The objective of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) is to increase the confidence of investors and others that the public interest activities of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) – including the setting of international standards by independent boards operating under IFAC auspices – are properly responsive to the public interest. Through meeting this objective, the PIOB contributes to the improvement of global audit quality.
Established in February 2005, the PIOB is headquartered in Madrid where it operates as a Technical Committee of a regulated Spanish not-for-profit Foundation and is overseen by the Spanish Foundations Protectorate. As part of its local regulatory responsibilities, the Foundation issues annual audited financial statements (click here to access the PIOB audited financial statements).
The PIOB plays a vital role in the architecture surrounding the international standard setting process.
By applying public oversight that is independent and comprehensive during the development of international auditing and assurance, ethics and education standards for the accounting profession, the PIOB provides a safeguard to ensure that competent and well-balanced standard-setting boards are complying with rigorous and transparent due process requirements while effectively responding to public interest needs.
- Reviews and approves Terms of Reference for these entities;
- Evaluates the Boards' due process procedures;
- Oversees the work of IFAC's Nominating Committee and approves the committee's nominations to the standard-setting Boards, the CAG´s and the CAP;
- Oversees the Public Interest work of the CAP, and
- Suggests projects to be added to the boards' work programs.
The PIOB was formed by, and continues to meet and consult with, a group of regulatory and international organizations known as the Monitoring Group. Current members of the Monitoring Group are the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, The World Bank and the European Commission. The Financial Stability Forum is an observer of the Monitoring Group.
The Monitoring Group is responsible for, amongst other things, appointing PIOB members for a three year term, approving the amount and proper execution of PIOB budgets, and discussing international audit quality, regulatory and market developments.
The PIOB Foundation is also regulated by the Spanish Foundations Protectorate and must comply with all associated reporting obligations. Its Spanish name is: Fundación Consejo Internacional de Supervisión Pública en Estándares de Auditoría, Ética Profesional y Materias Relacionadas.
The PIOB produces a Public Report each year to explain how it approaches its oversight mandate and provides details of the specific activities undertaken in that year. The most recent report was released in May 2011 (click here to access the PIOB annual reports).
The PIOB has both sought and accepted invitations to present to a wide range of interested parties on its day-to-day operations and the changing nature of the public interest. The PIOB also maintains close contact with national independent audit oversight authorities and those responsible for national standards development. Through such interactions the PIOB actively promotes global efforts to achieve convergence between national and international standards.