The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has prioritized issues of remotely conducting audits for member state as this was one item on the table for discussion during a virtual meeting of all auditors under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) held recently.
Amidst ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting provided a forum to update all auditors on the impact of the disruption on the implementation of audits under the Scheme.
Participants discussed the use of possible remote audit mechanism aimed at preventing further postponements of the audits. This process is crucial as it promotes the consistent and effective implementation of the applicable IMO instruments and assists Member States to improve their capabilities as flag, coastal and port States.
Attended by 98 auditors from 50 Member States, the meeting provided a valuable platform to explore the next steps in the conduct of audits for 2021 and beyond using new collaborative approaches for the conduct of remote audits.
To date 76 Member State audits have been conducted under the Scheme, up to March 2020. Further audits originally scheduled for 2020 are being rescheduled and moved to 2021.