PH Audit Commissioner Nominated To Head UN Internal Watchdog

by Jay Domingo

NEW YORK – Heidi Mendoza, the current Commissioner of the Commission of Audit of the Philippines and Chairperson of the Audit Committee on Public Sector Auditing Standards Board, was nominated October 5 the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

The UN said in a statement that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Mendoza for a five-year non-renewable term following consultations with Chairs of Regional Groups.

Mendoza is a certified public accountant with over 20 years of service in government specializing in audit, investigation, fraud examination, anti-corruption and integrity advocacy.  She also serves as the External Auditor for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).

Pending approval of her appointment by the General Assembly, she will be succeeding Carman L.  Lapointe, a Canadian national born in Virden, Manitoba.

The Office of Internal Oversight Services is the internal oversight body of the United Nations. It was established in 1994 by the General Assembly to assist “the Secretary-General in fulfilling his oversight responsibilities in respect of the resources and staff of the Organization through the provision of audit, investigation, inspection and evaluation services.

The Office conducts comprehensive internal audits, monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of programmes and mandates; conducts inspects of programmes and organizational units; investigates reports of mismanagement and misconduct; and monitors the implementation of recommendations emanating from audits, evaluations,inspections and investigations through its three functional units.  These are the Internal Audit Division, the Inspection and Evaluation Division and the Investigation Division.

The Office covers all United Nations activities under the Secretary-General’s authority, including: the UN Secretariat in New York, Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna, five regional commissions, peacekeeping missions and humanitarian operations; assistance to Funds and Programmes administered separately under the authority of the Secretary-General (including UNHCR, UNEP, UN HABITAT, and OHCHR), and other entities that have requested OIOS services such as UNCCD and UNFCCC.

Mendoza, 52, was born in Tayabas, Quezon. She graduated valedictorian in her high school class in a private academy in Tayabas and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree at Sacred Heart College in Lucena City. She took her MA in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines and also obtained another MA in National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines.

She married a college professor and they have three children, all college students.

She was appointed COA Commissioner by President Benigno Aquino III in 2011. Before her appointment, as COA  auditor, she faced numerous death threats after dragging big names in the AFP for illegally acquiring a 300-million peso military fund by former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, the central figure in the biggest corruption scandal that hit the country’s military agency. Former AFP Chief-of-Staff Angelo Reyes who committed suicide during the peak of the scandal was also said to be involved in the alleged misuse of funds in the military.


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