Joint Audit Statement Read by Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform, at the Second Regular Executive Board Session of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS

Ambassador Joseph M Torsella
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 9, 2011


Mister President, I am delivering this statement on behalf of Australia, Canada, Norway, Italy and Sweden, as well as my own country, the United States.

We would like to note our appreciation to UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS for their collaboration on the joint note concerning “Remote Viewing of Internal Audit Reports” as requested by the Executive Board at its annual session in June 2011. We would also like to thank UNDP for the demonstration at the informal meeting on September 1 of a secure web-based platform for viewing internal audit reports. This represents an important step towards the culture of transparency and accountability that must be a hallmark of the work of these vital public institutions, indeed of any public institution, and we urge the adoption of item 9.

Remote viewing of internal audit reports will enhance the exercise of due diligence by facilitating easier access to audit reports for Member States, intergovernmental donor organizations and the Global Fund. We request information on when UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS will begin remote viewing and we look forward to full and expeditious implementation.

However, we note that this is only a first step, and bolder steps toward openness, access, and accountability should follow quickly. Public disclosure of internal audits is urgently needed to sustain confidence in these organizations. We welcome Helen Clark's commitment to achieving full public transparency by the end of next year, and we look forward to working with her and member states to achieve this goal. We call upon UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS to present a plan with clear targets at the next Executive Board meeting for achieving full public disclosure of internal audits, with appropriate due process and privacy safeguards.

Donors, recipient countries, partner NGOs, and private individuals should be able see to what extent program resources are being adequately safeguarded against waste and abuse. International institutions must be able to withstand the public scrutiny that comes from disclosing internal audit reports.

We will continue to work with other member states and UN organizations to raise the level of accountability and transparency at these organizations and throughout the UN system more generally.

Thank you, Mister President.

PRN: 2011/174