External aid context
EuropeAid implements the external aid instruments of the European Commission which are funded by the General Budget of the European Communities and the European Development Fund (‘EDF’). External aid operations can vary significantly in their objectives, scope, scale and budgets.
The legal and regulatory basis for external aid programmes and projects is often a Financing Agreement which is typically implemented through one or more external aid contracts (e.g. grants).
Audits/verifications of external operations in EuropeAid's portfolio must in principle be carried out by professional external Auditors. For this purpose, EuropeAid concludes service contracts with external auditors on the basis of its Audit Framework Contract, through local and regional framework service contracts, or following a call for tender.
EuropeAid operates a system of annual audit planning. The main purpose of the planned audits/verifications is to provide assurance on the legality and regularity of the external aid operations financed by EuropeAid. Assurance is essentially related to compliance with the applicable regulations and rules and it can also relate to sound financial management and the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Compliance with criteria for legality and regularity is essential for all external aid operations. These criteria vary with the engagement type and with the documents constituting the legal and regulatory bases for the operations.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR AUDITORS
Auditors contracted by EuropeAid are expected to have a good understanding of and to comply with the principles of the International Framework for Assurance Engagements and the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by IFAC, the International Federation of Accountants. Auditors are also required to comply with International Standards on Auditing or International Standards for Related Services where this is specified by the terms of reference.
Terms of Reference
EuropeAid has at its disposal various sets of terms of reference models accessible through the drop-down menu on the left.