Small internal audit
This self-audit procedure is based on a questionnaire and a rating mechanism. The people involved in this audit procedure are the city’s MM-coordinator or manager and the MM-team. The MM-team is every one within the city who has MM on his/her task description (either or not in combination with other tasks as will most likely be the case in smaller cities). The main MM-team staff will most likely be situated within the city’s transport department. Public and private partners in MM, other stakeholders and the political level are not directly involved in this small procedure. In an indirect way however, they should best be informed about the audit exercise and its results as it might help the team to underpin and justify improvement actions proposed. Moreover, part of the improvement actions might be to get some stakeholders more involved as partners in MM-policy and practise. This leads to the internal audit procedure which is described below. The cost of conducting this procedure are minimal. Only the time investment of the city’s individual MM-staff members to fill in the questionnaire and the time for two or more meetings to discuss findings. One staff member, the MM-coordinator/manager of someone else of the MM-team should take up the role of facilitator and reporter of the internal audit (download here a step-by step guide). The audit report that results from this procedure has only internal validity among the MM-team and MM-coordinator. There is no possibility to benchmark the city’s performance with other cities and their MM-activities.
The main value of the audit result for the city is therefore to
- measure own quality progress in MM-performance in time, assess the current practice in MM, set up a list of improvement actions based on this assessment and assess the results of these improvements again in a new audit one or two years later.
- give new input to the MM-coordinator and the team to take further steps in MM in the city, to make progress in raising awareness on the political level, and to be fully backed by all team members in doing this.
- give an opportunity to the MM-team members and their MM-coordinator to get actively involved in the MM-policy development of the city and to exceed the day-to-day project level of activities.
If the results of this small internal audit prove to be good or improvements on the ladder of development have been reached after several times of conducting the audit, the political level might get aware of the good performance and the MM-team might go for higher ambitions and adopt a more extended self-audit procedure involving more partners and be more externally oriented beyond the borders of the own transport department.
This internal audit procedure is based again on a questionnaire (which you can download here), a rating mechanism and collective discussions among the MM-team (as one voice this time) and the main MM-partners in the city. The range of people involved here is wider than in the small internal audit. The initiative of undertaking this type of audit should be taken by or should at least be supported by the political level responsible for mobility management. The requested engagement of stakeholders in the audit-procedure is bigger in terms of time investment. Also the validity of the output of this audit procedure goes further and the listed improvement actions as a result of the audit procedure involve a wider range of partners. The role of the internal auditor as facilitator of the audit-process is very important here. As the success and validity of the audit depends on the range of stakeholders that were involved during the audit procedure and subscribe the assessments and improvement actions of the audit report. Good guidance and transparency on how to compose the assessment groups most efficiently, how to facilitate the audit process, how to build consensus and write the audit report are key to success. Again, benchmarking possibilities with other cities and their performance are not possible and the main interest to adopt this audit is to compare performance of the city’s MM policy in a time perspective.
The main value of the audit result is:
- to widen the perspective and ambitions of MM in the city from the transport department to other internal and external partnerships and
- to validate existing partnerships in MM in the city and to look for new partnerships.
This procedure is of particular interest for cities which are well advanced in MM-practise in general (having in general an overall vision on MM-management) or are performing very well in some specific type of MM-measures and want to widen the scope towards other MM-measures on a site based or city wide level. The cost of this medium-procedure remain - apart from the time investment of all stakeholders - limited as no external auditor is involved.
If a city has adopted once or several times the internal audit in a smooth way, it might get interested to compare own MM-performance with other cities in Europe. In this procedure, the audit is conducted with an external auditor as facilitator. Again the same questionnaire is at the core of the audit-procedure but the collection, interpretation and assessment of evidence on the performance of the 12 different elements is coordinated by an external auditor. So, next to the vote of the MM-team (procedure according to the small internal audit) and the votes of the stakeholders (procedure according to the internal audit), also the vote of the external auditor counts in the quality assessment of the 12 elements. It is also the external auditor who is responsible for writing the audit report.
This external auditor takes over the role of the internal facilitator of the procedure and adds his/own expertise in adopting a QMSMM-audit to the overall validity of the audit report. Therefore, benchmarking the performances of the city’s results becomes possible. Moreover the proposed improvement actions can gain from the knowledge and expertise of the external auditor on performance of similar actions adopted in other cities. A city might also choose directly this audit procedure as an external auditor gives more credibility to the audit process and its output towards the city’s stakeholders in MM. The external auditor acts as an objective person who exceeds all possible internal sensitivities within the MM-team and/or between the MM-team and other partners in other departments.
The task of the external auditor could be described as follows:
- collecting evidence regarding the 12 different elements and checklist issues through bilateral contacts with the MM-coordinator and/or MM-team and analyzing documents and information of all procedures in place, reports, minutes, etc.;
- meeting with the MM-coordinator and the MM-team to get their quality assessment ratings as a baseline
- attending a number of additional meetings (collective or bilateral; on average 5 meetings) with the main stakeholders in MM and ask for their assessment and input for refinement of improvement action proposals;
- a consensus meeting with MM-coordinator and MM-team;
- drafting the audit report and
- presentation of the audit report to the MM-team and main local stakeholders in MM.
The whole procedure would take about 3 to 4 months. The time investment of the external auditor during this period would be around 15 person days complementary to the time investment of the local actors in MM.
Here you can download the extended version of the MaxQ questionnaire (168 kB)