National Audit Office: the Annual Accounts of the state are accurate and its transactions are lawful

Toomas Mattson | 9/10/2009 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 10 September 2009 - The National Audit Office is of the opinion that the state’s Annual Accounts are accurate in all material respects and that the economic transactions included in the sample comply with the State Budget Act and the 2008 State Budget Act.

 Ines Metsalu, the director of the audit from the Financial Audit Department, says that the audits carried out over the last few years have shown positive changes in the organisation of accounting and the legality of transactions at the state level.
“Certain problems rear their heads every year,” she explained. “We’re still seeing a tendency for fewer mistakes to be found in accounting and more in the legality of transactions, mostly to do with the State Budget Act and the Public Procurement Act, and in the way the internal auditing systems of state agencies operate.”
The National Audit Office has repeatedly stated that accounting in the central authorities of ministries is largely in order, but that there remain shortcomings in agencies within their areas of government and that the level of accounting in these agencies is irregular.
The audits carried out by the National Audit Office have shown that the cause of the problem is often the fact that the chief accountants in ministries do not focus sufficient attention on providing the accountants in the agencies under them with guidance, on establishing common principles of accounting and on monitoring the accounting in agencies where required. The consolidated annual report of a ministry can only be accurate, however, if accounting is in order throughout the area of government, not just within the ministry itself.
In the course of the audits the National Audit Office stated that although the number of errors being detected in accounting is falling, there remain shortcomings in the rules of internal procedural of accounting of ministries and their agencies, which form the central element of the internal auditing system in ensuring the commonality and consistency of accounting principles. There also continue to be problems with asset investment. Inventory is another key element in the internal auditing system: it reduces a number of risks, and its organisation, in general, does not demand in-depth professional knowledge. All it requires is a conscientious approach, which is why there is no excuse for carrying out inventories in a superficial manner.
The National Audit Office also again detected use of budgetary resources for purposes other than those intended and breaches of the Public Procurement Act, but the number of such breaches has begun to decrease.
In regard to the manner of presentation of the state’s consolidated annual report the National Audit Office has made a number of recommendations to the Ministry of Finance which it feels should contribute to rendering the report more user-friendly. The National Audit Office has also proposed ways of more accurately assessing tax claims and more precisely monitoring the obligations assumed by local governments.


Toomas Mattson
Communication Manager of National Audit Office
Telephone: 6400 777
Mob: 51 34900
E-mail: toomas.mattson@riigikontroll.ee

  • Posted: 9/10/2009 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 8/28/2015 9:06 PM
  • Last Review: 8/28/2015 9:06 PM

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