The First President of the French Cour des comptes has been appointed as the External auditor of Unesco, on 20 October 2008, for a mandate of six years, which has been renewed in 2011 for financial years 2012-2017.
The Financial Regulations adopted by Unesco (articles 12.1 and 12.3) specify that an External Auditor, who shall be the Auditor-General (or an officer holding the equivalent title) of a Member State, shall be appointed, for the purpose of auditing the accounts of the six years following his appointment. The audit shall be conducted in conformity with generally accepted common auditing standards and, subject to any special directions of the General Conference.
The external auditor mandate consists in expressing every year an opinion and to issue a report on the financial statements of the organization. Articles 12.4 and 12.5 of the Financial Regulations state that “the External Auditor may make observations with respect to the efficiency of the financial procedures, the accounting system, the internal financial controls and in general the administration and management of the Organization. The External Auditor shall be completely independent and solely responsible for the conduct of the audit.”
Unesco’s External Auditor performs his audits in accordance with article 12.3 of the Financial Regulations, by applying generally accepted common auditing standards which are the ISA and Issai standards and, subject to any special directions of the General Conference, in accordance with the Additional Terms of Reference set out in the annex to the Financial Regulations.