Mutual Accountability Unit (MAU)
Promoting a culture of accountability and transparency and improving operational effectiveness and efficiency
The Mutual Accountability Unit is the internal oversight unit of Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities (LIUPC) project of the Local Government Division (LGD). The Unit assists the LIUPC project management in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities in respect of the resources and staff of the project through the provision of internal audit, compliance and investigation services. The MAU aims to be strategic partner of change that promotes responsible administration and management of resources, a culture of zero-tolerance of corruption, accountability and transparency, and improved programme performance.
The mandate of MAU covers all activities undertaken by all units of LIUPC project located in Project Head Quarter and its operating Town Offices. It also includes LIUPC project’s activities undertaken by its community structures (Primary Groups- PGs, Community Development Committees- CDCs, Clusters and Federations).
At present, MAU is staffed with an Internal Audit Coordinator as the Unit Lead associated with an Internal Audit Officer. The Internal Audit Coordinator has a matrix reporting lines with the National Project Manager and the Project Board. For day to day operations, he is accountable to the National Project Manager, and periodically reports to the Project Board which reviews MAU’s strategy, work plans and progress reports as well as the issues arising from internal audit, investigation and its other activities.
Vision and Mission of Mutual Accountability Unit (MAU)
To be a strong promoter of accountability, transparency, integrity and anti-corruption environment, valued by management and stakeholders
Providing LIUPC project an independent and objective oversight that is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations in achieving its goals, ensure reliability of financial information, safeguarding of its assets and the compliance of applicable rules and regulations through the provision of internal audit and other advisory services; compliance services; investigation services, and; anti-corruption capacity building and other awareness raising activities.
Key Functions of Mutual Accountability Unit
The MAU provides the following services:
Internal Audit: The MAU performs risk-based audits applying the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing to assist project management in establishing and strengthening risk management, internal control and governance system using a combination of assurance and advisory services.
Internal audit reports contain recommendations intended to address the shortcomings identified by the auditors while reviewing specific management activities or operational areas. Implementation of critical audit recommendations by management is carefully tracked. Technical Output Coordinators and Town Managers are expected to promptly act on the audit findings and recommendations and to also report periodically to MAU on the status of implementing audit recommendations. MAU follows up and monitors its audit recommendations until they are fully implemented.
Protecting the organisation’s integrity
Investigations: The MAU investigates, with assurances of confidentiality reports of possible misconduct including corruption and makes recommendations for appropriate action to ensure that the organisation can more effectively promote accountability and protect its integrity.
MAU’s investigation is an administrative fact-finding activity, which collects evidence to either support or refute the reported allegations of violations and corruptions. The focus is on potential misconduct by UNDP personnel and prohibited practices by vendors/third parties; however, some systemic issues might also be analysed at the same time. Investigations are conducted by MAU in a professional and impartial manner. Where evidence of misconduct including corruption is established, the MAU sends National Project Manager the results of its investigation, together with recommendations, to guide him/her in deciding on the appropriate action to be taken. MAU also reports periodically to the Project Board in summarised version outlining the status of actions taken based on the result of its investigation. MAU is not, however, responsible for deciding whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings or to institute corrective action as a result of its investigations.
Promoting a Culture of zero-tolerance of corruption
Building anti-corruption capacity and raising awareness: The MAU promotes a culture of zero-tolerance of corruption and ensures accountability and transparency among all project partners through providing anti-fraud/corruption training, orientation to project’s key stakeholders and through providing various anti-corruption awareness raising activities.