Final Audit for Food-Security-Project

Background and Organizational Setting

Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope is a Christian motivated organisation for human rights, humanitarian aid and development cooperation. From its base in Constance, Germany, Sign of Hope is committed to helping those in distress and exploited people worldwide.

A final audit is commissioned under the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funding guidelines for development projects run by private German executing agencies.

Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. will be the private German executing agency and the contracting party, while Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD) will be the local implementing agency.

The project targeted approx. 1,500 households in the Traditional Authority Nkukula with the objective to enhance food security through diversification of crops and improved methods of cultivation, irrigation and harvesting. Through social and economic self-organisation the target group was empowered to use alternative coping mechanisms in times of drought, which make them more independent from traditional limited options. The communities have a well-elaborated disaster risk management scheme and use agroforestry as a climate mitigation strategy and a tool for improvement of soil.

Audit Objectives

The purpose of the final audit is to provide Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. with a sound basis for its accountability, transparency and accuracy in the financial disclosure towards the funding agency BMZ.

This in-depth audit will verify the compliance with standards of the funding agency BMZ, Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V., national regulations and the international accounting standards.

The auditor will review the project’s financial documents, previous annual audits, receipts lists, records of transactions, all vouchers and receipts disbursed, and relevant project documents in order to come up with a professional, independent opinion on the financial accounting of the project Drought Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation and Mitigation for all funds received and expended by CICOD from 01.10.2016 – 31.07.2020. For the period from 01.10.2016 – 31.12.2018 the auditor can focus on the annual audits for 2016/17 and 2018. For the years 2019 and 2020, the auditor shall focus on the original receipts lists, records of transactions, all vouchers and receipts disbursed, and relevant project documents.

Additionally, the audit shall give recommendations on strengths, weaknesses, and required improvement in the project-related financial and human resources management systems of CICOD.

The audit will support the project quality assurance measures implemented by Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. and contribute to the decision-making process with regard to the project management and monitoring of finances by Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. and CICOD.

Expected Deliverables

The auditor is expected to produce an audit report (audit certificate), which will comprise the following:

  1. Presentation of the scope and mandate of the audit, as well as the list of documents that formed the evidence for the audit,
  2. An opinion whether financial statements (statement of accounts) are issued in accordance with the financial reporting framework of the project, BMZ requirements and an internationally recognised accounting standard,
  3. Recommendations on identified shortcomings, and, if applicable, comments on the follow-up of audit observations and recommendations from previous years.

The Audit report (audit certificates) shall be issued in English. The draft report has to be sent to CICOD and Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. latest on December 16th 2020 the printed and signed final report has to be sent to CICOD and also in duplicate to Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. in early January, so that it arrives in Germany by 15th January at the latest.

Scope of the Audit

The audit should focus on the following:

· The correctness and completeness of the accounting records,

· The financial report, showing all project related income and expenditures structured by budget lines,

· Deviations of expenditures by budget lines. The expenditure, which exceeds or falls below the budget appropriations by more than 30 %, shall be explained separately, if the approval of the BMZ has not previously been obtained,**

· That receipts and relevant supporting documents are available for all project related income and expenditures,

· The management of the funds made available which includes the transfer of project funds, all interest earned from the project funds during the reporting period and further income generated by the project,

· Reviewing the appropriate use of funds according to the project objectives,

· Evaluation of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the usage of funds,

· Compliance with the budget through the comparison between budgeted and actual costs in the currency in which the expenditures was incurred. The audit report will not convert the examined amounts into the Euro amounts,

· Reviewing if personnel costs and social security contributions conform to the regulations in the project country and are locally comparable,

· The economical use of the project equipment and assets,

· The inventory and the use of capital items, their whereabouts and their purposive usage,

· Compliance with the legal framework of the project (project agreements and annexes, contracts, etc.) and the donor requirements,

· Compliance with the policies of the local implementing partner regarding procurement, financial administration, human resources management and travel.

Procedures and Communication

The auditor will be given access to all necessary documents in the project offices through the local implementing partner CICOD as well as relevant donor documents through Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V.

The auditor will be responsible to set up a schedule in agreement with the local implementing partner CICOD. Any expenses for field trips, postal and translation services and other expenses shall be included in the auditor’s proposed budget. CICOD will support the auditor with logistics and arrangements, however, all payments of the contract will be made directly by Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V.

Qualifications and Experience

· Necessary qualification to serve as a recognized independent auditing authority,

· Minimum of five (5) years of experience conducting external independent audits of projects funded by international institutional donors in Malawi.