All activities relating to a specific audit are conducted in a transparent manner involving the full participation of the State throughout the audit process, beginning four to six months prior to the starting date of the audit when the States that are scheduled for an audit are officially notified of the audit dates and are requested to submit a signed copy of the USAP-CMA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), if this has not already been accomplished. At the same time:
· States are requested to submit a completed State Aviation Security Activity Questionnaire (SASAQ), completed compliance checklists, and copies of relevant documents to assist in creating an audit plan; and
· Audit-related documents and other essential information are forwarded to the State to be audited to enable it to appropriately prepare for the forthcoming audit.
In the case of on-site audits, one or more airports will be selected to be visited by the audit team. During the course of the audit, the auditor(s) will gather evidence and provide the State with ongoing feedback regarding the conduct of the activity.
At the conclusion of the audit, a detailed debriefing is provided to the State and copies of any preliminary findings and recommendations are submitted. A confidential audit report is forwarded to the audited State within 60 calendar days of the completion of the audit and, under the terms of the MoU signed with ICAO, the State is expected to submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) within 60 calendar days following receipt of the report. At the same time, States are asked to complete and submit a State Audit Feedback Form commenting on all aspects of the audit process. This feedback is used, whenever feasible, to improve the audit process.
The ICAO audit reports, coupled with the State CAP, provide the starting point for initiating corrective actions taken by a State. Depending upon the nature of the deficiencies identified in an audited State, immediate and direct assistance may be available through the ICAO Implementation Support and Development – Security Section (ISD-SEC), and longer-term assistance projects may be coordinated through the Technical Co-operation Programme.
The following is a graphic representation of the audit timelines :