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SAO Announcement
Standpoint on presented conclusions in issued publication

Letter Ref No.: 14-204/1 

Date: 22 February 2016

 

TO

CENTER FOR ECONOMIC ANALYSES - SKOPJE

Marjan Nikolov, PhD, Senior Expert

Jane Sandanski Blvd. 63/3
1000 Skopje

 

Subject: Standpoint on presented conclusions in the publication „Assessment of legislative and regulatory provisions related to the work of the State Audit Office (SAO)“

 

Dear Mr. Nikolov,


We are addressing you as one of the authors of the analysis published by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy entitled „Assessment of legislative and regulatory provisions related to the work of the State Audit Office (SAO) “. Considering that up to the date of submission of this letter we, as a supreme audit institution, have not been contacted by either you or the publisher, we feel the urge to present our standpoint regarding certain views contained in this publication.

 

 With reference to


 Section Legal Framework: 


 - The presented processes of conducting audits (Figure 1), formal communication between SAO and the Parliament (Figure 2) and formal communication between SAO and the Government (Figure 3) are not in compliance with the provisions of the State Audit Law and other laws governing the area concerned, as well as with the activities set out in SAO methodology acts;

- The criteria and procedures for proposing auditees are regulated by SAO methodology acts, which are working tools for SAO employees and are available to all state auditors;

- The method of cooperation between SAO and the competent authorities, and obtaining feedback from the relevant authorities is governed by the provisions of the signed protocol on cooperation;

- SAO independence is regulated with the State Audit Law and in the practice thus far there has been no indication of limitations of legal and financial aspects;

- Follow up of measures taken upon recommendations contained in final audit reports is regulated with the provisions of the State Audit Law and SAO methodology acts. For this activity SAO has developed and implemented custom-made software application, which is considered as a good practice example for other SAIs as well.  

 

Section Practical Aspects and Problems:


 - SAO activities and procedures in the event of not taking action upon audit recommendations are regulated by SAO methodology acts;

- The Annual Financial Statement of the Budget of RM together with the report of the authorized state auditor is reviewed by the Parliament of RM;

- The Audit Committee within the Ministry of Finance  has been established as a consultative body for issues related to the internal audit[1] ;

- The number of findings and the number of implemented recommendations cannot be simply linked or compared by years because: the auditees differ each year, for certain findings we issue several recommendations or for several findings we issue one recommendation, and for certain shortcoming we may not issue a recommendation because the auditee has already taken measures during the course of the audit.

 

Section International Practice:


 - The examples of different models of SAIs are useful to point out that there is no practice in the SAIs mentioned, which envisages penalty provisions for auditees under the State Audit Law, or empowers SAIs to impose sanctions on the auditees in cases when the competent institutions, such as the Public Prosecution Office, the Ministry of Interior, the State Commission for prevention of corruption and other, are empowered to act upon findings in audit reports.

 

Section Draft Recommendations for Improving SAO’s Work:

 

- SAO financial independence, the legal status of state auditors, and the obligation for acting upon/reporting on measures taken upon audit recommendations are regulated by the provisions of the State Audit Law. 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Tanja Tanevska, MSc

Auditor General

 

 

Prepared by:

Cveta Ristovska, MSc., Assistant to the Auditor General/Head of Department

Tanja Janevska, Assistant to the Auditor General/Head of Department

Liljana Stojanova, MSc., Assistant to the Auditor General/Head of Department

Maksim Acevski, MSc., Assistant to the Auditor General/Head of Department



[1] Article 45 of the Law on Public Internal Financial Control



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