SAO SR audits in general

In the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic (SAO SR) environment, the use of term Audit takes in Slovak language different format. In its Slovak original, it is „kontrola“ (control), but to approximate to the EU conditions, customs, and to ease the overall communication in EU environment, the term Audit was taken into the institute name, its functions, activities and documents if being translated into English.

SAO SR abides by the Law on Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic 39/1993 Coll. of Laws as amended, international standards ISSAI, as well as the European Implementing Guidelines for the INTOSAI Auditing Standards.
 

The standards for audit can be divided into:

  • Implementation guidelines;
  • Standards for financial audit (ISSAI 1000 – 2999);
  • Standards for performance audit (ISSAI 3000- 3999);
  • standards for compliance audit (ISSAI 4000 – 4999);
  • specific standards (ISSAI 5000 – 5999);
  • INTOSAI Guidelines for good governance (INTOSAI GOV 9100 – 9299)

The SAO SR conducts audit activities based on yearly plan for the given year. The yearly plan for the given year is based on the tri-annual plan, where strategic goals and audit objectives are set for that period. Besides that, SAO SR is obliged to perform an audit if asked by the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Parliament).

The base for making the activities plan is information and knowledge gained in the past audits, incitements from the State Administration and territorial self-government organs and citizens. The SAO SR President approves the audit plan.

There are three types of audit performed by the SAO SR: compliance, performance and financial audit; audit of information systems and forensic audit being a specific audit type.

An audit is composed of preliminary preparation, audit itself and implementation of audit results.

The goal of the preliminary audit preparation is to gather and analyse fundamental information about the auditee to prepare background papers. The fundamental information is usually secured from publicly accessible information sources, experience and knowledge from previous audits performed by SAO SR and other sources. 
 

An audit is composed of following stages:

  • Audit preparation;
  • Audit performance at the auditee´s;
  • Examination of justification of objections raised by auditee

The audit preparation begins with announcement made to the auditee´s statutory organ or its deputy (this authority has to be produced in writing), and ends in preparing the audit programme and audit method applicable to the given audit.  The audit execution involves the audit itself, and is finished by writing-up a protocol/report about the audit results, or a note on audit results (if no shortcomings were detected). A supplementary protocol/report is written if any changes to it are needed.

The audit execution is finished by discussing the protocol/report results, or by handing over a note about the audit results.

The last stage of audit is implementation of the audit results. The aim of this stage is to work out a report on audit results, announcement about the detected shortcomings, sending the materials to the relevant organs and informing the public in accordance to the Law on SAO SR.
 

Detected shortcomings    

If any shortcoming is detected, SAO SR is obliged to announce it to the organ that acts in the State´s name in connection to the auditee performance – to the superior State Administration organ or organ of the relevant territorial self-government acting in its name in connection to the auditee performance.

The SAO SR can table before the auditee recommendations to eliminate reported shortcomings that were detected in course of applying its mandate.

If physical persons would inhibit the audit proceedings by not abiding the Law on SAO SR, SAO SR can impose a penalty up to 3 319 EUR. While taking decision on applying such penalty, SAO SR acts as central organ of State Administration. Is such process, generally applicable standards/laws on administrative proceedings would apply.           
 

What is/is not within the SAO mandate

Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic:

audits the management of the funds and property of the

  • State;
  • Regional administration units;
  • European Communities and any other foreign funds provided for financing projects on the basis of international treaties

applies its audit competence to the

  • Government of the SR;
  • Ministries;
  • Other State authorities and other State administration authorities;
  • Municipalities;
  • Higher territorial units;
  • Special-purpose State funds;
  • Public law institutions established by law;
  • Legal institutions established by them or with their capital participation;
  • National Property Fund of the SR (NPF SR);
  • Legal entities holding the status of a natural monopoly with the capital participation of NPF SR exceeding 34%, other legal entities with the capital participation of NPF SR of at least 50%;
  • Legal entities carrying out activities in the public interest;
  • Natural persons and legal entities managing the public funds

perform audit based on

  • Resolution of the National Council of the SR;
  • Audit plan of the SAO SR

The audit plan for one and three years is based on

  • Own knowledge, experience and risk analysis;
  • Generalized suggestions from the natural persons and legal entities;
  • Suggestions from the State institutions;
  • International treaties with the other supreme audit institutions;
  • Information published in media

Informs about audit results

  • National Council of the SR;
  • Government of the SR, municipal and upper-tier territorial unit authority;
  • general public

National Council of the Slovak Republic

  • sole entity that, after adopting a resolution in matter, can ask SAO SR to perform an audit;
  • discusses SAO SR annual audit report at its plenary session;
  • discusses SAO SR opinion on the state budget proposal;
  • discusses SAO SR opinion on the final state account

Supreme Audit Office has no competence to:

  • Handle the complaints in general, also consumer related;
  • Change the decisions of Courts or administration authorities;
  • Investigate the suspicion of the crime being committed;
  • Deal with the civic-legal or trade-legal disputes;
  • Deal with the employment related legal disputes;
  • Deal with the personal estate problems including apartments and related services;
  • Control or audit management private firms property management;
  • Control or audit the assessment of the pensions or other welfares;
  • Review the Act on Free Access to Information violation by other public administration authorities