Since 2005, the United Nations (UN) has been attempting to reform its management processes, in part to help ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently. Some of these reforms focus on improving oversight and accountability at the United Nations. In this report, GAO examines the extent to which selected UN organizations' (1) internal audit offices have implemented professional standards for performing audits and investigations, (2) evaluation offices have implemented UN evaluation standards, and (3) governing bodies are provided with information about the results of UN oversight practices. GAO obtained and analyzed international standards and relevant documents from six of the largest UN organizations, and also met with U.S. and UN officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of State||To improve oversight in UN organizations, the Secretary of State should direct the U.S. Missions to work with member states to make internal audit reports available to the governing bodies to provide further insight into the operations of the United Nations' organizations and identify critical systemic weaknesses.|
|Department of State||To improve oversight in UN organizations, the Secretary of State should direct the U.S. Missions to work with member states to establish independent audit committees that are accountable to their governing bodies, where this currently does not occur. Audit committee oversight responsibilities could include the following: (1) ensuring communication and reporting lines between the head of internal audit and the audit committee, (2) reviewing internal audit staffing and ensuring that the function has the necessary resources, (3) reviewing and assessing the annual internal audit plan, (4) reviewing management's responsiveness to internal audit findings, and (5) monitoring and assessing internal audit effectiveness.|