What we do
The Internal Audit Service is a core part of the internal audit system for the European Commission and EU agencies. Our mission is to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve the operations of the Commission.
- Read our full mission charter .
We work with Commission departments and agencies to provide independent advice, opinions and recommendations on the quality and functioning of internal control systems.
We report to the Audit Progress Committee (APC) and work in coordination with the Internal Audit Capabilities (IACs) - teams of auditors in the Directorates-General and agencies.
The Commission's Internal Auditor is our Director General, Philippe Taverne. His role is defined in articles 98-100 of the Financial Regulation and in articles 114-116 of the Rules of Application (RAP) of the Financial Regulation. Article 208.3 of the Financial Regulation provides for the IAS's role in the EU agencies and bodies. Based in Brussels, we carry out around 100 internal audits every year throughout the Commission.
We also audit European agencies and other bodies receiving funding from the EU budget. The agencies are highly specialised bodies which support the EU member countries in range of different fields from border controls, to food safety, to environment. We are their internal auditors – we don't audit them for the Commission, but for themselves.
The external auditing of the Commission is done by the European Court of Auditors, based in Luxembourg.
The IAS works to a three-year plan, which is updated annually. The plan is developed using risk-based methodology, including any risk concerns identified by Commission management. We present our audit programme to the European Court of Auditors (ECA) every year.
The Commission's audit architecture
The IAS is one part of the audit architecture in the Commission. The Audit Progress Committee and the Internal Audit Capabilities are both important parts of the Commission's internal control structure.
Audit Progress Committee
The Audit Progress Committee (APC) is a key actor in the Commission's governance structure . It ensures an oversight of audit matters within the Commission, and reports annually to the Commissioners.
The APC plays a preventive role, drawing attention to issues which, if left unattended, could seriously affect the Commission's reputation. As a result, the APC tries to increase the effectiveness of follow-up by Commission departments to relevant audit recommendations.
The APC is chaired by Commissioner Šemeta and has 9 members – 7 Commissioners and 2 experienced audit professionals from outside the Commission. It is assisted by a Secretariat.
Internal Audit Capabilities (IACs)
The IACs are teams of auditors embedded in all Commission departments and EU agencies, and reporting directly to their Directors-General. The IAS works in coordination with them through Auditnet – a forum for discussion and exchange of best practice.
Independence and integrity
Our independence is guaranteed by our mission charter , which forbids any other authority from interfering in our audit work or asking us to alter the content of our audits. Our auditors are required to provide full disclosure if they feel their objectivity is impaired "in fact or in appearance".
The IAS deals fairly and openly with all stakeholders, and has developed methods of good practice to reinforce its values at every stage of the audit process.
We carry out all our work according to IIA international professional standards, ensuring that we meet the highest standards applied in the private sector, other international organisations and public bodies in EU member countries.
We are certified as compliant with the Institute of Internal Auditors' Standards and Code of Ethics.