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16/01/2019   The National Audit Office Commemorates its 100th Anniversary

Today, 16 January, the Supreme Audit Institution – the National Audit Office – is commemorating its 100th anniversary. The last hundred years saw changes to both its functions and the title of its head. Today, the main goal of the Supreme Audit Institution is to increase the effectiveness of the public sector and the value it generates for the public.

“A hundred years is enough to grow up and live out your whole life as a human being. During this period, our institution travelled a difficult, yet purposeful road. The National Audit Office strives to improve by fostering its key values, namely – professionalism, responsibility, innovation, and cooperation. Achieving the goals of our institution was not possible without the efforts of its employees a hundred years ago, and it is not possible now,” said Auditor General Arūnas Dulkys.

The establishment of the National Audit Office

The Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 launched the development of the country’s public authorities and 16 January 1919 was marked by the establishment of the National Audit Office, as well as the appointment of its first head Kostas Daugirdas. Based on the very first document, the head of the institution was first referred to as the “auditer” or the “auditar”, eventually culminating in the current version – “auditor”. The first law related to the National Audit Office was passed soon after the establishment. Said law institutionalised its name, granting it the official title “The National Audit Office”.

During the interwar period, the National Audit Office functioned as an economic audit institution responsible for supervising public finance. After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1940, the activities of the National Audit Office performed in the capacity of an independent institution were unfortunately terminated.

A new era

The new era of the National Audit Office commenced on 11 March 1990 – the day when Lithuania restored its independence. In 2002, the legal status of the National Audit Office was changed to that of a supreme public audit institution. At that time, the function of control was replaced with the function of audit. Currently, the National Audit Office is the only institution in the European Union which performs the functions of three independent institutions, namely –  a supreme audit institution, an EU investment audit institution, and a fiscal institution. Since 2016, along with its historical and constitutional name, the National Audit Office is also called the Supreme Audit Institution, which reflects the core of its current activities.

In order to establish its independence and develop the conditions necessary to become the expert competence centre of the public sector, the Supreme Audit Institution is now seeking to update the Law on National Audit Office.

Giving meaning to the anniversary

The staff of the SAI had the goal to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the institution by gaining more knowledge of its history. Visiting the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, employees were successful at finding a number of draft letters hand-written by the first auditors, as well as a few official documents related to the institution’s current activities. It is interesting to note that, at the turn of the 20th century, the National Audit Office introduced itself to Lithuanian subjects as COURT DES COMPTES, i.e., not as an audit institution, but as a court of auditors. One hundred days prior to the 100th anniversary of the institution, the aforesaid documents were displayed at an exhibition. Furthermore, employees were also provided with a daily fact about the development of the Supreme Audit Institution on their computer screens.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Audit Office, the team took part in a photo shoot where employee Valdas Toločka snapped a number of pictures, capturing the moments of being a part of the Supreme Audit Institution.

 

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Last updated on 13 May 2019

National Audit Office of Lithuania

Pamėnkalnio St 27, LT-01113 Vilnius, Phone: + 370 5 266 6793, + 370 5 266 6752, Email: nao@vkontrole.lt.