On 11 and 12 February 2019, the 13th Meeting of the Audit Committee took place at WCO Headquarters under the Chairmanship of Mr. Bjørn Røse, Norway Customs. The Meeting was attended by 10 of the 12 Audit Committee Members, and by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee in a observer capacity. The Secretariat was represented by Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, Deputy Secretary General.
As part of the ongoing systematic review of the control environment and governance procedures, the role of the Audit Committee consists of overseeing the audit functions within the WCO, and advise the Policy Commission and the Council together with the Secretary General on the operation and development of these roles. The Audit Committee acts under the overall direction of the Council and Policy Commission with administrative support provided by the Secretariat.
During its 13th Meeting, the Audit Committee discussions focused on the draft Implementation Plan 2019/2020 and its related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and priorities. The Implementation Plan is an annual document, closely linked to the three-year Strategic Plan, eimed at duly supporting the achievement of the latter’s main objectives at operational level, through a set of dedicated KPIs. Although the Audit Committee does not play an active role defining and drafting the Strategic Plan, it performs the important task of looking into the KPIs for the coming year as regards tactical activities.
The Deputy Secretary General told the Meeting that a new method was being applied to define the KPIs in the draft Implementation Plan, focusing on a strategic approach to fulfilling WCO’s Mission and Vision. Delegates expressed their satisfaction with the structure and content of the new Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan, highlighting in particular the reduction in the number of KPIs and the close involvement of Members through regional workshops. The Audit Committee agreed to move forward with the proposal and to recommend its adoption to the Policy Commission and Council.
The Audit Committee also discussed the implementation status of pending recommendations, the report on the risk survey and the results of the audits performed on the effectiveness of certain WCO-funded Capacity Building activities, and on mission management procedures. In addition, the Committee approved the 2019/2020 Audit Plan. The conclusions adopted by the Audit Committee will be presented as recommendations to the June Policy Commission and Council sessions.
When closing the Meeting, the Chairperson thanked the delegates for their active participation as well as the Secretariat for the work done throughout the year. He expressed special gratitude to Mr. Jochen Meyer, who is leaving the WCO at the end of February, and welcomed Ms. Annegret Rohloff, who will succeed him as internal auditor.