The first two remote audits under IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) have been successfully completed following efforts to reduce the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the audit schedule.
Continuity in the IMSAS is key to promoting the consistent and effective implementation of the applicable IMO instruments and to assist Member States to improve their capabilities as flag, coastal and port States.
The completion of the first remote audits follow a decision taken by the IMO Council at its 125th session in July 2021 to use, as an interim measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, a remote audit mechanism to progress with the audits, without discarding the possibility of on-site audits, where feasible.
The audits were completed using remote methodology, which included virtual viewing of various facilities. Experience gained in the conduct of these audits is being analysed and will be used to further develop various steps in remote auditing to further improve the auditing practices for audits scheduled from January 2022 onwards.
As a prelude to the roll-out of the remote audit mechanism, a virtual meeting of auditors currently included on the IMO roster was organized in September 2021, attended by 94 auditors from 54 Member States. The meeting provided a forum to present the modalities of a remote audit and to exchange views and experiences between the auditors on remote audit methodology.
Member States are encouraged to nominate individuals for inclusion in the roster of auditors, and, in particular, to enhance women’s participation in the Audit Scheme.