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«1 Endorsement version The Integrated Financial Accountability Framework (IFAF) INTOSAI GOV 9250 The International Standards of Supreme Audit ...»

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Endorsement version

The Integrated Financial Accountability

Framework (IFAF)


The International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions, ISSAI,

are issued by the International Organization of Supreme Audit

Institutions, INTOSAI. For more information visit www.issai.org

INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee


Rigsrevisionen • Store Kongensgade 45 • P.O. Box 9009 • 1022 Copenhagen K • Denmark

Tel.:+45 3392 8400 • Fax:+45 3311 0415 •E­mail: info@rigsrevisionen.dk INTOSAI General Secretariat ­ RECHNUNGSHOF (Austrian Court of Audit)


A­1033 VIENNA AUSTRIA Tel.: ++43 (1) 711 71     •     Fax: ++43 (1) 718 09 69 E­MAIL: intosai@rechnungshof.gv.at; WORLD WIDE WEB: http://www.intosai.org The Integrated Financial Accountability Framework (IFAF) Table of content Foreword

1. Introduction

2. Definition of humanitarian aid

3. Humanitarian aid flows

4. IFAF: the initiative

5. IFAF tables

6. The quality of IFAF tables

7. IFAF, open data and IATI

8. IFAF and stakeholders of humanitarian aid

9. INTOSAI working with stakeholders and IATI

10. IFAF tables: getting started

11. Taking IFAF forward


Appendix 1: Case study of humanitarian aid reporting Appendix 2: Benefits and Costs of IFAF Appendix 3: Preparing an IFAF table Appendix 4: FAQs regarding IFAF tables Appendix 5: Models of IFAF tables  Appendix 6: Examples of IFAF tables and of producing IFAF tables through IATI Appendix 7: Glossary of terms Foreword Since the beginning of the 21st century, the growing human and economic impact of humanitarian I.

crises has led the international community to pay closer attention to the effectiveness of aid. This has led to a global campaign to improve transparency and accountability.1 The 2005 Paris Declaration for Aid Effectiveness, reinforced by the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, included Mutual Accountability as one of its five core principles.2   Transparency was a key issue at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan, Korea, in late 2011. Donors signed up to implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of aid information, based on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) statistical reporting standards.3 II. The recognition that an indispensable precondition for improving aid effectiveness is greater transparency and better information resulted in the improvement and development of numerous data initiatives: databases such as the OECD­DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS), open data initiatives, such as those launched by the World Bank and information repositories such as IATI. The data made available by these initiatives are often provided in real time and on a voluntary basis, and are used in preparing for and responding to emergencies, for coordinating aid delivery and for carrying out preliminary assessments and evaluations of humanitarian crises.

III. However, these initiatives do not meet all financial information needs. The 2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance report states that: “Tracking the humanitarian dollar through the system is currently hindered by the lack of information on what has been delivered to whom and the absence of a feedback loop that enables the people affected by crises to say what they have received, and when.

Without this feedback or aggregated data on what commodities and services have been delivered, the effectiveness and efficiency of the humanitarian response is hard to measure.”  IV. External auditors of government finances drew a similar conclusion in the wake of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunamis, which killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries around the Indian Ocean. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, prompting a worldwide humanitarian response with more than USD14 billion donated in humanitarian aid. The aid flowed in quickly from a vast number of donors to many different recipient entities. There was clearly an urgent need for coordination at all levels. In 2005 INTOSAI put together a Task Force of SAIs to coordinate the assessment of the accountability of the aid related to the disaster. It found that aid flows could not be traced from donors to recipients and that the same aid payments were often reflected differently in the financial reports of recipient entities. INTOSAI asked the Working Group on Accountability for and the Audit of Disaster­related Aid5 (AADA) to address the manifest lack of http://www.devinit.org/information­is­power­development­initiatives­calls­for­access­to­information­to­be­a­post­2015­millennium­ development­goal http://www.oecd.org/dac/aideffectiveness/parisdeclarationandaccraagendaforaction.htm http://www.aideffectiveness.org/busanhlf4/images/stories/hlf4/OUTCOME_DOCUMENT_­_FINAL_EN.pdf.   p 23 http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp­content/uploads/2012/07/GHA_Report_2012­Websingle.pdf The  Working  Group  on  Accountability  for  and   the  Audit   of   Disaster­related   Aid   was  made  up of 22 SAIs and  existed  from 2008  to  2013.  It  produced  ISSAIs  5000,  5010,  5020,  5030  and  5040  (see transparency and accountability in the financial reporting of humanitarian aid.

V. The Working Group looked at the information initiatives in existence or being created and observed a paucity of audited and openly available ex­post financial information on aid flows in humanitarian aid.

In common with donors, taxpayers and civil society entities, SAIs required better access to financial information to assist them in their task of holding actors in humanitarian aid accountable for their use of aid. The Working Group concluded that this type of data was not currently available.

VI. To ensure the necessary level of accountability, INTOSAI proposes that all entities required to report on transfers of humanitarian aid transactions produce and publish tables which would show clearly all transfers (receipts and payments) of humanitarian aid. The tables would be prepared in a simple and standardised way, be audited and be made publically available on the internet. The tables can be linked together to form the Integrated Financial Accountability Framework (the IFAF). If applied to all flows of humanitarian aid, the Integrated Financial Accountability Framework tables (IFAF tables) would allow donors, recipients, citizens and auditors to trace aid from the donor to the final recipient and vice versa.

VII. INTOSAI has considerable interest in the implementation of the IFAF. Supreme Audit Institutions

would benefit from having financial data in a form which assists them in:

● constructing an audit trail, ● building up an overview of a crisis, ● evaluating effectiveness, ● cross­checking  data  for  the  entity  they  are  auditing  to  audited  data  available  on  the internet and where appropriate follow up discrepancies and ● identifying  which  auditors  have  audited  the  same  or  similar  aid  flows  with  a  view  to the coordination of or collaboration on audit work.

Donors potentially gain:

● cost savings because instead of receiving multiple reports from aid recipients, they can access standardised data on all humanitarian aid they donate as well as that donated by others; ● the  means  to  identify  the  path  humanitarian  aid  donations  have  followed   to  the   entity implementing the action or to the affected population; ● greater  assurance  that  humanitarian  aid  receipts   and payments are correctly  recorded (because IFAF tables are audited by the entity’s external auditor) and ● access  to  audited,  simplified,  standardised  and comparable data which can  be used for comparison and as the basis for subsequent effectiveness assessments.

VIII. Recipients of humanitarian aid 6 should find that:

● costs go down because preparing a single IFAF table is less time­consuming than http://www.issai.org/4­auditing­guidelines/guidelines­on­specific­subjects/)  as  well   as  INTOSAI  GOV  9250.  For more information  on the Working Group and on the INTOSAI Task Force which preceded it, see annex I to ISSAI 5500.

Recipients  can  be   first  level recipients which either  implement aid  directly, or pass aid  on  to implementing  bodies. Recipients can also be implementing bodies themselves receiving aid from first level recipients.

producing individual financial reports for individual donors, and ● they have access to better information on humanitarian aid flows, which can assist them to optimise coordination and delivery of aid.

IX. Optimum use of IFAF tables requires that they should be available as open data. There are many open data initiatives working towards meeting the goal of aid effectiveness through the availability of better information.7  INTOSAI GOV 9250 presents solutions developed by the INTOSAI Working Group AADA and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to integrate the production of IFAF tables into IATI and to use the IATI registry to publicise the location of the tables.

X. The main role in promoting, implementing and developing the IFAF necessarily falls to providers 8 and especially donors, which can implement the IFAF by preparing IFAF tables themselves and by asking entities receiving humanitarian aid to report in this way. Both providers and recipients can further develop the IFAF initiative and support the inclusion of IFAF tables in IATI.

XI. In preparing INTOSAI GOV 9250, IFAF has been discussed extensively with stakeholders in humanitarian aid and pilot tested. The guidance in INTOSAI GOV 9250 may be further updated or completed based on lessons learnt during implementation. Entities implementing the IFAF would benefit from the availability of training in the production of IFAF tables and knowledge sharing between producers and users of the tables.

INTOSAI GOV 9250 presents to the international community a framework for preparing and making openly available audited, ex­post, final financial data on humanitarian aid flows. To secure transparency and accountability INTOSAI proposes that stakeholders of humanitarian aid further develop the initiative, prepare IFAF tables themselves and make the production of IFAF tables a condition of receipt of humanitarian aid. INTOSAI supports the integration of the production of IFAF tables through IATI.

XII.   Examples  include  IATI,   OECD­DAC,   Publish   What   You  Fund, the  World Bank  Open  Aid  Partnership Initiative,  the United Nations  Crisis  Information  Strategy  (CiMS),  the  United  Nations Office  for  the Coordination  of  Humanitarian  Assistance’s  Common Operational Datasets (UNOCHA COD) and the Open Humanitarian Initiative of NetHope.

Providers  can  be  donors,  or   recipients  of  humanitarian   aid  which   provide  aid  to  entities  which  implement   humanitarian actions, for example United Nations agencies XIII.The GOV was drafted by the chair of the AADA Working Group, the European Court of Auditors, with contributions from SAIs which were members of the Working Group: the Contraloría General of the Republic of Chile, the Board of Audit and Inspection of the Republic of Korea, the Court of Audit of the Netherlands, the Riksrevisjonen of Norway and the Government Accountability Office of the USA. INTOSAI is grateful to the 30 international organisations which provided comments on the draft GOV, to the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (UNOIOS) which chaired the working group on IFAF set up by the Representatives of Internal Audit Services of United Nations organisations and multilateral financial institutions and other associated intergovernmental (RIAS) and to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) secretariat and AidInfo for developing solutions for producing and publishing IFAF tables.

The Integrated Financial Accountability Framework (IFAF)

INTOSAI GOV 92509  presents the Integrated Financial Accountability Framework (the IFAF), a framework within which providers and recipients of humanitarian aid report financial and in­kind transfers of aid in standardised tables. These tables are then audited and published on the internet as open data with the objective that data should be published once and used often.

INTOSAI proposes that the implementation of the IFAF initiative should be taken forward by stakeholders and that the preparation of IFAF tables should be made a condition of receipt of aid.

1. Introduction

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