The impact of audits include quite general measures for auditees and other organisations as well as effects for auditees and other organisations which arise due to an audit (or at least as a result of an implementation of measures or effects of an audit), such as
- implementation of measures during the in-situ audit ("immediate result"),
- implementation of measures as a result of discussions in the audting process,
- implementation of measures as a result of a clarification of issues by the Court of Audit,
- implementation of measures as a result of judgements by the ACA and
- the implementation of written recommendations.
Thanks to a constructive climate at the organisations being audited and the general representative bodies, ACA recommendations are generally implemented. This means that expenditure can be reduced and reforms introduced.
The ACA has a highly preventative function due to the fact that we can audit an establishment under our remit at any time. This preventative effect guards against waste and mismanagement. To increase the preventative effect of the ACA, we carry out sample audits on a random basis. Entities are also included in the auditing programme which would not normally be audited according to the risk-focussed selection process (e.g. due to their limited financial sphere). The fact that an ACA audit is possible creates not only a preventative effect but also guards against corruption.
In this way, the ACA helps in the fight against waste and mismanagement and particularly in the fight against corruption. Basically, every ACA audit aims to highlight deficits, undesirable developments and unlawful behaviour and therefore to achieve transparency. This transparency is a cornerstone in the battle against corruption.
Follow-up surveys and follow-up audits
The ACA evaluates its services and its effects, as a common practice. For this reason, we have developed a completely new system of evaluating the effectiveness. As a first stage, the recommendations in last year's ACA reports will be surveyed, i.e. organisations that were audited will be asked about progress in terms of implementing recommendations. The results of the survey process will be published in the activity reports on a federal, laender and municipal level. However, they also form the basis for the second stage of effectiveness evaluation - follow-up audits. In these, the ACA checks at the audited organisation what progress has actually been made in terms of implementing the recommendations.
This evaluation of effectiveness is an important element to sustain auditing because it increases the value of the auditing activity and the effectiveness of the recommendations.
The follow-up survey process in 2008 showed that the ACA achieves effectiveness with 81% of its recommendations. From the 1140 recommendations in 2008, 574 recommendations were implemented (50.4%), 349 recommendations were rejected (= 30.6%) and 217 recommendations (= 19%) are still open.