Response to the Report of the External Auditor on the Financial Report and Statements for 2011

As prepared for delivery by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 12, 2012

On behalf of the United States Government, I would like to thank the External Auditor, the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, for the work they have done for the OSCE over the past several years. We welcome Mr. Vasil Nevidomiy to the Permanent Council and appreciate the comprehensive audit he and his team performed in conjunction with the activities of the OSCE and the financial statements for 2011.

We are pleased that, again this year, there have been no material misstatements or deficiencies found in your audit. We are a strong supporter of the OSCE and a major contributor, both financially and through in-kind contributions. We are confident that the external audits contribute to the financial and management quality of the OSCE and the ability to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

The United States supports all the recommendations that have been made in the External Auditor’s report. In particular, we endorse the recommendation to improve internal controls by enhancing coordination between field operations, institutions, and the Secretariat. We view this as important not just as a better way to account for in-kind contributions, but also because it contributes to the success of OSCE’s efforts overall.

Additionally, the United States takes note of the open recommendation from previous years that the OSCE Financial Regulations be updated. We have been disappointed that efforts to update these regulations have not yet come to a successful conclusion and call on all participating States to take a fresh look at this issue to find a way forward.

Mr. Nevidomiy, the United States appreciates all that you and the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine have done for the OSCE in your capacity of External Auditor over the past four years.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.