Internal Audit in North Korea

Like most of us, McLeod Governance has long since signed up to job alerts prompted by key phrases.

One such alert this week caught our attention – if not so much aligned with our career trajectory.

It read “North Korea Internal Audit Detective”.

Firstly, we here at McLeod Governance just love the title “Internal Audit Detective”.

Here we are as a global profession struggling to find the correct and most accurate nomenclature for what it is that we do and this job alert has – in one push of the send button – solved THAT question once and for all!

Of more importance though it got McLeod Governance thinking as to what would the practice of internal audit be like in the Hermit Kingdom?

Perhaps others will be able to find it for us but we could not source any serious discussion on the practice of internal audit in North Korea.

So that lead us to wonder – does the practice of internal audit exist in North Korea and if so what form does it take?

If we assume that the definition of internal audit is universally accepted (a big assumption granted), then it is reasonable to assume that in a country of 25 million people there is a community of professionals that provide ” an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations”.

But is that necessarily the case?

Can the concept of independence and objective assurance exist in totalitarian dictatorship?

McLeod Governance has been very fortunate to have worked in many different cultures globally and it has always struck us that the closer a country gets to the concept of pure democracy the more accepted the practitioners of internal audit within that society are likely to be.

Our basic rationale is that those countries / societies have an inherent understanding of the concept of checks and balances – the concept of good governance.

Therefore if you are are ranked – as the Economist Intelligence Unit does – as the least democratic country in the world, the likelihood of your citizens being exposed to good governance in the independent and objective sense diminishes.

And so does the likelihood that being a North Korean Internal Audit Detective is not the role that any of us would be qualified to undertake any time soon.

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