According to the Constitution, each year the Auditor General submits to the Riigikogu an overview of the use and preservation of state assets in the previous budgetary year. Each autumn the Auditor General supplements this analytical report summarising a year of work by giving a speech before the Parliament and replying to the questions of members of the Parliament.
Since it is has not been defined anywhere what an annual overview should be like, its contents and structure have varied since 1992, depending on the development of the state as well as the National Audit Office over time and the focus of the Auditors General that have led the National Audit Office.
In the 1990s the written report submitted to the Riigikogu focused on the characteristics of the state assets and in the audit results of single institutions, but as of 1999 the emphasis has been on the reasonableness, successfulness and effectiveness of the state's financial management and administration. In recent years the overview has, in addition to an analysis of general issues, also included summaries of the main performance audits completed during the year.
In addition to the written overview the Auditor General also holds a speech of up to 30 minutes in front of the Riigikogu each autumn, discussing in general five to six problems that are currently of the greatest importance from the point of view of the effectiveness of the functioning of the state and prudent use of the taxpayer’s money. Each member of the Parliament can ask questions from the Auditor General and from time to time this opportunity is seized.
In the pre-war Republic of Estonia the National Audit Office also submitted to the Riigikogu a report summarising a year’s work. The report was called the Red Book based on the colour of its cover. The National Audit Office has continued the former tradition: the printed overview has a red cover. In the first period of independence the Auditor General did not use to make a speech before the Parliament to summarise the year.
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