Internal Oversight and Evaluations Services (IES)
Improving the effectiveness of processes within PAHO
The mission of the Office of Internal Oversight and Evaluation Services (IES) is to provide internal auditing and evaluation services to the Organization. IES follows the professional standards of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) which defines internal auditing as “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 processes.” The IES has adopted this IIA definition of internal auditing.
In its internal auditing, IES appraises the Organization's financial, operational and control activities. This includes reporting on the adequacy of internal controls and risk management; compliance with institutional rules and policies; the extent to which assets are accounted for and safeguarded; and the overall effectiveness and efficiency of activities in the Organization.An evaluation has been defined by the United Nations Evaluation Group (“Norms for Evaluation in the UN System”, dated 29 April 2005) as “an assessment, as systematic and impartial as possible, of an activity, project, program, strategy, policy, topic, theme, sector, operational area, institutional performance, etc. It focuses on expected and achieved accomplishments, examining the results chain, processes, contextual factors and causality, in order to understand achievements or the lack thereof. It aims at determining the relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the interventions and contributions of the organizations of the UN system. An evaluation should provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful, enabling the timely incorporation of findings, recommendations and lessons into the decision-making processes of the organizations of the UN system and its members.”
In addition to undertaking internal audits and evaluations, IES also has a mandate - in Financial Rule 12(d) - to undertake investigations. (However, investigative work is not the primary focus of IES’ mission.)
The Office of Internal Oversight Services reports directly to the Director of PAHO.
The legal basis for IES’ authority and activities is set out in Financial Regulation 12.1(d), which states that the Director shall “maintain an internal audit function which is responsible for the review, evaluation and monitoring of the adequacy and effectiveness of the Organization’s overall systems of internal control. For this purpose, all systems, processes, operations, functions and activities within the Organization shall be subject to such review, evaluation and monitoring”.
The Office of Internal Oversight and Evaluation Services has full access to all records, property, personnel, operations and functions within the Organization which are relevant to a subject matter under review. The Office also has direct communication channels with the staff members at different levels of the Organization.
Any information obtained directly or indirectly by the office while engaging in an audit examination is confidential. This information cannot be disclosed without appropriate authorization, unless there is a compelling legal or professional obligation to do so.Top