On 11-12 February 2019, the 13th Audit Committee meeting took place at WCO premises under the Chairmanship of Mr. Bjørn Røse (Norway). The meeting was attended by 10 of the 12 Audit Committee Members, and by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee as observer. The Secretariat was represented by Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Hans Pieters, Head of Personnel, and by the internal auditors Mr. Jochen Meyer and Ms. Annegret Rohloff.
The role of the Audit Committee is, as part of the ongoing systematic review of the control environment and governance procedures, to oversee the audit function within the WCO and advise the Policy Commission and the Council as well as the Secretary General in relation to the operation and the development of this function. The Audit Committee acts under the overall direction of the Council and Policy Commission with administrative support provided by the Secretariat.
During its 13th session, the Audit Committee especially discussed the draft Implementation Plan 2019/2020 and its related Key Performance Indicators and priorities. The Implementation Plan is an annual document, closely related to the three years Strategic Plan, which aims at ensuring that the achievement of the main objectives of the Strategic Plan is duly supported at operational level, through a set of dedicated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Although the Audit Committee has no active role to play in the definition and drafting of the Strategic Plan, it has the important responsibility of looking at the KPIs for the next year in regard to tactical activities. The Deputy Secretary General gave a presentation on the draft Implementation Plan, explaining that a new method was applied for defining the KPIs, focusing on a strategic approach in view to reach the Mission and Vision of the WCO. The delegates expressed their satisfaction regarding the structure and the content of the new Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan, mentioning in particular the reduction of the number of KPIs and the close involvement of Members through Regional Workshops. The Audit Committee agreed to move forward with the proposal and to recommend its adoption to the Policy Commission and Council.
The Audit Committee also discussed the status of implementation of the pending recommendations, the report on the risk survey and the results of audits performed on the effectiveness of certain WCO-funded Capacity Building and on the mission management procedures. The Committee also approved the 2019/2020 Audit Plan. The conclusions adopted by the Audit Committee will be presented as recommendations for the June Policy Commission and Council working sessions.
Closing the meeting, the Chairperson thanked the delegates for their active participation and the Secretariat for the work done throughout the year. He particularly expressed his gratitude to Mr. Jochen Meyer, who will leave the WCO at the end of February, and welcomed Ms. Annegret Rohloff, his successor as internal auditor.
13 February 2019