CAO initiates audits in response to concerns regarding the social and environmental impacts of specific IFC or MIGA projects, or as requested by the World Bank Group President or senior management.
CAO Compliance audits how IFC and MIGA assure themselves of social and environmental performance at the project-level. Audits focus on IFC or MIGA - not the project sponsor - and examine compliance with relevant policies, standards, guidelines, procedures, and conditions. CAO audits are independent of, but complementary to, IFC/MIGA's internal assurance efforts.
How are compliance appraisals and audits initiated?
Compliance investigations are triggered:
At the request of the President of the World Bank Group or senior management of IFC/MIGA
At the discretion of the CAO Vice-President
When a complaint is transferred from CAO Ombudsman where resolution of the issues is not possible
What is the process for compliance investigations?
First, CAO initiates an appraisal to determine whether a compliance audit is merited. The appraisal assesses whether there are substantive concerns regarding a project’s social or environmental performance. In the event that the issues raised do not merit an audit, the CAO will close the case.
If an audit is merited, the CAO typically employs an independent panel of experts to conduct the investigation. The audit is based on a review of documents, interviews, and observation of project activities and outcomes. Verification of evidence is an important part of the process.
Monitoring and Reporting
In cases where IFC, MIGA, and/or project sponsors are in compliance, CAO Compliance will close the audit. In cases where IFC/MIGA is/are found to be out of compliance, CAO Compliance keeps the audit open and monitors the situation until actions taken by IFC/MIGA assure CAO that the project is back into compliance.
See CAO's Operational Guidelines for more information on CAO auditing.
See Our Cases for all past and present compliance cases.