Regional audit institutions

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The Bundesrechnungshof and the audit institutions of the sixteen constituent states of the Federal Republic are autonomous and independent bodies of external auditing. This fact precludes any subordination to one another. Nevertheless, the fiscal systems of the Federation and of the states are largely intertwined so that close cooperation is needed. Applicable budgetary law is widely identical at federal and state level. A number of programmes are funded jointly by the federal government and the states, e.g. the promotion of non-university research, improvement of coastal defences or welfare benefits such as tenants' relief. In addition to this, a multitude of tasks has been delegated to the states by the federal government, e.g. road works. The high-yielding tax revenues on income and turnover (V.A.T.), and corporation tax, are shared inflows to the credit of both the Federation and the states.

Where the Bundesrechnungshof and any regional audit institution share auditing responsibilities, they may perform joint audits, or they may agree to delegate audit functions.

The Presidents of the Bundesrechnungshof and of the regional audit institutions meet at regular intervals to discuss issues of common interest. Preparatory talks are held in working groups set up by the audit institutions to deal with budgetary law or matters of general policy and guidance, taxation, public works, organisation and information technology, economics and government shareholdings.