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2018-07-05   The OECD has Taken Note of the Challenges Faced by the National Audit Office of Lithuania

Commencing the 10th Annual Meeting of the OECD network unifying parliamentary budget officials and independent fiscal institutions, Chief of the Korean National Assembly Budget Office Chunsoon Kim welcomed the Lithuanian delegation for whom the meeting in Seoul is the first since the day it became a member of the OECD. The OECD network currently consists of 30 institutions. The present anniversary meeting is attended by representatives of 36 countries and 42 independent fiscal institutions, including those which are not a part of the OECD.

“The National Audit Office of Lithuania is of interest to the community of the OECD member states because of its unique nature – a single independent organisation comprising three separate authorities: a classical supreme audit institution, an EU investment audit authority, and a fiscal institution. During talks with meeting participants, we have considered how the Office, given its complex structure, manages to ensure the performance of three separate functions, discussed the relevant advantages and shortcomings, and shared other experiences,” said the Auditor General Arūnas Dulkys.

In addressing the meeting participants, Robert Chote, Chairman of the OECD’s network and of the Office for Budget Responsibility of the United Kingdom, emphasised three key areas where the network of the OECD could operate more effectively and better assist independent fiscal institutions in implementing their mandate, namely: encourage the sharing and dissemination of best practices during peer review; provide assistance to parliaments and governments for the purposes of establishing fiscal institutions; and support institutions facing challenges to their independence or continued existence, or those grappling with indirect obstacles to the effective performance of their duties.

The Annual Meeting of the OECD also featured a bilateral meeting between the Auditor General Arūnas Dulkys and representatives of the Secretariat of the OECD, concerning the steps Lithuania should take in order to further strengthen the independence, operational quality and the application of good practices of the fiscal institution, and ensure its compliance with the relevant principles set by the OECD.

“The fiscal institution of Lithuania has been operational for only four years. Even though we have been striving to organise our activities in accordance with the good practices of the OECD member states, legislative initiative is still necessary to ensure further improvements in operational quality. The current Law on National Audit Office has not been updated for as many as 16 years. I have notified the OECD officials of the independence and accountability of our institution, and of the fact that a draft law designed to strengthen our authorisations has been developed, properly registered and is awaiting parliamentary consideration,” said Arūnas Dulkys.

The Secretariat of the OECD has been tasked with performing reviews of fiscal institutions with the view to identify key challenges and submit appropriate recommendations. In order to ensure proper functioning, the bilateral meeting culminated in the agreement to commence the coordination of the external review procedures of the Lithuanian fiscal institution already this fall.  The review is scheduled to be performed by the OECD.

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