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October 27, 2008
The International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) met in Paris on October 20-21, 2008 and issued the following statement:
"The IAMB met to continue its oversight role over the use of resources of the DFI, which is the principal repository for Iraq's oil-export receipts, and oversee audits of the DFI in line with its mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1790.
"In accordance with the IAMB Terms of Reference, the nomination and appointment by the Government of Iraq of the DFI external auditor is subject to approval by the IAMB. Representatives of the Government of Iraq and the Committee of Financial Experts (COFE) had earlier briefed the IAMB on the evaluation process to select an external audit firm to conduct an audit of the resources and disbursements of the DFI. The IAMB approved the process and concurred with the recommendation in August 2008 of the Government of Iraq to appoint KPMG to conduct the 2008 audits of the DFI. The IAMB agreed that the 2008 audit of the DFI should cover the period January 1 to December 31, 2008 with an interim review for the period from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2008. The interim review has taken place under the oversight of the IAMB, while the finalization of the 2008 audits of the DFI is expected to be undertaken under the oversight of the COFE in 2009.
"The IAMB reviewed a draft interim Statement of Cash Receipts and Payments for the DFI, and was briefed by KPMG, the newly-appointed auditor, on the results of their work for the period from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2008. The report reiterates earlier findings about the completeness of revenues in the DFI Statement of Cash Receipts and Payments. A summary of the results of the KPMG interim review is available on the IAMB website (www.iamb.info).
"The representatives of the Government of Iraq and of the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit (BSA) reported on the continuing follow up on outstanding audit recommendations. The IAMB took note of some progress but remained concerned at the relatively slow implementation rate and the length of time taken to address earlier audit findings, particularly at the spending ministries. The IAMB urges the BSA, in conjunction with the COFE, to continue the strong focus on strengthening the system of internal controls and coordinate and actively monitor and follow-up progress by the Government of Iraq to timely monitor and resolve the control weaknesses and build up the necessary capacity.
"The IAMB continues to actively work alongside COFE. COFE is already meeting regularly, considers the audit reports and has embarked on a comprehensive follow-up of earlier recommendations together with the BSA. COFE continues to regularly submit its reports and 2 minutes of meetings to the Council of Ministers and publishes them on COFE's website (www.cofe-iq.net).
"The IAMB's mandate is due to expire at the end of 2008. The IAMB believes that COFE is ready to assume the oversight responsibilities for the DFI and will write to the Government of Iraq proposing that COFE assume the IAMB's oversight role if an extension of UNSCR 1790 is sought.
"The IAMB discussed a draft report on the operations of the IAMB since its establishment in 2003. The final meeting of the IAMB is scheduled for December 2008, at which time a report will be issued and a press briefing will be held."