Auditors must be drivers of change in the public sector, says Bulgarian audit office


Recommendations by auditors must lead to real reforms and improvements in the effectiveness of public institutions, the head of the Bulgarian national audit office has said while attending a conference in Luxembourg.

“Nowadays we focus more on performance audits because spending programmes may comply with the law but bring no real benefit,” said Tzvetan Tzvetkov, the President of the Bulgarian National Audit Office. “Our recommendations must lead to real reforms and all the EU audit institutions need to share in the common cause of better public sector accountability to rebuild European citizens’ trust. More than 13 centuries ago, the Bulgarian ruler Khan Kubrat gathered his sons before his death and showed them a bundle of sticks that could not be broken. Individually, however, he managed to break each of them. Thus he showed them that they should travel together on their road.”

Mr Tzvetkov was speaking in Luxembourg at a high-level international conference of auditors marking the 40th anniversary of the European Court of Auditors.
“Citizens’ trust in public finances can only be strengthened if they see that every euro spent at EU level brings clear added value”, emphasised Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors. “For our part, we are determined to remain an independent voice that acknowledges successes and gives credit when things go well, but is not afraid to speak out inconvenient truths.”

The European Court of Auditors was established by the Treaty of Brussels of 22 July 1975 and started work on 18 October 1977.  Its Members held their first meeting on 25 October of the same year.

The Contact Committee of the Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of the European Union and the European Court of Auditors meets annually to discuss matters of common interest focused around EU policy and financial management issues, and to agree, as needed, on joint activities when these can achieve greater impact.

This year’s Contact Committee meeting is being hosted by the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg on 12-13 October 2017. The main focus of discussion is whether SAIs can contribute to restoring the trust of EU citizens. The meeting includes a review of the current state of the EU and the reasons for which citizens seem to be losing trust, followed by sessions on the role of SAIs in the EU, innovative audit products and forms of communication with stakeholders.

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