The Internal Audit Unit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat is responsible for internal controls within the Secretariat. It has been established to mitigate risks, ensure efficient governance processes and monitor that the goals of the organisation are met effectively, economically and efficiently.
The scope of the functions of the unit extend to all of the property and activities of the SADC Secretariat, its institutions and activities and programmes funded by Members States, and International Cooperation Partners. It is also responsible for conducting investigations if and when the need arises. Through Audits, investigations, and its oversight functions, the unit plays an advisory role to the SADC Council and the Executive Secretary of SADC.
The Internal Audit Unit reports functionally to the Audit Committee and administratively to the Executive Secretary.
The mandate of the Internal Audit Unit is stipulated in Article 9 of the SADC Internal Audit Charter approved in February 2011 and this mandate is drawn from Article 30 of the SADC Treaty. The role of Internal Audit under its mandate is to assist Management and Council with oversight of the SADC Secretariat in accomplishing its objectives by providing a systematic and disciplined approach of evaluating and improving the effectiveness of SADC’s risk management, control and governance processes.
The overall objectives of the Internal Audit Unit are as follows:
- Provide assurance on the efficiency and effectiveness of the SADC internal control systems, risk management and governance processes;
- Provide assurance that risks are identified and managed in an appropriate and timely manner;
- Foster interaction with the various governance groups of SADC as needed;
- Provide assurance on accuracy, reliability and timeliness of significant financial, managerial, and operational information;
- Foster employee actions in compliance with the policies, standards, procedures and applicable laws and regulations;
- Provide assurance that resources are used economically, efficiently and effectively;
- Provide assurance on whether programs, plans and objectives have been achieved;
- Provide assurance on quality and continuous improvement in the SADC Secretariat internal control environment; and
- Provide assurance on significant legislative or regulatory issues impacting SADC.
A successful audit will present a report indicating the specific findings and recommendations for the relevant departments of SADC.
The responsibilities of the unit can found in Article 9 of the SADC Internal Audit Charter, and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- To provide an assessment on the adequacy and effectiveness of the SADC Secretariat and institutions processes for controlling its activities set out in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO) and other strategic policy decisions.
- To review the operations of the management systems established to ensure compliance with those policies, plans, procedures, laws, and regulations and report as to whether the Management is in compliance.
- To conduct investigations of significant suspected fraudulent activities and other irregularities within SADC Secretariat and its Institutions and report to the Audit Committee of the results as appropriate.
- To ensure the work of internal audit is adequately recorded in audit programs, working papers and reports as appropriate for future referencing and follow up
- To ensure all information acquired in the course of executing internal audit function is kept confidential.