Hellenic Republic Court

Audit: HELLENIC REPUBLIC COURT

As a final assignment for the Economics module, you have to prepare an essay on the following topic:

”Describe and analyze how a public organization of your country assess the financial soundness of contractors”.

To elaborate this assignment and ensure that the assessment criteria are satisfied, we suggest you to consider the following aspects:

– short description of the organisation you have decided to analyse;

– a possible analysis of the market where bidders operate and financial soundness of contractors (you can also use some financial statement indicators)

– description of the contracting strategies used and how the financial situation of the bidders is evaluated in order to avoid their bankruptcy after the awarding of the contract;

– analysis of the economic rationale behind the contracting strategies used (in terms of problems addressed and objectives achieved);

The essays should be min. 1.000 words, max. 2.000 words.

Please, do not overtake this threshold and try to be synthetic.

Try also to find some relationships with the topics you are studying during the DL phase.

Regards

Matteo 

Solution 

                                                              HELLENIC REPUBLIC COURT OF AUDIT             

The Hellenic Republic Court of Audit is one of the oldest institution and is established under the constitution. The mandate is derived from this section. The head of SAI is appointed by the governor by selection from a panel. The terminating procedure of the Head of the SAI is end of a four-year tenure with the prescribed age limit of 67 years, or serious misconduct of professional duties, only after a decision of the State’s Council Plenum.The right to propose laws is vested in both the Chamber and the Government. Bills relating  to the granting of pensions can only be submitted by the Minister of Finance, after consultation with the Court of Audit. In the Chamber, a majority of those present is required for bills to be adopted unless otherwise stipulated in the Constitution. All the bill is examined by the relevant parliamentary standing committee, each consisting of 40-50 deputies and anyone would be called to give proofs . They propose the adoption or rejection of the bill and make modifications to it. Special ad hoc parliamentary committees may be established to deal with particular bills.

Local government has 2 main categories. The first category consists of the municipality and community authorities, whose main work is to take care of the local infrastructure and who have a co-operative role in the promotion of economic, social and cultural matters. The central government receives most of its funds in the form of pro rata subsidies they have limited powers to impose taxes. The second category is called ‘prefectural self-administration’. Prefects and members of the Councils are elected for four years by direct suffrage throughout the country. This grade of administration oversees financial, social and cultural development. They act independently in exercising their duties.There is no hierarchical relationship between the two categories .They both report to the Minister of the Interior.

The Hellenic Court of Audit is part of the Hellenic judicial system and is constitutionally on par with other Hellenic courts. It is one of three Supreme Courts of the State. The SAI has no financial independence. It implements a budget draft, which is finalised by the Minister of Finance and voted by the Parliament. There is no mechanism to secure accountability of the SAI.

JURISDICATION

The SAI’s jurisdiction has no limitations imposed

POWER

  • The SAI has powers of requisitioning all records of the auditee departments/organisations to discharge its mandate. The accounts of Central Government, Local Agencies and all Public Entities are submitted to the Court of Audit on a monthly and/or on annual basis.
  • The SAI has powers to enforce or initiate enforcement action to secure access to needed records which are not produced. The Court of Audit has the authority to impose a fine against the accounting officer in case of non-submission of the aforementioned accounts. However, the SAI does not have power to seal, search and seize documents and other related items considered necessary for audit and inspection. Further, it does not have power to seek testimonials of the persons concerned, but it can seek co-operation of persons other than agencies subject to audit. The financial inspectors of the Ministry of Finance are obliged to report on their audit findings to the Court of Audit.
  • The SAI does not have powers to instruct government investigating agencies to perform activities considered necessary. The SAI has authority to re-examine its own adjudication, e.g. in case of appeal, cassation and revocation. The SAI does not have powers to decide on claims of interested persons in connection with official actions, duties and behaviour of persons subject to audit and inspection and there are no specific procedure followed in this regard. The SAI does not have the authority to dispense with, in whole or part, the audit of Federal, Provincial and local Governments accounts and other related matters.
  • The SAI has powers to take punitive action and/or impose surcharges. The Court of Audit has the authority to impose a fine against the accounting officer in case of non-submission of the aforementioned accounts.

The SAI prescribes Financial and Compliance Audits in its scope of Audit. The powers to perform these audits are mandated by the law governing the SAI. The SAI conducts Pre-audit and Special audit such as Payment-orders and Accounts. The audit of SAI is limited to legality and regularity issues. The SAI discharges judicial functions. It may charge the accounting officer with any deficit discovered in the course of the audit.  The audit court is assisted by auditors who conduct the field work. There is a special code of procedure provided by law (Presidential Decree 1225/1981), which is followed by the audit court. The cases of willful losses/frauds are communicated to the district attorney office. The Annual Report on our SAI’s audit work is published in the State’s Official Gazette. The SAI is required to follow specific standards, practices and guidelines in conducting audit and reporting.

AUDIT PROCEDURE AND FUNCTIONS:

The SAI can consult and/or collaborate with other countries/SAIs and international organisations on matters relating to audit e.g.

  • European Court of Auditors (article 248 of the EC Treaty)
  • EUROSAI
  • INTOSAI
  • International Board of Auditors for NATO

The SAI prepares and submits to the Parliament an Annual Report on its audit findings. Comments of the auditees are included.

ORGANISATION:

The SAI is constituted as a Court/ Tribunal Audit/Accounts. The SAI is a multimember collegiate body and it is a Court of accounts/Audit. The Head of SAI and other members enjoy the status and independence of a judge. The Head of the Personnel Department is responsible for the SAI’s day-to-day functioning.

ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION AND MISCELLANEOUS:

The SAI has the capacity to expend resources budgeted independently and they are given full independence in forming its work plan. The SAI recruitment process of audit and other staff takes place in the same way as all the other public servants. The SAI is not subject to an independent audit. It is mandatory for the SAI to submit a report on its activities to the Parliament.