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6 April 2018

In order to ensure the principles of openness and transparency provided for by the Law on the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, as well as to implement the mechanism by which the public could submit proposals for the audit plan, the supervising authority is making active efforts to involve citizens in its audit activities.

Last year, the Accounts Chamber has considered 2764 complaints, applications, petitions and proposals from citizens received through the public reception office, which is 15% more than in 2016. The information from petitions was taken into account when carrying out control and expert-analytical activities.

In particular, audit branches of the Accounts Chamber have examined materials of 21 petitions of citizens in the framework of the implementation of the control measures plan. The facts stated in the petitions were confirmed in 4 cases. For example, violations were detected in the course of audit of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post in August-December, 2017 under the petition for examining the efficiency of budget funds use by Russian Post.

In 2018, in the framework of the implementation of the control measures plan, it is intended to use information of 14 petitions of citizens. In particular, the information on possible violations when spending funds allocated for the maintenance of marine mammals, when reforming the hunting control and supervision service in the Komi Republic, as well as when reconstructing the student dormitory of the Moscow Academy of Water Transport will be considered. The main control measures with the use of information from citizens will be taken as part of the audit of the federal budget execution for the year 2017.

Public polls that the Accounts Chamber has been regularly conducting since 2016 have become another important tool of citizens involvement in the participation in control activities.

Polls are conducted to determine the most "urgent" topics for the society, to determine the auditees on the basis of the received results, as well as to obtain information from the society about the change of the situation in the relevant areas that have already been affected by the control activities.

During 2017, 25 public polls were conducted on the quality of the performance by the auditees of state functions and the provision of services to the public, the results of which were used by the Accounts Chamber when planning and conducting 32 control and expert-analytical activities, the objects of which were 47 state bodies and organizations.

5 April 2018

The Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Kyrgyzstan have entered into the Agreement on Cooperation and approved the 2019-2020 Program of Cooperation. The instruments were signed by Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, and Ulukbek Maripov, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of Kyrgyzstan.

The parties undertake under the Agreement to share best practices and run joint research projects, cooperate in the field of vocational education and professional development, share information and reference materials and interact in the vein of the Eurasian Economic Union within the framework of multilateral joint supervision activities.

Tatyana Golikova said in her welcome speech that the two countries cooperated on a wide range of audit issues, including in the context of co-joint audits. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber expressed her confidence that the parties would start discussing new plans for their cooperative activities after the signing. “We will certainly strive to implement all clauses of the agreement; I mean seminars, round tables, and training. Nevertheless, taking into consideration our experience in cooperative audits, I hope we will define new inspection agenda as the most effective professional development is where the parties work as team,” said Tatyana Golikova.

Ulukbek Maripov said in turn that he saw the Russian Accounts Chamber as a strategic partner: “Indeed, not only our agencies, but also our countries cooperate closely. We receive a great deal of support from Russia, our great friend. And we would like to always maintain good and fruitful relationships, both on a bilateral and on a multilateral basis.”

The representative of Kyrgyzstan invited the delegation of the Russian Accounts Chamber to attend the next SCO meeting in Bishkek. In turn, Tatyana Golikova asked her Kyrgyz colleagues to take part in the preparations for the 23d INCOSAI to be held in Moscow next year. “I hope that the Kyrgyz SAI as a member of INTOSAI will join our work on the forthcoming INCOSAI agenda and share their expertise and achievements,” said Tatyana Golikova.

2 April 2018

Within the framework of the Program of Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Azerbaijan, a bilateral Russian-Azerbaijani training seminar on budget process, methodology, public relations and informatization was held in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Andrey Bazin, Director of the External Relations Department of the Accounts Chamber spoke at the opening ceremony.

Welcoming the participants of the seminar on behalf of the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova, Andrei Bazin noted the high level of cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Azerbaijan, both bilateral and in the international organizations - INTOSAI, EUROSAI, ASOSAI and the CIS Council of Heads of SAI. He added: "For more than 15 years our cooperation has been successfully and steadily developing under the general political course of the bilateral relations between our states and the potential for our cooperation has not been exhausted yet."

Andrey Bazin also thanked his Azerbaijani colleagues for their active participation in the work of the special expert group formed to study the themes of the XXIII INTOSAI Congress to be held in 2019 in Moscow.

During the seminar, the parties exchanged experience in auditing the state budget, discussed national peculiarities of drawing up conclusions and reports.

The Azerbaijani specialists got acquainted with the main methods of obtaining and processing information used by the Accounts Chamber of Russia, studied the possibilities of the unique remote audit information system that allows Russian specialists to conduct auditing activities without visiting the inspected sites.

Issues related to reporting audit findings to the public were also raised in the discussions. Participants studied the main forms of presenting information and the potential risks associated with its provision.

27 March 2018

Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, held a meeting with Levon Yolyan, Chairman of the Control Chamber of the Republic of Armenia.

The Head of the Russian Accounts Chamber congratulated Levon Yolyan on his appointment as the Chairman of the Armenia’s Control Chamber and wished him success in accomplishing the tasks his agency is faced with.

During the meeting, the parties highly appreciated the level of development of interagency relationships between the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in Russia and Armenia, which have been beneficially cooperating for many years, not only bilaterally, but also within the framework of international audit organizations and the Eurasian integration processes.

At the same time, the parties were unanimous in their opinion that the new challenges of our time and the active development of interstate relationships dictate that supreme audit institutions should apply new formats of cooperation. "The dynamic progress in the political dialogue between Russia and Armenia and the increasing fields of interstate cooperation enable us to set up new areas for our cooperation," said Tatyana Golikova.

The joint audit of the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University will be one of the first steps in this direction. "The supervisory agencies of Russia and Armenia will conduct joint audit for the first time over many years. It shows a high level of openness and trust between the SAIs in our countries," Tatyana Golikova noted.

The parties also agreed to cooperate and share best practices in IT development and application. Tatyana Golikova told her colleagues about the latest IT innovations used in the activities of the Russian Accounts Chamber. The Armenian delegation showed a special interest in the information and analytical system for remote external public audit/control. They had an opportunity to explore its capabilities in more detail at a later stage, during the working meeting on the exchange of best practices in the use of information and communication technologies in auditing.

The meeting was focused on the preparation for the 23rd INCOSAI to be held in 2019 in Moscow. Tatyana Golikova thanked Levon Yolyan for the active stand of the Armenian SAI representatives who assisted the Russian Accounts Chamber to finalize the Congress agenda within the Expert Task Group. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber also invited her colleague to take part in the meeting of the SAI chairs involved in the preparation of the Congress agenda to be held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

In addition, Tatyana Golikova thanked her Armenian colleagues for their active participation in the activities of INTOSAI Working Groups on Public Procurement Audit (WGPPA) and Key National Indicators (WGKNI).

Following the meeting, the parties signed an updated version of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Armenia to support the arrangements made. "This is a very significant document and it will be of crucial importance for the development of our bilateral cooperation and enable us to reach a new qualitative level of our joint work," the Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber said after the signing.

6 March 2018

In preparation for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress, which will be held in September 2019 in Moscow, the first kickoff meeting of the Expert Group formed to study Theme II of the Congress "The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals"* took place in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.

The meeting was attended through video conference by representatives of the Supreme Audit Institutions and audit organizations from 16 countries. **

The participants identified six key areas for discussion under the main theme (1. Advisory activity; 2. Strategic audit; 3. Information and analysis in the activities of the Supreme Audit Institutions; 4. Risk management; 5. Information transparency; 6. New communication strategy), and also agreed the work schedule for the preparation of the Basic Document on Theme II. It is expected that the Basic Document will be posted on the Congress website in May 2019. According to the schedule, the draft Basic Document will be prepared by the end of March 2018, and then sent to the group participants for consideration and making comments and suggestions. It is planned to engage external experts to work on the preparation of the Document, including representatives of international organizations (UN, OECD, etc.). Next meeting of the group is scheduled for late May 2018.

* The meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board, that took place in Gratz, Austria, in November, 2017 adopted the following main themes for the Congress:

- Theme I “Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration" (under the chairmanship of the SAI of China);

- Theme II: "The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals" (under the chairmanship of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).

** Austria, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, USA, South Africa.

22 February 2018

In preparation for INCOSAI XXIII that will be held in September 2019 in Moscow, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, as the host of the Congress, is now engaged in an active organizational and substantive work.

They expert groups with a view to work out the Congress themes are currently at the final stage of organization, while the groups are to include representatives of a variety of regional audit organizations and supreme audit institutions (SAI).

As part of this work, a facilitation meeting was held in January 2018 in Vienna (the Republic of Austria), which involved the experts from the INTOSAI General Secretariat, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the SAI of the People's Republic of China. During the event organizational issues, including coordination of the activities to be run by the Congress thematic chairpersons* and the timeframe for preparing the Congress thematic materials have been discussed.

In addition, a video conference was held in February 2018 to talk with the experts of China’s SAI on developing the Congress themes. Such meetings are to take place regularly.

* The meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board held in November 2017 in Graz (Austria) approved the following Congress themes:

- Theme I: Information Technologies for the Development of the Public Administration (to be chaired by SAI of the People's Republic of China);

- Theme II: The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in the Achievement of the National Priorities and Goals (to be chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).

14 February 2018

The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has held a bilateral seminar under an international cooperation program to share expertise in auditing major road management investment projects.

Tatyana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, came up with a welcome speech at the opening of the seminar.

The head of the Russian accounting institution expressed strong approval of the development of bilateral relations between the supreme auditing agencies of Russia and Slovakia, noting their openness and trustworthiness. At the same time, she pointed out that in conditions of intense development of trading and economic cooperation of the two countries, the supreme auditing agencies face the need for further progress of interdepartmental efforts. “We’ have much to think about in terms of joint or side-by-side work in monitoring the implementation of large-scale interstate projects envisioned by the Russo-Slovakian cooperation program, including in the fields of power efficiency and conservation, oil and gas production, pharmacy, transportation and other industries,” said Tatyana Golikova.

In her speech, the head of the Russian accounting institution paid special attention to issues related to preparation and conduct of the INTOSAI XXIII Congress due to be held in Moscow in 2019. For instance, Tatyana Golikova proposed that Slovakian colleagues consider the possibility of cooperation in formulating the Congress agenda, including through participation in the Working Group established by the Russian Accounting Chamber for preparation of the Congress’s documents.

Concluding her speech, Tatyana Golikova wished fruitful work to the seminar participants and expressed confidence that its results will further enhance the cooperation between the supervising agencies of Russia and Slovakia.

         In the course of the seminar, the parties have exchanged expertise in auditing major road management investment projects. In particular, the Russian and Slovakian experts have been introduced to the national methods and techniques used in checks and verifications and discussed major problems of auditing in this area and how to address them.

The seminar was attended by the representatives of the two countries’ supervising agencies, including Valery Bogomolov, the Auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, Igor Shulay, Vice-President of the Slovak Republic Supreme Supervision Chamber, directors of dedicated departments, and officers of inspectorates

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1 December 2017

The Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan held a regular joint meeting of the Collegium via videoconference.

The meeting summarized the results of the 2016 inspection of compliance by the competent authorities of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation with the Protocol on the Procedure for Crediting and Distribution of Import Customs Duties (Other Duties, Taxes and Charges of Equivalent Effect) and their transfer to the budgets of the EAEU Member States.

According to Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, giving a welcoming speech at the opening session, the Eurasian Economic Union is a successfully developing integrated entity. “We note the positive dynamics of economic growth of our countries. This year, the total GDP of the Union increased by 1.8% percent,” she said.

The head of the Russian Audit Institution also gave a high evaluation of the activities of Supreme Audit Institutions in the framework of the EAEU. “Our cooperation can be described as effective and productive. We have accumulated considerable experience in carrying out joint control activities and continue to improve our interaction. Thus, in the interests of providing prompt solution to all issues, a working group was established from among specialists of our departments directly involved in the inspections,” reported Tatyana Golikova.

The reports to the Board were made by the representatives of audit institutions of the five countries.

The parties were unanimous in their assessment of the inspection results, noting that in 2016 the competent authorities of the EAEU member countries generally ensured compliance with the procedure of distribution of import customs duties. Import duties are distributed in accordance with the established values* for each Party.

The total amount of import duties received by the budgets of the Parties in 2016 amounted to USD 9.8 billion. Compared with 2015, there has been an overall decrease in the amount of credited import duties by USD 782,7 million or 7.4%.

In 2016, the import customs duties in the Russian Federation amounted to RUB 570 billion, in the Republic of Armenia they totaled AMD 33.5 billion, in the Republic of Belarus – BYN 974,5 million, in the Republic of Kazakhstan – KZT 190,2 billion, in the Kyrgyz Republic – KGS 12.1 billion.

However, the results of the inspection indicate the persistence of a number of issues that Supreme Audit Institutions have already noted following the previous inspections.

One of them is the lack of a working system of information and technical support for the overall processes of the Union in the field of customs. The inspection has shown that, despite the adoption of the technical documents regulating information exchange between the central customs authorities using a common process of integrated information system for the foreign and mutual trade, the work on the implementation of measures provided for therein and the introduction of the overall process has not been organized. As a result, the exchange of information between the central customs authorities has not been implemented yet. As the representative of the Eurasian economic Commission, who also attended the joint meeting, explained, the information subsystems are currently being finalized and configured and the final introduction of the information process is scheduled for the end of 2018.

Moreover, the member countries have not yet adopted the Agreement regarding the procedure for conducting joint audits by the SAI on the issues of compliance with the procedure for crediting and distribution of import customs duties and their transfer to the budgets of the EAEU member states.

In addition, the inspection has once again revealed the problematic issues related to the distribution of import customs duties for which the obligation to pay arose on September 1, 2010.

In particular, in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the import duties on goods imported by organizations operating in the field of mineral resources management were being credited to a undistributable account during the period from 2014 to 2016, after September 1, 2010. Taking into account the result of consideration of the claim submitted by Kazakhstan in the EAEU Court, the competent authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan were requested to take measures to comply with the provisions of the Protocol in respect of such import duties.

Following the meeting, the Board resolved to submit the inspection report to the governments of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, the inspection report will be sent to the Chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Zhogorku Kenesh (the Supreme Council) of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

7 November 2017

The delegation of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation headed by Tatyana Golikova, Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber, participated in the 70th meeting of the Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which was held in Graz (Austria).

The event was attended by representatives of Supreme Audit Institutions from 21 countries.

In her speech at the meeting, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation touched upon the issues of organizing the activities of the international audit community, noted the involvement of INTOSAI members in the discussion of proposals on priority areas of further SAI cooperation and provided information on the preparations for the XXIII International INTOSAI Congress which is scheduled to be held in Moscow in 2019.

48 audit institutions have participated in the elaboration of topic proposals for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress. Upon the results of the inter-institutional cooperation, two main topics have been chosen: “Information Technology in Public Administration Development" (topic I, the Chairman is the Supreme Audit Institution of the People’s Republic of China) and “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Achieving National Priorities and Goals” (topic II, the Chairman is the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).

In her speech, Tatyana Golikova noted that the exchange of good practices on innovative approaches in the field of audit contributes to achieving the main strategic goal of the organization which is updating the system of professional standards, building the capacity of national authorities and strengthening their role in the system of public administration, as well as enhancing the authority of INTOSAI community.

The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber noted that the Chamber has currently been actively working on the organization of the XXIII INTOSAI Congress and that it plans to launch the website of the event by the end of 2017. The importance of the upcoming event is highlighted by attention from the Administration of the Russian President which has created and approved the inter-departmental Organizing Committee composed of representatives of Federal Ministries and departments.

At the end of her speech, Tatyana Golikova has drawn attention of the participants to the extensive experience of Russia in organizing large international forums and expressed confidence in the successful holding of such a significant for the global audit community event which will take place in Moscow in 2019.

2 November 2017

The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of audit.

The document was signed by Tatyana Golikova, Chaiworman of the Accounts Chamber, and Mr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Alangari, President of the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The MOU is the first bilateral document signed by the General Auditing Bureau of Saudi Arabia with a supreme audit institution of another country.

The main objective of the Memorandum is development of cooperation between the two countries in the field of financial audit and performance audit within INTOSAI and other regional organizations of which they are members. In accordance with the signed agreement, the parties will implement joint research projects and activities including conducting training programs, organizing round tables and conferences on the relevant topics of financial audit and performance audit.

During the meeting, the participants noted the significance of the first state visit to Russia of His Majesty Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. This historic moment, as was the general opinion of both parties, will serve as an impetus for the development of the entire complex of interstate relations and, first and foremost, will affect trade and economic relations of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

During the meeting, participants also confirmed their readiness to exchange good practices in fields of mutual interest, including the activities of the two control agencies in the international INTOSAI community.

“We would like to invite you to cooperate in the framework of the INTOSAI Committee on Goal 3. As you know, we head two working groups on public procurement and on key national indicators, and we would like to invite the specialists of your country to participate in the work of these groups,” addressed her Saudi colleagues Tatyana Golikova.

In turn, Mr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Alangari expressed hope that the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation will head INTOSAI in 2019. “We, the General Auditing Bureau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are looking forward to this along with all of our international community – I mean the Supreme Audit Institutions. This will enable us to cooperate closely and to have the opportunity to offer our experience in this important international organization,” - said Mr. Alangari.

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the parties exchanged kind wishes and expressed confidence in the success of further professional cooperation.

5 September 2017

In order to provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the national Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), it is necessary to implement unified regulations and result planning procedures for the public audit and control activities. This statement was made by Tatiana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, during her speech at the XVII Council Session of the Supreme Audit Institutions Heads from the member-countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Tatiana Golikova stated that there are already international accounting and financial reporting standards in legal force, but unfortunately no approved documents for unified standards of accounting and reporting in the areas of public audit and control activities. "Mostly identical facts of audit are reflected in different ways by the auditing and controlling bodies, such as the budget expenditures and the monetary assessment of the irregularities identified," noted the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber.

Tatiana Golikova also mentioned to the session participants that the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation always submits an annual report to the national parliament, which contains, among other things, a detailed analysis of quantitative data on the key performance indicators of the supervisory institution. "In its performance report the Accounts Chamber uses the main performance indicators which can also be used as key indicators of performance for SAI," said the Chairwoman.

In the annual activities report, the Accounts Chamber first directs its attention to the increase in the total amount of reported irregularities and deficiencies during the transfers and usage of the budget as a result of monitoring and expert-analytical activities, and to the reduction of budgetary resources, with signs of untargeted and inefficient use of federal and other resources. "Just in 2016, 145.6 million RUR had been returned to the Russian budget during the control activities of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, which is 4.9 times more than in 2015," explained Tatiana Golikova.

In 2016, in accordance with range of its powers and responsibilities, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has sent out 434 submissions and prescriptions (and 352 in 2015). 131 control measure submissions have been directed to the prosecuting authorities, preliminary investigation bodies and state security agencies. As a result of the measures taken by the Public Prosecutor's Office after submissions from the Accounts Chamber, the country has recovered 142.5 million rubles. (which is 8.5 times more than in 2015). In 2016, the stance of the Accounts Chamber has been fully taken into account in the 126 final draft legal acts, and has been partly applied to the 98 final draft legal acts. Also, the control over the implementation of the audit results as well as the number of decisions taken as a result of control activities, are the criteria for evaluating the performance of the Accounts Chamber.

"If performance indicators are accepted and approved, there will be a need for a period of harmonization and their implementation." "But the main thing is to start work in this direction, and today's meeting offers an excellent opportunity to focus on advanced and forward-looking methodologies for improving performance assessment, as well as to share experiences and new ideas", summarized Tatiana Golikova.

The Council Session of SAIs Heads of the CIS member States will continue until the evening. Before the official opening ceremony, Tatiana Golikova, along with other heads of delegations, has met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

5 September 2017

On September 5, 2017, on the sidelines of the XVII Council of Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the CIS Member States in Baku, Tatyana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, signed the renewed inter-institutional cooperation agreements with Leonid Anfimov, Chairman of the State Control Committee of Belarus, and Nurmukhambet Abdibekov, Chairman of the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the Republican Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In the course of bilateral meetings, the heads of audit institutions unanimously acknowledged prominent bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The focus of attention was holding of annual joint events in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union on distribution of customs duties, as well as external audit (control) in the EAEU bodies.

Following the meetings, the Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) discussed the idea of establishing an expert group of SAI representatives from EAEU countries which will perform a task of updating the relevant methodological and regulatory framework.

Tatyana Golikova also particularly marked the lively dialogue of the Russian and Belarusian SAIs within the Union State. The cooperation between the two agencies is based on the annually updated Plan of Joint Events. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber proposed to her Belarusian counterpart to proceed with drafting this document for 2018.

“The diversity of formats and areas of cooperation of Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Belarus have necessitated the updating of the bilateral cooperation agreement”, explained Tatyana Golikova.

The cooperation of the SAIs of Russia and Kazakhstan, which has begun in 2004, also includes exchange of experience and implementation of control and expert analytical activities on issues of mutual interest.

“I am confident that the signing of the updated cooperation agreement between the Accounts Chamber and the Accounts Committee will contribute to enhancing our cooperation in a variety of formats,” - said Tatyana Golikova at the official ceremony. The Chairwoman of the Russian Accounts Chamber proposed to her colleague to consider the possibility of establishing the multi-year cooperation program that could provide for relevant seminars at the sites of the Accounts Chamber and the Accounts Committee, as well as videoconferencing.

The updated versions of the agreements provide for the exchange of information and reference materials, including standards and methodological developments in the field of external public audit, joint or concurrent control and expert analytical events and external assessment of each other’s activities.

In addition, participants expressed their interest in information analytical system of remote external state audit (control) developed and actively used by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation.

29 August 2017

The 1st meeting of the INTOSAI Working Group on Public Procurement Audit chaired by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was held in the capital of the Portuguese Republic, Lisbon.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Supreme Audit Institutions from 12 states: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, China, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Pakistan, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia and Thailand. The group is comprised of 17 countries.

During the opening ceremony, the President of the Supreme Audit Institution of the Portuguese Republic, Vitor Kaldiera, welcomed the participants with his opening speech.

The focus of the meeting was on issues related to the standard for public procurement audit currently in the process of development by the Working Group.

In particular, the meeting participants received a report on the initial assessment of the standard, discussed the timing and procedures required for the preparation of the draft project proposal, agreed on its structure as well as on the format for proposal submissions for its finalization, and decided on the deadline and on terms for its harmonization and approval in accordance with the INTOSAI procedures.

The main constituent documents of the Working Group were also considered and approved during the meeting: Terms of Reference and work plan for 2017-2019

In addition, new members of the WG (SAIs of Kuwait, Pakistan, Serbia and Thailand) presented their reports on their national best practice and characteristics of public procurement audits. Armenian and Portugal SAIs have also made their own presentations.

22 August 2017

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, signed a Decree "On the Organizing Committee tasked with the preparation and organization of the XXIII International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI)." In accordance with the signed document, Tatiana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has been duly appointed as a Chairwoman of the Organizing Committee tasked with the preparation and organization of the XXIII International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI). The composition of the Organizing Committee will be approved within one month.

The decision to appoint the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Russia as the host for the next INCOSAI has been adopted by the participants of the XXII INCOSAI, which took place in Abu Dhabi - the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in December 2016.

During her INCOSAI speech in December 2016, the head of the Russian control agency, Tatiana Golikova had expressed her gratitude to the forum community for supporting Russia's candidature for hosting the XXIII INCOSAI. She also pointed out the high-level experience accumulated by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation in organizing major international events, which without any doubt will allow it to successfully organize and host the XXIII INCOSAI in Moscow. "It is not only a great honor but also an enormous responsibility to hold this INCOSAI," noted Tatiana Golikova.

The XXIII International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI) will be held in Moscow in 2019.

For the consideration of the international auditing community the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has proposed the following INCOSAI topics: " Information technology in the development and improvement of efficiency of public administration" and "the role of supreme audit institutions in achieving strategic objectives and priorities".

The adopted resolution allows Russia to remain in leading positions in the Governing Board of INTOSAI for nine years, including three years (in the period 2019-2021), Russia will chair this global organization with 194 member states. The Russian leading position in this International Organization and the instruments of international audit cooperation (such as joint and parallel, controlling and expert-analytical activities) will, to a certain extent, help to promote the interests of Russia through trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation on a bilateral and multilateral levels.
5 July 2017

Within the framework of the official visit of the delegation of the Accounts Chamber of the Republic of Slovenia to the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, the Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova and the President of the Accounts Chamber of the Republic of Slovenia signed the Cooperation Agreement. This document confirms the intention of the two countries to develop cooperation in the field of state audit and is an updated version of the Memorandum of understanding on cooperation dated May 31, 2006.

During the meeting with the Slovenian colleague Tatyana Golikova noted that "the experience of auditing work with our Supreme Audit Institutions already exists." So, in 2013 - 2014 the control bodies of the two countries carried out a verification of the implementation of the Memorandum between the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Slovenia on important projects for the expansion of bilateral economic cooperation signed in Moscow on November 17, 2010. In this regard, the Chair of the Accounts Chamber, Tatyana Golikova, suggested Tomaz Vesel similar control measures to verify the implementation of joint projects of cooperation between the two states.

"We could consider the implementation of a number of intergovernmental agreements. First, we are talking about an intergovernmental agreement on the establishment and conditions of the centers of science and culture on March 22, 2011, "she said, adding that there is also an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on cooperation in the field of culture, science and education and an intergovernmental agreement on military graves.

"Another perspective topic of the audit is the study of issues related to the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the prevention of accidents, disasters and natural disasters and the elimination of their consequences. In addition, in the sphere of experience exchange, we could work out the possibility of holding a seminar or a round table on the practice of implementing internal financial control and internal financial audit at control facilities", - said Tatyana Golikova.

The proposals of the Accounts Chamber have found a positive response among Slovenian colleagues.

In addition, the parties touched upon the issue of the activities of the Russian and Slovenian SAIs on the INTOSAI and EUROSAI lines. As Tatyana Golikova noted, "we take an active part in the work of a number of EUROSAI working groups, for many years actively supported the work of the EUROSAI Committee on Professional Standards. The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has strong positions in this organization. "

In conclusion Tatyana Golikova shared with the Slovenian delegation the experience of organizing in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation relations with the media and the latest innovations in the IT sphere. Tomaz Vesel suggested to share experiences in these areas.

29 June 2017

The Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova met with the President of the State Control Office of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President of INTOSAI Harib Said Al Amimi.

During the meeting, the active development of interstate dialogue between Russia and the UAE was noted, which, in the opinion of the parties, creates a serious basis for intensifying the practical interaction of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of the two countries.

Considering that investment cooperation is one of the most promising areas of development of economic relations between the two countries, the parties discussed the possibility of holding joint or parallel monitoring activities in the field of audit of implementation of interstate investment projects.

During the conversation, the meeting participants also confirmed readiness for the exchange of experience in areas of mutual interest, including those related to the preparation of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation for the XXIII INTOSAI Congress in Moscow in 2019.

In addition, the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) of Russia and the UAE have agreed on further development and strengthening of interagency cooperation through international audit organizations, including within the framework of the Governing Board of INTOSAI. "I think that we need to develop and coordinate our cooperation not only at the management, but also on the working level - within the activities of the committees, subcommittees and working groups of INTOSAI," - said Tatiana Golikova.

For its part, the head of the Russian control agency invited the UAE of the United Arab Emirates to join the INTOSAI working group on public procurement auditing, which is developing a standard for auditing in this area. "I have no doubt - she said - that working together we can develop a common approach to the audit of public procurement, and your experience will make a significant contribution to the work of the group."

Based on the results of the reached agreements, the parties signed a bilateral Cooperation Agreement, which defines the bases and forms for further interagency cooperation. "I am sure that the Agreement signed today will be a key step in our bilateral cooperation, which will help to transfer the cooperation of our Institutions into action," - Tatiana Golikova said during the signing.

2 June 2017

Within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, bilateral meetings of the Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova with the leadership of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Turkey, South Africa, Slovakia and Serbia were held. During the meetings with the SAIs of Turkish and South Africa cooperation agreements were signed.

During the meeting with the Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Seit Akhmet Bash, active development of investment cooperation between Russia and Turkey was noted, which, in the opinion of the parties, creates a serious basis for expanding the practical interaction of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the two countries.

As a first step in this direction, the parties signed a bilateral Cooperation Agreement, which defines the bases and forms for further inter-agency cooperation. In addition, in the immediate plans of the parties - the formation of a multi-year cooperation program, which will include both joint and parallel audits, as well as events to share experiences.

The main prospects for joint audit work are seen by the parties in carrying out inspections of the fulfillment of the terms of intergovernmental agreements in the energy sector - over the gas pipeline "Turkish flow". Also, the parties intend to take control of the implementation of the Medium-Term Program of Trade-Economic, Scientific-Technical and Cultural Cooperation of Russia and Turkey for 2017-2020. In addition, the possibility of carrying out control measures on the protection of the Black Sea from pollution, as well as assessing the performance of the governments of the two countries in the field of the effectiveness of immigration policy ware discussed.

"I am confident that the Agreement signed today is the first brick in the foundation of our future collaboration and reached agreements will serve to further development of mutually beneficial cooperation between the SAI of Russia and Turkey in all fields", - Tatiana Golikova noted after the meeting.

***

The main outcome of the meeting with the General Auditor of South Africa Kimi Makvet also was the signing of an updated version of the Cooperation Agreement, which reflects the importance of the interaction of the parties within the BRICS and directs the control agencies to practical cooperation.

"We have an opportunity to consider such areas of collaboration, such as energy, environmental protection, priority national programs in the social sphere, as well as space and military-technical cooperation", - said during the signing of the head of the Accounts Chamber of Russia.

***

During the meeting with the Vice-Chair of the Supreme Control Chamber of the Slovak Republic Igor Shula, the head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation noted the need for filling the bilateral relations of the Russian and Slovak SAIs with practical content. "Given the positive developments that have emerged in the trade and economic relations between Russia and Slovakia, as well as the fact that our agencies should develop vector policy, it is time to take steps towards a more practical content of our bilateral relations", - said Tatiana Golikova, addressing to her colleague.

In support of his words, the head of the the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation submitted to the Slovak party a project of an updated version of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Supreme Audit Institutions of Russia and Slovakia.

As it was noted during the conversation, the issues of audit of the effectiveness of budget expenditures and the implementation of national projects in the field of education, energy, road infrastructure, combating corruption and evaluating the activities of executive authorities could be the basis for joint audit work of the parties.

***

At a meeting with the President of the State Audit Control of the Republic of Serbia Radoslav Sretenovich the need to intensify interdepartmental interaction was noted, because, according to the mutual opinion of the parties, the potential of bilateral cooperation between the control agencies of the two countries has not yet been fully implemented.

In this regard, Tatyana Golikova suggested to her colleague to consider the possibility of signing a new version of the Cooperation Agreement, as well as to work out the issue of filling the multi-year cooperation program with practical measures.

"Promising areas for our future audit interaction could be areas such as energy, infrastructure of railways, operation of the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center and the audit of government programs in the social sphere", - said Tatiana Golikova.

The head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation also congratulated Radoslaw Sretenovich on the 10th anniversary of the State Audit Control of the Republic of Serbia, wishing the staff of the office new successes in a worthy and difficult matter of state audit.

31 May 2017

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Slide . The Title     

Good afternoon, thank you for the opportunity to speak in front of such a distinguished audience. The Accounts Chamber gives a high value to the automated processes for the external state audit. To enhance efficiency, we developed and implemented information-analytical system of remote external state audit (to make this presentation sound simple I will use the term "information system").

Slide 1. Remote audit and control capabilities, the necessary legal framework and conditions for it

Remote audit allows to conduct a continuous monitoring and control of organizations - objects of audit and control activities, respectively, to deliver information about their activities and promptly respond upon the occurrence of relevant events, in contrast to frequency of information obtaining provided only on the basis of control and expert-analytical activities when visiting the objects of audit and control.

When conducting the remote audit, a part of the control actions is provided automatically in the information system in contrast to manual control during the control actions when visiting the object of control.

Most of the information, which is being operated in the activity of our inspectors, is available via the information system. It became possible thanks to the deep integration of information system with external information systems, including systems of Federal bodies of State Authorities.

In terms of integration, the Accounts Chamber is provided with full access to the data of external information systems, as well as the possibility of direct transmission of these data to the information system for further processing. Integration with external information systems is directly connected with the possibilities offered by current legislation. In this sense the Federal law "On the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation" provides us with a broad base, which allows obtaining information about the composition and data structures of external information systems, and implementing the connection to them with the help of specialized hardware and software systems.

However, at the present moment some of the Federal bodies of State Authorities lack information systems and technologies developed at a sufficient level, which, respectively, does not allow conducting remote audit and control of their activities. One of the ways to change the situation was the legislative amendment in the terms of granting the Accounts Chamber the authority to provide Federal Executive Authorities with the recommendations concerning the composition and procedure of forming the data of Federal state information systems.

Slide 2. The purpose and the goal of creating an information system

Information system was developed and implemented for the activities on preparation and directly conducting the state audit and control activities. The information system provides the ability to the inspection staff to search for and to obtain all the necessary information on activities of control objects, including source documents, to identify automatically the violations in their activities and to use the results of the automatically generated analysis reports.

Information system allows increasing the efficiency and validity of decision-making at the stage of formation of the inspection plans and planning of activities of the Accounts Chamber as a whole.

Slide 3. Principles and approaches required to create information system

When creating the information system we applied such a principles and approaches that were most effective in carrying out the state audit and control on the basis of remote access to external information systems.

We proceeded from the following:

1) Information system uses to the full the data directly proceeded in information systems of federal state bodies (that is, using the information system, users work with data and information in the information systems of federal state bodies);

2) Under the cooperation with federal state bodies we take measures to ensure the availability of necessary data and information required by the Accounts Chamber in information systems of federal state bodies, and made sure that they implement necessary analytics required by the Accounts Chamber;

3) The Information system of the Accounts Chamber receives data from information systems of federal state bodies (that is, the data is transferred to the Chamber of Accounts) only for the following:

- automated detection of violations;

- formation of analytics that is impossible to realize in information systems of federal state bodies (e.g.: the formation of analytics is carried out on the basis of external information systems of different state bodies).

Thus, the information system is able to provide its users with all data from the information systems of federal bodies in online mode. At the same time, the Accounts Chamber when creating an information system doesn’t to bear significant budgetary expenditures and it doesn’t take much time to implement the remote audit information system technology.

And in terms of audited entities, there are no costs to be borne by the Accounts Chamber for the remote audit.                                                                                                     

Slide 4. Main functional capabilities of information system

The basic functional capabilities of the information system are presented on the slide. I would like to draw attention to some of its functional features.

Information system has developed a search mechanism which in addition to the standard set of tools (basic search, advanced search, search by subject headings) provides the User with the ability to use algorithms of the search of violations for automated detection of violations committed in objects of control.                                                            

So, we have developed about 80 algorithms, i.e. automated types of violations, which provide invaluable help to the inspectors when inspecting the activities of control objects. Automated detection of violations is performed without any participation of the Accounts Chamber staff. For example, the use of such algorithms in the analysis of the official site of the unified information system in the procurement area allows you within minutes to compile statistics on the systematic violations of the venues for the forthcoming inspections. At the same time, the Accounts Chamber constantly conducts activities to increase the number of types of automatically detected violations                                                            

The information system also offers Users the opportunity to use the results of the analytical reports generated by the system in automatic mode. For example, the system generates analytical reports in the field of public procurement, achievement of the targets of state programs, expenditures and revenues of the Federal budget.                                                

The information system has the capability of comparing the data contained in the various external information systems of Federal bodies of State Authorities. This is important because the detection of discrepancies or contradictions in a potentially similar data is a sign of a breach.                                      

Slide 5. Statistics of expansion of functional capabilities of the information system

The slide shows some figures describing the current status of the information system. In just two years of system functioning (launched in May 2015) it has managed to achieve a significant increase of indicators, which determine efficiency of information system.                                                                                                 

So, at this point of time the information system is connected to 130 external information systems; 30 federal authority bodies provide the data required for system operation.                                                                                                  

The work to develop the effectiveness of the information system, including the expansion of its functionality is carried out on a regular basis. Currently we are working on adding to the capabilities of the information system an option of semantic text analysis in order to search for occurring violations (it is planned that the system will have this option already at the start of 2018). Automated semantic analysis of texts in search of violations has undoubtful benefits to the activities of the Accounts Chamber, as it means a substantial optimization of business processes.

For example, the use of semantic analysis of texts of government contracts and documents for work performed will allow inspectors to automatically identify the facts of nonconformity in the composition of works that were to be performed to the actual ones.

Slide 6. Users information support

Support of information system is organized in such a way as to receive effective feedback from its Users. You can see the main points on the slide.                                               

Due to the fact that the information system has a large amount of information obtained from external information systems; the system has 4 ways of providing information support (as shown on this slide), so the inspectors of the Accounts Chamber could use the information effectively.

Slide 7. Statistics on work results of the Accounts Chamber in 2016

The slide shows the key indicators that the Accounts Chamber has reached following the results of activity in 2016. Please pay special attention to the number of identified by us violations. So, from 4,000 violations identified by the Chamber of Accounts during inspections, 600 of them were revealed automatically using the information system and in other words were revealed through the external information system, with the help of above mentioned algorithms. The indicator shows how truly significant the contribution of the information system is to the operational activities of the Accounts Chamber.

Slide 8. Automated detection of violations

This slide provides a real example of the violation of state contract date taken from the information system and detected by the Automated Deviation Detection System during the public procurement. The system is able to provide the User with all necessary information, including electronic documents.

If we need to conduct a report based on the activities of the various Federal authorities it shall be realized through the information system by transmitting and processing information from their respective information systems.                                                      

Slide 9. Analytical reports construction

The information system, as I mentioned earlier, has a well-developed analytical component, allowing inspectors to significantly save time and rationally plan their work. I would like to draw your attention to the following aspect: The information system using analytical component generates its own interim database with all required information.                                                                                       

The information systems of the audited entities contain a large amount of data to which the Accounts Chamber has full access. However, sometimes for the proficient work such a comprehensive data is not required. Therefore, that interim database formed by our system can easily change configuration and adapt to current needs. This slide shows an example of a formed database with all necessary information (particularly interesting information from two sources, from the Federal Tax Service server and the Unified Budget System Portal server, which is used in the analytic report generated by the information system and saved on the server of the Accounts Chamber).

Slide 10. Process optimization for querying, receiving, and storing data

The slide shows an example of how to form analysis reports based on the data provided by the official website of the Unified Information System in the procurement area. The information system selects only data needed for the reports. The rest of the data shall be saved on the source server of the relevant public authority.                               

Slide 11. Storage, search and access to reports and documents

The information system also allows storage, search and display of documentation necessary for inspections. Using the system, our inspectors can find any particular document by selecting specific options in the filter for this document.

The information system provides access to tens of thousands of documents. The user sets the necessary parameters on the basis of which he is provided with the necessary documents (an example is shown on the slide). The main parameters for selecting the required documents are the following:

- the organization that formed the document;

- the organization about which information is presented in the document;

- the subject to which the document relates;

- type of document, reporting;

- level and name of the budget;

- the reporting period.

Thus, the inspector might not even know where exactly the information is saved in the external information system, but he will find and get access to it by selecting required filter options.                                                                                 

Slide 12. Search and access to primary data (documents)

As was mentioned earlier, through the information system the Inspectors are able to work directly with primary data from the information systems of federal state bodies. For example, users work with paysheet documents, formed during the execution of the federal budget, accounts for the supply of goods, works and services.

In other words, the information system eliminates the need for the inspectors to waste their time on sending requests for primary data from the audited entities.             

Slide 13. Process optimization for querying, receiving, and storing data

Among other things, the information system addresses the challenges of optimizing the process of querying, receiving, and storing the data.

Taking into account the fact, that the Accounts Chamber now uses that information system, having full access to electronic documents posted in the information systems of federal state bodies, the process of filling out requests for information by the inspectors has become obsolete.

In doing so, it is invaluable for the Accounts Chamber to receive electronic information on the Internal Financial Audit conducted by the federal state bodies. The Internal Financial Audit report is automatically compared to the external state control indicators of the Accounts Chamber and is further analyzed and assessed in order to determine and implement subsequent remedial measures by the public authorities for improvement.                                                             

Slide 14. Algorithm of audit with the Information system

As I said before, we are looking for the ways to improve the information system on an ongoing basis. And one of the ways to modernize the system is to automatize the standards of State Auditing and Control activities adopted by the Accounts Chamber.

Since 2018, it is planned to implement the actions established by the standards of state audit and control, with the use of an information system and data processing of information systems of federal public authorities.

Slide 15. Risk-based approach to the activities with the IAS of RESA.

The information system gives the opportunity to apply a risk-oriented approach to audit activities. In other words, receiving information on certain parameters of the audited entity, the inspectors might in a more substantiated way decide on the definition of the item and the object of control.

Those parameters are the following: : (1) The number of violations by the audited entity over past periods; (2) The amount of funds allocated to the audited entity in the current period; (3) The number of violations in the area of activity during past periods; (4) The amount of funds allocated to the area of activity in the current period; (5) The number of violations detected automatically.                                                      

Slide.   Thank you for your attention!

In conclusion, I would like to point out that we are focusing on the wider distribution of best audit practices, including optimal approaches to automated work processes for the external public audit body. We have formulated draft proposals for the development of international standards of remote audit and control with application of IT-technologies. The proposals were based on the analysis of our experience in development, implementation and maintenance of the Accounts Chamber Information System. The proposals were sent to the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), and I hope that our colleagues will find them useful.

Thank you for your attention!          


Presentation (Click here)

                                            

19 April 2017

Chairwoman of the Accounts Сhamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova has met with the Auditor General of the Kingdom of Norway Per-Christian Foss.

During the meeting the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the two countries noted the high level of interdepartmental cooperation and reaffirmed their readiness for further development and strengthening of relations.

"For more than ten years our institutions have had a purely practical dialogue. In the years of our work together a range of control activities have been carried out in such areas as fisheries and aquatic resources of the Barents and Norwegian seas, radiation safety of the population and environmental protection from radioactive contamination" - said the head of the Accounts Chamber of Russia.

Special attention, according to the participants, deserves a five-party audit on the subject of the Arctic Council, conducted by Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark, Norway, Russia, USA and Sweden, as well as control bodies of Russian regions.

The next step in collaboration between the two agencies, taking into consideration the urgency of the ecological safety problems for adjacent territories of the two countries, will be to hold in the future a parallel audit - "the audit of implementation by the state bodies and organizations of Russia and Norway of the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway on cooperation in the field of environmental protection dated September 3, 1992".

"Our new project will affect fields of biodiversity, cross-border cooperation and environmental pollution reduction, which are highly important for both countries. It is symbolic that the implementation of this project starts in 2017, considering this year has been proclaimed as the Year of environmental protection in Russia", - said Tatyana Golikova.

In the framework of the forthcoming audit, the parties intend to consider a range of issues, including the evaluation of the effectiveness of state bodies on: designing and maintaining special natural areas, the conservation of populations of rare species of birds and animals, including polar bears and Atlantic walruses; the implementation of measures to eliminate environmental damage and to reduce air radioactivity. This parallel audit will be conducted with the participation of the Chamber of accounts of the Arkhangelsk region.

Following the meeting, the parties signed an agreement on parallel audit, as well as the new version of the Agreement on cooperation between the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Office of the Auditor General of the Kingdom of Norway.

"The signing of these two documents, - said Tatyana Golikova,- is an important step in our bilateral relations, showing our firm intentions to continue and further develop the level of practical cooperation, which is especially important in today's difficult economic situation. I'm sure that the upcoming collaboration will not only bring another worthy contribution to the bilateral relations between our institutions, but will also give a new impetus to the development of relations between Russia and Norway".

The meeting was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to the Russian Federation Leidulv Namtvedt, auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Bato-Zhargal Zhambalnimbuev and the Chairman of the Chamber of accounts of the Arkhangelsk region Alexander Dementyev.

21 March 2017

Russian tax plan could put pressure on budget and inflation: audit chief

A Russian finance ministry proposal to overhaul the tax system could create a budget shortfall and put upward pressure on inflation, Tatiana Golikova, the head of Russia's Audit Chamber, told Reuters in an interview

The ministry has proposed cutting employers' mandatory social security contributions with the aim of enticing businesses out of the shadow economy. To offset that, it proposes increasing value added tax (VAT) to 22 percent from 18 percent.

The ministry wants the combined change to take effect from 2019. But the intervention from Golikova, an influential former government minister and deputy finance minister, indicates the proposal could face resistance from some quarters in ruling circles.

Golikova, whose audit chamber is responsible for monitoring whether the government is using budget spending effectively, said the changes would force the government to increase its support for the pension fund.

The finance ministry's proposal is to cut employers' social security contributions to 22 percent of a worker's salary from their current level of 30 percent. A part of the contributions goes into the state pension fund to help keep it topped up.

The fund is already in deficit, a problem the finance ministry itself says needs to be addressed, and the drop in social security contributions will mean that less money is going into the fund, she said.

Asked if the proposed tax changes would increase the burden on the budget, Golikova said: "In this conception, in this construction, yes."

The Russian budget had to provide around 3.4 trillion rubles ($17.40 billion) to cover the Pension Fund's liabilities last year, an extra burden on a budget already straining under low tax revenues.

According to the Chamber's calculations, under the finance ministry's proposal social security payments would go down by 1.5 trillion rubles while revenues from VAT would increase by only 1.3 trillion rubles.

In the interview, Golikova said the other consequence of the proposed tax changes would be on inflation, which the central bank is seeking to get under its target of 4 percent by the end of 2017.

The finance ministry has acknowledged that the VAT increase may result in a one-off 2-percentage-point increase in inflation. Golikova said that would have far-reaching consequences for monetary policy and for ordinary people.

"This (proposal) means that a half or even more of that 4 percent (of inflation)... would be made by our own hands... This means that the central bank will have to make additional efforts to maintain the inflation level," Golikova said.

"This is a significant factor affecting social policy."

Prices rose 4.6 percent in the year to February. Upward pressure on inflation could force the central bank to keep interest rates higher for longer than it would otherwise have done, constraining an economic recovery.

Golikova said the Audit Chamber had yet to calculate how the proposal would affect economic growth. The Russian economy shrank 0.2 percent in 2016 and the economy ministry expects it to grow by 2 percent this year.

(Additional reporting and writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe and Mark Trevelyan)

By Darya Korsunskaya and Polina Nikolskaya

Published by «REUTERS», 21.03.2017

Contacts

Departament of the Press and Information of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation

E-mail: press@ach.gov.ru

Phone: +7 (495) 986-00-32

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