Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Independent Audit and Oversight Committee (IAOC)

The Independent Audit and Oversight Committee (IAOC) is an expert advisory body established by UNHCR’s Standing Committee in 2011 to assist the High Commissioner and the Executive Committee in exercising their oversight responsibilities in accordance with relevant best practices, industry standards, and the financial and staff regulations and rules applicable to UNHCR.

The IAOC aims to:

  1. provide external, independent, senior-level advice regarding the functioning of audit and oversight in UNHCR
  2. review internal and external audit and oversight matters
  3. review financial management and reporting within the Organization.

The Committee’s terms of reference were most recently revised in 2022 (EC/73/SC/CRP.16).

Text and media 1


The Committee comprises five members with different profiles in terms of personal qualifications and experience, as well as gender and geographical representation, acting in their personal capacity. They are appointed for a three-year period by the High Commissioner, with the consent of the Executive Committee, and may be reappointed once for a final period of three years. Members are not renumerated for their support to UNHCR, in order to maintain their independence. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are elected by the members on a rotational basis.

The current members of the IAOC are:

  • Ms. Carman Lapointe (Canada) [Chairperson 2024] [January 2023 – present]
  • Mr. Honore Ndoko (Cameroon) [October 2018 – present]
  • Ms. Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent (France) [October 2018 – present]
  • Ms. Bushra Malik (Pakistan) [October 2019 – present]
  • Dr. Suresh Sharma (Nepal) [October 2018 – present]
Former IAOC members

Former members listed in reverse chronological order of departure.

IAOC member Period served Chairperson
Mr. Egbert C. Kaltenbach (Germany) June 2019 – June 2022  
Ms. Lynn Haight (Canada) October 2013 – September 2019 October 2018 – September 2019
Mr. Sam Karuhanga (Uganda / United Kingdom) June 2012 – May 2019 October 2017 – September 2018
Mr. Salleppan Kandasamy (Malaysia) June 2012 – May 2018 October 2016 – October 2017
Mr. Verasak Liengsririwat (Thailand) June 2012 – May 2018 June 2012 – October 2013
Ms. Mari Simonen (Finland) June 2012 – May 2018 October 2014 – October 2015
Mr. Kenneth Langford (Switzerland) June 2012 – June 2013  



The Committee generally holds three sessions per year that last three or four days. During the sessions, it meets with the three principal oversight bodies:

Additionally, it meets with those divisions and entities it deems necessary in order to effectively exercise its mandate, such as the Controller, the Evaluation Office, and Enterprise Risk Management.

The Inspector General’s Office is responsible for the secretarial support of the IAOC.

The IAOC's contribution to oversight in UNHCR

The IAOC plays an advisory role on oversight functions pertaining to UNHCR activities. Its mandate is reflected in Article 4 of the Committee’s terms of reference (EC/73/SC/CRP.16). The major areas covered by its work are internal and external audit, financial statements and reporting, internal control and accountability, risk management, status of implementation of recommendations issued by audit and oversight bodies, and oversight resourcing.

The Committee provides external, independent, senior-level advice on these issues, highlights good performance or progress, and notes issues for improvement in various domains such as: planning, processes, outputs, costs and resources, qualification of staff, methodologies, priorities, lessons learned, potential delays, compliance and accountability framework.

The IAOC acts in an advisory capacity, and is neither a governance body nor an appeal body. The Committee does not take an active role in the mandated activities of the Organization.


In accordance with Article 4 (i) of its terms of reference, the Committee prepares an annual report on its activities and findings covering the period July to June, and formally presents this to the Executive Committee, usually during the September meeting of the Standing Committee. In its annual report, the Committee highlights significant oversight issues and provides appropriate observations.

The Committee may also report key findings to the High Commissioner and the Executive Committee at any time.

Reports & presentations