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03/06/2019   Expert team led by the European Court of Auditors will begin the peer review mission of the National Audit Office

A peer review mission of the National Audit Office - Supreme Audit Institution of Lithuania - which will take place from 3 to 7 June, is starting today. The assessment will be carried out by experts from the European Court of Auditors, the SAIs of Poland and the United Kingdom.

“Today marks the beginning of a very important mission – we spoke not only about the quality of audits and various other aspects of our work,” following a meeting with experts, said the Auditor General Arūnas Dulkys. “Regrettably, already on the first day of the mission, we mostly discussed the staff situation in our audit institution. Amendments to the Law on Civil Service without adjusting the Law on National Audit Office have posed challenges to our independence since the beginning of this year. Auditors cannot audit themselves, the system which they are a part of, whereas the existing legal regulation makes the National Audit Office dependent. The discussion with experts led to a reflection on the following issues: is there an intention to have auditors who being a part of the civil service are writing words of praise to the public service and the government?”

“The National Audit Office is the ultimate guarantee that public money is well expended. This is why citizens need a strong and independent Audit Office, protected from any political or undue interference”, Eduardo Ruiz García, Secretary General of the European Court of Auditors, said following the meeting.

During the whole visit, an assessment of selected performance, financial and compliance audits performed in 2018 and at the beginning of 2019 will be carried out, the experts will meet the SAI’s audit teams, audit quality assurance, internal audit, communication and legal specialists as well as the management.

It should be pointed out that the Law on National Audit Office, which counts 17 years without a substantive review, does not refer to either the recommendations or the institution’s peer review. The OECD team of experts is currently also carrying out a review of the Fiscal Institution of Lithuania, the conclusions of which will be published in the autumn.

To obtain as much objective information as possible, the peer review team will meet with representatives of the Seimas, the Constitutional Court and the Government to discuss the issues of the Lithuanian SAI’s independence, relations with the Seimas, and other public authorities, the monitoring of public audit programmes, and audit reports.

The purpose of this voluntary assessment of the Supreme Audit Institution of Lithuania is to determine whether the institution’s audits comply with international standards of supreme audit institutions and to make recommendations on improving the functioning of the institution and the audit process. The assessment is scheduled for 2019, and the report and recommendations are due at the end of the year.

 

Responsible for the information Communication Division
Last updated on 12 June 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.