Summary of the SAO’s communication on the audit of campaign funds

2014. 03. 24. 11:09
The State Audit Office of Hungary (SAO) has published a communication on its audit of campaign funds. In addition to providing general information, the communication presents the criteria of the SAO’s audit on campaign funds, and the general accountability requirements. Information is also provided in the communication on the SAO’s examination concerning the compliance with the maximum amount of funds that can be spent for the campaign, and also on the documents, accounts, supporting documents for accounting entries, which the candidates and the organisations nominating them have to make available for the SAO.
Pursuant to law, each candidate and nominating organisation has to publish in the Official Gazette of Hungary within 60 days after the election the amount, source und way of use of state and other funds, financial supports spent on the election. The communication calls the attention to the requirement that political parties and constituency candidates have to preserve the supporting documents for the abovementioned until the completion of the audit, in order to enable the performance of the audit.

It is pointed out in the communication that according to statutory provisions, the use of campaign tools during the campaign period and any other activities carried out in the campaign period with the goal to influence or attempt to influence the will of the voters are considered as campaign activities.

The SAO repeatedly calls the attention to the fact that pursuant to law it carries out the audit on the accounts for campaign funds after the election. Pursuant to law, the SAO audits for the official campaign period the accounts of candidates and nominating organisations running for election and as a result obtaining seat in the National Assembly.

It should be reminded that pursuant to law the SAO audits the campaign expenditures of candidates and nominating organisations not obtaining seat in the National Assembly only upon request by other candidates and nominating organisations. Such audit requests can be submitted with the content specified by law within 3 months after the election with the attachment of the offer of evidence. It has to be stressed that the SAO is ready to audit, based on the offers of evidence to be received, the accounts of any or, if appropriate, every constituency candidate and political party running for election.

Pursuant to law, the SAO audits within one year after the election the use of funds spent by the candidates and nominating organisations on the election. In every case this is an ex post audit, by type it is a financial audit, which is based on the accounts, supporting documents and other documents of and additional data made public by the candidates and nominating organisations.

The English version of the communication is available here.

State Audit Office of Hungary