On Wednesday, July 24, the Comptroller General of the Republic, together with its counterparts from Germany and India, signed the external audit reports to the United Nations agencies that were prepared during the last year.
These reports, approved unanimously and without objection by Germany, India and Chile, are the culmination of the first experience of the Comptroller’s office teams as a member of the board of auditors. A double challenge, because we didn’t have a close reference in Latin America that would have developed this work in the last 40 years, and because the Comptroller’s office was assigned the board’s largest portfolio in terms of the number of agencies and programs to audit.
In particular, the Comptroller’s office audited 11 agencies and three peacekeeping missions, with a total equity of US$72 billion, among which are the Pension Fund of the United Nations, composed of 128 thousand contributors and 71 thousand pensioners; the Agency for the Palestinian Refugees of the middle East, which provides services to nearly 5 million refugees, that is to say, the same population of countries such as New Zealand or Costa Rica; the Environment Program, UN Women and the International Criminal Tribunals of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, among others.
To meet the objectives mandated by the UN, the Comptroller’s Office formed a team that today reaches 57 people: 48 auditors, 70% of them financial auditors, 8% system auditors and 12% of other professions (lawyers, civil engineers, architects and public administrators), with specialization in the areas of portfolio programs, plus five back office people, two headquarters in Santiago and two directors in New York.
The formation of audit teams and their performance have been subject to various questions. In some cases, criticisms based only on diagnoses that are part of the ongoing evaluation process of the Comptroller’s office’s teams. Tools that have made it possible to make the necessary adjustments to meet the objectives mandated by the United Nations and are now validated by global audit powers, such as Germany and India.
The content and main findings of the work have not so far been known as being of a reserved nature, since the procedures of the United Nations so stipulate, therefore, it is now time to evaluate, with all the elements on the table, the real contribution of the Comptroller’s office to the United Nations.