Internal audits provide independent assurance to the Secretary-General over governance, risk management and control within OECD Directorates and corporate services. Evaluations provide systematic assessments of the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of OECD’s substantive committees inter alia to inform Council decisions on mandate appropriateness and renewal.
The Internal Audit and Evaluation functions are headed by the Director of Internal Audit and Evaluation, and report to the Secretary-General.
Internal Audit & the OECD
The International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing of the Institute of Internal Auditors (the Standards) define Internal Auditing as an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations. Internal Audit was established in OECD on 1 January 2003, and its mandate was updated in accordance with Financial Regulation 30, effective 1 November 2008.
Internal Audit is part of an Audit Architecture which also comprises External Audit (the Supreme Audit Institution of a Member country appointed by the Council) and an Audit Committee (a sub-group of the Council), all of which are defined in the Financial Regulations. Internal Audit comprises three staff members.
Internal Audit methodology and reporting
In accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, Internal Audit provides the Secretary-General with an independent and objective assurance and advisory activity designed to add value and improve OECD’s operations. It helps the Organisation achieve its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.
Internal Audit has been confirmed through external quality assessment reviews as conforming with the Standards.
Evaluation & the OECD
Evaluation is an instrument used by administrations and organisations to produce relevant and reliable results-focused information that enables them to take decisions on a more informed basis. The OECD In-depth Evaluation process has the overarching goal of providing the Council with a mechanism through which it can “assess whether Committees are conducting processes, delivering outputs and achieving impacts that are in line with Members’ policy expectations and priorities and the comparative advantage of the OECD.” [C(2004)190]
In-depth Evaluation, as an integral part of the OECD’s Integrated Management Cycle, was implemented in 2005 under the responsibility of the Evaluation Committee (a sub-group of the Council) and conducted by the In-depth Evaluation function situated within the Secretariat’s Internal Audit and Evaluation Directorate. It comprises three staff members.
In-depth Evaluation of Committees
In-depth Evaluations are designed to support Council in its oversight of Committees’ performance. In this context, Committees are assessed with respect to the relevance of their policy direction, their effectiveness in terms of policy impact and how efficiently they function.
A second and equally important aspect of In-depth Evaluation is the use of evaluation results to increase the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Committees so as to provide a basis for learning from past performance in order to optimise future results. It is in the context of fostering improved performance that: i) evaluation recommendations are endorsed by Council and systematically monitored for implementation for a year, and sometimes longer, after the completion of an in-depth evaluation; and ii) exemplary and innovative committee practices that have been successfully implemented, and which may be of interest and be potentially transferable to other Committees, are identified.