“As the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide, the Joint Inspection Unit aims:

(a) To assist the legislative organs of the participating organizations in meeting their governance responsibilities in respect of their oversight function concerning management of human, financial and other resources by the secretariats;

(b) To help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the respective secretariats in achieving the legislative mandates and the mission objectives established for the organizations;

(c) To promote greater coordination between the organizations of the United Nations system;

(d) To identify best practices, propose benchmarks and facilitate information-sharing throughout the system.”

JIU has a unique mandate and opportunity to look at cross-cutting issues, and be an agent for change across the system, to secure administrative efficiency and achieve greater co-ordination between organizations. According to JIU’s mission, the work of the Inspectors may consist in:
• Inspecting, evaluating, and investigating the operation of organizations;

• Assuring Member States that activities undertaken are cost-effective;

• Improving efficiency and increasing productivity;

• Conducting risk management analyses;

• Selecting and reporting on key issues and risk areas in individual organizations and across the United Nations system;

• Examining opportunities for programme delivery improvement;

• Increasing coordination and harmonization among organizations;

• Benchmarking and facilitating information- sharing;

• Identifying specific and cross-organizational issues where JIU involvement adds value;

• Monitoring the implementation of recommendations;

• Assisting agencies in simplifying their rules and procedures to improve management and administration;

• Assessing and advising organizations on their internal oversight mechanisms.

The Unit is currently composed of eleven Inspectors appointed by the General Assembly, assisted by a Secretariat headed by the JIU Executive Secretary. According to the JIU statute, Inspectors have the broadest powers of investigation in all matters having a bearing on the efficiency of services and proper use of resources and may make on-the-spot inquiries and investigations. They are also mandated to inspect and evaluate the activities of the participating organizations and make recommendations aimed at improving management and methods and at achieving greater coordination among those organizations.
The Unit prepares reports, notes and management/confidential letters addressed to one or more organizations and/or of interest to the United Nations system as a whole.