Bootcamp BTOR: Lebanon – Internal Audit and Internal Control in the public sector workshop Lebanon Fiscal Management Reform 2 project (FMR2)
DATE: December 7, 2015
TIME: 12:45 pm
Beirut, December 7-8, 2015
The World Bank organized in collaboration with European Union and the Ministry of Finance of Lebanon a workshop entitled “Internal Audit and Internal Control in the public sector” on December 7-8, 2015, as part of the World Bank- financed project “ Lebanon Fiscal Management Reform 2 project”.
The objectives of the workshop which gathered senior technical Lebanese staff from the Ministry of Finance, Inspection General, and Court of Accounts were to:
(i) underscore relevance and importance of modern internal audit function in a public financial management system,
(ii) present on the internal controls progress implementation achieved within the Lebanese controls framework
(iii) share knowledge and provide a forum for discussion of good practices regarding internal audit, internal controls, and external audit at the public level while drawing on international experiences and available standards and guidelines, and
(iv) share actual successful implementation of public sector internal audit in other countries (France and Turkey).
The two-day workshop was a cornerstone towards raising awareness on the importance of the internal audit function in the public sector and its distinction with other control functions such as the inspection general, and its complementarity to external audit function carried out by the country Supreme Audit Institution (SAI).
Participants: More than 20 participants from Lebanon attended the workshop. The Lebanese participants were senior technical officials from Ministry of Finance, the Inspection General, and the Court of Accounts.
Content and Delivery:
The two-day workshop included several sessions which addressed the definition of Internal Audit as per International Standards on Professional Practices of Internal Auditing (Institute of Internal Auditors) sand other guidance and Internal control in a public financial management system, as well as an overview of the financial control framework in Lebanon and in MENA. The event was marked by presentations of the French experience in the Internal audit implementation in France, its organization, and its relationship with Inspection General and the Court of Accounts. The French model highlights the presence of a central harmonization Unit (CHU) that is a playing a crucial role in coordinating the interventions of the several control bodies in France. This has helped tremendously the Lebanese participants to get a better understanding on what can be achieved in Lebanon at that level and how the different control bodies work together efficiently towards a better governance scheme in the country.
Another successful implementation of Internal Audit in the public sector was brought to this event by Turkey, that has been successfully implementing internal auditing since more than ten years now, and have reached a very advanced stage of maturity making it one of the top leaders in that area and is currently providing technical support to other neighbouring countries in IA implementation at the public sector level.
The event took place at the World Bank premises- Beirut and delivered by:
· World Bank: Rima Koteiche, Sr. FMS (workshop facilitator and coordinator) ; Pierre Messali, Sr. FMS; Anna Staszewicz, Sr. Risk Management Officer; and Walid El-Najjar, FMS
· European Union: Herve Allais, Resident consultant twinning arrangement
· France : M. Viault, Directeur des Risques MOF-France; M. Caze, Court of Accounts – France
· Turkey: Halis Kiral, Head of Central Harmonization Unit- Turkey; Ahmet Koray, Public financial Expert- MOF- Turkey
· Institute of Internal Auditors: Naji Fayyad, Governor, IIA –Lebanon Chapter
This event was coordinated with Joey Ghaleb, Sr. Public Sector Specialist, and TTL of FMR2 project, and supported by Amal Chaoul, Program Assistant for the logistical arrangements.
After this workshop, the Lebanese stakeholders are now able to:
1. Recognize the importance of Internal audit in a public financial management system.
2. Differentiate among the different types of control functions and the role and objectives of each:
a. Internal Audit vs. External Audit (CoA),
b. Internal Audit vs. Inspection (Inspection General), and
c. Internal Audit vs. Internal controls.
3. Recognize the impact of Internal Audit function and learn from successful implementation both in France and Turkey, and have the necessary technical awareness to embark in the implementation of the pilot internal audit.
· Kick off the Internal Audit implementation at the MOF-Lebanon on a pilot basis; ToRs are already cleared and hiring of consultants in charge of assessment, design, development of IA manuals and training are being currently processed (as part of the FMR2 project)
· Additional focused round tables will be arranged as needed to reinforce the importance of IA for improved synergies with other control functions within the Lebanese public financial management framework.