In accordance with our mission statement, we carry out our activities at ministries and at institutions at arm's length from the government. We also audit European funds flows.
Many important statutory tasks are carried out by institutions that are at arm's length from the government. These institutions have a public task but are not part of central government. They are funded in whole or in part from the public purse. Such organisations and institutions are known as RWTs in the Netherlands and includes Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation (NOS), universities and the Centre for Work and Income (CWI). These legal persons with statutory tasks spend about €110 billion every year on, for example:
RWTs have various sources of income. They receive money from social security and health insurance contributions, for example, but the charges levied for passports and driving exams are also a source of income. RWTs also receive funds from central government. It is therefore the Court of Audit's task to check the regularity, effectives and efficiency of their financial management. We have the power to audit only that part of the RWTs' budgets that is funded from taxation.
Our audits of legal persons with statutory tasks also consider the regulation of the ministers' responsibility for their policy fields. We also look at the ministers' supervision of institutions: can a minister fulfil his or her responsibilities? And how do the institution and the minister account for the implementation of policy? We share the lessons we learn from these audits in order to help improve public administration.
Each year the Court of Audit audits EU funds flows in the Netherlands. We also check the management of these funds, particularly agricultural subsidies and money that the EU spends on eliminating structural economic and social differences between and within the member states (the structural funds).