Department of Internal Oversight Services

Internal Audit Division

Assurance and Advisory Services Division
Palestine refugee children. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Ahmad Al-Ameen

The main goal of the Internal Audit Division (IAD) is to support the achievement of the mission of UNRWA and the fulfilment of its accountabilities through independent and objective assurance and advisory services that assess the effectiveness of UNRWA risk management, internal controls and governance processes.

This is done through a systematic and disciplined review of the effectiveness and adequacy of risk management, controls and governance processes at all levels across the Agency’s headquarter and field offices. The scope of work includes assurance (audit and inspections), advisory services and inspections of physical assets across UNRWA.

The internal audit activity assesses the adequacy of processes in place to ensure that:

  1. resources are acquired economically and used efficiently
  2. assets are safeguarded
  3. significant programme results, plans, and business objectives are achieved
  4. significant financial, managerial and operating information is accurate, reliable and timely, and
  5. activities comply with regulations, rules and other administrative issuances, policies

In addition to that, the purpose of advisory services is to add value and improve UNRWA governance, risk management and control processes, without the internal auditor assuming management responsibility. Examples include counsel, advice, facilitation and training.



IAD uses a risk-based approach in developing its work plan. The purpose of risk-based work planning is to ensure that all audits and inspections are justified and sound, and that the resources of DIOS are allocated to the most significant risk areas.

Risk-based workplans help IAD identify what to audit from a multitude of business work processes and activities by taking into consideration the most critical objectives and goals of UNRWA as well as how the related departments, offices, processes and activities have been established to meet organizational goals.


Audit Process

There are four main stages to each audit assignment: planning, fieldwork, reporting and following up. All IAD activities are performed in accordance with the methodology which is designed to be in compliance with the International Standards for Professional Practices of Internal Auditing of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and good practices applied by other agencies in the UN system.



At the end of each assignment, IAD issues an audit report. Audit reports provide transparency regarding the operations of UNRWA and also provide assurance and reporting to management to encourage improved economy, effectiveness and efficiency in the management of the Agency’s operations and activities.

Internal audit reports contain recommendations to improve governance, risk management and internal control processes. Programme managers are expected to promptly act on the audit results and recommendations and to report periodically to IAD on the status of their implementation. IAD follows up and monitors its audit recommendations until they are implemented.

Pursuant to Annex to Organizational Directive No 14 ‘UNRWA's Policy on Disclosure of Internal Audit Reports to Member States of the United Nations’, in further commitment to organizational transparency and accountability, a summary of internal audit findings and recommendations shall be made publicly available on the internet upon final issuance of the audit report. In that regard, the results of the audits, findings, recommendations, including management action taken to address recommendations are disclosed in the associated Audit Results Summary, listed below in the documents library.



Audit Results Summary


Audit of documentation on construction verification (upon acceptance) in Jordan Field Office


Audit of Emergency Cash Assistance at Syria field office


Maturity assessment of UNRWA’s Enterprise Risk Management


Follow up Review of Neutrality Inspections in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria


Audit of the Rapid Review Process


Audit of Management of Indirect Support Costs


Report of internal quality assessment


Audit of Recruitment at Syria Field Office


Advisory assessment Management of exceptional overtime cash payment



Follow-up report – Audit of Procurement and Contract Administration Processes



Audit of Protection Audits 


Audit of Provident Fund Procurement of IMs


Advisory of IT General Controls over RRIS and PAS migration


Microfinance Audit of Selected Cashier Functions 


Microfinance Department Compliance Audit