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2019 Special report - EU SAIs focus on health expenditure: Audit Compendium of the Contact Committee

Dec 19, 2019

Each year, EU Member States invest billions in citizens’ healthcare. Public authorities face the challenge of spending funds on medical and dental services, drugs and medicinal products and the expansion of digital services in the healthcare sector. For this reason, EU SAIs also place focus on health expenditure. By means of their audit work, the EU SAIs helped to contribute to a proper and efficient use of the scarce public resources in the health sector.

The European Court of Auditors, the German SAI and 22 other EU SAIs have compiled and summarised selected audit findings on Public Health in the Audit Compendium and published them in December 2019 (in English, German and French).

  • Part 1 provides an overview of EU and Member States’ health policy.
  • Part 2 summarises shared observations of EU SAIs.
  • Part 3 contains exemplary audit observations. The German SAI contributes its observations on “Health research needed to study the value of orthodontic treatment”.

The “Audit Compendium” series is a product of the Contact Committee of the Heads of EU SAIs. For further information, please click here.

 

2019 Special report on the coordinated audit carried out by NKÚ and BRH on VAT under the mini one-stop shop scheme

Jul 11, 2019

Executive summary of the findings of the coordinated audit
As from 1 January 2015, new taxation rules apply to companies providing digital services to private consumers in the European Union. Accordingly, such services are subject to taxation in the consumer’s country of residence (member state of consumption). As a consequence, companies would have to register for taxation in every member state where they provide digital services. In order to reduce such administrative burden for service providers a new, non-compulsory taxation system (MOSS) has been implemented. Companies may submit their VAT return covering all digital services to consumers in other EU member states in the country where these companies are established (member state of identification) and pay the VAT due. BRH and NKÚ audited the MOSS system and looked into the legal bases and practical implementation in terms of organisation and procedures. The audit revealed the following weaknesses:

  • Eligibility to register for MOSS not adequately checked
    The MOSS system can be applied only for specific digital services and for turnover in those member states where the company neither resides nor has a fixed establishment. While the Czech tax authorities examined which kind of services the company provides, their German counterparts only checked formal aspects (cf. 6.1.1 to 6.1.3). Without relevant data provided by the company, none of the two tax authorities could reliably identify the existence of fixed establishments in other member states (cf. 6.1.4).
  • No reminders sent by member states of consumption in case of outstanding tax returns
    Being member states of consumption, tax authorities of the two member states did not send reminders in case of outstanding tax returns. This was due to the fact that in MOSS it is very cumbersome for the member state of consumption to verify whether companies fulfilled their duty to submit a tax return (cf. 6.2.3 to 6.2.5).
  • Provision of records on turnover under MOSS not clearly defined
    Requesting records from the companies and analysing them accordingly is cumbersome for the member state of consumption. Therefore, tax authorities of the two member states requested such records in isolated cases only in order to verify indications made in the tax returns by the companies. In addition, there are no EU provisions in place as to record-keeping and provision of documents (cf. 6.3).
  • Outstanding taxes not recovered
    Being member states of consumption, tax authorities of the two member states did not send reminders in case of outstanding taxes as matching payments to the respective tax returns was difficult. In addition, there were only few requests for recovery addressed to the member state of identification as recovery is governed by a threshold of at least €1,500 and many companies declared turnover below that threshold. MOSS does not provide for the member state of identification to recover outstanding taxes for the member states of consumption unless on the basis of a request for recovery. Each member state of consumption is to send reminders and requests for recovery itself although outstanding taxes may arise from a tax return submitted in the member state of identification (cf. 6.4.3 and 6.4.4).
  • Tax returns checked under formal aspects only
    Only in isolated cases tax authorities of the two member states checked whether data stated in the tax returns were accurate. There were only few cases of field inspections at the companies’ premises. While the German tax administration carried out investigations only as member state of consumption, the Czech tax authorities investigated as member state of identification in one case. In addition, in two cases the Czech authorities were informed about proposed inspections to be carried out by another member state of identification (cf. 6.5.1). The Czech tax administration as member state of identification also checked formal aspects of tax returns submitted and requested the companies for corrections in case of need (cf. 6.2.1).
  • Risks of tax losses not identified
    Both in the Czech Republic and in Germany companies need to declare their turnover under MOSS twice: in a special tax return in the MOSS system and in the domestic tax return containing also all other turnover. These returns were not compared systematically as different authorities were responsible for processing the returns in the two member states and data were not linked accordingly. On the basis of domestic tax returns, the two tax authorities cannot identify whether and to what extent these include turnover under MOSS. However, according to NKÚ, such information is crucial as companies in the member state of identification are entitled to claim refund of input tax as to this turnover. Data stated in the special tax return for turnover under MOSS provide only little information to the member state of consumption. Therefore, the automated risk management of the two tax authorities identified few cases only (cf. 6.6).
  • No systematic search for unknown tax cases
    Tax authorities of the two member states failed to systematically look for unknown tax cases. They assumed that the companies complied with their tax obligations and duly registered in the system, submitted tax returns and paid the VAT due. However, audit findings developed so far proved that such assumptions were not realistic in case of e-commerce (cf. 6.7).


Therefore, the two SAIs hold that reducing the companies’ administrative burden must not go at the expense of tax revenues. The two SAIs make the following recommendations:

  • Considerations to make the MOSS system more effective in practice should be made at EU level. On the basis of their audit findings the SAIs hold that the member state of identification should be much more involved in the taxation procedure.
  • Companies registered to MOSS need to be more controlled. Irrespective of how member states of identification and member states of consumption will cooperate in future, more tax inspections should be carried out. The member states must aim at correctly assessing VAT due throughout the European Union.
  • Tax authorities of EU member states should enhance cooperation and coordination in order to identify companies not complying with their VAT obligations.

The SAIs’ recommendations may be helpful to remedy structural shortcomings of the MOSS system. This is of specific importance in view of the system’s greater scope (OSS) as from 1 January 2021.

In addition, NKÚ recommends assigning more competences to the member state of identification across all procedural steps and thus help reduce the administrative burden both for companies and tax authorities.

 

2018 Special report - Federal budget risks associated with the creation of a European Monetary Fund (EMF)

Nov 02, 2018

0 Executive summary
In response to the financial crisis, the member states of the euro area (euro area countries) established a permanent rescue fund: the European Stability Mechanism – ESM. All 19 euro area countries have joined the ESM. In case of a crisis, the ESM serves to provide stability support to its members, such as loans and guarantees, where such support is indispensable to the stability of the euro area as a whole. The ESM may borrow the funds needed for this purpose from the capital markets.

The initial capital stock of the ESM is €705 billion. €81 billion of this amount was transferred by the members as direct payments that serve as security reserves. Some €624 billion have been committed as callable capital. Each member is liable for losses up to the amount of their individual share in the capital stock. For Germany, this share amounts to €190 billion. The ESM Board of Directors may increase the authorised capital stock. Such an increase is subject to approval by the members in accordance with their respective national procedure.

The European Commission (Commission) and the euro area countries are planning to reform the ESM. In December 2017, the Commission drafted a Council regulation (draft regulation) to this end. The draft regulation is designed to transform the ESM into a European Monetary Fund (EMF). The terms and conditions of an EMF have been thoroughly discussed at the national and European levels. The euro area countries are seeking agreement on the terms and conditions for further refining the ESM by December 2018.

Against this background, our report is designed to inform the Federal Parliament, the Federal Council of Constituent States, the Federal Government and the general public about the federal budget risks associated with a reform of the ESM. The report also assesses as to whether and to what extent the Commission’s draft regulation may adversely impact on Germany’s national participatory powers. The status of current deliberations as of 30 September 2018 is reflected in the audit report.

0.1

The Commission’s draft regulation aims at providing stability support to members at an earlier stage and in a more simplified manner. In addition, the provision of stability support shall no longer be subject to compliance with reform requirements (principle of conditionality). The tasks of the EMF are also to be expanded. All proposed reform steps lead in the same direction: Utilisation of the EMF’s financial resources and vulnerability to risk of default will increase. Also, the reform of the ESM may create adverse incentives, e.g. undermine reform efforts taken by crisis-stricken member states.

We believe that – in case the proposed reform is implemented – losses are more likely to occur. It may also become necessary to increase the EMF’s capital stock. For Germany, this would lead to an increased liability beyond the agreed amount of €190 billion. Although such a step would be subject to approval by all member states, Germany may find itself unable to refuse consent, e.g. if new EMF tasks require credible funding. This would result in additional burdens on the federal budget.

Overall the establishment of the EMF with the changes proposed by the Commission would pose major risks to the federal budget.

0.2
According to the Commission’s proposal for reform, the EMF is to form part of a safety net for crisis-ridden euro area banks and shall hold up to €60 billion for this purpose. As a result, liability for risks in the European banking sector would be pooled. Furthermore, a signal would be created that, other remedies failing, bank bailouts will continue being funded by taxpayers. (no. 5)

0.3
The Commission intends to use the EMF as a vehicle for policy initiatives. According to the Commission, the EMF could also provide funding for smoothing cyclical fluctuations in the member states. However, ensuring the financial stability of the domestic economy is the innate responsibility of each member state. In our view, there is reason to believe that such funding may have the effect of transfer payments and may also be regarded as such. (no. 7)

0.4
The Commission plans to streamline the EMF’s decision-making and to lower the threshold required for decision-making. If the new legal framework were adopted, Germany might lose its veto powers. Furthermore, Federal Parliament’s rights to participate in the decision-making process may not be protected under all circumstances. (no. 8)

0.5
We recommend to the Federal Parliament issuing an opinion on the reform of the ESM to communicate its position on this matter to the Federal Government. Such a position would then serve as guidance for all Federal Government negotiations at the EU level. The aim should be to bring the reform of the ESM in line with applicable European rules and the key principles of market economy – particularly the principles of liability, ownership and subsidiarity. (nos. 9 and 10)

In particular, the Federal Government should ensure that

  • all EMF functions and tools are closely aligned with the primary purpose of safeguarding financial stability of the euro area as a whole;
  • stability support is provided only if prerequisites and reform requirements are met, and that this principle of conditionality is not only postulated but underpinned with specific conditions to be met;
  • the euro area countries continue to remain fully responsible for their respective decisions (unity of action and liability);
  • creditors and shareholders of ailing banks and the respective member states are held liable in the first place and that risks posed to the European banking sector are not pooled;
  • Germany’s liability is not expanded;
  • the instruments available to the EMF are not considered as transfer payments and that, as a rule, the recipient reimburses the entire funds and
  • Parliament’s powers to participate in all financial decisions with spending implications remain unconstrained.


0.6
The Federal Ministry of Finance commented on the draft report. The Ministry stated that at the EU level the discussions surrounding the reform of the ESM were not linked to the Commission’s draft regulation. At the time of drafting the report, the Ministry said that no projections could be made as to the further development of the ESM.

With regard to discussing the reform of the ESM, the Federal Ministry stated that the Federal Government was seeking to develop a solution that ensures the responsible use of the ESM funds. The Ministry stated that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that, following the reform, the ESM would still be used as a remedy of last resort only and for its original purpose. Against this backdrop, the Federal Government considered an increase in Germany’s financial commitments or liabilities as an ESM member state “unlikely”The Federal Ministry added that the Federal Government continued to remind the European partners of meeting domestic constitutional requirements. The participatory powers of the national parliaments would not be negotiable. (no. 11)

0.7
We welcome the Federal Government’s efforts towards putting funds to best use in the course of the ESM reform and safeguarding Federal Parliament’s powers to participate in all financial decisions.

However, we reiterate our recommendation that Federal Parliament should communicate its opinion to the Federal Government in order to provide a policy statement that guides negotiations at the EU level. On the one hand, this step takes due account of Parliament’s budgetary authority. On the other hand, such boundaries set by Parliament would strengthen the Federal Government’s bargaining position in negotiations at EU level. (no. 12)

 

2018 Special report – Audit compendium on youth unemployment and the integration of young people into the labour market

Jun 28, 2018

EU Member SAIs and the European Court of Auditors individually conducted audit missions on how young people could be placed in jobs or apprenticeships in a more effective way. The various audit findings of the work across the EU have been complied in an audit compendium. The EU and its Member States have accommodated the recommendations made by the auditors.

The EU and its Member States have made some initial progress in fighting youth unemployment. For example, in the Member States that were most affected (Greece, Italy and Spain), the rate of unemployed young people between 15 and 24 years decreased by up to 11 per cent in 2016 against its peak in 2013. In 2016, the EU-wide youth unemployment rate reached 18.7 per cent which is still twice as high as the overall unemployment rate. Germany was the Member State with the lowest youth unemployment rate of 7 per cent.

The audit compendium serves as pilot project to provide the (expert) public with concise information on EU member SAIs’ audit and follow-up work done to strengthen the proper and efficient use of public funds. The audit compendium is available in the official EU languages at: https://www.eca.europa.eu/sites/cc/Lists/CCDocuments/CC_AUDIT_COMPENDIUM/CC-AUDIT_COMPENDIUM_EN.pdf

 

2017 Report of the Task Force on European Banking Union to the Contact Committee of Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Union and the European Court of Auditors

A comprehensive audit mandate assessing the supervisory review and evaluation process of banking supervision is no guaranteed in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). Before November 2014, national Supreme Audit Institutions audit scope went far beyond what the ECA is able to exercise today vis-à-vis the ECB. These are the findings set out in a report published jointly by several Supreme Audit Institutions.

0 Executive summary

0.1 Point of departure

As from 2008, Europe was hit by a financial crisis and a subsequent sovereign debt crisis. Many governments supported failing financial institutions with public funds amounting to hundreds of billions of euros. In response, the countries of the euro area introduced the European Banking Union, including a Single Supervisory Mechanism. In this Mechanism, the European Central Bank is directly responsible for prudential supervision of all ‘Significant Institutions’. National Competent Authorities are directly responsible for supervising the ‘Less Significant Institutions’, based on guidance of the European Central Bank.

0.2 Auditing banking supervision in the Single Supervisory Mechanism

The Supreme Audit Institutions of Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands carried out a parallel audit to examine banking supervision at national level. The objectives of the parallel audit were:

  1. to gain insight into differences among EU Member States in the way supervisors have set up and carry out prudential supervision for LSIs, and
  2. to collect evidence about possible ‘audit gaps’ that may have emerged as a result of the introduction of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

0.3 Key finding 1: Differences in regulatory transposition, design and practice of banking supervision

The regulatory framework regarding banks in the EU is characterised by complexity and has been subject to a number of changes since the outbreak of the financial crisis. We identified differences in how EU rules are transposed into national law. We found that within one common Supervisory Mechanism different national rules and regulations apply.

Furthermore, we found differences in the institutional design of prudential supervision:

  • Frequently, the National Central Bank is responsible for prudential supervision but in some countries, the prudential supervisor is set up as a separate institution or responsibilities are shared between the Central Bank and a National Competent Authority.
  • Supervisory costs are charged to the supervised entities, but to different degrees.
  • Often the Ministry of Finance has a central role in supervising the supervisor, while in two countries Parliament and representatives of the regulated institutions are involved in this supervision.

We also found the following significant differences in supervision practice:

  • Methods designed either by the European Central Bank or national approaches are used for categorizing banks according to their systemic relevance and for assessing risks.
  • The proportionality of the annual assessment in the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process for Less Significant Institutions varies.
  • Substantive focus in the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process is either on assessing risks to capital, liquidity and sustainability of funding, or on assessing banks’ business models and adequacy of governance and risk management.
  • Either quantitative interventions (capital add-ons) are used by the National Competent Authority, or primarily qualitative interventions.

Key results

  • The way banking regulation is transposed, and banking supervision is designed and conducted, varies across different EU Member States. Within the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the single rulebook has to be adhered to. Nevertheless, the set-up and conduct of supervision can be tailored to specific national situations and national rules and regulations.
  • Future efforts by NCAs and the ECB are needed to strike a balance among harmonisation, proportionality and supervisory flexibility to match national specific circumstances. We encourage the European Commission and national decision makers to closely follow-up on how supervisory practice develops in the Member States.

0.4 Key finding 2: Audit gaps confirmed and increasing

The audit mandate of the European Court of Auditors with respect to the supervisory activities of the European Central Bank is narrowly defined as an examination of the operational efficiency of the management of the European Central Bank. At the time the Eurogroup considered the issue in December 2015, it argued that this narrow definition has its roots in primary law rather than the SSM regulation. However, the resulting effects should be examined as they may give rise to differences in the depth of audit at European compared to national level in some Member States. The Special Report of the European Court of Auditors on the Single Supervisory Mechanism of November 2016 confirmed that the loss of mandate by some national SAIs after the introduction of the Single Supervisory Mechanism is not compensated by the mandate of the European Court of Auditors.

The European Commission’s review of prudential supervision by the European Central Bank states that the European Court of Auditor’s mandate “is indeed more limited than the mandates of certain national Supreme Audit Institutions over national banking supervisory authorities.” It encourages the European Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank to conclude an inter-institutional agreement that specifies the modalities of information exchange in view of granting the European Court of Auditors access to all information necessary for performing its audit mandate.

We agree that an inter-institutional agreement can be a first step to improve external accountability of the European Central Bank´s supervisory function. However, ultimately we deem it necessary to clarify the audit mandate of the ECA, as this has a direct effect on the range of information the ECB is able to share with the ECA. The European Court of Auditors claims for itself the right to interpret the scope of its audit mandate. In our opinion, the clarification of its mandate should highlight inter alia that the provisions of Article 27.2 of the ESCB Statute are intended to protect the independence of monetary policy. The other ECB function – prudential supervision – needs to be subject to more stringent control and accountability than monetary policy. This could be achieved, for example, by giving the ECA the possibility to perform comprehensive audits of banking supervision pertaining to significant institutions as was the case in several countries including Germany and the Netherlands prior to the introduction of the SSM. The ECA’s audit mandate may need to be clearly defined by means of an amendment of secondary law (Single Supervisory Mechanism Regulation) and possibly primary law to generate greater legal certainty and create a sustainable solution. In this parallel audit, we also found that Supreme Audit Institutions with a mandate to audit the supervision of Less Significant Institutions are facing increasing difficulty accessing relevant information. A growing number of documents pertaining to Less Significant Institutions are subject to rules and standards of the European Central Bank. As a result, information of the European Central Bank relevant to audits on Less Significant Institutions is not shared with Supreme Audit Institutions. This new ‘audit gap’ will increase in importance as the European Central Bank issues more harmonizing guidance and methodology regarding the prudential supervision of Less Significant Institutions in the years to come.

Ten Supreme Audit Institutions in the euro area have a limited or no mandate to audit banking supervision of Less Significant Institutions and/or are facing difficulties exercising this right. As a result, supervision of Less Significant Institutions in these countries is largely not subject to external audit.

Key Recommendations

  • The European Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank should conclude – as a first step – an inter-institutional agreement specifying the modalities of their information exchange. However, ultimately we deem it necessary to clarify the audit mandate of the ECA with regard to supervision of Significant Institutions, as this has a direct effect on the range of information the ECB is able to share with the ECA. It may be necessary to cement this clarification in either secondary law and, if needed in primary law, with a view to generating greater legal certainty and creating a sustainable solution.
  • National Competent Authorities should authorise disclosure of information relating to prudential supervision of Less Significant Institutions to their respective Supreme Audit Institutions, in line with Art. 59 (2) of the Capital Requirements Directive (see Appendix 2).
  • National governments and parliaments in the EU should examine whether their Supreme Audit Institution has been given the de jure and de facto mandate to audit banking supervision. Where necessary and feasible they should seek an extension of their audit mandates in line with Art. 59 (2) of the Capital Requirements Directive.

 

2017 Special report - Intended Implementation of harmonised European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) in the Member States of the European Union

The German SAI speaks out against plans to implement harmonised European Public Accounting Standards EPSAS. The project will not accomplish the goal of sustainable public budgets.

Nov 15, 2017

0 Executive Summary
The European Commission (the Commission) intends to introduce harmonised European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) in the Member States of the European Union. These standards are intended to provide better comparable data and a more reliable basis for economic and fiscal governance within the EU, thus helping to avoid future sovereign debt crises.

The EPSAS are to be based on accrual accounting and to be binding for all levels of government. According to estimates made by the Commission, the costs of implementing EPSAS in Germany alone are expected to amount to €3.1 billion. However, the reliability of such estimates is doubtful. We believe that the actual financial burdens will be higher.

0.1
The Commission did not submit an overall strategy for the project. Furthermore, the Commission has not explained to what extent the mandatory introduction of EPSAS can actually achieve the intended objectives. It has not considered any alternative options (numbers 4.1 and 4.5).

0.2
Since 2015, the Commission has promoted the voluntary transition to accrual-based accounting systems in the Member States, including by making EU funds available for this purpose. By doing so, the Commission practically pre-empts a decision (number 4.3).

0.3
The Commission closely involves private sector audit firms in the decision-making processes. These firms are key players and exert considerable influence on the development of EPSAS. We consider this a matter of concern because the mandatory introduction of EPSAS would also create business opportunities for management consulting and audit firms (number 4.4).

0.4
By introducing EPSAS, the Commission intends to strengthen confidence in the financial stability of the European Union and to improve fiscal monitoring, thereby helping to avoid future sovereign debt crises.

However, the issue in the European Union is not a lack of information or awareness but of enforcement of European fiscal rules. Past experience has shown that despite grave violations of fiscal rules no financial sanctions have been imposed. The problem is therefore not the lack of high-quality financial data but of a sound fiscal policy and of strict compliance with the European fiscal rules. Neither of these requirements can be enforced by any sort of accounting systems (number 5).

0.5
According to the Commission’s approach, EPSAS is to be the means by which the Member States obtain more robust data, thus rendering better account of the use of public funds. By introducing EPSAS, the Commission also intends to enhance transparency and comparability of public budgets.

The EPSAS are to be aligned with Anglo-American standards oriented towards the capital market. Thus, they are meant to provide investors with information useful for decision-making and are therefore more future-oriented. However, the government must render account of the use of the public funds. In contrast to the accounting of a private-sector enterprise, public sector accounting mainly serves the purpose of ex post oversight (number 6).

Furthermore, the implementation of EPSAS would furnish data on public budgets that only appear to be more reliable and better comparable. In order to actually achieve these qualities, it would be necessary to restrict the influence of subjective factors and to effectively prevent tampering. This, however, is not ensured. On the contrary: Discussions within bodies at EU level show that the introduction of EPSAS would provide the Member States with a wide discretionary scope for choosing among different options (number 7).

0.6
The EPSAS are to furnish additional information on the financial position of the Member States which, from the Commission’s point of view, will provide a more robust basis for decisions.

Recent decisions taken by the German Parliament suggest that, also in the future, the German budget legislator intends to exercise its constitutional right to pass the budget by means of cash-based data. Thus, EPSAS would not be more effective in facilitating parliamentary control.

We assume that, if EPSAS were introduced at the federal level on a mandatory basis, it would be necessary to retain the cash-based system and to introduce an accrual-based system in parallel. As a result, this would mean high implementation costs for Germany not matched by any real benefits. The operation of a parallel system would impose additional burdens on the German budget (number 8).

0.7
The Federal Government should assert its weight at the European level and prevent the mandatory implementation of EPSAS in Germany. Furthermore, it should take steps to ensure that the Commission consider alternative options that would permit any necessary improvements of the transparency and comparability of the Member States’ financial reporting. In this context, consideration should be given to the different administrative and accountability structures of the Member States.

0.8
The German Federal Ministry of Finance stated that it strongly agrees with the German SAI’s key issues of concern. The Ministry also assured us that the Federal Government would continue to intensively monitor the EPSAS implementation process in conjunction with the federal states and would ensure that consideration will be given to Germany’s interests.

 

2017 Parallel audit on Contribution of the Structural Funds to the Europe 2020 Strategy in the areas of Employment and/or Education  

The Europe 2020 strategy is designed to promote growth and employment in the EU. The Member States' programmes for the use of Structural Funds allocated to them provide a sound basis for achieving these objectives, although some weaknesses have been found. This is the conclusion drawn by the “Working Group on Structural Funds VII" in its final aggregate report. The weaknesses mainly concern the complexity of regulations and the evaluation of success

 

2017 Report – Curtailment of the German SAI’s audit mandate in the field of banking supervision and at financial institutions

Jan 31, 2017

In its report dated 18 November 2016, the European Court of Auditors stated that the scope of its audit mandate regarding significant financial institutions is not comparable to the national mandate the German SAI had before. In the course of its audit, the European Court of Auditors had fundamental difficulties in accessing documents of the European Central Bank.

Following the German SAI’s recommendation, the Budget Committee of German Parliament affirmed its intent to make the point for extending the audit mandate of the European Court of Auditors. The aim is to achieve, also at the European level, a high quality audit and oversight standard comparable to the standard ensured nationally by the German SAI with a view to ensuring comprehensive external audit.

 

2014 Annual Report No. 78 - Successful cooperation with the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic in the audit of public contract awards for construction work and in the field of corruption prevention

The German SAI and its Czech counterpart conducted parallel audits in their respective countries of the compliance with EU procurement law and corruption prevention in connection with contract awards for construction work. Among other findings, the comparison revealed that the time-tested principles applicable in Germany of giving precedence to public invitations to tender and the award of contracts by lots are advantageous. The two SAIs summarised their studies in a joint report, which attracted much interest in the Czech Republic and in the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).

 

2014 Annual Report No. 77 - International cooperation strengthens the external audit function in Greece

European Supreme Audit Institutions including the German SAI accompany the realignment of the Greek SAI. They do so in response to a request of the Greek SAI

 

2014 Annual Report No. 20 - Restructuring Fund (an-off budget federal entity) – bank levy is too low

The revenue generated by the bank levy is too low to finance major stabilisation measures from the Fund. During the first three years (2011-2013) 1,832 banks contributed only €1.8 billion instead of the inspected €3.6 billion.

 

2012 - EU Report of German audit institutions

This report informed German Parliament, the State parliaments and the general public about major facts concerning the finances of the European Union (EU) and the financial relations between the EU and the Member State Germany. Furthermore, it provided an overview of the management and control of EU funds in the Union and in Germany.

 

2008 - EU Report of German audit institutions

Report of December 2008

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