World Food Program: Stronger Controls Needed in High-Risk Areas

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The design of the United Nations (UN) World Food Program's (WFP) internal controls related to delivery and monitoring of food assistance generally reflects principles for internal controls and enterprise risk management developed by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). WFP has developed an internal control framework that has, like the COSO internal control framework, five components: internal environment, risk management, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring. However, the design of some of WFP's controls has weaknesses that could expose WFP to ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 13, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The design of the United Nations (UN) World Food Program's (WFP) internal controls related to delivery and monitoring of food assistance generally reflects principles for internal controls and enterprise risk management developed by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). WFP has developed an internal control framework that has, like the COSO internal control framework, five components: internal environment, risk management, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring. However, the design of some of WFP's controls has weaknesses that could expose WFP to risks such as waste, fraud, and abuse. For example, WFP's Executive Board oversight is limited, and it does not fully utilize the WFP Audit Committee to assist in overseeing the effectiveness of WFP's risk management and internal control processes. Also, WFP has designed risk management policies but has not developed detailed guidance to instruct staff in addressing risks, especially at the country level where WFP is most vulnerable. Additionally, as recommended by COSO, WFP has established control activities that address risks to its objectives--for example, policies and procedures designed to help ensure tracking of food assistance from delivery at the port-of-entry to distribution to beneficiaries. However, weaknesses in the design of its commodity tracking system, including lack of capacity to track food in implementing partners' custody, limit WFP's ability to account for all food in these partners' custody. Further, WFP has developed detailed policies for monitoring distribution of food assistance to beneficiaries, in line with COSO principles, but has not provided guidance that instructs staff to consider risk when determining needed levels of monitoring, including in high-risk areas where WFP staff have limited access."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 13, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. World Food Program: Stronger Controls Needed in High-Risk Areas, report, September 13, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298297/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.