Republika Srbija
Announcement - 21st November 2014

Audit of Political Parties - Regional Experience

In 2015, the State Audit Institution will commence audit of political parties in compliance with the Audit Program, which will be adopted by the Council by the end of the year, announced Mr. Radoslav Sretenović, Auditor-General. Opening the two-day regional conference of supreme audit institutions, titled "Audit of Political Parties - Regional Experience", he said that the current Law on the State Audit Institution already provides competences to the Institution to conduct financial statement audit of political parties, but it does not oblige the Institution to conduct such audit.

"Pursuant to the National Anti-Corruption Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2013-1018, Law on Financing Political Activities will be amended, so that the State Audit Institution will be obliged to include each year, in its Audit Program, appropriate number of political entities with representatives in the National Assembly",  Mr. Sretenović said.

He added that the audit will be conducted by the existing Sector for Audit of the National Bank of Serbia, Public Agencies and Other Public Funds Beneficiaries.

Training of auditors is also planned for employees working in the Sector, but we will also have to employ new staff as well, Mr. Sretenović said.

According to him, there is a large public interest in audit of political parties in Serbia, but audits will take time as long as it is needed, in order to produce high-quality reports.

Mr. Veroljub Arsić, Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Committee for Finance, Republic Budget and Control of Public Funds' Spending, highlighted that the State Audit Institution will find it difficult to conduct audit of political parties, because certain political parties have behaved irresponsibly, took loans from business banks, and could not repay such loans afterwards.

Performing audits of financial statements of political parties would compel the parties to manage their funds properly during periods without any election campaigns, Mr. Arsić said.

Ms. Irena Vojáčková Sollorano, Resident Representative of the United Nations and UNDP to Serbia, emphasized that the organization will support SAI of Serbia in preparation of the first audit of political parties through project "Advancing Accountability Mechanisms in the Public Finances".

From the Republic Budget alone, parties received almost 10 million Euros in 2014 for their regular activities, while additional seven million Euros were distributed for the purpose of covering election campaign costs, Ms. Sollorano emphasized.

She added that transparent, legal and controllable political party financing is an extremely important issue both for democracy and for the fight against corruption

 

Auditors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia spoke on their experiences within preparations for performing audits of financial statements of political parties in Serbia.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, audit of political parties is not conducted by the Supreme Audit Institutions - Audit Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but by the Department for Auditing Financing of Political Parties of the Central Electoral Commission.   This Department has conducted audit of political parties since 2004, and control of all political parties is conducted each year. So far, the Department has published 570 reports with audit findings and opinions on party financing, in compliance with the Law on Financing of Political Parties.

Audit of financial statements of political parties in Montenegro has been conducted since 2012, and parties at central and local level are included in the audit. Among other things, auditors review whether the party adopted general acts regulating their operations, number of employees in party for the audited year, whether the party established internal control system, whether the financial plan has been adopted in accordance with general acts, and whether financial plan includes all types of revenue and expenditures.

Mr. Milan Dabović, President of the Senate of SAI of Montenegro, emphasized that besides auditing state closing account, audit of political parties is the second most important legal obligation. He added that there was no harmonization between real and actually executed costs.

"From the first audit until present day, many things have changed and more efficient and high-quality records have been established, and parties took legal limitations very seriously", Mr. Dabović said.

 

As of 2010, State Audit Office of Macedonia has been conducting audit of political parties each year. Before that, starting from 2005, this Supreme Audit Institution audited only political parties that participated in election campaigns.

 

Ms. Tanja Tanevska, Auditor-General of the Republic of Macedonia, emphasized that the Audit Office conducts audit of all parties except those receiving less that 2,500 Eur from the Republic Budget annually.

"In 2013, we conducted audits of 46 parties, while eight parties were not audited", Ms Tanevska said.

She added that 0.06% of total budget funds are allocated to political parties, and that the largest financing sources of political parties are donations and membership fees.

"Audits of political parties have contributed to resolving systemic weaknesses, so that all laws governing this area are now harmonized", Ms. Tanevska highlighted.

In Slovenia, reports from election campaigns have been audited so far, and starting from next year audit of final statements of political parties will also be subjected to audit. Court of accounts will control amount of funds raised and used in election campaign; then, whether funds have been used in campaign in accordance with law, and whether data from reports, prepared by election campaign organizers, are accurate.

Practice in Slovenia says that if funds have been paid to political parties in Slovenia contrary to law, election campaign organizer shall transfer such funds to humanitarian organizations. According to the Law on Political Parties, Court of Audit conducts compliance audit of political parties receiving more than 10,000 EUR from the Budget. Also, that law prescribes that the Court of Audit must conduct audit of at least one third of parties during one year, and/or all parties in a four-year cycle.

Mr. Nemanja Nenadić, Director of Transparency Serbia, which will assist in capacity building of SAI of Serbia within preparations for conduct of audit of political entities, spoke on history of regulating party financing in Serbia, on private and public sources of party financing, competences of the State Audit Institution and Anti-Corruption Agency in the area of control of political parties.

He highlighted that in Serbia legislations regarding political parties are not consistent, and pointed to importance of clear separation of competences among different bodies, in order to avoid overlapping and failure to cover all areas.

Mr. Radojko Obradović, Director of the Public Finance Institute, highlighted that bigger attention must be given to audit of political parties that is not commensurate to amount of public funds allocated from the Budget to the parties.

"In order for SAI of Serbia to use its audit staff in the best manner, first it should conduct audit of Parliamentary parties. Also, it would be good to make a four-year plan, which would include audit of all political parties in Serbia", Mr. Obradović said.

He added that SAI of Serbia should treat all funds, available to parties, as public funds and to audit such funds, not to control only funds that parties received from the Budget.

"It is important that audit reports of parties present comprehensive structure of revenues and expenditure and, generally speaking, financing methods of parties", Mr. Obradović said.

He said that the public should not expect from SAI of Serbia to replace prosecutor offices, police or the Parliament, and that SAI of Serbia cannot replace those institutions if they do not perform their work properly.

Conference was also attended by the representatives of the Anti-Corruption Agency, who particularly emphasized the importance of cooperation with SAI of Serbia in this area.

All participants agreed that during the conference valuable regional experiences were exchanged in the audit of political parties, good practices were reviewed, and that issues are highlighted that the Supreme Audit Institutions are facing in this part of the Europe. All institutions agreed that financial, functional and organization independence of Supreme Audit Institutions is a prerequisite in order to respond to all challenges brought by audit of political parties, and that Parliamentary support is important for implementation of recommendations from the audit findings.

The conference was organized by the State Audit Institution, within activities of the Project "Advancing Accountability Mechanisms in the Public Finances', implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden.

 
Саопштење – 13. новембар 2014. године

Завршен први извештај о ревизији из Програма ревизије за 2014. годину

Државна ревизорска институција завршила је ревизију финансијских извештаја и правилности пословања Националне корпорације за осигурање стамбених кредита за 2013. годину и доставила извештај о ревизији Народној скупштини, ревидираном субјекту и одговорним лицима у субјекту ревизије.

Извештај о ревизији финансијских извештаја и правилности пословања Националне корпорације за осигурање стамбених кредита је објављен на сајту Државне ревизорске институције.

Ово je први извештај о ревизији финансијских извештаја и правилности пословања из Програма ревизије за 2014. годину.

Институција ће наставити да објављује извештаје о ревизији у складу са овогодишњим програмом ревизије.

 
Саопштење – 12. новембар 2014. године

Радионица посвећена паралелној ревизији сврсисходности

Председник Државне ревизорске институције Радослав Сретеновић отворио је данас у Београду радионицу посвећену пројекту паралелне ревизије сврсисходности чија је тема енергетска ефикасност.
„Очекујем да ће циљ пројекта, објављивање извештаја о овој ревизији сврсисходности, бити испуњен. Кроз овај пројекта учињен је и велики напредак у сарадњи наших институција. Несумљиво ће унапређење ревизије сврсисходности ојачати умрежавање, колегијално учење и размену искустава, пракси, метода и поступака рада наших институција“, рекао је Сретеновић.

Генерални државни ревизор је додао да му је посебно задовољство што је, након врховних ревизорских институција Албаније и Босне и Херцеговине, Државна ревизорска институција Републике Србије домаћин једне од пет радионица у оквиру овог пројекта.
Паралелна ревизија сврсисходности спроводи се у оквиру Мреже врховних ревизорских институција држава кандидата и потенцијалних кандидата за чланство у ЕУ.
Извештај, односно резултати овог пројекта, требало би да буду представљени наредне године у Луксембургу или Бриселу.
Организацију догађаја подржали су Заједничка радна група за ревизијске активности, Канцеларија генералног ревизора Краљевине Шведске и Европски ревизорски суд, као и УНДП у оквиру пројекта „Унапређење механизама одговорности у области јавних финансија“ који финансира Влада Краљевине Шведске.

 
Announcement - 30th October 2014

EUROSAI Seminar on Compliance Audit


Delegation of the State Audit Institution participated in the international seminar titled “Compliance Audit: Use of the Compliance Audit Guidelines (ISSAI 400 and 4000-4999) and Best Practices", held on 28-29th October 2014 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

More than 60 participants – auditors, team leaders and methodology experts - shared expertise and experiences in implementation of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI).

"One of the goals in public sector audit is promoting transparency and management accountability. Implementation of ISSAI standards in public sector audit is of great assistance on that path. However, it is important also to recognize the fact the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) face certain challenges in implementation of ISSAI standards. That is the reason why we have to come together and share our experiences and practices, as well as to jointly address the challenges we may experience in the ISSAI implementation process", said Ms Giedrė Švediene, Auditor-Generals of SAI of Lithuania.

The seminar commenced with the presentation by Mr Jens Gunvaldsen, Compliance Audit Subcommittee Chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), responsible for developing standards for SAIs in the area of compliance audit. He provided an overview of the activities of the Subcommittee and plans for further development of the standards.

Mr Shofiqul Islam, Program Manager INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) presented two recently developed tools: iCAT, compliance assessment tool for implementation of ISSAI standards in the area of compliance audit, as well as the Manual for implementation of ISSAI standards for compliance audit.

Auditors and methodology experts from SAIs of Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, Finland and Estonia presented best practices from their respective institutions and reviewed methodological issues and challenges regarding implementation of compliance audit guidelines. Guest speakers shared their insights and practical examples of manners in which more effective cooperation can be achieve among auditors and auditees.

During the seminar, conclusions were drawn that will enable participants to more successfully resolve issues in the area of compliance audit in their countries, as well as to facilitate improvement of standards, which will be the subject of work of the Compliance Audit Subcommittee.


Delegation of the Serbian SAI shared experiences with the European colleagues in the area of compliance audit, such as scope, subject matter, criteria and sampling conducted for this type of audit.

The seminar has been organized by SAI of Lithuania for members of the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institution (EUROSAI).

EUROSAI is one of seven Regional Working Groups of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Currently, there are 50 members of EUROSAI: Supreme State Institutions from 49 countries and the European Court of Auditors.

State Audit Institution of the Republic of Serbia has participated in the EUROSAI activities since 2009.

 
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