ACA publishes Annual Report 2019
In the Annual Report 2019 published today, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) informs about its performance in 2019. Apart from a presentation of the published audit reports and a detailed explanation of its special tasks, the report also illustrates the ACA’s effectiveness: 79 per cent of its recommendations have been implemented fully or in part.
Suggestions for improvement to enhance transparency
As regards the political events that happened in Austria in the past year – keyword ‘Ibiza scandal’ – ACA President Margit Kraker states the following: “The discussions in 2019 have highlighted the importance of strong public audit for a functioning democracy.” In the framework of the debate on enhancing the transparency of those funds that are used for the funding of political parties and election campaigns, the ACA adopted a clear position and presented suggestions for improvement.
This is how the ACA monitors its effectiveness
The ACA monitors the effectiveness of its recommendations via follow-up enquiries and follow-up audits. In 2019, the ACA carried out follow-up enquiries at 125 audited entities in order to assess how many of its 2,666 recommendations had already been implemented. The result revealed the following: according to the audited entities, 79 per cent of the recommendations issued in 2018 had already been implemented or their implementation was intended.
In selected cases, the ACA also performs follow-up audits. This means that the already audited entities are – about two years later – audited once again. In 2019, the ACA carried out 17 follow-up audits. The aim is to assess whether the recommendations issued by the ACA have in fact been implemented. Again, the result for 2019 showed the following: of 282 recommendations, 79 per cent had been implemented either fully or partly (details on the effectiveness of the audits are available in the report Follow-up Procedures in 2019 (German)).
Auditing is the central task of the ACA
The majority of the audit topics is selected by the ACA itself. In the framework of its three-year audit priority, the ACA puts the benefit generated for citizens centre stage. In doing so, the ACA contributes to safeguarding and enhancing the citizens’ quality of life. Of 87 audits, which were on the ACA's audit agenda in the past year, 69 audits focused on the audit priority “Quality of Public-Sector Service Provision” in the spirit of creating added-value for the citizens.
“The benefit for citizens and the fight against corruption as well as the ACA’s new approaches to auditing (keyword: data analyses) are at the heart of our activities. In using modern graphs, we would like to present the ACA’s work in a manner that is accessible to the citizens,” explains Kraker.
In 2019, the ACA received five audit requests on the following topics: secretaries general in the federal ministries with regard to cost and staff structure, the Burgtheater and the Bundestheater Holding GmbH, the management of the Federal Ministry of Health in the period of 2009 to 2017 by federal ministers of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), audit of the social and non-profit housing of the municipality of Vienna as well as contract awards by ASFINAG (Austrian motorway and expressway corporation).
Furthermore, the ACA published the following five reports on special audits in 2019: “Burgenländische Krankenanstalten-Gesellschaft m.b.H. (Burgenland hospital association)”, “Administrative Penalty Proceedings in the City of Linz”, “International Exchange of Information in Fiscal Matters”, “Purchase of Province-Guaranteed Bonds by the Carinthian Compensation Payment Fund” and “Hospital of Oberwart – Planning, Refurbishment and Construction”.
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Annual Report of the Austrian Court of Audit 2019
The ACA informs about its performance in 2019 in the Annual Report 2019.
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Follow-up Procedures in 2019
The effectiveness of the ACA is demonstrated in particular by the implementation of its recommendations. In order to measure, but also to enhance, its effectiveness, the ACA carries out a two-stage procedure to monitor its impact.