International seminar on the independence of Supreme Audit Institutions

2014. 03. 28. 22:57
The professionals of 25 national supreme audit institutions (SAIs) from Europe, among them several heads of institutions participate in the international seminar, which was organized by the State Audit Office of Hungary (SAO) with the aim to strengthen the independence of SAIs. Following the presentations in the morning of 28 March 2014, experience is going to be addressed in the framework of roundtable discussions by the participating professionals, among them 37 foreign guests. At this event the SAO is going to present the results of the questionnaire survey it carried out among the national SAIs of Europe with regard to the independence of SAIs. The information material summing up the survey results is going to be presented, too.
The resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly and the guidance materials of the international umbrella organisations (i.e. INTOSAI, EUROSAI) of SAIs state that ‘supreme audit institutions can accomplish their tasks objectively and effectively only if they are independent of the audited entity and are protected against outside influence’. The new legislative Act on the SAO, which entered into force in July 2011, is completely based on international standards addressing the independence of SAIs. Accordingly, with this Act, Hungary became one of the first countries in the world which fully satisfies international requirements concerning the independence of SAIs.
One of EUROSAI’s strategic objectives is 'to strengthen and support SAIs’ independence'. The SAO as the supreme audit institution of Hungary and an independent and fundamental institution of the democratic government system in Hungary, takes an active part in the implementation of this objective. Using its statutorily defined independence safeguards, the SAO applies innovative tools and techniques, and took the lead in the international efforts regarding SAIs’ independence. It is an acknowledgement of SAO’s work that it was invited to chair the Task Group for Independence, and the current independence seminar is hosted in Budapest.
This seminar and the subsequent roundtable talks were organized by the SAO and are due on 28 March 2014, where the professionals of 25 European SAIs are going to share with each other their experience on issues connected with independence. The importance of the event and recognition for the SAO’s independence are shown by the fact that SAI heads of Italy, Croatia and the Bosnian Serb Republic and also high-ranking officials of several European SAIs are among the attendees.
The SAO is a founding member of the EUROSAI Goal Team on Capacity Building, which is chaired by the French Court of Auditors. The latest meeting of this Goal Team was held on the day before the seminar with the participation of a closer community of participants.
At the international seminar of 28 March 2014 the representatives of the SAO are going to introduce the results from the questionnaire survey carried out among the European SAIs on independence. The seminar’s basic goal is to be the starting point and indicator for innovative initiatives addressing independence safeguards and their development. To this, the Hungarian legal environment and operation of the SAO can provide examples of good practice.