UN to audit in North Korea

Accountants from the United Nations are to be sent into North Korea to
undertake an external audit of a development programme after the US alleged it
had been used to funnel millions of dollars to Kim Jon Il’s government.

The audit will initially focus on the United Nations Development Programme
spending in North Korea and could then be expanded to other UN agencies.

It is to be carried out by the UN’s Board of Auditors, which is comprised of
accountants from eight UN members.

The announcement came after US deputy ambassador Mark Wallace alleged that
the UNDP’s North Korea operation had been run ‘in blatant violation of UN rules’
for years.

The UN’s audit provisions have recently faced close scrutiny with a team,
including Sir Andrew Likierman, a former head of UK government accounting,
publishing a number of recommendations.

In an article for Accountancy Age Sir Andrew wrote that ‘changes to the
mechanisms for ensuring that the funds are properly planned, monitored and
controlled have lagged the UN’s needs and best practice around the world.’

The recommendations include a new UN audit committee, a new code of
governance, and establishing a clear internal audit role for the Office of
Internal Oversight Services.

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