Legal framework

Historical collections

The legal regime for the Court of Auditors is recorded in the first place in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, whose Article 136 provides:

  • The Court of Auditors is the supreme body in charge of auditing State accounts and financial management, as well as those of the public sector. It will report directly to the Spanish Parliament and shall perform its duties by delegating them in the review and acknowledgement of the General State Accounts.
  • The accounts of the State and of the State public sector shall be submitted to the Court of Auditors and shall be audited by the latter. The Court of Auditors, subject to its jurisdiction, shall forward  an annual report to the Spanish Parliament where appropriate containing communication regarding violations or liabilities incurred, according to its view. 
  • The members of the Court of Auditors shall have the same independence and tenure and shall be subject to the same incompatibilities as judges. 
  • An organic law shall regulate the composition, organization and functions of the Court of Auditors.

 

Article 153 of the Constitution provides that control of the activity of the bodies of the Autonomous Regions shall be exercised:

d. By the Court of Auditors, both the economic and budgetary control.

 

By constitutional mandate, the Organic Law 2/1982 of 12 May of the Court of Auditors was enacted.  Here a reference for developing a subsequent law, which was approved by Law 7/1988 of 5 April on Functioning of the Court of Auditors, was done.

In addition to the legislation of the Court of Auditors, other provisions have been enacted containing foresights regarding the audit function of the Court.  Particularly notable is the regulation included in the Organic Law 8/2007 of 4 July on Financing of Political Parties, which conferred on the Court of Auditors the audit of the financial-economic activity and regular accounting of political parties; and the Organic Law 5/1985, of 19 June, on the General Electoral System, which gives the Court the power to supervise the electoral accounts of political parties, except in the elections to the Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Regions, where this task corresponds to the respective Regional External Control Authority in those Communities where such Authority exists.

Specific powers of the Court of Auditors are indicated in other provisions, such as Law 22/2001 of 27 December, regulating Interregional Compensation Funds the Law on Local Public Finance, whose revised text was approved by Royal Legislative Decree 2/2004 of 5 March or the Basic Law 4/2014, of April 1, of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation

The eleventh additional provision to Law 7/1988, of 5 April, on the Functioning of the Court of Auditors, added by article 22.2 of Law 15/2014, of 16 September, on rationalisation of the public sector and other measures of administrative reform, has ruled a limited advisory function, in virtue of which preliminary draft laws and draft regulations related to its legal status or to the exercise of its audit or jurisdictional functions must undergo a report of the Court of Auditors.