According to Article 101 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Council of Federation and the State Duma shall form the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation (hereinafter - the Accounts Chamber) to control the execution of the state budget; its structure and procedures shall be determined by the Federal Law.
The Law “On the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation” that has been in force since 1995, laid the foundations of the state audit, however, to date it has ceased to comply with the requirements of the institutional changes in the area of external financial control. New Federal Law No. 41-FZ “On the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation” of April 05, 2013 (hereinafter - Federal Law No. 41-FZ) specifies the standard operating procedure of the Accounts Chamber, extends its powers, clarifies the tasks and functions.
Federal Law No. 41-FZ is intended to improve the legal regulation of the activities of the Accounts Chamber, to create legal framework to enable the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to execute parliamentary control by establishing the Accounts Chamber aimed at ensuring the constitutional right of the citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in the management of state affairs through the external state audit (control).
The budget authorities of the Accounts Chamber are also enshrined by the Budget Code of the Russian Federation. Thus, the provisions of the above laws and regulations complement each other in terms of regulating its activity.
The activities of the Accounts Chamber are aimed, among other things, at the formation of a unified system of the external financial control intended to ensure conditions for implementation of the comprehensive control of the use of funds of the consolidated budget of the Russian Federation. This was substantially contributed by the adoption of Federal Law No. 6-FZ “On General Principles of Organization and Activities of the Control and Accounting Bodies of Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation and Municipal Entities” of February 07, 2011 (hereinafter - Federal Law No. 6-FZ), in the development of which the Accounts Chamber took the most active and direct participation.
Federal Law No. 6-FZ defines the general principles of functioning of control and accounting bodies, when the constituent and municipal entities of the Russian Federation retain the power to regulate the activities of the relevant bodies, as well as
establish common principles of the organization of state authorities and local self-government system for the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
Federal Law No. 41-FZ entered into force on April 08, 2013 and implements the concept of establishing a system of external public audit, the foundations of which were laid down by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The Accounts Chamber has acquired the status of the supreme body of the external state audit (control), and the adoption of Federal Law No. 6-FZ has legally for the first time ever established delineation of state audit bodies (created by the legislative (representative) authorities) that exercise an external financial control and monitoring authorities in the executive branch (internal control).
Federal Law No. 41-FZ is naturally bound with the provisions of Federal Law No. 77-FZ “On Parliamentary Control in the Russian Federation” of May 07, 2013, which establishes the procedure of cooperation between the State Duma and the Accounts Chamber in the course of continuous (ongoing) parliamentary control. In this regard, an important mechanism ensuring efficient operation of the Accounts Chamber as a body playing one of the key roles in parliamentary control will be the norms obliging the law-enforcement authorities to provide the Accounts Chamber with information on the progress of considering the materials they were submitted to and on the decisions made thereon.
The right and responsibility of the Accounts Chamber to control certain aspects of the use of budgetary funds, the spheres of property turnover are established in more than 40 federal laws.
The Russian legislation regulating the activities of the Accounts Chamber, is based on international principles, the most important of which are set out in the Lima Declaration of Guidelines on Auditing Precepts (1977) and the Mexican Declaration of Independence of Supreme Audit Institutions (2007).
If in 2000, the activities of the Accounts Chamber were regulated by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and actually by a single federal law (Federal Law No. 4-FZ “On the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation” of January 11, 1995), now it is done by 59 federal laws, representing a harmonious, integral system of legal regulation of Russia’s supreme audit institution activities.
Thus, the high-quality legal framework enabling the Accounts Chamber to function effectively and be in progress, meeting public demand for supervision over the use of national resources by the state, has been formed.
The key objective of the Accounts Chamber for the upcoming six-year interval will be the creation of all the necessary conditions for the fullest implementation of the potential built by the legal field, primarily determined by new Federal Law No. 41-FZ, the Budget Code of the Russian Federation, Federal Law No. 6-FZ on the basis of international legal principles of independent auditing (control). In elaboration of the new legislation the Accounts Chamber plans to revise all internal documents, regulating its activities, and bring them into compliance therewith.
The goals and functions imposed on the Accounts Chamber by applicable legislation make it a key element of the system of public control over use of national resources and also an instrument of reconciling short-term socio-economic solutions yielding a quick effect with the long-term interests of the society and strategic goals of public development. This underlines the Accounts Chamber mission and the strategy of its activities.
The Accounts Chamber mission is to control management and use of national resources in order to foster conditions ensuring decent life and free development of a human being.
The peculiarity of the Accounts Chamber's mission involves its duty to assess the strategic risks associated with the current use of national resources in terms of compliance of those costs with the long-term interests of social development.
Strategic audit is used to assess feasibility, risks and effects of the achievement of strategic goals of ensuring security and socio-economic development of the Russian Federation. The assessment shall involve final (targeted) and achieved (current) values of key national indicators reflecting the degree and quality of the implementation of socio-economic effects and cumulative effects of socio-economic development of the Russian Federation.
By performing the function of independent feedback, the Accounts Chamber directly contributes to the process of economic development, impacts on improving the quality of the state and public administration, promotes the implementation of the constitutional principles of accountability of the state power to the society.
The solution of the tasks set by the state in the sphere of socio-economic development of the Russian Federation, ensurance of sustainable growth of the welfare of Russian citizens, national security, dynamic development and modernization of the economy, strengthening of Russia's positions in the world community and enhancement of its competitiveness will largely depend on the efficiency and quality of the activities of the Accounts Chamber.
Within the limits of objectives set forth by the legislation of the Russian Federation, the Accounts Chamber enjoys organizational, functional, as well as financial independence and carries out its activities independently.
The Accounts Chamber shall exercise external public audit (control) on the basis of principles of legality, efficiency, objectivity, independence, openness, and publicity.
The planning of the activities of the Accounts Chamber is carried out in order to facilitate the implementation of the documents for the strategic planning of the development of the Russian Federation, and is carried out by the Accounts Chamber independently with due consideration of requests of the Russian President, committees and commissions of the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, members of the Federation Council and the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation, federal agencies of public authorities and public authorities of the constituents of the Russian Federation, but free from any external interference on the part of the auditees.
A key principle of the control activities is, above all, impartiality and integrity of the body of inspectors.
Reliability of the data collected during the monitoring and expert-analytical activities and objectivity of their analysis is provided by the staff of the Accounts Chamber, regardless of any external influence.
The Accounts Chamber supports the priority of the human capital value, which is expressed in preservation and handing-over of professional skills from experienced officers to fresh employees during joint control activities. Involvement of specialists (external experts) fosters to obtain reliable and unprejudiced findings, allows one to cross check objectivity of conclusions and correctness of evaluations.
The effectiveness of employee performance is the basis to evaluate their professional contribution to the activity of the Accounts Chamber and determine various options of material incentives and stimulation.
There is a constant development of new advanced types of control and expert and analytical activities, promotion of modern international standards in terms of methodological and technical support.
The Accounts Chamber cooperates with the law enforcement authorities, thus promoting timely response to the detected violations and thereby ensuring logical result of the control activities.
The key objective of the Accounts Chamber is to provide the President of the Russian Federation, the State Duma, the Council of Federation and the society with unprejudiced and independent information on forming and executing the federal budget and public extra-budgetary funds, on the condition of the budget system of the Russian Federation, on the quality of the draft laws to be financed from the budget, on legality, efficiency and effectiveness of the activities of executive authorities in managing and using public finance and other resources, on the reasons for and consequences of identified violations and remedies for their elimination.
The Accounts Chamber is designed to ensure the constitutional right of Russian citizens to participate in managing state affairs through the implementation of external public audit (control).
By informing the head of the state, the chamber of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, and eventually all citizens, the Accounts Chamber contributes to the development of the social supervision.
There is a need to develop the activities of the Accounts Chamber, related to the analysis of strategic risks in the state system of forecasting and planning of use of public resources, as well as to the assessment of indicators of socio-economic development.
The Accounts Chamber will be actively involved in the systematic, unprejudiced assessment of the risks associated with forecasting, planning and ongoing use of national resources, in terms of the long-term interests of social development, in order to avoid the so-called “institutional traps”, where decisions that seem effective in the short term can bring about expenditure of irreplaceable resources and strategic defeat to the community and the state in the future.
Improvement of the existing and development of the new standards will be implemented to provide methodological framework for the execution of the powers of the Accounts Chamber in accordance with Federal Law No. 41-FZ.
Within the terms of implementation of such Strategy the following activities will have to be accomplished:
development of the system of public audit (control) standards, based on the provisions of Federal Law No. 41-FZ and the INTOSAI system of international standards, as well as the best practices of foreign bodies of public audit (control);
assistance in organization and development of the internal audit system, methodological and systematic support to the federal public agencies and authorities, state extra-budgetary funds in development of internal audit standards, using the world’s best practices;
provision of systematic guidance for control and accounting bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and control and accounting bodies of municipalities and the analysis of compliance with the general requirements to the standards of external public and municipal financial control in order to increase the effectiveness of control and expert and analytical activities of the external control bodies;
constant interaction with the supreme audit institutions of foreign countries, international organizations in the field of development and improvement of public audit (control).
Substantial and technological improvement of the activities of the Accounts Chamber focused on facilitation of the successful implementation of the strategic plans of socio-economic development of the Russian Federation.
As part of this priority, the following should be provided:
comprehensive monitoring and analysis of the performance of state strategies, concepts and other documents on strategic planning;
monitoring of the full-scale transition to the target-oriented principle of the formation of the federal budget, analysis of justification of budget allocation to achieve the targets set by the state programs of the Russian Federation;
development of methodology for assessing the efficiency of strategic forecasting and risk management, as well as proposals to ensure the long-term fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability within the framework of the system of the strategic planning documents that is being created at the national level;
assessment of the impact of internal and external conditions on the actual level of achievement of socio-economic development objectives of the Russian Federation;
implementation and improvement of the evaluation system of the final (target) and achieved (current) values of key national indicators when auditing performance in 2014 - 2015.
Assurance of safety for the federal budget funds, state property and other national resources from misuse and other violations of the law.
Implementation of this priority trend will require further improvement of the unified system of pre-audit of the formation, execution follow-up, as well as operational analysis and control of execution of the federal budget and budgets of state extra-budgetary funds.
Monitoring and identification of the causes of the shortfall of budget revenues, including quality assessment will have to be systematized, just as quality assessment
of the administration of tax and non-tax budget revenues, as well as transition to the profound analysis of the economic efficiency of the existing system of tax relieves and preferences in view of their further optimization. This will help to improve the quality of exercise of powers of the Accounts Chamber to conduct comprehensive analysis of tax policy measures in terms of their stimulating effect on the development, modernization and restructuring of the economy, and improvement of the business climate.
In the context of formation of the budget with deficit the significance of consistent implementation of procedures for external public audit at all stages of privatization transactions, monitoring of the legality of the activities of executive branch authorities in the sphere of the land involvement and in management and disposal of the state property, including cultural heritage will increase.
Systematic work is to be organized to ensure the integrated and comprehensive audit (control) of the budget expenditures in accordance with their scope and social significance.
Quality of audit (control) of the state’s internal and external debt of the Russian Federation through introduction of modern system of risk assessment methods for analyzing the stability of the budget system and taking into account the condition of the total external debt of the Russian Federation must be improved.
It is necessary to improve the quality and the extent of control over the activities of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, stability and development of the national payment system, banks and non-bank credit institutions within the banking system and financial markets.
Issues of improving control over the allocation and use of sovereign funds (the Reserve Fund and the National Welfare Fund), as well as the efficiency of the investment of the National Welfare Fund resources in the country's economy still remain relevant.
The utmost priority in the activities of the Accounts Chamber is focused on the improvement of the control system and the implementation of continuous monitoring of the state of regional and local budgets, including state debt of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and that of municipalities, methods of auditing inter-budget transfers, the analysis of methods of their distribution and adoption of a number of other measures to facilitate the development of regional self-sufficiency, regional and local budgets balance, as well as their tax potential growth.
In accordance with the Concept of Russia's foreign policy in the context of formation of an integrated economic space, the Accounts Chamber can and should contribute to the intensification of international business activities of Russia through conducting joint and parallel control and expert and analytical activities with their counterparts from supreme audit institutions (hereinafter - SAIs) of foreign countries.
The Accounts Chamber shall build a system of comprehensive control to monitor the implementation of the agreements of the Russian Federation on trade and economic cooperation with other countries.
The Accounts Chamber will continue monitoring of the execution of the Union State budget. Given the leading position of the Russian Federation in the development of integration processes within the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space and the prospect of the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Accounts Chamber will need to take part in a joint operation to monitor timeliness, completeness and efficiency of measures taken to ensure the interests of the Russian Federation.
Promotion of a significant increase in the efficiency of budget spending should become the key priority trend of the Accounts Chamber activities in the coming six year period.
A set of measures need to be implemented to bring to life the orders of the President of the Russian Federation following the meeting of the State Council of the Russian Federation held on October 04, 2013, on the problem of increasing the efficiency of public (state and municipal) finance management.
The implementation of this priority will require, first and foremost, retargeting and reformatting of the Accounts Chamber activities in the framework of functioning of a unified system of preliminary, prompt and follow-up control of formation and execution of the federal budget and budgets of the state extra-budgetary funds so as to increase the role of the budgets as a tool for solving strategic and tactical problems of the state’s socio-economic policies and increase efficiency of use of budgetary funds.
The Accounts Chamber will need to establish a system of an ongoing comprehensive analysis and monitoring of the formation and implementation of state programs, including an assessment of the balance of their goals, objectives, indicators, activities, and financial resources, as well as compliance of these programs with the long-term objectives of the socio-economic development of the Russian Federation.
In the future, there will be a need for a smooth transition from the comprehensive expertise of state programs to the formation of concrete and sound proposals on the full-scale implementation of program-target methods of activities of the executive authorities, when the state programs of the Russian Federation will be fully integrated into the budget process.
Audit of the efficiency of spending the federal budget funds will be implemented taking into account the increasing importance of the following activities:
improvement of the system for control and monitoring of the effectiveness of budget expenditures in the social sphere, in the sphere of science and technology, as well as structural changes in the economy in order to provide the country's leadership with reliable, complete, timely, relevant and independent information;
elaboration of up-to-date methods to conduct audit of expenditure efficiency to ensure defense capability, national security and law enforcement;
conduct of a performance audit in the sphere of procurement of goods, works and services in order to ensure transparency, quality, and cost cuts in provision of state (municipal) services as part of the introduction and implementation of modern contract system.
Promoting the efficiency of budget investment
Implementation of this priority trend will be ensured through the introduction of a complex of control and expert and analytical activities to evaluate:
effectiveness of expenditure on budget investments;
efficiency of investment projects including those to be implemented with the participation of banking groups, development institutions, state-owned corporations, as part of the solution of public objectives to modernize Russian economy, ensure economic growth, increase tax capacity and construct a national innovation system;
formation and implementation of the federal target-oriented investment program (hereinafter - FTIP).
Enhancement of quality and systematic work of the Accounts Chamber in this regard will require:
improvement of methods of the budget investments efficiency audit, including the elaboration of indicators and factors that are necessary for the systematic monitoring of activity effectiveness of the authorities in the sphere of investments;
elaboration of the FTIP audit methods for assessing the quality of its formation and implementation;
facilitation to the introduction of modern standards of internal financial audit and audit of efficiency of the investment activity in the organizations of the public sector, structures of public-private partnerships, as well as the improvement of internal control systems.
Promoting the improvement of the managerial efficiency of intellectual property and other intangible assets, including innovation and scientific potential of the country.
In the medium term, this trend will imply implementation of the following measures:
improvement of methods of the efficiency audit of using federal budget funds in the sphere of science and innovations including the elaboration of indicators and factors that are necessary for the systematic monitoring of activity effectiveness of the authorities in the sphere of scientific and innovation development;
facilitation to the introduction of modern standards of internal financial audit and audit of efficiency of the scientific activity in scientific institutions of the public sector, structures of public-private partnerships, in the field of scientific research and development as well as to the improvement of internal control systems;
promotion of a comprehensive inventory stock taking of intellectual resources, without which it is impossible to carry out a realistic assessment of the national wealth; participation in creation of a relevant system to register, provide security and commercial usage thereof.
Participation of the Accounts Chamber in the work aimed at improving the efficiency of public administration in the Russian Federation.
The Accounts Chamber needs to build a control system that provides an ongoing process of control actions over the implementation of the activities arising from decrees and certain orders of the President of the Russian Federation concerning the use of the federal budget funds and the federal property, as well as management of the public and municipal finance.
As a priority, in this respect the Accounts Chamber should continue monitoring of the financial provision of the decrees of the President of the Russian Federation of May 07, 2012 until the envisaged measures are put in force in full.
The transition to an innovation economy and a society based on knowledge, is impossible without constant development of socio-economic management on the basis of creation of the feedback system, which allows evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of budget spending in the area of improvement of state management, including anti-corruption measures. Within the frame of this trend the Accounts Chamber will perform the following tasks:
improve the quality and efficiency of the state management, its transparency and accountability of state and municipal bodies to civil society;
expand the practice of auditing the effectiveness of the federal bodies of the state authority and the bodies of the state power of the constituents of the Russian Federation in achieving socially significant goals;
help to speed up creation and development of modern reliable and effective mechanisms of internal audit, risk management and anti-corruption security systems in government agencies; systematic and methodological assistance in the development of internal audit standards, taking into account best international practices; performance and reporting analysis of the internal audit system of the audited entities subject to external audit (control) for the purpose of taking into account the results of such analysis in determining the scope of audit of relevant auditees;
facilitate development of the system of external public audit (control) in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and municipal financial control, among other things, through the development and provision of uniform performance quality standards;
hold systematically events to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of budget spending to achieve the program objectives aimed at the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which defines tasks for the Accounts Chamber, that correspond to its functions and capabilities:
perform external independent public audit (control), including that of the Parliament, in terms of legality and efficiency of using budgetary funds;
organize joint work with law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent corruption offenses in the financial sector;
develop proposals to improve the monitoring system and increase the efficiency of public sector functioning;
participate in the international anti-corruption programs both under the auspices of the UN and the Council of Europe, and through the International Organizations of Supreme Audit Institutions - INTOSAI, EUROSAI and ASOSAI;
organize internal control, prevent and combat corruption in the Accounts Chamber.
An ongoing improvement of legal regulation in the fiscal sphere, not only helps to strengthen order and improve efficiency of control over the formation, conservation and use of national resources, but also to enhance the processes of socio-economic development of the country.
Within the framework of its competence the Accounts Chamber will complete the following tasks:
examination of draft federal laws, other regulatory legal acts in terms of expenditure of commitments of the Russian Federation, as well as national programs of the Russian Federation;
implementation of a systematic analysis of the efficiency of the tax, customs, currency and budget legislation, as well as the state’s monetary policy, development of the banking sector, the national payment system and financial markets;
evaluation of the efficiency of the legislation of the Russian Federation in the sphere of state financial control, considering new strategic challenges and preparation of proposals on improvement of legislative provision of a unified system of external public audit (control) in the Russian Federation as a whole and in the activities of the Accounts Chamber in particular;
development of proposals to improve legislation to counteract corruption, deliberate and fraudulent bankruptcy,
offshorization of the economy and other offenses within the scope of competence of the Accounts Camber;
elaboration of proposals to develop legislation that defines the basis of the status and activities of the control and accounting bodies of the Russian Federation and municipal entities;
development of proposals for implementation of international legal standards for external financial control into legislative and practical activities of the supervisory bodies of the Russian Federation.
One of the key trends of modernization of the activities of the Accounts Chamber is further improvement of the legal and institutional provision of guarantee independence, openness and transparency of its activities, which will help reducing information asymmetry in the relationship of the civil society and the state. Thus, the reform of the conceptual foundations of the Accounts Chamber activities and introduction of information technology-based procedures will permit the permanent supreme body of external public control of Russia not only successfully perform the function of an independent feedback, but also become an effective tool to stimulate the processes of socio-economic modernization, improving the quality of the state and public administration and creating conditions for the transition to the modern level of the society development, i.e. society based on knowledge.
The development of the scientific research and educational complex of the Accounts Chamber as an innovative tool to promote active use of the latest scientific achievements in the practical activity of the state financial audit (control) authorities of the Russian Federation, as well as in the process of training and retraining of personnel in the field of public audit.
The key areas in this field for the scheduled period should be:
increase in practical relevance of scientific research;
provision of conditions for sharing experiences and knowledge between the specialists within the Accounts Chamber, with Russian and foreign supreme audit institutions, as well as international audit organizations uniting them.
Modernization of information technology support for the Accounts Chamber
As part of this area, the following tasks will be addressed:
completion of establishment of the unified information system of external financial control, which is integrated with the main government information systems in the control loop of the Russian Federation;
completion of the build-up of a system for distance work of the personnel of the Accounts Chamber employing information services based on the mobile office concept;
completion of transition to a paperless (electronic) record-keeping in the Accounts Chamber;
introduction of modern comprehensive processing systems and systems for visualization of socio-economic and financial information arrays;
improvement of information services in accordance with changes in the methodology of control and expert and analytical activities, and introduction of new types of audit.
Improvement of the quality of organizational support for the activities of the Accounts Chamber
In this respect the following objectives will be addressed: improvement of planning of the control activities of the Accounts Chamber (ensuring adequacy, balance, uniformity, complexity of control and expert and analytical activities);
development of cooperation and greater coordination of the activities of the Accounts Chamber with the work of control and supervisory bodies of the Russian Federation, including the Control Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Financial and Budgetary Supervision, control and accounting bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and municipalities;
development of the internal quality assurance system to supervise control and expert and analytical activities carried out by the Accounts Chamber.
Strengthening of human resources capacity of the Accounts Chamber
Within the given area, the following tasks will be implemented: further improvement of the personnel management system; implementation of measures aimed at ensuring compliance of the level of professional competence of the employees of the Accounts Chamber with new challenges and objectives;
assistance in sharing experience and improvement of professional knowledge and skills of the employees of the control and accounting bodies of the constituents of the Russian Federation, and control and accounting bodies of municipalities.
The law establishes the duty of the Accounts Chamber to perform evaluation of draft laws and other normative legal acts and financial and economical feasibility studies to support the above regarding budgetary and financial matters to be submitted to the State Duma, international draft agreements of the Russian Federation, affecting or related to the federal budget, the state programs of the Russian Federation (federal target programs), as well as other issues of fiscal policy and improvement of the budgetary process in the Russian Federation. To implement this high-priority function, a new emphasis should be highlighted with regard to the work of the Accounts Chamber with the committees and commissions of the Federation Council and the State Duma, as well as a qualitatively different new level of work with the Office of the Russian Federation Government, ministries and various organizations.
The activities of the Accounts Chamber in the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, their committees and commissions should be of a more systematic, planned and focused nature.
It is necessary to more accurately and to the fullest extent consider the orders of the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, requests from its committees and commissions, members of the Council of Federation and deputies of the State Duma when preparing work plans of the Accounts Chamber.
It should be required to extend and improve the practice of considering the results of control and expert and analytical activities in the committees and commissions of the Federation Council and the State Duma, inviting the heads of the audited ministries and organizations.
Participation of members of the Board of the Accounts Chamber in parliamentary hearings, delivery of co-reports in “governmental hours” in the State Duma should become one of the tools to attract attention of legislators to the most important problems and shortcomings in the budget process and other controlled areas.
Full and exact compliance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 41-FZ, Federal Law No. 6-FZ and the Budget Code of the Russian Federation is impossible without arranging a system of interaction between the external and internal financial audit institutions on a completely new level.
Implementation of coordinating and advisory functions in the system of external financial control is vested in the Accounts Chamber as the supreme authority of the state external financial audit (control).
Strengthening of bilateral cooperation of the Accounts Chamber and control and accounting bodies in such important areas as conducting joint and parallel control and expert and analytical activities, the evaluation (analysis) of the activity of the control and accounting bodies, will significantly enhance coordination of their actions, provide methodological unity and improve the quality of control and expert and analytical work of external financial audit institutions in general.
A new level of interaction of the Accounts Chamber with the Control Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation, the bodies of internal and external financial control will contribute to the building of a unified system of financial control throughout the country.
Strengthening of the interagency relations with the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation and other law enforcement agencies has become an important factor of the effectiveness of Accounts Chamber activities.
To provide the necessary feedback between the agencies and to strengthen their cooperation in the prevention, detection and suppression of offenses in the fiscal sphere, Federal Law No. 41-FZ prescribes the duty of the law enforcement agencies to provide the Accounts Chamber with the information on consideration and decisions that have been made with regard to the materials handed over by the Accounts Chamber.
Improving the quality of interaction with the law enforcement agencies is the most important objective, the achievement of which would allow one to bring the results of the activities of the Accounts Chamber and other regulatory bodies to the logical conclusion.
The Accounts Chamber plays a crucial role in ensuring the constitutional rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in managing the affairs of state through performing external public audit (control), including the right to control the activities of the public authorities with regard to disposition of the public domain - the federal budget funds, the state property, and other national resources.
An effective “feedback” from the society allows the Accounts Chamber to increase the accuracy of selection of the most problematic sectors of socio-economic development of the country that need further attention and control.
Therefore, the priority tasks, the solution of which will foster dialogue of the Accounts Chamber with the civil society are the following:
promotion of information openness, enhancement of transparency and public accountability;
an ongoing improvement of mechanisms and procedures of obtaining feedback from citizens and civil society institutions, employing current capabilities of information and communication systems;
increase in the share of inspections of social orientation as well as audits initiated by the Accounts Chamber in connection with public appeals;
expansion of cooperation with civil society institutions in the field of formation and development of modern social supervision mechanisms;
promotion of the extension of practice of the social assessment of the quality of the state administration agencies in general, and control and accounting bodies in particular.
The Accounts Chamber is an active participant in international organizations that unite SAIs, as well as a number of international projects being implemented within the sphere of its competence.
Strengthening of the Russia’s positions in INTOSAI, ASOSAI, EUROSAI and their governing bodies continues to be of main priority in the international activities of the Accounts Chamber
Within the framework of international cooperation in the field of public audit, the Accounts Chamber will address the following issues:
enhancement of the role in the system of international supreme state audit institutions (INTOSAI, EUROSAI, ASOSAI, the Council of Heads of the SAIs of the CIS member states);
promotion of credibility and strengthening of positions of the Russian Federation in the international community through participation of the representatives of the Accounts Chamber in the activities of the independent audit committees of the UN, the Council of Europe in monitoring of spendings on international target programs and in the audit of international organizations, as well as through further integration of the Accounts Chamber into the international community of supreme financial audit (control) institutions;
increased participation in international projects, joint control activities, internal procedures of professional assessment of the quality of the work of the SAIs of the INTOSAI member states.
In the coming period the addressing of the issue of possible holding of the XXIII Congress of INTOSAI in Moscow in 2019 will continue. In this regard, particular attention will be paid to grant the Russian language a status of the official INTOSAI language.
Strengthening of cooperation in the post-Soviet territory still remains an important trend in accordance with the foreign policy directives of the country's leadership. The most efficient format of cooperation is the participation of the Accounts Chamber in the work of the Council of Heads of the SAIs of the CIS member states.
New Federal Law No. 41-FZ significantly expanded the range of issues that the Accounts Chamber now faces, which include the audit (control) in the sphere of procurement of goods, works and services carried out by the auditees.
This key objective of the Accounts Chamber is also regularized by Federal Law No. 44-FZ “On the Contract System in the Field
of Procurement of Goods, Works and Services for State and Municipal Needs” of April 05, 2013, which comes into force on January 01, 2014.
This area of the control activity of the Accounts Chamber affects a large part of the budget spendings and is therefore crucial to improve the functioning of the entire system of redistribution of national resources. Besides, in the field of public procurement the risks of corruption are high, the reduction of which is one of its priorities.
Within the framework of the participation of the Accounts Chamber in the national anti-corruption program and in order to use the best international practices in this field, the work has been carried out to establish an INTOSAI Ad Hoc Group on the contract audit of public procurement. The 64th meeting of the INTOSAI Governing Board (October 21, 2013, Beijing) decided to establish this new INTOSAI working body, headed by the Accounts Chamber.
The main scheduled tasks of the INTOSAI Ad Hoc Group: the development of common audit principles of public procurement in accordance with the basic principles of the INTOSAI auditing and fundamental applicable international instruments. Particular attention in this context should be given to the transparency of the procurement process, pertinent risk management and prevention of fraud and corruption;
preparation of practical guidelines on contract auditing with a view of its further transforming into an INTOSAI standard. This guide will cover the entire procurement cycle: planning and preparation of procurement, pricing, price-to-quality ratio, evaluation, bidding and vendors selection, contract efficiency management and evaluation;
drafting of aids on public procurement audit in specific sectors and spheres of paramount interest to SAIs;
There is every reason to believe that these activities of the Accounts Chamber will contribute to the reduction of abuse in this area and increase transparency of public procurement.
Federal Law No. 41-FZ provides for the further development of the capabilities and methods to audit (control) the effectiveness of the procedure of formation, management and disposition of national resources.
In this respect, the Accounts Chamber needs to prepare a methodology for the development and assessment of key national indices (indicators) of social and economic development of the Russian Federation.
Within the framework of these activities the Accounts Chamber prepares proposals to form the system of key national indices (indicators) determining the level and quality of socio-economic development and selects criteria and methods of assessment thereof; The analysis shall involve final (targeted) and achieved (current) values of key national indicators reflecting the degree and quality of the implementation of socio-economic effects and cumulative effects of socio-economic development of the Russian Federation.
The Accounts Chamber has been heading for 6 years the INTOSAI Ad Hoc Group on the key national indicators, which is one of the most effective and focused on the practical implementation of the results of its activities working bodies of this international organization. This allows one to use for own benefit the best international practices in the sphere of assessment of the efficiency of using environmental assets and national resources.
Federal Law No. 41-FZ requires to consider international standards in the field of the state financial control, auditing, and financial reporting when preparing standards for arranging activities of the Accounts Chamber, the standards of external public audit (control), general requirements for standards of external public and municipal audit (control) for conducting control and expert and analytical activities by control and accounting bodies of the constituents of the Russian Federation and municipalities.
The Accounts Chamber actively participates in the work of the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee, one of the key bodies of this international SAI organization.
Coordination of activities in the development of professional standards in the world community of the public audit bodies is of great importance not only for strengthening of the leading position of the Russian Federation in this important area of international cooperation, but also for the modernization of the entire national system of standards and technologies for financial control, both external and internal.
In this respect, in 2016 the application of the Accounts Chamber will be considered as one of the possible candidates for the post of the head of the Professional Standards Committee.
In the preparatory stage of the submission of the Russian application greater efforts are required in the field of methodology and standards in all areas: scientific, technical, human resource, organizational and other provision of this activity.
One of the important challenges that the Accounts Chamber faces is control over implementation of major projects of national importance, each of which by virtue of its size significantly affects the socio-economic situation in our country.
A number of large-scale projects that require considerable amount of budget resources are being implemented in the Russian Federation.
Those include the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the development of Sochi as a mountain resort, the creation of infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup in 2018, as well as road construction.
A significant amount of the allocated budget funds must ensure a long-term outcome, including social, investment, infrastructure components, as well as foster growth areas. The potential of the Accounts Chamber should be concentrated on the above areas making full use of the powers granted by the law.
Effectively and timely carried out by the Accounts Chamber, this external monitoring of the use of resources for the indicated purposes will allow one to identify the risks of implementation of projects and programmes, formulate solutions to eliminate or minimize them, and ultimately increase the effectiveness of public investment.
Besides, the Accounts Chamber as part of its efforts of auditing implementation of the strategic objectives of socio-economic development of the Russian Federation will be monitoring efficiency of expenditures for large-scale nation-wide projects in relation to the costs of the priority objectives of the state economic policy.
Significant amounts of federal spending on national defense and security, law enforcement set new tasks to implement comprehensive audit of the closed items of the budget.
The key importance will have the audit of the efficiency of the implementation of the state programs of the Russian Federation and subprograms being part of the above, as well as federal target programs and the state armament program for 2011 - 2020, within the stages of their implementation in terms of the assessment of effectiveness, productivity and economy.
Strategic audit should be the foundation for assessing the feasibility, risks and consequences of the state armament program over the interval of 5 years in terms of achieving the ultimate target effects (indices, indicators), including a qualitative increase in the combat readiness of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops and military formations.
Effective independent monitoring - the absolute standard of a modern democratic society - lies at the heart of the entire legal and regulatory framework governing activities of substantially all the SAIs of the world.
On a new phase of the improvement of its activities, the Accounts Chamber primary focuses on improving the effectiveness of its auditing, and regards information transparency of all processes of its activity as of paramount importance.
This Strategy should be the basis for the formation of the priorities of the functioning of the Accounts Chamber, the concepts of work in the areas of its activities, as well as for preparation of annual work plans.
Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation T.A. Golikova