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Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures

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POPP>Accountability>Internal Control Framework (ICF)>Internal Control Framework
Internal Control Framework

1.0 Relevant Regulations and Rules
UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules
Chapter B: Accountability. Article 3: Internal Control
Accountability Framework & Oversight Policy
UN Staff Rules and Regulations

2.0 Policies
Main Policy
Internal Control Framework Policy
The ICF Operational Guide supplements this policy.
 Related Policies
Quality Standards and Assurance
Service Contracts
Procurement Authority and Increased Delegated Procurement Authority
Procurement Oversight and Procurement Review Committees
Authorizing Official Business Travel
Furniture and Equipment: Disposal and Write-Off
Plant and Property: Disposal and Write-Off
Payment and Taxes
Safe Management
Delegation of Authorities Policy
Protection Against Retaliation Policy
Enterprise Risk Management Policy
Risk Appetite Statement
Risk Appetite Statement Guidance
Anti - Fraud Policy
Language English | Español | Français
Page Properties
Key Words
Focal Point
Amat O. Kebbeh
Effective Date
Planned Review Date
Summary of Changes/Comments
September 30, 2022 - The ICF policy and ICF Operational Guide have been updated to incorporate references to the new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Policy (AML/CFT Policy). The AML/CFT Policy is referenced in the list of Supportive Tools in Annex 2, point 1 Integrity and Ethical Values on page 20 in the ICF policy and a new section 2.9 Mitigating risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing has been added on page 12 of the ICF Operational Guide. 

January 1, 2022 - The updated ICF Policy and the ICF Operational Guide provide clarity on roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities in the implementation of internal controls for clustered and non-clustered processes. Additionally, the ICF Policy has been aligned with industry best practices, including the COSO (the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) framework and the Three Lines of Defense model. The COSO framework describes what we do in internal control and the three lines of defense framework describes who does it. Both frameworks have been endorsed by the High-Level Committee on Management. Additionally, the ICF policy specifies: (i) the roles and responsibilities of staff at all levels of the organization in the achievement of internal control objectives, and the ways in which UNDP monitors and assesses internal control effectiveness; and (ii) the roles and responsibilities of participants in UNDP’s shared services delivery model.
The Operational Guide of the Internal Control Framework (“ICF Operational Guide”) serves as a supplementary document to the ICF Policy. Given the complexity of UNDP’s activities and the resulting breadth and depth of POPP content, the purpose of the ICF Operational Guide is to bring together the key internal control requirements included throughout the POPP to help UNDP offices implement effective internal controls in both clustered and non-clustered environments. Specifically, the Operational Guide: (i) articulates the key day-to-day internal control roles and their associated authorities, accountabilities, and responsibilities; (ii) describes at a high level some key process control points; and (iii) identifies the supporting technology roles (i.e., ERP), rights, and available tools to affect and monitor internal control implementation. A series of “Quick Views” have been added to provide more visual content, as requested by stakeholders. This version of the Operational Guide provides guidance on who executes internal control roles (or elements thereof) with respect to both clustered and non-clustered processes. Country Offices should follow the clustered or non-clustered guidance that is relevant to their process clustering implementation status.

June 11, 2021 - The purpose of the Internal Control Framework (ICF) policy is to help UNDP achieve its goals and to provide accountability for its activities. An effective internal control system provides reasonable assurance to UNDP regarding the achievement of its objectives in the following categories:
- Promotion of orderly, ethical, economical, efficient and effective operations;
- Meeting accountability obligations by making available reliable and relevant internal and external financial and non-financial information, through the maintenance of proper records and information flows;
- Safeguarding resources from inappropriate use, loss, or damage due to waste, abuse, mismanagement, errors, fraud and irregularities;
- Compliance with applicable regulations, rules and internal policies.

The Operational Guide to the Internal Control Framework supplements the Internal Control Framework (ICF) policy to bring together the main existing prescriptive content within the Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) with respect to internal controls, and help UNDP offices implement effective internal controls. It draws upon acknowledged international best practices, while taking into account the characteristics of UNDP.

January 15, 2021 - Updates to the ICF Operational Guide provide additional clarity on the responsibilities for monitoring budget overrides, and overseeing override match exception functions. Additional sentences have been added on override match exceptions to page 39 and on monitoring of budget overrides to pages 16, 22 and 23.

November 13, 2020 - The Operational Guide to the ICF is now available in French. To access the document, click on the French language tab.

October 16, 2020 - The Operational Guide to the ICF is now available in Spanish. To access the document, click on the Spanish language tab.

July 29, 2020 - The Operational Guide to the ICF has been updated to incorporate some streamlining improvements, as well as address recent issues identified by audits:

1. The removal of the provision which enabled low value Requisitions and related Purchase Orders to be approved by the same individual, as communicated by the CFO to all Offices on 16th September 2019.

2. Aligning the consistency of language on vendor creation and approval, and updating it to reflect additional control processes needed when changing vendor bank account information.

3. Further streamlining the ICF, e.g. by removing a redundant control (that bank signatories cannot approve vendors, in COs where there are 2 bank signatories), and authorizing GS7 staff in COs and GS6 staff in the GSSU to perform approval functions for POs, prepayments and no-PO vouchers up to $10,000.

4. Incorporating the recently issued reforms effected through the various rounds of BMS business process streamlining. These changes include:

a. authorising three vendor approvers for large offices with delivery above $50m per year;

b. clarifying functions that must be performed by staff, and functions where other contractual modalities may now be utilized per the streamlining exercises.

5. Consolidating the list of control functions to be performed by staff within a single section of the ICF.

6. Updates to include new business process services provided by the GSSU.

October 22, 2019 - The ICF Operational Guide has been revised to reflect the division of roles and responsibilities between country offices and GSSU with detailed guidance provided for the following 14 business processes services: bank-to-book (B2B) reconciliation; cash management; assets management; inventory management; vendor management; accounts payment processing; pay cycle; general accounting; travel processing; project financial closure and donor financial reporting; VAT processing; procurement: LTA Goods, Services and Works; and procurement: purchases over US$ 150,000 except IC; human resources services: (a) recruit, source, and select employees; (b) employee on-boarding; (c) manage employee performance, reward and retention; (d) manage employee well-being; (e) employee development and training; (f) administration of contracts, benefits and allowances; (g) administer payroll.

September 19, 2018 - The ICF Operational Guide reflects the following changes:

1) Increase the threshold above which Purchase Orders and E- requisitions are required from $2,500 to $5,000. 

2)Increase the number of vendor approvers to three staff members in offices whose previous year delivery is above $50 million per year. 

July 01, 2018 - The updated ICF Operational Guide reflects the increase of manager and senior manager thresholds in Atlas in offices whose previous year delivery is above $50 million per year.

Section on Global Shared Service Unit was updated in May 2017.