The Conference of the Presidents of the Supreme Audit Institutions from the member states of the European Union, in regards to cooperation in area of public audit



In the context of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Romanian Court of Accounts hosted the Conference on “EU audit innovation and increasing the advisory role of SAI’s in the benefit of society” in Bucharest, an event rejoined by presidents of Supreme Audit Institutions from member states of the European Union as well as from candidate countries, by the President of the European Court of Auditors, and by high representatives of the Romanian state.

Opening the conference, the President of the Romanian Court of Accounts, Mr. Mihai Busuioc, addressed the continuous need to reform the work of Supreme Audit Institutions through adapting both the instruments used and the audit themes to the specific context of the digital era.

On this occasion, the President of the Romanian Court of Accounts welcomed the theme of the Warsaw Contact Committee meeting agenda in June 2019, which will focus on the European Union's digital strategy with a view on challenges posed by the audits carried out on EU’s digitization processes and on preparing the Supreme Audit Institutions for such audits.

"Without forgetting our past and tradition, and without departing from the constitutional role of our institutions, I believe that the European future heavily depends on the decisions we will take to reform the institutions we represent. In the context of the ever developing digital era, which enables easier access to information and technology, and also calls for data protection and presents cyber-security threats, I believe that the Supreme Audit Institutions must reform their work to innovate and adapt the instruments they use and the audit themes as well as to train the human resource in order to meet the expectations of an increasingly cosmopolitan and more heterogeneous society."

Attending the event, the President of the European Court of Auditors, Mr. Klaus-Heiner Lehne, stressed that the mission of Supreme Audit Institutions is not only to criticize, but also to provide solutions based on good practices examples.

"Public auditing in the modern world is more than ensuring budget spending follow the rules. I think it is at least equally important that tax money spent delivers value for money for the citizens. To keep up with the pace of change in the modern world is indispensable for any state audit institution in order to maintain or even increase the relevance and the impact its work can have.

The debates covered topics of common interest regarding innovation in the field of external public auditing needed to respond to present challenges in the European Union and also to the importance of strengthening the guidance role of Supreme Audit Institutions for the benefit of the society.

The key notes of representatives from the Supreme Audit Institutions who addressed the two main themes of the conference "EU Innovation Audit" and "The Advisory Role of SAI’s in the benefit of society" focused on the analysis of the most important topics regarding the auditing innovations’ impact on the role of the Supreme Audit Institutions, the perspectives of public sector auditing in Europe, the digitization of financial auditing, the development of SAI's advisory role for the benefit of society, the SAIs’ contribution to increasing the quality of citizens' lives, and improving the social impact of audits through consultative activities.

Thus, in the first part of the presentations, the representative of the Austrian SAI, as Secretary General of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Mr. Wolfgang Wiklicky, spoke on the attention that INTOSAI provides to public sector reform. "In the context of the dynamics of globalization, we have an important role to play in changing the auditing of the public sector. Some examples are financial crises, migration, refugee problems, public system corruption, climate change and energy security, examples to which ISSAI 12 (The Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions – making a difference to the lives of citizens) is reported in terms of the benefit the audit can bring to the citizens. "

Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the President of the Romanian Senate, revealed in the conference’s debut the role and importance of the Romanian Court of Accounts’ activity in the benefit of society, stating that the experience and competencies of the institution can be leveraged to strengthen the domain’s legislative framework.

"The Court of Accounts plays a key role for institutional collaborations by providing timely and accurate information on the measurement and evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of programs or activities to both the Legislative and the Executive. That is why the Court of Accounts fundamentally contributes to the passing of appropriate decisions and measures aimed to improve the management of national and European public funds by state institutions.”

Therewith, the Prime Minister of Romania, Mrs. Viorica Dăncilă, also underlined the importance of inter-institutional collaboration on a national and European level.

"I am confident that, in the field of auditing, the institution of the Romanian Court of Accounts has the capacity to innovate, to be proactive, to anticipate and to offer solutions to the challenges which arise in the continuously changing political and economic context. Together, through consultation and collaboration, we can find the best ways to select audit themes, the necessary tools and, most importantly, the right people for them, with the final aim of aligning Romania’s future with European developments from this perspective as well.”  

Also, in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Eugen Nicolicea, spoke about the prospect of a successful conclusion of the mandate assumed by our country.

"We have managed to address the main topics on the European agenda and it is pleasing to acknowledge how the theme of this conference highlights an acute EU problem: the symbolic devaluation of institutions in the eyes of European citizens. We face challenges caused by the international political and economic context, Brexit, migration, terrorism, radicalization or cyber security, and we need a permanent collaboration on the means to provide a consistent institutional response to them.”

Two philatelic events were released with the occasion of the Conference of the Presidents of Supreme Audit Institutions, more precisely the Philatelic Issue dedicated to the first President of the Romanian Court of Accounts, Alexandru Romalo, on the bicentennial of his birth, and the Philatelic Album dedicated to the Chairs of the Court of Accounts, with the occasion of celebrating 155 years from the establishment of the Romanian Court of Accounts. The event was attended by three of the former presidents of the institution, Mr. Ioan Condor, Mr. Dan Drosu Şaguna and Mr. Nicolae Văcăroiu.

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