approves the budget around May or June of each 
year. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: UN Resolutions and Administrative Issuances Affecting 
OIOS: 

Table 2 lists the UN resolutions and administrative issuances 
affecting OIOS, including its establishment in 1994, a 2003 resolution 
reaffirming the prerogative of the funds and programs to decide on 
their own oversight mechanisms and their relationship with OIOS, and 
the 2006 resolution establishing the IAAC. 

Table 2: UN Resolutions and Administrative Issuances Affecting OIOS: 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/48/218 B [Significant milestone]; 
Date: 8/12/1994; 
Significance to OIOS: General Assembly resolution establishes OIOS. 

Resolution or issuance: ST/SGB/273; 
Date: 9/7/1994; 
Significance to OIOS: 
* Describes OIOS functions; 
* States that OIOS's responsibilities "shall extend to the resources 
and staff of the (UN) Organization, which includes separately 
administered organs." 

Resolution or issuance: ST/AI/397; 
Date: 9/7/1994; 
Significance to OIOS: Informs staff and others of the procedures for 
reporting possible misuse of funds, waste or abuse of United Nations 
facilities or privileges. 

Resolution or issuance: ST/AI/401; 
Date: 1/18/1995; 
Significance to OIOS: Outlines the administrative arrangements and the 
authority of the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight 
Services in personnel matters. 

Resolution or issuance: ST/IC/1996/29; 
Date: 4/25/1996; 
Significance to OIOS: Provides terms of reference for OIOS 
Investigations Division. 

Resolution or issuance: ST/SGB/1998/2; 
Date: 2/12/1998; 
Significance to OIOS: Establishes four OIOS divisions: Central 
Evaluation, Auditing and Management Consulting, Investigations, and 
Central Inspection and Monitoring. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/54/244; 
Date: 1/31/2000; 
Significance to OIOS: 
* Requests that the Secretary-General transmit OIOS reports to the 
General Assembly and that the Secretary-General comments as 
appropriate; 
* States that OIOS should not suggest legislative changes to the 
General Assembly while recognizing that the Secretary-General can 
submit proposals for legislative changes through the appropriate 
channels. 

Resolution or issuance: ST/SGB/2002/7; 
Date: 5/16/2002; 
Significance to OIOS: 
 Reorganizes OIOS into three divisions-Internal Audit; 
Monitoring, Evaluation, and Consulting, and Investigations; 
* Establishes that the OIOS Geneva Office is headed by a Head of 
Office who is concurrently the Chief of the Office of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Audit Service; 
* States that the core functions of OIOS's Internal Audit Division 
include "conducting financial, operational and management audits for 
all UN activities under the administrative responsibility of the 
Secretary-General." 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/57/287 A-B [Significant milestone]; 
Date: 1/31/2003; 
Significance to OIOS: Reaffirms the prerogatives of the funds and 
programs to decide on their own oversight mechanisms and their 
relationship with OIOS. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/59/272; 
Date: 2/2/2005; 
Significance to OIOS: 
* Establishes that original versions of OIOS reports that are not 
submitted to the General Assembly are available to any member state 
upon request; 
* The General Assembly concurs with the view that a high-level follow-
up mechanism should be established to incorporate the findings of 
OIOS, Board of Auditors, and Joint Inspection Unit into the executive 
management process. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/60/1; 
Date: 10/24/2005; 
Significance to OIOS: Allows OIOS to examine the feasibility of 
expanding its services to provide oversight to UN agencies when 
requested. Asks the Secretary-General to submit an independent 
external evaluation of the entire internal oversight system in the UN, 
including for specialized agencies. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/60/248 [Significant milestone]; 
Date: 2/1/2006; 
Significance to OIOS: Establishes the IAAC to assist the General 
Assembly in discharging its oversight responsibilities. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/60/259; 
Date: 6/15/2006; 
Significance to OIOS: Notes with concern OIOS's description of its 
mission in its 2005 annual report and reiterates that the mission of 
OIOS should be in full conformity with its mandate. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/61/245; 
Date: 3/7/2007; 
Significance to OIOS: Requests that the Secretary-General submit a 
report to the General Assembly on strengthening OIOS. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/61/275; 
Date: 8/31/2007; 
Significance to OIOS: 
* Removes management consulting from OIOS; 
* Provides updated, more detailed terms of reference for the IAAC; 
* Requests revised, pooled funding arrangements for OIOS based on 
A/61/880, par. 31-40. 

Resolution or issuance: A/RES/64/263; 
Date: 5/5/2010; 
Significance to OIOS: Endorses some IAAC recommendations on OIOS 
operational independence and defers others to the 66th session of 
General Assembly (in the fall of 2011). 

Source: GAO analysis of UN documents. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: UN Organizations, Their Relationship with OIOS, and Their 
Oversight Capacity: 

Table 3 lists the organizations that comprise the UN system and 
information about their relationship with OIOS and their internal 
oversight capacity. 

Table 3: UN Organizations, Their Relationship with OIOS, and Their 
Oversight Capacity: 

Name of entity[A]: Secretariat[D]; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: Peacekeeping[E]; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Funds and programs, research and training institutes, and other 
entities: 

Name of entity[A]: ICJ; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ICSC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: ?[F]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: ?[F]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ICTR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ICTY; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ITC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: OHCHR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: SCSL; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNAIDS; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNCC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNCCD; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNCTAD; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNDP; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Check]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNEP; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNFCCC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNFPA; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Check][H]. 

Name of entity[A]: UN-Habitat; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNHCR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNICEF; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNICRI; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNIDIR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNISDR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNITAR; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNJSPF; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNODC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNOPS; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNRISD; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNRWA; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Check]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNSSC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNU; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: No funding[G]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UN-Women; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WFP; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Regional commissions: 

Name of entity[A]: ECA; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ECE; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ECLAC; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ESCAP; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ESCWA; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Empty]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Check]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Check]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Specialized agencies: 

Name of entity[A]: FAO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ICAO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: IFAD; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ILO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: IMF; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: IMO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: ITU; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNESCO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNIDO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UNWTO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: UPU; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WB Group; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WHO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WIPO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WMO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Other organizations: 

Name of entity[A]: CTBTO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: IAEA; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: OPCW; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Name of entity[A]: WTO; 
OIOS has no oversight authority: [Check]; 
OIOS has oversight authority: [Empty]; 
Has own oversight capacity: [Check]; 
Has partial oversight capacity: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides partial oversight[B]: [Empty]; 
OIOS provides oversight in special situations[C]: [Empty]. 

Sources: GAO analysis of UN information and validated by OIOS. 

Note: For definitions of the abbreviations, see Glossary at the end of 
this report. 

[A] This is not an all-inclusive list of UN organizations. We have 
included all the organizations listed in the organization chart on the 
UN's website, which notes that the chart is not intended to be all- 
inclusive. 

[B] Along with the entity's own internal oversight structures. 

[C] For example, if the entity determines that it needs outside 
experts to conduct a sensitive investigation. 

[D] Secretariat departments and offices. 

[E] Peacekeeping missions and offices around the world. 

[F] According to OIOS, the ICSC's status as a client is not clear. 

[G] According to OIOS, these entities are clients but have not 
provided OIOS with any funds for oversight services. 

[H] UNDP also provides oversight for UNFPA in some instances. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: Status of Recommendations from Our 2006 Report: 

Our 2006 report made seven recommendations to State and the U.S. 
Mission to the UN--of these, we closed three recommendations as 
implemented and four as not implemented. (GAO practice is to close out 
all recommendations within a 4-year period.) Table 4 summarizes the 
status of each of our recommendations as of July 31, 2011--including 
the three recommendations that were implemented within the GAO 4-year 
time frame, and four that have not been fully implemented, but actions 
have been taken. 

Table 4: Status of Recommendations from Our 2006 Report: 

Implemented within the GAO 4-year time frame: 

Issue: 1. Risk management framework; 
Recommendation: Complete the implementation of OIOS's risk management 
framework to ensure that its annual work plans address those areas 
that pose the highest risks. 
Status: As discussed in this report, OIOS has adopted a risk-based 
approach to its annual work plans and continues to refine it under the 
IAAC's guidance. This recommendation is also related to developing a 
workforce planning methodology. 

Issue: 2. Reporting on risks and control issues; 
Recommendation: Report to the General Assembly on the status of 
significant risks and control issues facing the UN organization, the 
resources necessary to address these issues, and the consequences to 
the organization if any risks and control weaknesses are not addressed. 
Status: In its annual reports to the General Assembly, OIOS reports on 
seven categories of risk (strategy, governance, compliance, financial, 
operational, human resources, and information) and notes the status of 
any significant risks and control weaknesses and potential 
consequences if these are not addressed. 

Issue: 3. Training; 
Recommendation: Institute a mandatory training curriculum for OIOS 
professional staff, including auditors and investigators. 
Status: All three OIOS divisions have developed training curricula: 
the Internal Audit Division developed mandatory training for all 
staff, as well as specialized training for different staff job grades, 
and has conducted training on fraud, performance audits, governance, 
and writing audit reports; 
the Investigations Division has established an Investigations Learning 
Program for its staff and other staff who may be involved in 
conducting investigations; 
and the Inspection and Evaluation Division has developed an internal 
training policy and guidelines and, as part of the UN Evaluation 
Group, has established a core curriculum for evaluation training for 
the UN system. 

Not fully implemented but actions have been taken: 

Issue: 4. Funding arrangements; 
Recommendation: Ensure reliable funding arrangements for OIOS that do 
not undermine the independence of OIOS and provide it with sufficient 
resources that it can effectively reallocate and deploy, as may be 
necessary, to meet high-risk areas as they arise. 
Status: The UN is making progress toward implementing this 
recommendation. As this report indicates, actions taken by the IAAC 
are enhancing OIOS's independence. However, further actions are needed. 

Issue: 5. Workforce planning methodology; 
Recommendation: Develop a workforce planning methodology to 
systematically assess and determine appropriate staffing levels for 
OIOS. 
Status: OIOS has begun to implement this recommendation by basing its 
work plans and budget requests on risk. In addition, the 
Investigations Division instituted new controls in January 2011 that 
will facilitate its efforts to restructure the division. 

Issue: 6. Data reliability; 
Recommendation: Establish guidance and procedures for assessing the 
reliability of data used in support of significant findings in OIOS 
reports. 
Status: GAO previously reported that OIOS's Internal Audit Division 
lacked guidance and procedures for assessing the reliability of data 
used in support of significant findings in OIOS reports. In 2009, the 
Information and Communications Technology Section in the Internal 
Audit Division developed two audit practice guidelines to support 
auditors in assessing the reliability of data. These practice 
guidelines are included in OIOS's Audit Manual and identify 
requirements for assessing internal controls for data origin, input, 
processing, output, and storage. The guidelines cover software for 
data analysis, training auditors how to assess the reliability of 
data, preparing work papers, and identifying risks in information 
systems. However, they do not provide auditors with specific steps for 
assessing data reliability or guidance on how to determine whether the 
data are reliable. For example, the guidelines do not provide criteria 
for defining sufficiently reliable data as compared with data that are 
not sufficiently reliable or data of undetermined reliability. 

Issue: 7. Statements of independence and financial disclosures; 
Recommendation: Require all OIOS professional staff to file statements 
of independence and financial disclosures. 
Status: GAO previously reported that OIOS was vulnerable to potential 
conflicts of interest since it did not require all staff to submit 
formal statements of independence or complete financial disclosure 
forms, as required by international auditing standards. In response to 
our recommendation, OIOS now requires staff from the Internal Audit 
and Investigations Divisions to sign formal statements of independence 
prior to the start of each assignment. However, staff from the 
Inspection and Evaluation Division do not have this requirement. In 
May 2011, the Acting Director of the Investigations Division issued a 
new protocol on conflicts of interest that requires investigators to 
document their assessment of potential conflicts of interest in the 
work plan of an investigation, and to provide information on any 
conflicts identified. Only senior OIOS staff at the director level or 
above are required to submit financial disclosure forms. According to 
OIOS, requiring all staff to submit such forms would be too costly to 
justify any reduction in risk. 

Source: GAO analysis of OIOS information. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VII: Comments from the Office of Internal Oversight Services: 

United Nations: 
Headquarters: 
New York, NY 10017: 

Reference: OUSG-11-00387: 

2 September 2011: 

Mr. Thomas Melito: 
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 
Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC: 

Dear Mr. Melito, 

Re: GAO Report on UN internal Oversight dated September 2011
OIOS appreciates being allowed the opportunity to review the draft 
report and provide comments prior to its publication. 

We agree with the overall conclusion of the report that progress has 
been made on addressing independence and staffing issues, and that 
further actions arc needed in some areas. We also appreciate that our 
efforts and current views on many issues have been fairly reflected in 
the report, and that it acknowledges the strong support provided to 
OIOS by senior management, and in particular the Secretary-General, in 
assisting us to examine options and find solutions. Such support is a 
critical element in realizing internal oversight's potential to 
contribute to greater transparency, effectiveness and accountability 
in the operations of the United Nations and its funds and programs. 

OIOS has developed a comprehensive plan to address the issues outlined 
in the report and many others, and is currently working to 
systematically examine options and implications for their resolution 
within the scope of OIOS authority and responsibility as mandated by 
the General Assembly. We will continue to consult with the U.S-.
Mission and other member states, senior management and interested 
stakeholders to examine all relevant aspects and impacts in arriving 
at proposals for solutions. 

We appreciate the efforts and professionalism of-the GAO team members
involved in this review, and the additional insights and perspectives 
our many discussions and feedback sessions have enlightened. I also 
wish to acknowledge the significant efforts invested by both the GAO 
and OIOS teams as well as other Secretariat and oversight 
participants. in ensuring that information and clarifications provided 
are accurate and well understood. These efforts, which are highly 
appreciated, have no doubt contributed to the usefulness of the 
reported results. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Carman L. Lapointe: 
Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services: 

[End of section] 

Appendix VIII: Comments from the Department of State: 

Note: GAO comments supplementing those in the report text appear at 
the end of this appendix. 

United States Department of State: 
Chief Financial Officer: 
Washington, D.C. 20520: 

September 7, 2011: 

Ms. Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers: 
Managing Director: 
International Affairs and Trade: 
Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001: 

Dear Ms. Williams-Bridgers: 

We appreciate the opportunity to review your draft report,
"UN Internal Oversight: Progress Made on Independence and
Staffing Issues, but Further Actions Are Needed," GAO Job Code 320809. 

The enclosed Department of State comments are provided for 
incorporation with this letter as an appendix to the final report. 

If you have any questions concerning this response, please contact
Matt Glockner, Program Analyst, Bureau of International Organizations, 
at (202) 647-6413. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

James L. Millette: 

cc: GAO ó Thomas Melito: 
IO ó Esther D. Brimmer: 
State/OIG ó Evelyn Klemstine: 

[End of letter] 

Department of State Comments on GAO Draft Report: 

UN Internal Oversight: Progress Made on Independence and Staffing 
Issues, but Further Actions Are Needed (GA0-11-871, GAO Code 320809): 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your draft report entitled 
UN Internal Oversight: Progress Made on Independence and Staffing 
Issues, but Further Actions Are Needed. The Department of State has 
been a strong supporter of the Office of Internal Oversight Services 
(OIOS) since its creation in 1994 and welcomes the latest GAO report 
on UN oversight. This is the third GAO review of OIOS, and it provides 
an update on how internal oversight is conducted in the United 
Nations. The report provides timely and useful information on several 
aspects of OIOS' operations. 

The Department of State endorses most of the main findings and 
conclusions contained in the GAO report. We agree that OIOS' budgetary 
and operational independence could be strengthened further and accept 
GAO's recommendation to work with other member states "to address 
impediments to OIOS's ability to provide independent oversight 
resulting from its relationships with certain UN funds and programs 
and other clients." The Department of State will continue to support 
measures that bolster OIOS' capacity to provide independent oversight of
UN activities. A discussion of the GAO's findings follows. 

We appreciate the report's acknowledgment that the General Assembly 
has supported OIOS' independence by taking a number of actions 
including in particular the establishment of the Independent Audit 
Advisory Committee (IAAC). The United States was a driving force 
behind the establishment of the IA AC in 2007. The GAO report notes a 
number of areas where the IAAC has contributed significantly to 
strengthening OIOS' independence. 

The Department of State disagrees with GAO's conclusion that OIOS may 
only exercise oversight authority over those separately administered 
UN funds and programs "that have opted to use OIOS as their internal 
auditor." [See comment] The GAO report bases its conclusion upon a 
memorandum by the UN Legal Adviser. GAO seems to accept the validity 
of the legal opinion without examining or questioning its basis. The 
assertion that General Assembly Resolution 57/287 supersedes earlier 
resolutions concerning OIOS' authority is incorrect. While Resolution 
57/287 "reaffirms" that UN funds and programs may establish their own 
internal oversight functions, this merely confirms a fact known and 
understood at the time that OIOS was created. OIOS' founding 
resolution, General Assembly Resolution 48/218B, allows for 
jurisdiction over the funds and programs not as a replacement or 
substitute for their respective internal oversight functions but to 
enable OIOS to provide oversight services when and where appropriate. 
Resolution 57/287 did not alter or diminish 010S' authority to conduct 
audits and investigations of the funds and programs. Prior to the 
legal opinion cited by GAO, Resolution 57/287 had been interpreted by
never the UN Secretariat, funds and programs, IAAC, General Assembly 
or any member state as having rescinded OIOS' jurisdiction over the 
funds and programs. Indeed, the General Assembly and the IAAC have 
repeatedly acknowledged the authority of 010S over the funds and 
programs (e.g., General Assembly resolution 61/275). In sum, OIOS was 
established by the General Assembly, and as such, the General Assembly 
is the competent authority to determine the scope of OIOS' role and 
responsibilities. 

We agree that OIOS faces significant bureaucratic and cooperation 
issues when providing cross-agency oversight of activities undertaken 
by multiple UN organizations. This is an area that we will seek to 
address within the General Assembly and the governing bodies of the 
various UN organizations. 

We share GAO's concerns about the high vacancy rate and the prolonged 
vacancies at the director level. We appreciate GAO's assessment that 
the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services has made 
progress in both areas. The U.S. Mission has repeatedly raised these 
matters with UN officials at the highest levels, and we are pleased to 
see the significant improvements made by Under-Secretary-General 
Lapointe since taking office in September 2010. We will continue to 
monitor the vacancy situation at OIOS. 

Finally, we appreciate GAO calling attention to the need to strengthen 
the Office of the Under-Secretary-General. The scope and breadth of 
OIOS' activities have increased significantly since its creation in 
1994. Resources for the Office of the Under-Secretary-General have not 
kept pace with the increased workload. We will seek to support 010S' 
request for additional resources. 

As the report illustrates, OIOS is important to the UN's credibility 
and reputation. Oversight reform is part of the U.S. government's 
ongoing commitment to strengthening management at the United Nations. 
The report accurately recognizes that such reforms will require the 
United States to work with other member states to build support. The 
United States maintains partnerships with other like-minded UN 
members, and we look forward to continuing to work with these members 
with the goal of further strengthening OIOS. 

The following are GAO's comments on State's letter dated September 7, 
2011. 

GAO Comment: 

We believe that State misinterpreted our discussion of OIOS oversight 
authority over the separately administered UN funds and programs that 
have opted to use OIOS as their internal auditor. Our report did not 
conclude that OIOS may only exercise oversight authority over those 
separately administered UN funds and programs that have opted to use 
OIOS as their internal auditor; we reported that this was the 
interpretation of the UN Secretariat's Office of Legal Affairs. We 
have added language in the report to make this distinction clearer. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IX: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Thomas Melito, (202) 512-9601, or melitot@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Joy Labez, Assistant 
Director; Kay Halpern; Jeremy Conley; David Dayton; Etana Finkler; 
Jack Hufnagle; Marya Link; Grace Lui; and Steven Putansu made key 
contributions to this report. Other contributors to this report 
include Kirsten Lauber, Jeremy Sebest, Barbara Shields, and Phillip J. 
Thomas. 

[End of section] 

Glossary: 

This glossary of abbreviations and acronyms contains the full names of 
the United Nations entities referred to in figure 5 and tables 1 and 3. 

CTBTO:
Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty 
Organization: 

DM:
Department of Management: 

ECA:
Economic Commission for Africa: 

ECE:
Economic Commission for Europe: 

ECLAC:
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean: 

ESCAP:
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific: 

ESCWA:
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia: 

FAO:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN: 

IAEA:
International Atomic Energy Agency: 

ICAO:
International Civil Aviation Organization: 

ICJ:
International Court of Justice: 

ICSC:
International Civil Service Commission: 

ICTR:
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: 

ICTY:
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: 

IFAD:
International Fund for Agricultural Development: 

ILO:
International Labor Organization: 

IMF:
International Monetary Fund: 

IMO:
International Maritime Organization: 

ITC:
International Trade Center: 

ITU:
International Telecommunication Union: 

OHCHR:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: 

OPCW:
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: 

SCSL:
Special Court for Sierra Leone: 

UNAIDS:
Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS: 

UNCC:
United Nations Compensation Commission: 

UNCCD:
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification: 

UNCTAD:
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: 

UNDP:
United Nations Development Program: 

UNEP:
United Nations Environment Program: 

UNESCO:
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: 

UNFCCC:
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: 

UNFPA:
United Nations Population Fund: 

UN-Habitat:
United Nations Human Settlements Program: 

UNHCR:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: 

UNICEF:
United Nations Children's Fund: 

UNICRI:
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: 

UNIDO:
United Nations Industrial Development Organization: 

UNIDIR:
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research: 

UNISDR:
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction: 

UNITAR:
United Nations Institute for Training and Research: 

UNJSPF:
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund: 

UNODC:
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: 

UNOG:
United Nations Office at Geneva: 

UNON:
United Nations Office at Nairobi: 

UNOPS:
United Nations Office for Project Services: 

UNOV:
United Nations Office at Vienna: 

UNRISD:
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development: 

UNRWA:
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the 
Near East: 

UNSSC:
United Nations System Staff College: 

UNU:
United Nations University: 

UN-Women:
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women: 

UNWTO:
United Nations World Tourism Organization: 

UPU:
Universal Postal Union: 

WB Group:
World Bank Group: 

WFP:
World Food Program: 

WHO:
World Health Organization: 

WIPO:
World Intellectual Property Organization: 

WMO:
World Meteorological Organization: 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

United Nations Organizations: Oversight and Accountability Could Be 
Strengthened by Further Instituting International Best Practices. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-597]. Washington, D.C.: 
June 18, 2007. 

United Nations: Management Reforms Progressing Slowly with Many 
Awaiting General Assembly Review. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-14]. Washington, D.C.: October 5, 
2006. 

United Nations: Weaknesses in Internal Oversight and Procurement Could 
Affect the Effective Implementation of the Planned Renovation. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-877T]. Washington, 
D.C.: June 20, 2006. 

United Nations: Oil for Food Program Provides Lessons for Future 
Sanctions and Ongoing Reform. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-711T]. Washington, D.C.: May 2, 
2006. 

United Nations: Internal Oversight and Procurement Controls and 
Processes Need Strengthening. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-710T]. Washington, D.C.: April 27, 
2006. 

United Nations: Funding Arrangements Impede Independence of Internal 
Auditors. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-575]. 
Washington, D.C.: April 25, 2006. 

United Nations: Lessons Learned from Oil for Food Program Indicate the 
Need to Strengthen UN Internal Controls and Oversight. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-330]. Washington, D.C.: April 25, 
2006. 

United Nations: Procurement Internal Controls Are Weak. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-577]. Washington, D.C., April 25, 
2006. 

United Nations: Preliminary Observations on Internal Oversight and 
Procurement Practices. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-226T]. Washington, D.C.: October 
31, 2005. 

United Nations: Sustained Oversight Is Needed for Reforms to Achieve 
Lasting Results. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-392T]. 
Washington, D.C.: March 2, 2005. 

United Nations: Oil for Food Program Audits. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-346T]. Washington, D.C.: February 
15, 2005. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] G.A. Res. 48/218 B, U.N. GAOR, 48th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/218 
B (1994). 

[2] This represents about 41 percent of the UN system's total 
expenditures of about $37 billion in 2009 and includes expenditures 
for some of the largest UN entities and activities for which OIOS 
provides oversight services, including the UN Secretariat, 
peacekeeping operations, the United Nations Environment Program, the 
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the 
United Nations Human Settlements Program, the International Criminal 
Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for the 
Former Yugoslavia, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 

[3] GAO, United Nations: Sustained Oversight Is Needed for Reforms to 
Achieve Lasting Results, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-392T] (Washington, D.C.: March 2, 
2005) and GAO, United Nations: Oil for Food Program Audits, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-346T] (Washington, 
D.C.: February 15, 2005). In 1996, the UN and Iraq established the Oil 
for Food Program to address Iraq's humanitarian situation after 
sanctions were imposed in 1990. In April 2004, the UN established the 
Independent Inquiry Committee to investigate the administration and 
management of the UN Oil for Food Program. See Independent Inquiry 
Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program, Interim Report 
(New York, N.Y.: Feb. 3, 2005), and The Management of the Oil-for-Food 
Program (New York, N.Y.: Sept. 7, 2005). 

[4] GAO, United Nations: Funding Arrangements Impede Independence of 
Internal Auditors, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-575] 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 25, 2006). 

[5] The General Assembly established a number of distinct entities, 
called funds and programs, that have responsibility for particular 
issues, such as development (the United Nations Development Program), 
children (the United Nations Children's Fund), the environment (the 
United Nations Environment Program), refugees (Office of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and other issues. 

[6] The advisory committee advises the General Assembly on the budget 
submitted by the Secretary-General, examines the administrative 
budgets of the specialized agencies, and reports to the General 
Assembly on the auditors' reports on the accounts of the UN and of the 
specialized agencies. 

[7] G.A. Res. 60/248. U.N. GAOR, 60th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/60/248 
(2006). 

[8] Assessed contributions are legal obligations accepted by UN member 
states that finance the day-to-day operations of the UN. Voluntary 
contributions finance the funds and programs; member states are not 
legally obligated to make these contributions. 

[9] U.S. funds obligated in fiscal year 2010 for the Secretariat, 
peacekeeping operations, the United Nations Environment Program, the 
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the 
United Nations Human Settlements Program, the International Criminal 
Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for the 
Former Yugoslavia, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 
as reported in FY2010 U.S. Contributions to the United Nations System, 
Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, 
June 6, 2011. (OIOS oversees additional UN entities, but U.S. 
contributions to these entities were not specified by the Office of 
Management and Budget.) 

[10] The IIA is recognized as the internal audit profession's leader 
in certification, education, research, and technological guidance. 

[11] The Board of Auditors carries out external audits of the 
financial accounts of the UN organization and the funds and programs 
that are under the authority of the Secretary-General. It is presently 
composed of high-level representatives from the national audit offices 
of China, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. 

[12] The Joint Inspection Unit conducts evaluations and inspections of 
the UN system, including the specialized agencies; it is also mandated 
to conduct investigations but has only recently begun to develop the 
capacity to do so. 

[13] The General Assembly is the UN's main policymaking body and 
comprises all 193 member states. The Secretariat, headed by the 
Secretary-General, carries out the day-to-day work of the 
organization, such as administering peacekeeping operations, mediating 
international disputes, surveying economic and social trends, and 
preparing studies on human rights and sustainable development. 

[14] Specialized agencies include entities such as the Food and 
Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. A 
governing body is composed of member state representatives who are 
responsible for steering and directing the entity by setting and 
maintaining its strategic direction and overseeing its management, 
resource allocations, and operations. 

[15] G.A. Res. 48/218 B, U.N. GAOR, 48th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/218 
B (1994). 

[16] United Nations General Assembly Report of the Secretary General: 
Comprehensive Review of Governance and Oversight within the United 
Nations and its Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies, A/60/883/ 
Add.2 (Aug. 28, 2006). 

[17] Source: OIOS's website. OIOS's audit manual specifies these 
entities along with several others as included in OIOS's mandate: the 
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the 
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; the International Court of 
Justice; UN research and training institutes; the United Nations 
Office on Drugs and Crime; the United Nations Conference on Trade and 
Development; the International Trade Center; and the United Nations 
Joint Staff Pension Fund. 

[18] These regulations and rules stipulate that OIOS shall conduct 
internal audits in accordance with regulation 5.8. (d), which relates 
to maintaining internal financial control. They are promulgated by the 
Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly and govern all 
the financial management activities of the UN except as explicitly 
provided by the General Assembly or exempted by the Secretary-General. 
See United Nations, Financial Regulations and Rules of the United 
Nations, Secretary-General's Bulletin ST/SGB/2003/7 (May 9, 2003). 

[19] OIOS's structure has changed only slightly from the information 
presented in our 2006 report. The General Assembly in 2007 approved 
the transfer of the consulting service from the Monitoring, 
Evaluation, and Consulting Division to the UN's Department of 
Management; in 2008, the division was renamed the Inspection and 
Evaluation Division. 

[20] The UN Secretariat operates on a 2-year budget cycle encompassing 
two calendar years, with the General Assembly adopting a proposed 
regular budget every 2 years. The peacekeeping budget runs on an 
annual cycle, from July 1 to June 30, and is approved separately by 
the General Assembly. 

[21] Peacekeeping activities--including military and civilian 
personnel costs, facilities, infrastructure, transportation, 
equipment, and supplies--are distinct from the administrative 
functions related to peacekeeping performed by the Secretariat and 
funded by the regular budget. 

[22] UN officials also use the term "extrabudgetary" when referring to 
any item not covered in the regular budget. UN budget documents 
describe extrabudgetary resources as covering peacekeeping operations, 
funds and programs, the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda 
and the former Yugoslavia, and other activities. However, the UN 
officials we met with used "extrabudgetary" to refer to the activities 
of UN funds and programs and other entities paid for primarily through 
voluntary contributions from member states, and not to peacekeeping 
operations, and that is how we use the term in this report. 

[23] See, for example, United Nations: Renovation Schedule Accelerated 
After Delays, but Risks Remain in Key Areas, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-513R] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 9, 
2008), p. 18, and United Nations: Renovation Still Scheduled for 
Completion in 2013, but Risks to Its Schedule and Cost Remain, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-870R] (Washington, 
D.C.: July 30, 2009), p. 15. 

[24] In addition to the report on vacant positions at OIOS, the IAAC 
has issued two annual reports on its activities and one report 
covering the first 6 months of its operation; four reports on OIOS's 
yearly budgets for oversight of peacekeeping activities and one 
addendum; and two reports on OIOS's proposed regular program budgets 
(for the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 fiscal biennia, respectively). 

[25] United Nations, Comprehensive Review of Governance and Oversight 
within the United Nations and its Funds, Programmes and Specialized 
Agencies, Report of the Independent Steering Committee, A/60/883/Add.2 
(Aug. 2006). 

[26] G.A. Res. 48/218 B, U.N. GAOR, 48th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/218 
B (1994). 

[27] G.A. Res. 57/287 A-B, U.N. GAOR, 57th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/57/ 
287 A-B (2003). 

[28] United Nations, Report of the Office of Internal Oversight 
Services on Proposals for Strengthening the Office of Internal 
Oversight Services, UN Document A/60/901 (July 14, 2006). 

[29] United Nations, Comprehensive Review of Governance and Oversight 
within the United Nations and its Funds, Programmes and Specialized 
Agencies, report of the Independent Steering Committee, A/60/883/Add.2 
(Aug. 2006). 

[30] GAO previously found that while OIOS had adopted the IIA 
standards in 2002, its annual work plans were not fully based on a 
systematic risk assessment process, as the standards require. See GAO-
06-575. 

[31] United Nations, Comprehensive Review of Governance and Oversight 
within the United Nations and Its Funds, Programmes, and Specialized 
Agencies, Addendum 2, Volume 5. Report of the Secretary-General, UN 
Document, A/60/883/Add.2 (Aug. 28, 2006). 

[32] In commenting on this report, OIOS stated that the IAAC mandate 
need not cover the adequacy of budget requests or resource 
requirements for, or resource agreements with, entities not within its 
mandate, when entities (such as the Office of the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees or the United Nations Joint Staff Pension 
Fund) have an audit or oversight committee that considers these 
matters to ensure adequacy and independence of the audit activities. 

[33] United Nations, Comprehensive Review of Governance and Oversight 
within the United Nations and its Funds, Programmes and Specialized 
Agencies, Report of the Independent Steering Committee, A/60/883/Add.2 
(Aug. 2006). 

[34] Multi-donor trust funds are established by the UN system, 
national authorities, and other donors to support specific country 
and/or global priorities, such as UN development assistance 
frameworks. Participating organizations appoint an administrative 
agent that receives, administers, and transfers donor funds in 
accordance with memoranda of understanding. 

[35] According to an IAAC official, as of July 2011, OIOS had not 
brought this recommendation to the IAAC's attention. 

[36] United Nations, Financial Report and Audited Financial Statements 
for the Biennium Ended 31 December 2009 and Report of the Board of 
Auditors, General Assembly Official Records, Sixty-fifth Session, 
Supplement No. 5, A/65/5 (Vol. 1). 

[37] In commenting on this report, OIOS stated that the division 
director positions have been continuously staffed on an acting basis 
for several years, and therefore have not been technically "vacant," 
nor has this situation hampered OIOS's ability to provide sufficient 
oversight. 

[38] OIOS itself reported a higher rate for that period (26 percent 
for professional staff, including director-level positions). 

[39] United Nations, Financial Report and Audited Financial Statements 
for the Biennium Ended 31 December 2009 and Report of the Board of 
Auditors, General Assembly Official Records, Sixty-fifth Session, 
Supplement No. 5, A/65/5 (Vol. 1). 

[End of section] 

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