The Spanish Court of Audit as an associate member of OLACEFS
The Court is an associate member of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS), Regional Working Group of INTOSAI, having joined as an adherent member at the 1988 General Assembly of the Latin American Institute of Auditing Sciences (ILACIF), OLACEFS former name.
OLACEFS has 22 full members and 28 associate members.
Currently, as an associate member of OLACEFS, the Court of Audit is entitled to the speaking right in the technical and administrative plenary sessions of the General Assemblies, as well as in the administrative plenary sessions of the Governing Board.
The Court of Audit attends OLACEFS annual General Assemblies regularly. This is the Organization’s highest authority which sets the overall policy of the Organization and promotes the achievement of its objectives. In addition to this, during the General Assembly the main financial (budget approval and setting of members’ contributions, among others), structural and organizational decisions are made.
Within the framework of the initiatives promoted by OLACEFS, the Court of Audit has taken part in a coordinated audit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which seeks to assess the effectiveness of governments in the process of implementing the Sustainable Development Goal linked to gender equality (SDG5). As a result of the participation of the Spanish Court of Audit, this is OLACEFS’s first transcontinental coordinated audit. The main conclusions and recommendations resulting from the audit reports of all participating SAIs, including those of the Spanish Court of Audit’s performance audit report on the preparation for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals with a gender focus (ODS5), will be included in a joint report.
Relations with other Supreme Audit Institutions
Bilateral cooperation agreements
The Court of Audit signs collaboration agreements with SAIs of other countries, as well as with Regional Audit Institutions. Different activities are carried out through these agreements: training and development; exchange of experts; or joint research projects, including technical assistances that, in addition to training activities, involve collaborations to complete diagnosis reports or even the assistance in conducting audits.
Following the signature in 2018 of the corresponding bilateral cooperation agreements, the Court of Audit is currently collaborating with the General Comptroller of the State of the Republic of Ecuador and with the Court of Audit of the Republic of El Salvador with the purpose of promoting technical cooperation relations with both institutions, mainly in the jurisdictional field. This last agreement is being developed in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID).
Twinning Projects are those financed by European Union funds aimed at strengthening the institutions of the candidate countries, acceding countries or those with preferential agreements with the EU.
The Court of Audit has participated in numerous twinning projects with SAIs of different countries since 2002, sometimes in collaboration with other European SAIs (as "junior partner" or "leader"), and other times individually.
Twinning projects are always of variable duration and require the designation of a project leader appointed by the leading partner, in charge of overseeing the project’s completion, and of a resident expert coordinating actions from the headquarters of the beneficiary, and who is normally a civil servant of the SAI leading the project.
The actual implementation of the twinning project is carried out by short-term experts, who spend time working at the assisted institution to perform the corresponding activities: training and development courses, workshops, design of regulations and/or audit programmes, etc.
The Court of Audit has recently taken part in two twinning projects which benefited the SAIs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (project completed in 2015) and of the Republic of Moldova (project completed in 2016).
Other bilateral activities
The Court of Audit carries out various international activities throughout the year, among which the following may be mentioned:
External Audit of International Organizations and other related activities
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
In April 2013, the OSCE Permanent Council appointed the Court of Audit as the external auditor of its financial statements for 2016, 2017 and 2018 financial years, replacing the Bundesrechnungshof (German SAI) in this mission. The audit mandate of the Court of Audit officially started in May 2016.The Court of Audit has so far completed the audit of the financial statements of the OSCE corresponding to 2016 and 2017 financial years. In the following links you can consult the reports of the External Auditor of each of these fiscal years, which are published together with the corresponding Financial Report and Financial Statements.
The mechanism for financing military operations of the European Union (ATHENA)
Since 2011 the Court of Audit has been participating in the activities of the College of Auditors of Athena, a mechanism created in 2014 by a Decision of the Council of the European Union (EU) to manage the financing of the costs arising from EU operations with military or defence impact. The College of Auditors, composed of six members, conducts every year an annual audit of the financial statements of the mechanism. The result of the audit is recorded in an audit report whose final drafting and signature take place at the headquarters of one of the members, having taken place in 2018 at the main headquarters of this Court.
Joint Organization for Co-operation on Armaments (OCCAR)
The Court of Audit is part of the Board of Auditors of OCCAR, which is composed of one representative from each Member State of the Organisation, and whose function is the financial audit of the accounts of the Organisation, as well as the control of the effectiveness, economy and efficiency in the management of funds and in the systems of internal control and management and administration of the armament programs, such as the A400M aircraft, the Tiger helicopter or the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), recently incorporated into the Organisation and in whose design and development Spain is participating.
European Fighter Aircraft EF-2000 (EUROFIGHTER)
The Court of Audit carries out audits in the scope of the national participation in the European Fighter Aircraft (Eurofighter) project, with field work and information gathering developed at the NETMA Agency in Munich (Germany) - coinciding with the audit of the International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN), which is responsible for the audit of the global project, and taking part in the annual meeting of the SAIs of the other countries that promote the Project (Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom).
International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN)
In addition to the collaboration with IBAN in the abovementioned external audit of the EF-2000 project, the Court of Audit collaborates with the International Board of Auditors for NATO by means of regular meetings and its participation in working groups.
College of Auditors of the European Defence Agency (EDA)
The Court of Audit has a permanent member at the International College of Auditors of the European Defence Agency (EDA), which is under the EU Council.
The College of Auditors of EDA is composed of three auditors from three participating member states. At the end of each financial year, an external audit is carried out on the expenditure of both, the working budget and the operational budget, and on the revenue administered by the Agency. The financial audit work is performed at EDA's headquarters in Brussels, where the final Audit Report is presented.
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL)
Between 2013 and 2017, the Court of Audit was part of the EUROCONTROL Audit Board, an intergovernmental Organization set up in 1960 that brings together 41 Member States with the aim of coordinating the safety of air navigation in Europe by improving air traffic control systems. This Board is composed of six members, each of them from a Member State of EUROCONTROL, with a four-year term. Each year the Board raises a report to the EUROCONTROL Commission which, on the basis of audit reports prepared by private auditors, presents its audit opinion on the annual accounts as well as other reports with the results of the operational audits carried out.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
The Spanish Court of Audit has carried out in the past the external audit of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PAHO’s Directing Council, at its 51st session, agreed to appoint the Spanish Court of Audit as External Auditor of the Organization for the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 biennia. This mandate was renewed for a period of two years, being extended to the biennium 2016-2017.
The objective of the external audit was not only to verify the representativeness of PAHO’s financial statements and the fulfilment of its financial regulations in each of the aforementioned fiscal years, but also to analyse the management of the Organization from the perspective of compliance with the principles of sound financial management.
The results of the audit works of each fiscal year culminated with the issue of the Audit Opinion on PAHO’s consolidated financial statements and the Long Form Audit Report. In the following links you can access those documents, which are published jointly with PAHO’s Financial Report:
In addition to the above, the Court of Audit issued other reports to the Director of PAHO, which are not public, with recommendations for improving the management of the Organization.
Additionally, in its status as PAHO’s External Auditor, the Court of Audit was invited to participate as Observer in the meetings of the Technical Group of the Panel of Auditors of the United Nations, which is a group formed by the audit Institutions that have been entrusted with the audit of the Bodies and Agencies of the United Nations.