LAKE MARY, Fla. (October 27, 2021) — The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) announced today it has issued letters to Greece's Prime Minister and Ministry of Development and Investments, objecting to a last-minute legislative amendment that would infringe on its international standards and code of ethics and the efficient practice of internal auditing. Representatives of The IIA's Global headquarters and IIA Greece are scheduled to meet with the Minister of Development and Investments on Friday to discuss their concerns and outline a potential resolution.
The amendment, introduced as part of a bill just hours before it was expected to be voted on and without consultation from The IIA, would require internal auditors to register with the Economic Chamber of Greece, who would gain new authority on the internal audit profession.
"We urge the Greek Parliament to withdraw this amendment and allow all impacted parties, including stakeholders from the banking, insurance, accounting, legal and internal audit professions, to provide input on any legislative proposal being considered," said Anthony Pugliese, President and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors. "The IIA stands ready to work in partnership with Greek officials to develop and implement measures that will protect business and ensure the independence of internal auditors. The internal audit function plays a key role by providing independent assurance that an organization's risk management, governance and internal controls processes are operating effectively. Moving forward without input from critical stakeholders in the capital markets poses a risk to governance of entities operating in Greece and around the world."
The approval of this amendment would be a setback for effective governance globally, as it places responsibility for oversight of the profession with the Economic Chamber of Greece. The amendment proposes that the Chamber would register auditors for a fee, provide a certificate and ID, judge violations of practice, and enforce sanctions. This is all unnecessary given the role of The IIA and IIA-Greece in overseeing the profession.
The IIA is the internationally recognized, global professional standard setter for internal auditing - its Standards are part of the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), which includes several mandatory elements: Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing; Definition of Internal Auditing; Code of Ethics; and International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. It also includes mandatory professional guidance developed by The IIA following a rigorous due diligence process and public exposure period seeking stakeholder input. As a strong advocate for effective governance, The IIA promotes internal audit as critical to transparency and trust in all public interest entities.
The Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) certification awarded by The IIA is the only globally recognized internal audit certification. By holding a CIA, an internal auditor holds the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to effectively carry out professional responsibilities for any internal audit anywhere in the world.
Read follow up correspondence from The IIA to the Greece's Prime Minister.
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Chris Almonte for The IIA