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On the Frontlines: Advancing Advocacy at The IIA

Blogs Mat Young Jan 11, 2023

As The IIA begins 2023 and prepares for an even more politically engaged year, the Institute’s Advocacy team reflects on a productive and growth-oriented 2022. Since my arrival in February 2022, the policy-focused division of The IIA grew from just one team member to round out the year with a team of seven. 

Throughout 2022, we engaged many stakeholders in our work to protect and advance the interests of the internal audit profession on a global scale. We have laid significant groundwork and gleaned important experience that we are excited to bring to bear in the coming year to benefit our members and advocate for the profession. In 2022, some of the key IIA advocacy-related accomplishments include:

  • Initiating a global advocacy survey to gather key data and insights on our affiliate organizations’ public policy advocacy priorities and engagements.  
  • Convening key stakeholders in-person and virtually through conferences, assemblies, one-on-one discussions, and regional meetings to discuss public policy advocacy. After three years of not meeting face-to-face, the IIA Global Assembly gathered together in-person once again with record-breaking affiliate participation. In 2022, we engaged with over 50 affiliates on advocacy matters in some form. 
  • Revitalizing and organizing our IIA volunteer public policy committees, the Global Advocacy Advisory Council, and the North American Advocacy Advisory Council. After a period of inactivity, our team wanted to reinvigorate these bodies to draw from the technical expertise and leadership perspectives of our advocacy-savvy members from all corners of the globe. 
  • Spearheading a comment letter to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development’s Secretariat and the OECD Corporate Governance Committee on their proposed updates to the G-20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. In this letter, The IIA, with the input of affiliate partners and their regional bodies, called for the Principles to include a new, separate section specifically discussing the purpose, value, ideal structure, and role of an internal audit function. 
  • Weighing in on the importance of internal audit’s role in areas like ESG and cybersecurity, and in combating organizations’ integrity risks. The IIA also participated in the Business 20’s Integrity & Compliance Task Force policy report for their recommendations to the G-20. Read The IIA’s press release on this news and the B20 Integrity & Compliance Task Force policy report
  • Establishing a bipartisan U.S. political action committee to help drive our U.S. advocacy efforts and enhance our influence in the U.S. Congress. For more information about the IIA PAC and how PACs work, please visit our recent article on U.S. IIA members can learn more about donating to the PAC here.
  • Calling upon the U.S. Congress to require cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the U.S. to strengthen their corporate governance through internal audit. After the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, The IIA Advocacy team responded quickly by explaining to Congress the dangers to such organizations, their shareholders, investors, and the public of not having a robust internal audit function. Read The IIA’s letter to Congress on cryptocurrency exchange policy recommendations. 
  • Preparing the 2023 launch of a Congressional Key Person Program, which will empower IIA chapter volunteers to meet with Members of Congress in their home communities and advocate on behalf of the internal audit profession. 

We look forward to leveraging these accomplishments and the experience we have attained to produce more results for our 218,000+ members across the globe. In the spirit of #OneIIA, here are some of the areas where we aim to continue our progress and develop new resources in 2023: 

  • Launching a new corporate governance engagement program to expand our influence beyond public policy decision-makers and ensure that internal auditors are central to policy discussions and decisions by governing bodies, C-suite leaders, the business community at large, and other relevant professional associations. 
  • Bolstering our direct advocacy efforts in Canada with the addition of a new dedicated Advocacy director based in Toronto. 
  • Carrying out global advocacy listening tours to better collaborate with IIA affiliate partners and their regional bodies on public policy priorities. 
  • Creating a global public policy white paper on a legal and regulatory framework for the profession. 
  • Gathering and sharing insights from the IIA Global Advocacy Survey (new survey slated for Q2 2023). 
  • Continuing to partner with our volunteers and leverage the expertise of our advocacy advisory councils. 
  • Creating a library of resources for global affiliates.  

My team and I are incredibly enthusiastic about the upcoming year and excited to be working with stakeholders across the globe to continue to build out an ever-growing and robust global public policy program on behalf of our members. 

Mat Young

IIA vice president of Global Advocacy, Policy, & Government Affairs, based in Washington, D.C.