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

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

Since the European Central Bank has taken over the task of banking supervision of some 120 financial institutions or banking groups and since the Single Resolution Mechanism has been put into place, the external audit function has been severely curtailed. A report by the European Court of Auditors confirms that a significant audit gap has emerged.

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2016 Report – Implementation of energy transition

2016 Report – Implementation of energy transition

“Energy policy from a single source“ is the slogan used by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy to implement the national task of energy transition. At federal government level, the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy has assumed lead responsibility for overall coordination of this task. However, the Federal Ministry can do more to adequately perform this role. Currently no coordinated exchange is taking place either within the Ministry or with other government departments or the German federal states. Apart from that, the Federal government does not have an overview of the financial impact of energy transition. Key questions such as “How much does energy transition cost the government?” or “How much should energy transition cost the government?” have not been asked and remain unanswered. The federal government cannot specify what impact individual energy policy measures have and how efficient they are. The strategic considerations governing energy transition give lower priority to the goals of energy security and affordability as compared to environmental impact. 

The  Bundesrechnungshof’s report on the steps taken to implement energy transition provides a large number of suggestions and recommendations for improvement.  On 28 April 2017, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, a sub-committee of the Budget Committee held a concluding debate on the report. The Public Accounts Committee’s proposed resolution has taken up nearly all of the recommendations made by the Bundesrechnungshof.

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Planning a new Fehmarn Sound Bridge

Planning a new Fehmarn Sound Bridge

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure intends to decommission the existing Fehmarn Sound bridge and build a new bridge. The German SAI found major shortcomings in the relevant capital expenditure appraisal. The bridge is in a bad condition, also because the German Railways company has for many years neglected its duty of proper maintenance. As a result, the Public Accounts Committee demanded that the Ministry ensure the safe and smooth operation of the bridge until the structures designed to replace the former bridge are completed. As to the capital expenditure appraisal, the Committee wants the Ministry to include the option of retrofitting the existing bridge.

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Report on the proposed implementation of harmonised European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) in the Member States of the European Union

Report on the proposed implementation of harmonised European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) in the Member States of the European Union
The European Commission plans to introduce a set of harmonised and binding European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) based on accrual accounting. Supplementary to the status report on the relevant facts and figures developed by the Federal Ministry of Finance (Budget Committee Paper 18/0027), the German Supreme Audit Institution (Bundesrechnungshof) advises the Budget Committee on the matter. In the present report, the Bundesrechnungshof discusses unresolved issues, chances and risks associated with the proposed EPSAS implementation.

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Report on the Federal Government’s revenue from emissions trading

Report on the Federal Government’s revenue from emissions trading
The aim of introducing emission rights was to reduce the emission of gases harming the climate. The Federal Government intended to use the revenues from emissions trading to finance additional expenditure on energy transition and climate protection. To make up for the declining revenue resulting from falling prices in emissions trading, the Federal Government needs to cut planned expenditure or raise funds from other sources. In its report, the German SAI outlines the opportunities and risks of emissions trading at the European level so that these may be adequately considered in the context of the federal budget and the Energy and Climate Fund.

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