His Excellency Riyad Al Mubarak, Chairman of ADAA mentioned in the Report foreword that ADAA’s ambitions to achieve its vision and continue to enhance its services is based on the UAE’s vision and ambition, “The United Arab Emirates’ nation is very ambitious and difficult to dissuade from moving forward no matter what obstacles lie ahead and our history attests to that; as we still reap today at various international forums what the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planted and we see the world eagerly watching us work harder to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE.”
Al Mubarak added, “Each year ADAA generously receives more guidance and support from His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council that nurtures our ambitions and drives us to increase our efforts to persistently achieve more. We have to highlight as well the support of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, and Deputy Chairman of Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and the effective impact of this support on increasing confidence in the role ADAA plays and the importance of the outputs it provides Abu Dhabi Government and public entities.”
The report mentioned that since ADAAs’ establishment in 2008, it had developed three key output groups enabling it from executing its mandate and achieving its objectives. These are the “Financial Audit and Examination Group”, the “Performance and Risk Assurance Group”, and the “Supporting Accountability Group” whereby ADAA developed methodologies for all its outputs based on global best practices and international standards issued by renowned international institutions such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
The report mentioned that ADAA issued 647 reports during the past 4 years across its two groups; the Financial Audit and Examination group and the Performance and Risk Assurance group of which 166 reports were issued in 2012 (80 Financial Audit & Examination reports and 86 Performance & Risk Assurance reports).
The report announced that ADAA – under the Financial Audit & Examination Group – has audited the consolidated financial statements of Abu Dhabi Government and conducted 70 Financial Examinations of the audited financial statements at Subject Entities that resulted in 1,149 comments related to the quality of audit work. These included 293 comments related to the “Statutory Auditor Appointment Rules – SAAR” established according to Law No. (14) for 2008 on the establishment of ADAA.
The report also showed that ADAA – under the Performance & Risk Assurance Group – issued 50 reports on Internal Audit Assessment that resulted in providing 1,774 recommendations with the objective of improving the internal audit work quality at Subject Entities due to their impact on developing performance, enhancing the control environment and reinforcing the governance structure at subject Entities. ADAA issued a number of reports related to government services and outputs reviews that included the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Center (ADGCC), laborer accommodation, building permits, food safety, education licensing, municipal system support, commercial licensing, Future Schools Program, medical licensing and the Emiratization Program and presented its findings and recommendations in relation to the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of these services and outputs.
The report indicated – under the Supporting Accountability Group – that ADAA encouraged Subject Entities to recognize the importance of developing documented and approved regulations at each Subject Entity relating to complaints on Financial Violations as well as appointing a Compliance Officer within the internal audit function at every entity to assume the responsibility of receiving complaints, logging and examining them and making recommendations to the competent authority within the Entity to either dismiss the matter or refer it to investigation. The compliance Officer should also notify ADAA immediately upon discovering any violation and send a copy of the investigation documents once completed supported by the investigation records and actions taken as mandated by Law No. (14) for 2008. The report declared that ADAA received 18 complaints during last year that were generally related to abuse of power and conflict of interest, violation of procurement laws, regulations and procedures, negligence in managing public money and breaching code of conduct.
The report mentioned that ADAA developed specialized training programs with the objective of contributing to the training and development of Emirati Auditors and assisting them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to advance and excel in their careers. ADAA developed the “Emirati Auditor Development Program” which was designed to give young Emirati graduates the opportunity to develop their careers and move from entry level Assistant Auditor to a Chief Auditor over a period of 7 years. ADAA recruited 37 Emirati graduates in the program that includes on-the-job training, secondments to the big 4 audit firms as well as simultaneously offering the necessary professional training to acquire certifications in the accounting and audit profession such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification and the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. ADAA also obliged Statutory Auditors of Subject Entities to ensure that the audit team includes at least one UAE National.
The Accountability Report covered ADAA’s most important achievements during 2012 whereby ADAA hosted the 6th International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) Inspection Workshop with the participation of more than 120 audit inspectors from 33 countries, noting that ADAA became a member of IFIAR within one year of its establishment and was the first organization in the Middle East and North Africa to become a member and was then elected by fellow members to sit on the IFIAR Advisory Council alongside Germany, Japan, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands marking the UAE as the first Arab country to become a member in the Council and within two years of its membership of IFIAR. ADAA also succeeded in obtaining the approval of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) to host the IPSAS Board meeting in 2013.
The report concluded with a brief presentation on the 2013 work plan followed by the 2012 audited financial statements prepared in accordance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards – IPSAS.
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