​Introduction

1. This Charter defines the purpose, authority and responsibilities of the Evaluation and Internal Audit Office (EAO).

 
2. The Charter shall be periodically reviewed and updated as required. Any subsequent changes to the Charter shall be reviewed by the Evaluation and Audit Advisory Committee (EAAC) and the Secretary General, and approved by the Council.

Mission

3. EAO is responsible for the systematic evaluation and internal audit of ICAO’s programmes, projects, and activities, with a view to assessing whether the Organization’s stated objectives and impacts have been achieved, and resources have been expended in accordance with applicable rules and regulations and with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness. EAO also carries out investigations into cases of misconduct of a financial nature as handed over by the Ethics Officer.

Mandate

4. EAO is responsible for undertaking internal audit activities, evaluations and investigations. It may also provide additional advice to management where this does not compromise EAO’s independence and objectivity.

A.   Internal Audit

Article XI, paragraph 11.1 (d) of ICAO’s Financial Regulations requires the Secretary General to establish a separate internal audit function. Internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes1.

B.   Evaluation 

Evaluation is an assessment of the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of an activity, project or programme. Evaluation is an important source of evidence of the achievement of results and institutional performance. It also contributes to building knowledge and to organizational learning; is an important agent of change; and plays a critical and credible role in supporting accountability2.

C.   Investigations

In accordance with Annex I of the ICAO Service Code, the Chief, EAO may be requested to carry out investigations into allegations of misconduct of a financial nature. In cases where EAO staff do not have the required expertise to carry out a particular investigation, EAO shall seek appropriate budgetary authority to contract in the necessary expertise. 
 
5. In addition to its core responsibilities, EAO seeks to add value by providing objective expert guidance and advice in order to improve the Organization’s operations and processes. In so doing, EAO acts solely in an advisory capacity and does not make management decisions or assume a management role. EAO will also be mindful of the need to maintain independence and objectivity for any subsequent audits or evaluations which may be conducted in those areas where advice or assistance is requested.

Authority and Accountability

6. The Chief, EAO shall report to the Secretary General on internal administrative matters.

7. The Chief, EAO has free access to the Chair of the Evaluation and Audit Advisory Committee as described in its Terms of Reference. EAO shall provide the Evaluation and Audit Advisory Committee with copies of all of its reports.

8. In meeting their responsibilities, EAO professional staff are authorised to have full, free and unrestricted access to all functions, activities, operations, records, property and personnel of the Secretariat at Headquarters, Regional Offices, and project locations that may be deemed necessary for the effective performance of their work.

9. EAO shall provide the ICAO Council with an annual report summarising the activities and results of work undertaken by the Office during the preceding year. This report will also include information regarding the status of implementation of recommendations made by EAO in its audit and evaluation reports. 

Independence

10. EAO shall be free from managerial interference in determining its annual work plan; in establishing the scope of audits, evaluations and other reviews; in the performance of its work; and in reporting the results of its work.

11. EAO shall be provided with the necessary resources to implement its agreed work plans in accordance with its mandate.

Professional Standards

12. EAO shall carry out its work in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors and adopted by the Internal Audit Services of the United Nations System and Multilateral Financial Institutions; the Norms and Standards for Evaluation approved by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG); and the Uniform Guidelines for Investigators as endorsed by the 4th Conference of International Investigators.

13. All EAO staff at the professional level shall be appointed on the basis of appropriate qualifications and experience as described in the aforementioned professional standards.

14. EAO staff shall perform their work in accordance with the principles of integrity and objectivity. They will respect the confidentiality of information obtained during the course of their work, and will engage additional expertise for assignments for which they do not have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.

15. EAO staff shall carry out their work with an impartial, unbiased attitude, and, where applicable, shall refrain from undertaking audits or evaluations of areas or operations for which they had recent responsibility.

Planning and Execution of Work

16. EAO shall prepare an annual work plan on the basis of a risk assessment and consultations with the Senior Management Group, the External Auditor and the Evaluation and Audit Advisory Committee. The work plan shall also be submitted to the Secretary General for his/her consideration, and presented to the Council in an information paper.
 
17. The Secretary General, the President, and/or the Council can, at any time, request EAO to carry out specific reviews or audits in areas of particular concern, for which appropriate resources are available. The acceptance of additional work during the course of a year shall be reported to the Evaluation and Audit Advisory Committee, and in due course, to the Council.

18. At the end of each audit or evaluation, EAO shall produce a written report setting out the objectives, findings and conclusions of the examination, and, where appropriate, identifying recommendations for improvement. The draft report shall be sent to those staff with direct managerial responsibility for the programme or activity that has been the object of the examination, who shall be given the opportunity to comment thereon.

19. The final draft internal audit or evaluation report, taking into account comments received and including an agreed action plan for implementing the recommendations, shall be submitted to the Secretary General for his/her comments and endorsement of the actions to be taken. The Secretary General shall be responsible for ensuring that managers deliver on the agreed action plans.

20. Individual internal audit reports will be made available to Council Representatives to consult on a read only basis in the offices of EAO following receipt of a written request addressed to the Chief, EAO.

21. In the case of evaluation reports, a summary of the final report, taking into account comments received from managers and the Secretary General, shall be submitted to the Council, and the full report shall be made available on the ICAO website.

22. In the case of any investigations, the final report shall be submitted to the Ethics Officer who will distribute it only on a need to know basis, taking into consideration the confidentiality of any personal information contained therein.

23. EAO shall establish and maintain a monitoring system to follow up on, and ascertain whether management has taken timely and effective action to implement recommendations made in its reports.

Quality Assurance

24. In accordance with International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, once every five years, EAO shall commission an external, independent quality assessment of all aspects of its internal audit operations.

Cooperation with the External Auditor

25. EAO will cooperate and liaise with the External Auditor with regard to work planning and other areas and issues of common interest.

26. EAO will provide the External Auditor with copies of its reports once they have been finalised.

27. EAO shall act as the focal point for ICAO communications with the External Auditor regarding the arrangement of audit visits; for coordination of the Secretary General’s responses to the External Auditor’s reports and management letters; and for the coordination of the preparation and monitoring of Secretariat Action Plans relating to the implementation of the External Auditor’s recommendations. EAO will present an annual report to the Council on the implementation of recommendations made by the External Auditor except if the latter has presented this information to the Council.

Cooperation with other UN Bodies

28. EAO may participate in meetings and working groups of Representatives of Internal Audit Services of the United Nations Organizations and Multilateral Financial Institutions (RIAS); the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG); and the Conference of International Investigators.

29. EAO shall act as a liaison point between ICAO and the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations (JIU). EAO shall inform the Council of all reports received from the JIU, and highlight those which are directly relevant to ICAO and require the attention of Council. EAO will prepare an annual status report on the implementation of those JIU recommendations that have been approved by the Council and the Secretary General.
 

[1] Definition taken from the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing published by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
 
[2] Definition based on extracts from the United National Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System.