Fiscal Policy in Focus
The Role of the State Audit Office of Hungary in Stabilising Public Finances

László Domokos
President of the State Audit Office of Hungary

Gyula Pulay
PhD, Associate Professor, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Supervisory Manager, State Audit Office of Hungary

Krisztina Pető
Supervisory Manager, State Audit Office of Hungary

Éva Pongrácz
Audit Manager, State Audit Office of Hungary

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2015/4 (p. 415-432.)

SUMMARY: The State Audit Office of Hungary is the supreme financial and economic audit institution of the National Assembly. Due to its legal status and duties, the State Audit Office is the only non-governmental body that has an overview of the budget from January to December. The two main pillars of this are the auditing of the execution of the budget and providing opinions on the budget appropriation bill (to be performed with annual frequency as set out in legislation and the SAO strategy). The objective of the final accounts audit is to provide a comprehensive and objective view of the compliance of the final accounts bill, the reliability of data in the bill, and the enforcement of the provisions of the Fundamental Law pertaining to public debt. Parallel to its audit related to providing an opinion on the budget appropriation bill, the State Audit Office also prepares analyses for the Fiscal Council. In these analyses, the SAO provides opinions on the draft budget appropriation bill, the procedures related to the formulation of the public debt ratio, the calculations underlying the planned public debt figure and the substantiation thereof, and, prior to the final vote of the National Assembly on the budget appropriation bill, the enforcement of the public debt rule set out in the Fundamental Law; in other words, whether the criteria required to pass the bill have been fulfilled or not. In addition, the SAO also prepares analyses on budgetary processes for the current year and the year preceding the current year. Pursuant to the new Act on the State Audit Office effective as of 1 July 2011, with its findings, recommendations and advice the State Audit Office assists the National Assembly, its committees and the work of the audited entities. By fulfilling its statutory obligation, the State Audit Office strives to ensure that the National Assembly make the best and most substantiated decision possible in relation to the passing of both the act on the budget and the act on the final accounts. This is the purpose and objective of State Audit Office work, and this is what serves the interests of the country, the citizens of Hungary and the national economy.

KEYWORDS: audit, final accounts, measure, accounting, tax, Fiscal Council, budget, bill, synergy, risk


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