A considerable growth of citizens’ confidence in the BNAO audits – by 18% compared to 2016 and reaching 55% today – shows a representative study of Alpha Research on the public’s awareness of the BNAO’s work, as well as its confidence and expectations towards the institution. The confidence of the audited entities has also grown – by 7% compared to 2016 and now reaching 91.3% of respondents who have answered with a definitive “yes” or rather positively.
In the 6 years following the first sociological survey on the attitudes towards the institution (2016), Alpha Research has seen an improvement in the ratings in almost all key areas, pointed out Alpha Research’s manager Ms. Boriana Dimitrova when she presented the study to the BNAO management and employees. She added that the evaluations and conclusion were made during a crisis year, but nevertheless, Bulgaria has functioning and stable institutions, such as the National Audit Office, which enjoy public and professional confidence.
The survey, which is in line with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions, covers almost 1000 citizens and 80 entities that are subject to BNAO audits – ministries, state agencies and commissions, universities, political parties, public enterprises, regional administrations and municipalities.
The BNAO’s recognition rate among citizens has risen, which has a direct reflection on its positive image. The awareness of the institution’s activities has grown by 9%, which has brought it from fourth to third place compared to 2016. The National Revenue Agency and the Bulgarian National Bank take the first two places based on this indicator, but with similar ratings, while the other control institutions are considerably lagging behind.
Citizens know more on what the BNAO audits, compared to 2016, citing the state budget first, followed by state-owned enterprises and commercial entities, municipalities, ministries and political parties. Almost half of the respondents would like to hear more often about the results of the BNAO’s work and would wish for more punitive sanctions in case of illegal and inefficient budget spending. Citizens would also like to see more audits of state-owned enterprises in the area of justice, social policy, local development and education.
The surveyed public entities have given a very positive evaluation of their interaction with the BNAO teams and of the institution’s audit reports. 80 – 90% of respondents believe the reports are distinguished by “completeness”, “objectivity” and “ persuasiveness”. “Good communication with the audit teams” has been highlighted in response to an open question as one of the great assets of the National Audit Office. As a result, its work has received the highest ranking (88%) compared to the other audit and control institutions, giving it a lead of more than 20 percentage points.
The top three qualities characterizing the BNAO are its professionalism (87%), independence (71%) and transparency (59%). Almost 80% of respondents believe that the BNAO’s control function is “completely objective and unbiased”.
The majority of respondents (almost 70%) are confident that the institution’s financial independence is a prerequisite for ensuring its objective and unbiased functioning.
The audited entities suggest publishing the most common cases and irregularities encountered by the audit teams.
Today, 142 years since its establishment back in 1880, the National Audit Office celebrates its professional holiday. Traditionally, on this day it will give away prizes as a reward to some of its employees for their professionalism, as well as to its partners, paving the way for cooperation with relevant organizations, institutions and universities.