6 Conducting the Audit
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Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - Resolutions - Assembly - IMO Resolution A.974(24) Framework and Procedures for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (Adopted on 1 December 2005) - Annex - Part II Procedures for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit - 6 Conducting the Audit

6 Conducting the Audit

6.1 Timeline

  6.1.1 The audit shall proceed on the basis of the timeline agreed by mutual consent between the Secretary-General, the audit team leader and the Member State.

6.2 Conduct of auditors

  6.2.1 The overall policy for the audit team when conducting the audit should be the objective, strategy and principles as described in the Framework.

  6.2.2 When conducting the audit, the members of the audit team must strive to achieve the highest standards of objectivity, impartiality and confidentiality. Correct behaviour is essential to avoid any impression that there is a bias for or against the Member State that is being audited.

  6.2.3 To ensure transparency and consistency among all members of the audit team, the team member(s) with a working knowledge of the language of the Member States legislation and other relevant documentation should assist with communication so as to minimize ambiguity and risk of misunderstandings in the auditing process but should not attempt independently to act as interpreter(s).

  6.2.4 It should be recognized that the final result of the audit, i.e. the audit report including its findings, is a very sensitive document, as it gives the Member State an indication of how it fulfils its role as a responsible party to the applicable mandatory IMO instruments.

  6.2.5 Audits may result in raising the awareness and interest of the local media, employers organizations, trade unions, etc., some of which may request interviews with the audit team. Such interviews should only be conducted with the consent of, and in the presence of, an official of the Member State. In such circumstances, information provided by the audit team will be limited to explaining its mandate and objectives.

6.3 Opening meeting

  6.3.1 An opening meeting between the auditors and the representatives of the Member State to be audited should be held in order to confirm the arrangements prior to commencing the on-site audit. The audit team leader should use the opening meeting to present the objective and scope of the audit. The opening meeting is to be scheduled in advance and included in the audit plan.

  6.3.2 The opening meeting will be chaired by the audit team leader. At that meeting, the senior executive of the audited Member State may also wish to provide briefing and information to the audit team. The agenda should cover at least the following items:

  • .1 introduction of the participants (a list of participants should be distributed before the meeting);

  • .2 background history and purpose of the audit;

  • .3 review and confirmation of the provisional audit programme, including the purpose, scope and objectives of the audit;

  • .4 a short summary of the methods and procedures to be used in conducting the audit;

  • .5 official communication links between the audit team and the Member State's officials, for example the appointment of a liaison officer;

  • .6 facilities and administrative arrangements;

  • .7 an appropriate programme of visits to the Member State's regional offices and other involved organizational elements;

  • .8 time, date and place of the closing meeting and any interim meetings of the audit team and the Member State's senior management;

  • .9 procedures for documenting audit findings, providing response to such findings and agreeing them (see appendix 4);

  • .10 confidentiality of findings, i.e. the auditors are to agree with the auditees on any controls on evidence obtained during the audit and on disposal of report findings and report copies; and

  • .11 agreement that, if practicable, a draft interim audit report should be tabled during the closing meeting.

  6.3.3 The audited Member State should be prepared to assist the audit team by providing:

  • .1 working space, preferably with privacy;

  • .2 access to personal computers, photocopiers and facsimile machines, as well as electronic communication media such as the Internet and e-mail, if available;

  • .3 access to facilities (i.e. building passes or other suitable arrangements);

  • .4 access to relevant files and records including those of any other relevant entity responsible for maritime regulation relating to IMO instruments; and

  • .5 access to selected personnel for interviews.

6.4 The audit

  6.4.1 An audit should be conducted using checklists and/or aides-memoires based on the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments and developed for the specific audit.

  6.4.2 A Member State official from the area being audited should accompany the auditor.

  6.4.3 Evidence should be collected by interviewing staff, reviewing documents and observing selected activities of the Administration of the Member State.

  6.4.4 When an auditor observes a non-conformity, he/she should discuss it with the responsible Member State official and record the following details as appropriate (see appendix 4):

  • .1 details of the observed non-conformity (including the title, number and issue of any document involved, where appropriate); and

  • .2 the location where the non-conformity was observed.

  6.4.5 To assist the Member State in devising early solutions to any non-conformities identified, the audit team may provide information on findings to their Member State counterparts on a regular basis, in advance of the closing meeting.

6.5 Audit closing meeting

  6.5.1 The audit closing meeting provides the opportunity for the audit team to brief all relevant personnel from the audited Member State on findings relating to the audit. The meeting should ensure that the Member State authorities clearly understand the situation as audited by the audit team and are able to start working on the corrective action plan, if necessary. The meeting should emphasize the most significant issues and concisely present the team's findings and opinions regarding the effectiveness of the Member State in conforming to the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments.

  6.5.2 The audit closing meeting should also include a short briefing on all findings to be included in the audit interim report. Where practicable, the report should be provided to the Member State at the end of the audit during the audit closing meeting.

  6.5.3 The audit team leader should discuss with the Member State any follow-up activities, including suggestions regarding the need for and content of a corrective action plan to be developed by the Member State. The audit team leader should also inform the Member State of critical dates for the submission of the corrective action plan (see appendix 4), the final and summary reports.

  6.5.4 The format of the audit closing meeting should be as follows:

  • .1 review of the purpose, scope and objectives of the audit;

  • .2 summary of audit procedures;

  • .3 presentation of observations and non-conformities included in the audit interim report;

  • .4 information on visits to regional offices and other involved organizational elements, as applicable;

  • .5 actions taken by the audited Member State following the audit; and

  • .6 time frame for response, corrective action plan, final and summary reports.

  6.5.5 Specialist meetings of the audit team members and their Member State counterparts may be held prior to or after the audit closing meeting, at the discretion of the audit team leader and the Member State.

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