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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

The FAB Seven

-Robert Arnoux

The auditing process consists of sifting through documents, comparing sources, and requesting external evidence to ''make sure that Council can rely on the numbers that are provided.'' (Click to view larger version...)
The auditing process consists of sifting through documents, comparing sources, and requesting external evidence to ''make sure that Council can rely on the numbers that are provided.''
When Alice Peterson speaks of ITER, she sometimes says "they" and she sometimes says "we". Although an ITER outsider by definition, the Chair of the Financial Audit Board (FAB) sees herself and her colleagues as part of the team. "We're here," she says, "to help by bringing our experience to the project."

The mission of the seven-person Board (one per ITER Member) is to examine the ITER Organization's financial statements every year and to "make sure that Council can rely on the numbers that are provided."

For one and a half weeks, the FAB and their assistants have taken up their quarters in Room 22, on the ground floor of ITER Headquarters. The auditing process consists of sifting through documents, conducting interviews, comparing sources, and requesting external evidence such as exchange tables, vendor invoices, and bank documents to confirm revenue, expenditures and other financial data.

Auditors, however, are not mere accountants. "We're here to protect the ITER assets...from furniture to money in the bank," says Alice. "We want to make sure that the public is paying for something that will or has occurred and that the governments' investments in ITER are properly used."

The FAB Seven: Francois Colling(EU), Tamara Vorobieva (Russia), Katsumi Nakajima (Japan), Alice Peterson (US), Ayyanan Ramaiah (India), Xiaoyun Sun (China), Hyuck Jong Kim (South Korea). (Click to view larger version...)
The FAB Seven: Francois Colling(EU), Tamara Vorobieva (Russia), Katsumi Nakajima (Japan), Alice Peterson (US), Ayyanan Ramaiah (India), Xiaoyun Sun (China), Hyuck Jong Kim (South Korea).
One major concern is the reliability and security of the information system where all financial aspects of the ITER operations are recorded and maintained. "So much is done electronically that it is critical to determine the dependability of the data. We don't want reliability to be questionable..."

Three years after it was established, how does the ITER Organization look to an auditor? "I've been in this business for 30 years," says Alice, "and I have never found the perfect organization. ITER is unique and has come a long way. Today, the most critical controls have been developed which brings the organization under control. The ITER Organization was never given the luxury of growing slowly. I must say it's done pretty well with what it was given..."



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