(Note: Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the end of this PACS Standard for further guidance on this standard)
This PACS Standard makes the following recommendations in relation to audits.
Financial and technical audits are good management practice. They may identify financial irregularities, technical inadequacies, inappropriate design, failure to build in accordance with the specification, over-costing, or poor value for money, sustainability, or efficiency. These problems may have been caused by human error, or lack of training and skill. However, corruption may be the cause of these problems, and so it is essential that financial and technical auditors are aware that this may be the case, and are required to report suspicions of corruption to the independent assessor.
The fact that the project is being financially and technically audited will act as a significant deterrent against corruption. In addition, the audits may uncover actual corruption.
Both the independent assessor and technical auditor are likely to be required to have the same or similar professional and technical qualifications and experience. It is possible, therefore, that the same person could carry out both functions, provided that this does not result in any dilution or compromise of the essential qualities and functions of either role. For example, the independent assessor’s role should not be limited to that of technical audit. The independent assessor must be independent of the project. He has a roving remit to inspect as and when he sees fit. His duty relates specifically to identifying and reporting potential or actual corruption. The technical auditor, on the other hand, will audit the project only at specific times in the project cycle, and will be focusing on technical issues.
This is unlikely to be appropriate. The independent assessor should be a professional with detailed knowledge of the type of construction being undertaken (so that he can identify possible corruption during the project). A financial auditor on the other hand is likely to be an accountant who is skilled in financial control. It is unlikely that a financial auditor would have the necessary skill to be an independent assessor.
Page updated on 10th April 2020
Page first published on 1st May 2008