The process to follow up on audits under the IMO Member State audit scheme is continuing, despite the unavoidable disruption of the audit schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This process is crucial as it promotes the consistent and effective implementation of the applicable IMO instruments and assists Member States to improve their capabilities as flag, coastal and port States.
To support this work, a virtual meeting of auditors under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (8 July) provided a forum to inform the 55 auditors who attended the meeting about the latest developments in relation to the Scheme and to provide details about the audit follow-up process. The virtual meeting facilitated the interaction of auditors and the exchange of views in relation to this part of the audit process, and provided an initial insight into future collaborative approaches for the delivery of the audit programme.
Following audits, a corrective action plan is developed by the audited States. The follow-up process involves, as a starting point, assessing information and evidence provided by the audited States , through a specific report containing comments related to the progress of implementation of their corrective action plans. Based on those assessments, wherever possible, a document-based audit will be conducted, with the aim of verifying the implementation of the corrective action plans agreed after the original audits. This current audit follow-up process relates to the 19 audits conducted in 2016 and 22 in 2017.
To date 76 Member State audits have been conducted under the Scheme, up to March 2020. Further audits originally scheduled for 2020 are being rescheduled and moved to 2021.