The documents lay down the principles that have to be followed by groups of internal audit officials who are responsible for monitoring their own directorate generals.
These so-called Internal Audit Capabilities are supposed to ‘advise the Director-General on the quality of the internal control systems operating within the DG and the risks under which it operates, and to recommend improvements as necessary. The Director-General remains ultimately responsible for deciding whether or not to accept audit findings and recommendations.’
Meanwhile, another paper has specified the work to be undertaken by the Commission’s central Internal Audit Service. It is charged with ‘contributing to an effective and rigorous management of the resources of the European Commission’ notably by controlling risks; safeguarding assets; monitoring compliance with rules; producing accurate management information; improving the quality of management, control and internal audit systems and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Commission operations.
This body is supposed to define annual work plans for the internal audit capabilities by the end of this year. It also has to work with an Audit Progress Committee, on which the institutional reform commissioner Kinnock serves.
A new charter for this body has set out its role, namely to ensure the independence of the IAS and to monitor the quality of internal audit work in the Commission and its DGs.
Vice-President Kinnock said: ‘With the implementation of these measures, the Commission will have at its disposal a coherent network of internal auditors, working according to internationally recognised standards.’
He also published a timetable for rolling out this system, which should be completely operational by December 2002.
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