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Internal Audit Strategy and Practices in the European Commission Brian Gray, Internal Auditor of the European Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "Internal Audit Strategy and Practices in the European Commission Brian Gray, Internal Auditor of the European Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internal Audit Strategy and Practices in the European Commission Brian Gray, Internal Auditor of the European Commission

2 Commission internal audit – our raison d'être

3 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 3 The Union 27 Member States 493 million people square km Budget of 140 billion (2010), 80 % managed by the MSs The Institutions European Council European Parliament Council of the European Union European Commission Court of Justice Court of Auditors European Central Bank The European Commission President: José Manuel Barroso 27 Commissioners civil servants and other agents 40 Directorates General and Services EU agencies and other decentralised bodies The European Union

4 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 4 The European Commission The European Commission is the political engine of the European Union. It enjoys the exclusive right of initiative, is guardian of the Treaty and assumes, on its own responsibility, the implementation of the European budget, having regard the principles of sound financial management. The European Commission and the Internal Audit Service The Internal Audit Service (IAS) provides the College of the Commissioners with an independent audit opinion focusing on the Commission Services performance in managing the EU budget. By identifying weaknesses and recommending corrective actions, the IAS provides assurance to the College that its services respect the rules and mitigate properly the risks.

5 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 5 Before internal audit The weaknesses before the 2000 reform: Blurred responsibilities – also between political level (Commission) and departments (DGs); Centralised (ex-ante) Financial Control; Under-developed accountability; Cash-based accounting.

6 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 6 Clear responsibilities and accountability for Directors General Improvement in general control framework Accrual accounting: sign-off by the Accounting Officer Creation of Internal Audit Service (IAS) and IACs: - Independent Internal Audit Service with DG status reporting to Commission Audit Progress Committee (APC) - Internal Audit for each DG (IACs) reporting to DG The Administrative Reform

7 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 7 The role of the IAS is set out in the Financial Regulation (Art.85 to 87). Art.85: Each institution shall establish an internal auditing function which must be performed in compliance with the relevant international standards. Art.86: The internal auditor shall advise his/her institution on dealing with risks, by issuing independent opinions on the quality of management and control systems and by issuing recommendations for improving the conditions of implementation of operations and promoting sound financial management. The IASs Legal Basis

8 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 8 Our vision A service which contributes to providing value for money for European citizens and helps the Commission in its objective to achieving a positive DAS, and thus to increasing public confidence in the European Union. A service which contributes to the promotion of a culture of effectiveness, efficiency and economy within the Commission with a view to bringing about continuous improvement. A mature internal audit service committed to quality and excellence, which builds on its quality certification and a culture of career-long learning, and aspires to be recognised as a benchmark for public sector audit functions.

9 Commissions internal audit - our strategy

10 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 10 Independent IA, effective follow-up, exchange IAS Co-ordinates via Auditnet IAC DG Audits OLAF Exchange APC College Reports to Effective follow-up mechanism

11 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 11 DG The internal audit architecture College of Commissioners Audit Progress Committee DG IAC IAS Co-ordinated planning between IAS/IACs The IAS reports to the APC, which reports to the College

12 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 12 Coordination with Internal Audit Capabilities Coordination of the risk analysis and audit planning Collaboration between the IAS and IACs through Auditnet Common audit programmes Common audit methodology Joint IAS-IAC audits Streamlining working group Mentoring scheme for new Heads of IACs Bi-annual reporting on IACs work to APC 2011 IACs External Quality Review

13 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 13 Study visits and good practice Exchange with other EU institutions and professional bodies IAS Agency Audits Discharge Authority European Parliament Council European Court of Auditors Exchange Professional and public organisations Professional and public organisations Professional and public organisations Exchange with other internal auditors Annual Report Commission Annual Report

14 Commissions internal audit working methods

15 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 15 Three yearly, annually updated Coordinated with IACs: Common tools agreed with IACs – definition of audit universe (financial and non-financial); – audit risk assessment methodology; – coverage analysis Managements risk assessment used as a starting point Considers other inputs (AARs, ECA, OLAF) Supports IAS overall opinion on financial management Focus on re-assurance Risk based audit plan

16 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 16 Financial processes Non Financial processes Grants Procurement Ethics Communication IAS Strategic Audit Plan Risk assessment Audit Universe: Financial and Non- financial IT BCP Financial statements HR Payroll Monitoring EU law Risk factors Audit Results REPORTING Performance Indicators 80% Financial 20% Non-financial (C1/C2) 276 auditable entities representing commitments of 139bn and payments of 122bn in auditable entities

17 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 17 Decentralised EU AgenciesLOCATIONS 5

18 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 18 Decentralised Agencies - Audit Universe and Diversity of Audit Engagements Core operational processes / sub- processes specific to each organisation 28 standard Support Administrative processes / sub- processes common to all organisations Operational audits: Preparedness for anti-pollution exercises, Standardisation of National Aviation Authorities inspection Quality management audits Audits of Support/administrative functions: Planning and monitoring, Building blocks of assurance, Human resources management, Financial management Financial management: Procurement, Grants, Financial circuits

19 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 19

20 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 20 Our strategy = our audit plan Contributes to the improvement of governance, risk management and control processes Balance between financial and non-financial audits Focus on assurance activities but both IAS and IACs still able to perform consulting and other activities Contributes to the objective of progressing towards a positive DAS (Déclaration dassurance)

21 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 21 Our strategy = our working methods Quality Assurance Dedicated QA cells Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (IIA IPPF) Formalised audit procedures and audit document templates Auditee satisfaction surveys Ongoing monitoring of performance of the IA activity Periodic internal and external assessments IT – audit tool (GRC) Follow –up by APC Communication and sharing of good practices IAS annual conference Auditnet working groups Auditors Forum Study visits

22 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 22 Our strategy = our training Internal Audit Training Programme Developed in-house Introduction to internal audit Internal audit methodology Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) IT tool Internal audit communication skills Leadership in internal audit Certification Open to internal auditors from other EU institutions

23 Commissions internal audit - towards excellence

24 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 24 Mature Internal Audit in the Commission – towards excellence Overall opinion IAS mandated by the Commission to produce annually an Overall Opinion Scope of opinion limited to financial management Takes into account IAS & IAC work over three years and relevant reports by the Court of Auditors

25 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 25 Mature Internal Audit in the Commission – towards excellence Why a positive opinion DG implementation of +/- 500 IAC/IAS recommendations each year Strength and maturity of the existing control framework. DG identification of error rates in underlying transactions

26 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 26 Mature Internal Audit in the Commission – towards excellence Overall opinion It gives me additional layer of confidence. (APC meeting, 7 September 2011)

27 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions ECA recommendation for an internal audit function Creation of IAS and IACs Creation of APC More Performance Audits Positive DAS Single Audit IAS Overall Opinion 300+ in 2010 Reports 188+ Staff IACs 1008 Reports (No.) 5430 Staff (Auditors) IAS 4933 Scope: DGs & EAs Methodology and tools development AuditNet Quality Review of IACs IAS Certification External Quality Review IACs External Quality Review IAS/IACs coordinated planning Report (pages) 80<25 (+35 Agencies) Mature Internal Audit in the Commission – towards excellence

28 We aspire to be a benchmark for public sector audit functions 28 Challenges on the way towards excellence Focus on performance audits Positive DAS Single Audit …………..

29 Contact the IAS: Thank you!


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