WIPO Internal Audit Is Director-General’s Responsibility, Working Group Says 29/06/2005 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A working group of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Program and Budget Committee sent a message to the WIPO director general last week that he should move ahead with a charter for internal audits. The working group meeting on 23 June offered a “reminder” to Director General Kamil Idris that it is the job of the director general to have a “good, working” internal audit function, according to participants. The decision effectively removes the possibility of delay on the internal audit function by the director general, according to sources. The director general now cannot argue that an internal audit proposal he put forward is still under consideration by the working group and therefore cannot be proceeded upon until approved. The working group was responding to a proposal (WO/PBC/8/4) by Idris for an internal audit charter aimed at improving corporate governance of WIPO. The proposed charter lays out a framework for an internal audit function and establishes its mission. This includes independently evaluating WIPO’s processes and making recommendations for improvement. As proposed, the internal auditor would report directly to the director general. The auditor would have fast, unrestricted access to all WIPO records, employees or offices, and could directly receive complaints by staff or others about possible fraud, waste or abuse of authority. The office would coordinate with a WIPO external auditor. The proposal comes at a time when external pressures are on WIPO to take steps to ensure financial and management practices are the best they can be. Press reports and the U.N. Joint Inspection Unit have recently raised questions about some practices. The working group generally supported Idris’ proposal, according to a participating official. Also in the meeting, it was emphasised that WIPO stakeholders need to be confident that WIPO programs are being properly managed, and that the Internal Audit Division’s fulfilment of its oversight functions is primarily the responsibility of the director general, the official said. Some members in the meeting raised concerns about whether the internal auditor would be sufficiently independent from the director general, and whether staff would be fully protected from retaliation for presenting complaints or allegations, according to participants. Discussions of other possible proposals could not be finished in the one-day meeting. The meeting will resume later in July, sources said. In its last meeting, in May, the group agreed to recommend to the General Assembly consideration of the establishment of a WIPO Audit Committee. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "WIPO Internal Audit Is Director-General’s Responsibility, Working Group Says" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.