All ministers account to parliament each year to explain what they did with the tax money they received and spent. For the operation of a democracy, their accounts must be correct and auditable. The Court of Audit has a statutory duty to audit the ministries' annual reports each year. Our regularity audits check that the ministers use tax money in accordance with the rules.
Wherever possible our regularity audits rely on audits carried out by other parties, for example the audit departments of the ministries. We also carry out our own investigations.Up
On the third Tuesday in September each year (Budget Day) the government presents its plans for the coming financial year. More than 18 months later the ministers account in their annual reports for the activities they carried out. They do so on Accountability Day, the third Wednesday in May. We then publish 'Accounting for Central Government', the Court of Audit's report on the central government financial accounts. On the same day we also present our reports on the ministries' annual reports.
Our reports on the ministries' annual reports disclose any errors and uncertainties that we find in the annual reports and trial balances. We also report on any problems in the ministries' operational management. We thus inform parliament and encourage the ministers to improve their operational management.Up
The Court of Audit can lodge an objection if it detects irregularities or shortcomings in a minister's financial management or material management. We are not quick to lodge objections. Before we do so, we first carry out a more detailed investigation of the problem. Such an investigation is known as an objection audit. Depending on the findings, we then decide whether or not to lodge an objection. The objection procedure is a sign that measures are needed urgently.Up