Secretary-General signs the statement on internal control for 2022 operations

On 26 June 2023 the Secretary-General signed the third iteration of the statement on internal control for all operations of the Secretariat for 2022.

The statement on internal control is a public accountability document that provides reasonable assurance that the Secretariat operated under an effective system of internal control during 2022. The scope of the statement, which is based on the COSO internal control-integrated framework, covers the three categories of objectives which allow the Organization to focus on differing aspects of internal control: operations, reporting and compliance.

Following a similar process to the previous years, the Financial Policy and Internal Control Service (FPICS), in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC), supported entities from across the Secretariat to achieve greater accountability for results through a comprehensive self-assessment exercise to review the effectiveness and functioning of applicable entity-level and activity-level internal controls. In a signed assurance statement, heads of entity reaffirmed their continued commitment to ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of internal controls in the entity for which they received delegated authority and committed to taking any action necessary to strengthen internal controls across the Organization. These entity assessments, and the review of the results and assurance statements, formed the basis for the third iteration of the statement.

The statement on internal control is a very important step towards a more systematic and integrated approach to managing risk as well as to ensuring the optimal use of resources, improving the Secretariat’s effectiveness and increasing confidence in the Organization.

Every year, the statement on internal control will reflect on specific areas of operations where opportunities for improvement were identified. In the case of the statement for all operations of the Secretariat for 2022, some areas identified in previous statements were maintained: property management; talent acquisition processes; advance purchase of air travel tickets; personal data protection and privacy; monitoring and evaluation of programme and project implementation; management of workplace conduct and discipline; and cybersecurity.

In addition, the results of the 2022 self-assessment exercise resulted in the identification of a new opportunity for improvement in the timely implementation of OIOS recommendations to further strengthen the Organization’s risk management processes.

Last but not least, it was considered that because the overall number of entities that already maintained their own risk register had exceeded the expectations set in the benefits tracker, the area pertaining to the development and maintenance of risk registers no longer presented a significant risk to the achievement of the Organization’s objectives and was considered to be “closed”.

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