Internal audit and investigations
The Office of Internal Audit and Investigations is the cornerstone of the IFRC’s assurance arrangements. It supports us to uphold our Fundamental Principles and meet our obligations for good governance, accountability, transparency and integrity.
The Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) is our independent and objective assurance and investigation function that helps enhance the operation of the IFRC and our members.
It supports us to accomplish our objectives by helping us evaluate and improve our governance, risk management and control processes in a systematic and disciplined way.
To ensure transparency and independence, the OIAI reports directly to:
Functions of the OIAI
The internal audit function provides independent, objective assurance and advice to IFRC leadership on the effectiveness of our governance, risk management and control processes. It works across all areas of our operations, covering strategic, operational, corporate and IT risk. Our internal audit function complies with the Global Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Professional Practices Framework.
The investigation function conducts independent and objective investigations to examine all allegations of fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse. It also provides policy support and training on these issues and manages our whistleblowing service. The investigation function is guided by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) code of professional standards and the Conference of International Investigators Uniform Principles and Guidelines for Investigations.
The Office of Internal Audit and Investigations coordinates the process of external audits of IFRC funding. External audits include the annual consolidated audit of the IFRC’s financial statements as well as audits of individual appeals and specific partner funding. You can access these external reports on our appeals page.
As part of the IFRC’s commitment to transparency and accountability, as of 2020 the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations provides an annual report of its activities to our stakeholders. This report details the scope of our activities, the schedule of work undertaken throughout the year, and an overview of the risks and trends emerging from OIAI’s work.
This new annual report also includes, for the first time, a summary and analysis of independent investigations conducted into alleged cases of fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment and misconduct.
The OIAI annual report replaces the publication of individual internal audit reports. Internal audit reports published since 2019 can be viewed in the related documents section below. You can also read our independent auditors' reports on our consolidated financial statements since 2016.
In addition, the IFRC discloses an annual consolidated external audit report within six months following the period being audited. We also publish individual audited financial statements of our appeals which can be accessed on our appeals page.
OIAI Annual Report 2020
Office of Internal Audit and Investigations Annual Report 2020
Supporting National Societies
The Office of Internal Audit and Investigations also provides support to National Societies to help them improve their governance, risk management and control processes:
- We are supporting a growing number of National Societies to adopt our whistleblower hotline and case management system, Integrity Line. This will enable them to manage and investigate allegations of fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment and misconduct more effectively and provide better support to people affected.
- We have rolled out a leading e-learning course for our staff in preventing fraud and corruption in humanitarian settings, along with a dedicated corruption prevention course for managers. These courses were developed in partnership with Transparency International Norway.
- We offer National Society staff who wish to do so the opportunity to study and take the exam to become a Certified Fraud Examiner, accredited by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
- We also support National Society staff to undergo training in investigating sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance. The SEA investigation workshop demonstrates how to conduct fair, thorough and confidential investigations into complaints of staff misconduct, with a particular focus on allegations involving affected populations.
Our aim is to train as many staff as possible. And we are working to develop a pool of surge staff trained in PSEA and fraud to support Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies requesting additional support during emergency operations. Learn more about our surge system here.
Emergency Social Safety Net
Photo: IFRC/Corrie Butler
In partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent Society, and with funding from the European Union, the IFRC is providing cash assistance to more than 1.8 million refugees living in Turkey through our Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) project. It is the largest programme ever implemented by the IFRC.
An independent audit team is embedded within the ESSN structure, reporting directly to the OIAI director, to support robust controls and effective risk management of the project.
The team produces an annual audit plan covering a range of risk areas including operating procedures and controls, procurement, finance and the end-to-end- cash cycle. It also conducts quarterly financial spot checks and household visits, delivered with the support of a third-party service provider.