Employees from TCU take part in technical meetings with Chilean SAI on the UN Board of Auditors
In May 2022, Brazil, represented by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), formalized to the United Nations (UN) its interest in applying for a seat on the Board of Auditors. Through this participation, the TCU intends to contribute to improving the efficiency of the administration and management of the United Nations. At the same time, the initiative raises the TCU's credibility internally and internationally, as well as contributing to the professionalization of the technical staff.
The current members of the Board of Auditors are the Comptroller General of Chile, Jorge Bermudez (2018-2024 term), the Auditor General of the People's Republic of China, Hou Kai (2020-2026 term) and the First President of the French Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici (2022-2028 term).
The TCU's candidacy is for the seat currently occupied by the Comptroller General of Chile, whose term ends in June 2024, and the election will take place in November 2023.
To achieve this goal, some actions are already underway, such as the creation of the audit unit specializing in Account Certification, with the allocation of new auditors, the development of exchange programs with other control institutions that have experience in auditing international bodies and the training of more than 70 TCU auditors in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), given by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in the United Kingdom.
Other organizational actions needed to carry out this task are under analysis, but in general, they can only be implemented after the election in November if Brazil is chosen.
As part of the exchange programs, technical meetings were held with officials from the Office of the Comptroller General of Chile in Santiago between August 22 and 25. The technical visit was key to anticipating possible legal and regulatory adaptations, as well as people management solutions covering recruitment and professional development. As a result, an entourage was formed comprising leaders from the three General Departments and the mission was financed by the World Bank.
Over four days of meetings, presentations were made by the Chilean SAI on operational and strategic aspects of the process of external auditing of UN entities, with the following highlights:
- Description of the mandate and details of the organization of the entities involved in the UN Board of Auditors;
- Logistics and planning of the schedule of activities of the Chilean auditors;
- Auditing standards and quality assessments applied;
- Audit planning, execution, reporting and follow-up stages;
- Auditing peace missions;
- Particularities of peace mission logistics;
- Language standards are required by the UN and the organization of the sector responsible for English language reviews.
In addition, strategic meetings were held with the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile, Jorge Bermúdez Soto, with the head of the UN-CGR External Audit Department, Marta Morales del Río, with the Deputy Secretary General, Kael Becerra Rojas, and with the external audit directors of the UN Board of Auditors, Valentina Monasterio Gálvez and Pablo Esteban Dequero. The composition of the portfolio of audited entities, the relationship with UN committees, and the profile of the board's external audit directors were the topics covered at these meetings.
From the presentations, it was possible to learn in detail about the functioning and organization of the Chilean SAI in the UN Board of Auditors. Based on this experience, it will be possible to define:
- Management of the financial resources received from the UN and their respective accountability;
- Requirements for the development of an IT solution to support the TCU in the activities of the UN Board of Auditors;
- The number of auditors and the desired profile;
- Training requirements for the selected auditors, in terms of English language proficiency, technical skills in financial, operational and compliance auditing, and so-called soft skills;
- Organization of audit schedules and the time required for each event;
- Adapting the well-known planning, execution, reporting and monitoring processes to the specific needs of the UN external audit;
- The profile of the external audit directors of the board of auditors and the composition of the portfolio of audited entities;
- The composition of a back office to support administrative activities and their respective attributions.
In terms of next steps, a technical group was recently set up with the aim of planning and coordinating, within the TCU, actions to prepare for the Court's role on the UN Board of Auditors, should Brazil be elected. The aforementioned definitions will be operationalized through this group.