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Procedure for drafting and adopting the annual report

Mar 13, 2013

The annual report is based on our audit findings and deliberations and on the advisory work of the SAI’s President in his capacity as Federal Performance Commissioner. They are compiled in accordance with a structured procedure.

Figure 1

Annual Reporting Procedure

The German SAI sends a draft of each annual report item to the respective audited bodies, giving them the opportunity to comment. This part of the procedure especially serves to once more verify the audit evidence which, as a rule, our auditors have already discussed with the audited bodies during the preceding audit exercise. Where opinions about the facts and figures presented differ, this is expressly stated in the annual report. Where the bodies concerned have expressed divergent opinions as to the conclusions drawn, these opinions are also stated in the annual report.

The annual report is adopted by the SAI’s Board (Art. 14.1 no. 2 Bundesrechnungshof Act). After that, the SAI’s President communicates them to the two Houses of the German Parliament (the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat) and to the Federal Government and presents them to the general public.

Our annual report is a major basis for the annual parliamentary discharge procedure when the two Houses of Parliament individually grant discharge to the federal government for annual financial management (cf. Art. 114.1 Basic Law). The procedure is based on the annual accounts to be submitted by the Federal Ministry of Finance on all federal receipts, expenditures, assets and debt. Our annual report supplies relevant information to Parliament on the shortcomings found in the annual accounts and financial management of the previous financial year which they need to consider in their decision-making.

The Bundestag (the directly elected Lower House of German Parliament) passes on our annual report to the Appropriations Committee, which has a leading role in the deliberation. The Appropriations Committee in turn passes the report to a sub-committee, the Public Accounts Committee. The resolutions adopted are communicated to the Appropriations Committee to prepare the decision on discharge incumbent on the lower House of Parliament. The resolution on recommended action adopted by the Appropriations Committee also includes the demand addressed to the Federal Government to implement the decisions made in our annual report, to introduce or pursue efforts to enhance efficiency and to report on the progress made in due time. This is to ensure that the results achieved can be duly taken into account in the budget deliberations. When deciding on granting discharge, the Bundestag plenary session places reliance on the recommended action included in this resolution.

During the parliamentary procedure for granting discharge to the Federal Government, our annual report may prompt the Bundestag to impose requirements on the Government (Art. 114.2 Federal Budget Code) or expressly disapprove of specific matters under scrutiny (Art. 114.5 Federal Budget Code).

The annual report is based on our audit findings and deliberations and on the advisory work of the SAI’s President in his capacity as Federal Performance Commissioner. They are compiled in accordance with a structured procedure.

Figure 1

Annual Reporting Procedure

The German SAI sends a draft of each annual report item to the respective audited bodies, giving them the opportunity to comment. This part of the procedure especially serves to once more verify the audit evidence which, as a rule, our auditors have already discussed with the audited bodies during the preceding audit exercise. Where opinions about the facts and figures presented differ, this is expressly stated in the annual report. Where the bodies concerned have expressed divergent opinions as to the conclusions drawn, these opinions are also stated in the annual report.

The annual report is adopted by the SAI’s Board (Art. 14.1 no. 2 Bundesrechnungshof Act). After that, the SAI’s President communicates them to the two Houses of the German Parliament (the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat) and to the Federal Government and presents them to the general public.

Our annual report is a major basis for the annual parliamentary discharge procedure when the two Houses of Parliament individually grant discharge to the federal government for annual financial management (cf. Art. 114.1 Basic Law). The procedure is based on the annual accounts to be submitted by the Federal Ministry of Finance on all federal receipts, expenditures, assets and debt. Our annual report supplies relevant information to Parliament on the shortcomings found in the annual accounts and financial management of the previous financial year which they need to consider in their decision-making.

The Bundestag (the directly elected Lower House of German Parliament) passes on our annual report to the Appropriations Committee, which has a leading role in the deliberation. The Appropriations Committee in turn passes the report to a sub-committee, the Public Accounts Committee. The resolutions adopted are communicated to the Appropriations Committee to prepare the decision on discharge incumbent on the lower House of Parliament. The resolution on recommended action adopted by the Appropriations Committee also includes the demand addressed to the Federal Government to implement the decisions made in our annual report, to introduce or pursue efforts to enhance efficiency and to report on the progress made in due time. This is to ensure that the results achieved can be duly taken into account in the budget deliberations. When deciding on granting discharge, the Bundestag plenary session places reliance on the recommended action included in this resolution.

During the parliamentary procedure for granting discharge to the Federal Government, our annual report may prompt the Bundestag to impose requirements on the Government (Art. 114.2 Federal Budget Code) or expressly disapprove of specific matters under scrutiny (Art. 114.5 Federal Budget Code).

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