The Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts participates as an observer in United Nations Panel of External Auditors
The TCU participated as an observer in the UN Panel of External Auditors on November 20-21, in New York City. TCU’s Vice President, Minister Vital do Rêgo, attended the technical meeting, which is part of the 51st special session of the UN Board of Auditors. Brazil, represented by the Court, will assume a seat on the UN Board of Auditors in June 2024 for a six-year term.
The UN Panel of External Auditors, which was held on the first day of the meeting, is composed of the heads of 12 Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs). They are elected or selected to conduct the external audit of the UN Secretariat, Funds and Programmes, specialized agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The meeting was attended by representatives of the SAIs of Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The UN Board of Auditors currently composed of China, Chile, and France met on the second day and approved the budget and workplan for the period between July 2024 and June 2025.
As part of the Board of Auditors, Brazil plays a key role in ensuring the proper use of UN funded resources. The group is responsible for analyzing and auditing the accounts, funds, and programs of the organization. In 2022, the UN Board of Auditors audited approximately $40 billion out of a total of $67 billion in UN expenses. Each institution of the Board is responsible for auditing approximately one-third of this amount.
Minister Vital do Rêgo evaluated the participation of TCU in the panel. "We have had exceptional and highly productive days. This is a milestone TCU is experiencing. This is the pinnacle of its internationalization efforts as preparation to join both the Panel of Auditors and the UN Board. It is an opportunity to contribute to the analysis of issues of the highest relevance, such as climate change and peacekeeping missions", he underlined.
The TCU will strive to ensure that investments in initiatives addressing global issues like poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis are utilized effectively. Throughout its term on the Board of Auditors, TCU is anticipated to conduct performance audits that could lead to recommendations for enhancing United Nations management. The goal is to contribute to the efficiency of financial procedures, accounting systems, and internal controls. Upon the conducted audits, the UN Board of Auditors produces an annual report and issues a technical assessment on the financial standing of each organization. The report is submitted to the General Assembly.
Alignment with International Auditing Best Practices
TCU has recently initiated a thorough examination of the UN audit standard to enhance its internal processes and procedures. This measure will incorporate international accounting and auditing standards into the Court's routine. It will also expand the adoption of international best practices standards in governance, risk management, internal controls, financial management, and human resources.
TCU auditors have been actively engaged in training programs on international public accounting standards and have participated in exchanges with their counterparts in countries like Portugal, Chile, and France. The goal is to gain valuable insights from the expertise and practices of control institutions involved in auditing international organizations. During the experience, it was possible to confirm good practices that are already underway and identify opportunities to implement the UN's integrated audit approach.
Composition of the UN Board of Auditors
The group is composed of three SAIs - or equivalent - from the control institutions of UN member states, elected for six-year terms. Currently, it is composed of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile, Jorge Bermúdez (term 2018-2024); the Auditor General of the National Audit Office of China, Hou Kai (term 2020-2026); and the first president of the French Court of Accounts, Pierre Moscovici (term 2022-2028). The presidency rotates every two years and is currently held by China since January of this year.