Muscat: The Oman Investment Authority announced that it has fulfilled the principles and practices of disclosure issued by the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, emphasizing its interest in international norms and principles, and commitment to the principles and rules related to governance and transparency, and to enhance its position.
This fulfillment comes after the agency obtained full membership in the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds in 2015 and after it had been an observer member since the forum was established in 2009. This membership allowed it to adhere to a wide range of Santiago principles represented in unified procedures and standards related to the nature of the work of funds Sovereign wealth, its objectives, and defining a framework that accurately expresses the requirements of disclosure, transparency, governance, accountability and risk management, with the Authority carrying out a continuous evaluation process for this commitment in cooperation with the Forum, the last of which was last year 2021.
In continuation to the endeavors to adhere to the principles of Santiago, the Authority issued a Manual of Powers and Responsibilities, and an Investment Manual to represent the main map for the work of each department and each team working within the Omani Investment Authority.
A code of conduct, ethics, values and behaviors that employees of the Agency must abide by and follow in all their activities, in addition to a special policy for reporting violations aimed at limiting the occurrence of any member or employee in wrong practices that may lead to discrediting the Agency or affecting its financial conditions. This policy enjoys a high level of confidentiality to protect the identity of the whistleblower, as it allows him to describe specific incidents or specific employees who violate the work systems or procedures followed and applied in the Agency, whether that is concerned with financial transactions such as tenders, investments, administrative processes or others, and based on these Reports, an independent committee conducts an internal investigation, and then submits its report to the relevant authorities. The Agency also identified direct channels to communicate with it and report violations via e-mail. It provides constantly updated information about its business, investments and future vision.
To keep pace with the latest requirements in the governance system, and to achieve better operational and investment performance; The Authority is always working to constantly update and improve governance frameworks, and to apply international best practices in this aspect, which means its ability to implement an integrated, flexible and effective system without violating applicable laws.
The governance framework in the Authority consists of a group of executive, administrative and organizational levels, including the Council of Ministers, the Board of Directors of the Oman Investment Authority, the Audit Committee that enjoys independence and its internal audit team, and the executive committees that consist of the Investment Committee, the Human Resources Committee, and the Information Technology Committee Tender Committee, Business Continuity Committee.
To ensure smooth and effective performance, and to achieve the best forms of control; Transactions in the device go through many levels of auditing; There is an internal audit committee that meets once every three months, and reviews the financial statements and financial transactions after they are audited by the Internal Audit Directorate, and there are external auditors appointed by the agency’s board of directors to ensure their independence. It is also subject to the supervision of the State Financial and Administrative Control Authority.
The Internal Audit Directorate of the Agency enjoys complete independence, and is directly supervised by the Internal Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Agency, and its work covers all the basic activities of the Agency and includes investments in private markets, real estate, public markets, and all other support and control functions. During the period from June 2020 to December 2021, the Directorate carried out a set of works, most notably conducting 27 audits, 4 investigations and reviewing a case of a violation report, actively participating in the Links Program for the Agency’s subsidiaries, and developed the audit group guidelines for these companies, the audit model and the terms of reference for their risk committees.
It is noteworthy that the first annual report of the Oman Investment Authority, which was issued last June, covers the work of the Authority and its investments, and can be found on the website of the Oman Investment Authority.
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