The Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Bulgaria, Croatia and North Macedonia are working towards united and economically strong Balkans, which guarantees prosperity and better life for our citizens, so that we are more motivated and focused on achieving our common goals, declared the President of the Bulgarian National Audit Office Tzvetan Tzvetkov yesterday during the official presentation in Skopje of the second twinning project “Improvement of external audit and Parliamentary oversight“. The project is funded by the European Union.
Beneficiaries of the project are the State Audit Office and the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia. The Bulgarian National Audit Office works on this project as junior partner in consortium with the State Audit Office of Croatia as the leading one. In the first twinning project that the two SAIs jointly implemented for the Republic of North Macedonia, the Bulgarian National Audit Office had the leading partner role.
“The implementation of the new twinning project provides us with the opportunity to continue our cooperation and with joint efforts to turn our Supreme Audit Institutions into modern and strong guardians of the public interest, working effectively for the benefit of the public good,” said President Tzvetkov. “I am convinced that we will manage to achieve long-lasting results, that guarantee compliance with the principles of good governance and transparency of the spending of public funds and thus contribute towards achieving the strategic goal of North Macedonia - accession to the EU“, added the BNAO President.
Ambassador David Geer, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, pointed out that the State Audit Office and the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia have a significant role in monitoring the spending of public funds and welcomed the implementation of the project to the benefit of the citizens.
The approach towards the audit reports should be uniform and objective regardless of the holder of the executive power, with a high level of expertise in reading, understanding and deciding on audit reports, and this should become consistent practice, stated the President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia Talat Xhaferi.
Given that the EU membership is a major priority of the Republic of North Macedonia, the experience of the EU SAIs is essential for ensuring the operational and financial independence of the State Audit Office by strengthening the state audit legal framework, said the Auditor General of the Republic of North Macedonia Maksim Acevski.
The SAI’s important role for improving the public sector accountability was also highlighted by the Deputy Auditor General of the State Audit Office of the Republic of Croatia Neda Rogosic. The State Audit Office of North Macedonia must ensure that its activities add value and have an impact, which is important for the Parliament and the other stakeholders. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure operational, financial and functional independence of the State Audit Office and the Auditor General through appropriate legislation, added the Deputy Auditor General.
The respective Project Leaders – Vyara Angelova from the Bulgarian National Audit Office, Martina Jurjevic from the State Audit Office of the Republic of Croatia and Tanja Janevska from the State Audit Office of the Republic of North Macedonia presented the main parameters of the twinning project, its objectives, tasks and components.
Representatives of the Parliament, the Government, the Prosecutor's Office and the Anti-Corruption Committee of North Macedonia, representatives of the Croatian and Bulgarian Embassies in Skopje as well as Bulgarian, Croatian and Estonian experts also attended the event online.
The budget of the project amounts to 1.5 million euros. The project builds on the recommendations made in the first twinning project - improvement of external audit in North Macedonia and its effectiveness, including through active cooperation between the State Audit Office and the Parliament, and also – continuation of the processes of harmonization of regulations, as well as introduction of information technologies into the audit process. The objective of the project is also to present the best practices of the EU Member States based on the international auditing standards, to develop inter-institutional and international cooperation and effective communication with the Parliament, auditees, NGOs and the public, and ultimately - to contribute to transparency, accountability and better management of public funds.
Video on the Twinning project was also presented during the event. It is available on the YouTube channel of the State Audit Office of the Republic of North Macedonia.