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Tribunal de Contas da União

Brazil elected to the United Nations Board of Auditors

The election took place Friday, November 3rd, at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) in New York. The Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) is the institution responsible for representing the country in the external audit work of the international organization's finances
Por Secom TCU

On November 3rdBrazil was elected to the United Nations (UN) Board of Auditors. As Brazil’s Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) is responsible for representing the country throughout the mandate. The Board of Auditors conducts external audits of the international organization's finances, funds, programs, and peacekeeping missions, and makes recommendations to improve governance and resource management.

Since the official announcement of Brazil’s candidacy for the Board position in May of this year, the federal government has been working to gain the support of the UN member states. In this regard, the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, sent a letter to all permanent representatives of the United Nations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, and Congressman Cláudio Cajado, Brazil's representative to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), also spoke in favor of the country before the Board of Auditors.

The President of the TCU, Minister Bruno Dantas, the Vice-President and Internal Affairs Officer of the Court, Minister Vital do Rêgo, and the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, Ambassador Sergio Danese, were present for the election, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York. 

Brazil was elected by acclamation to the position currently held by Chile, whose mandate ends in June 2024. For Dantas, the election is an achievement for the country.

"This victory strengthens Brazil in the international context and was only possible thanks to the commitment and leadership of President Lula and Minister Mauro Vieira. Represented by the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts, the country has the necessary prerogatives to carry out audits in an autonomous, efficient, and high-quality manner, with the aim of promoting transparency, legality, integrity, and the proper functioning of UN activities”, he said.

Ambassador Sergio Danese pointed out that Brazil seeks to be present in various areas of the United Nations' activities. He believes that the election is a step towards consolidating the internationalization of the TCU and improving its frameworks and methodologies, which will benefit Brazil in the dimension of auditing public accounts and improving the quality of public spending.

"For us, being a member of the Board means having better understanding of the functioning of the UN and its agencies, and thus being able to evaluate and develop our strategies for the Organization. It is also proof that Brazil is a country willing to help, to build, to facilitate”, he explained.

Minister Vital do Rêgo stressed that this is a moment of recognition for the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts and for the Brazilian nation.

"Brazil is leading the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) for the second time and is the only country to chair twice the institution since its creation, 70 years ago.. The election to the UN Board of Auditors is a demonstration of the respect that Brazil enjoys today throughout the world", noted TCU’s  Vice-President.

TCU represents Brazil on the Board of Auditors

As part of the Board of Auditors, Brazil plays an important role in ensuring that the resources financed by more than 190 member countries are used effectively and in accordance with standards and regulations. As the nation's representative, the TCU will work to ensure the proper use of resources in vital global initiatives, such as the fight against poverty, inequality, the climate crisis, wars, political instability, and obstacles to sustainable development.

Minister Jorge Oliveira emphasized that auditing the UN’s financial resources and acting directly to promote the improvement of the governance and management of the Organization on the world stage is an opportunity to strengthen and develop the Court.

"The presence of the TCU on the UN Board of Auditors confirms the international relevance that the Court has achieved, and the performance of excellence that has brought us here should be a permanent feature of our Supreme Audit Institution", he stated.

Minister Antonio Anastasia pointed out that the contribution of the Brazilian government was crucial for the selection of Brazil for the seat on the Board of Auditors.

"The election will allow TCU to deepen its international work. The support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been crucial for this, with its competence in coordinating to make Brazil's candidacy viable", said Anastasia.

How the UN Board of Auditors works

The Board consists of three members, each of whom is the Auditor-General – or equivalent office holders – of audit institutions of UN Member States, elected for six-year terms. The three current members are  the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile, Jorge Bermúdez (mandate 2018-2024); the auditor General of the People's Republic of China, Hou Kai (mandate 2020-2026); and the First President of the Court of Accounts of France, Pierre Moscovici (mandate 2022-2028). The presidency rotates every two years and has been held by China since January this year.

The Board carries out the external audit of accounts of the UN system member organizations. It is required to issue an annual report with opinions, conclusions, and recommendations, providing a diagnosis of each entity’s management of the resources that fund it. The work verifies, through financial and compliance audits, the reliability of accounting data and the regularity of transactions carried out by the Organization, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

The Board also conducts performance audits. These audits may result in recommendations concerning to the effictiveness of financial procedures, the accounting system, internal financial controls and, more generally, the management of the United Nations.

Each annual report includes an opinion on the financial statements, an opinion on the compliance with financial regulations, and a report of findings and recommendations on deficiencies in internal controls related to the compliance and performance of various management areas of each institution.

To put into perspective  the scale of the work, the UN expenditure in 2022 was approximately 67 billion dollars.The Board of Auditors is responsible for auditing about 40 billion dollars. Each institution that makes up the Board is responsible for auditing about one-third of this amount.

UN standards applied to the TCU routine

In recent months, TCU has met and begun to adopt the UN Audit Standard. As a result, progress has been made in improving the work of the Court of Accounts. The use of international accounting and auditing standards, the adoption of international best practices in governance, risk management, internal controls, financial and human resources, acquiring, and technology management are improvements in the Court’s routine. 

In addition, TCU auditors have participated in training on international public accounting standards and exchanges in countries such as Portugal, Chile, and France, to learn about the experience of audit institutions in auditing international organizations. Throughout the experience, it has been possible to confirm good practices that are already in place, in addition to identifying opportunities to implement the UN style of integrated audits.

International projection

The election of Brazil shows that both the country and TCU are ready to audit an important body in global governance. The election also reinforces the role that the nation has been playing in the world in recent years.

In 2022, the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts took over the chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). INTOSAI promotes the improvement of government audit practices around the world. The organization has 196 members, which are the audit institutions of different countries. Brazil leads INTOSAI until 2025 and is the only country to have chaired the institution twice.


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