The Comptroller and Auditor General of India will audit the UN Secretariat in New York, a job which till now was the exclusive domain of developed countries, CAG Shashi Kant Sharma said. The CAG is the external auditor of several UN organisations and Sharma presently is the Chairman of the UN Board of Auditors. Unlike other international agencies, which are audited by a single country as an external auditor, the United Nations is audited by a Board of Auditors consisting of three supreme audit institutions. At present, Auditors General of Germany and Tanzania are the members and Sharma is the Chair of the Board. The CAG of India’s term runs from 2014 to 2020.
“The fact that we have recently assumed responsibility for auditing the UN Secretariat in New York, which has always remained under the domain of the developed countries, is a significant recognition of our audit work,” he told PTI here. Presently, there are 27 entities under the audit mandate of the Board of Auditors of the UN and each of the three Board members assumes lead role for auditing a particular entity.
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“We are the lead auditors of UNICEF, UNJSPF, UNOPS etc. Germany is the lead auditor of peacekeeping missions and Tanzania leads audit efforts on UNDP. However, the Board as a whole is responsible for all the audits,” he said. All the audit reports of the Board are signed by each of the three board members and forwarded by the chairman to the General Assembly.
“As Chairman, my job is to report audit findings of the Board of Auditors to the General Assembly through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, which is a committee like our Public Accounts Committee.
“I chair the meetings of the board. My role includes apprising the UN management on the significant issues that come to our knowledge during audit,” Sharma said, adding in January this year he had a meeting with the newly appointed Secretary General Antonio Guterres for this purpose. CAG, he said, enjoys an important position in the global public sector audit community and is in the Governing Board of International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which is the global organisation of all Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).
“I chair one of the four main committees of INTOSAI called the Knowledge Sharing Committee,” Sharma said. In addition, India is the Chair of the Working Group on Information Technology Audit. Also, a Deputy Auditors General of CAG chairs the newly constituted Framework for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements.
In the Asian Organization of SAIs (ASOSAI) also, CAG has a tall standing and is in their Governing Board. “We also have active bilateral and multilateral technical cooperation agreements with various Supreme Audit Institutions of other countries,” he added.