On 22 April 2003 the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, HRH Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, informed the States Parties that the Assembly’s Bureau had decided to appoint the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom as External Auditor of the Court for the periods ending 31 December 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Under the ICC Financial Rules and Regulation the External Auditor advices the Court on the establishment of its initial administrative and financial control mechanism, provides financial audits, independent reports and advices on best accounting practice, and financial management.
The National Audit Office of the United Kingdom (NAO) has a long tradition that can be tracked to 1866; it is totally independent of the United Kingdom Government, and is primarily concerned to ensure the proper and efficient spending of public funds and accountability to the UK’s Parliament.
The Assembly’s Bureau opted for the NAO among a number of proposals from highly qualified audit offices, because of NAO’s experience with international public organisations in their initial phases.
The UN World Food Programme, the Pan-American Health Organisation, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation; the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, the International Labour Organisation, are among the clients of the NAO.
As part of their responsibilities as members of the UN Board of External Auditors, the NAO audited also the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Commissioner for Refugees, and other organisations funded from member states contributions.