Foreign SAIs Shared Jurisdictional Expertise with the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation
On February 11, 2021, a multilateral seminar for the Best Practices of SAIs with Jurisdictional Powers was held via video conference to feature presentations by the SAIs Brazil, France, Portugal and Turkey.
The participants considered the specific nature of the activities that jurisdictional SAIs perform and the constraints they face; examined the forms and the objects of sanctions as may be imposed by the SAI; and shared their experience in the fight against corruption.
Tatiana Blinova, an auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, noted in her welcoming address that the SAI Russia has no jurisdictional competences. Nevertheless, upon completion of its control and expert-analytical engagements, it informs the audited entities about the fiscal enforcement actions taken in order to rectify the faults that may be detected. Where a crime is discovered, the audit facts and related documents will be submitted to law enforcement agencies and also to the prosecutor's office.
“A SAI is a living organism. We are constantly evolving. Our competences, functions and missions do not remain unchanged. So, being in touch with each other and making each other aware of the multiple formats, methods and developments that we employ in our activities is of great importance to us. Those approaches that you apply in your respective countries are quite diverse and, therefore, I hope that our discussion will be fruitful and beneficial to all of us,”
— stated Tatiana Blinova.
During the seminar presentations were made by:
- Rémi Frentz, Director of International Relations, Cour des comptes, France (SAIs with Jurisdictional Powers and Fight against Corruption);
- Gilles Miller, Senior Advisor, President of the Jurisdictional Section, Cour des comptes, France (SAIs with Jurisdictional Competences: peculiarities of work during the pandemic);
- Paulo Nogueira da Costa, Director General, Tribunal de Contas, Portugal (Jurisdictional SAIs: Strengths and Opportunities (Role of INTOSAI P-50 Principles);
- Alberto Leite Câmara, Head of the Division of Data Analysis Products Development for Government Audit, Tribunal de Contas, Brazil (Data Analytics and AI against Fraud and Corruption in Brazil);
- Fatma Betül Ceylan, Judge of the Turkish Court of Accounts (Impacts of Jurisdictional Powers Performed by the Turkish SAI).
Whithin his presentation, Rémi Frentz, Director of International Relations, the French Cour des comptes (the world’s oldest jurisdictional SAI), noted that SAIs were not created specifically to fight against fraud and corruption. However, one of their fundamental missions is to ensure the accountability of public officials and servants.
“When SAIs have jurisdictional functions, it makes easier for them to impose sanctions against individuals. To do this, the French Cour des comptes is staffed with judges and prosecutors”,
— Rémi Frentz emphasized.
Paulo Costa, Director General, the Portuguese Tribunal de Contas , highlighted during his presentation that until recently SAIs with jurisdictional powers had been treated by the professional community as highly unusual and obscure. This was the reason for the introduction of a special international standard INTOSAI P-50 establishing twelve fundamental principles, which strengthens the legality and professional authority of jurisdictional SAIs.
“Judicial arrangements do have an undeniable potential; however, we need to have a strong and effective jurisdictional power, a holistic legal framework and an enhanced cooperation among audit institutions. These can be achieved with the principles of INTOSAI P-50,”
— Paulo Costa said.
In his turn, Alberto Câmara, Head of the Division of Data Analysis Products Development for Government Audit, Tribunal de Contas, Brazil, focused on data analytics and artificial intelligence and said that digital platforms could help monitoring government spendings and send automated notifications to auditors to inform them about malpractices and violations.
Turkish colleagues also shared their experience during the seminar. Representatives from the SAIs Italy and Spain contributed to the discussion with their comments. The seminar attendees also included more than 50 representatives from regional and local audit institutions of the Russian Federation.