Governance Audit Practice

Oversight and governing agencies regarding their compliance with internal domestic, as well as international laws and regulations are increasingly scrutinizing public and private entities. In the case of governments and their component agencies, their compliance with international laws and treaties is increasingly important. The United Nations and its subsidiary entities such as the International Labor Organization, focusing on issues such as employment, labor, human rights, aviation protocols and trade practices, to mention a few, and ICSID, focusing on investment protection, produce rulings of legal and economic importance. Many of these organizations conduct inspections or investigations that can lead to hearings, litigation, arbitration or one of various forms of legal proceedings and can result in international sanctions, fines or simply the “mobilization of shame.”

Our Client Governance Audits (CGA) are based on and conducted with the precision and thoroughness of the traditional financial audit. The process we use incorporates both the traditional risk analysis that relies heavily on data driven barrier analyses and the culture analysis that measures various qualitative components of the culture and environment in which private sector and sovereign clients interact. While the audit we construct may differ in scope and depth, the purpose is to provide accurate INFORMATION on which to base decisions that will govern how an entity manages the particular law, process or international norm being reviewed – for example, gender discrimination, child labor laws, trade and investment policies and practices or human rights practices.

A fully and accurately implemented audit generates information that provides a basis (and necessary legal rationale) for the policy that the government seeks to implement. It also facilitates targeting often-limited resources to solve identified problems relative to the policy or related practices, or to support specific and relevant objectives. In this regard, in addition to identifying systemic barriers that negatively impact government objectives, audits can enable staff to focus on specific, targeted training needs, as well as appropriate and meaningful initiatives that support desired sustainable change.