On 20-21 February 2020, in Przno, Montenegro, SIGMA and SAI of Montenegro organized the Conference "Cooperation with Parliament to increase the audit impact". This conference was organized in the framework of the Network of Supreme Audit Institutions of EU Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries and the European Court of Auditors 2018-2020 plan of activities. Representatives of the supreme audit institutions and parliamentarians of Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, Kosovo, Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed the development in the relations between SAIs and Parliaments with the main focus on holding hearings focused to audit findings and recommendations and follow-up procedures.
In this activity ALSAI was represented by the Director of the Department of Strategy and Methodology, Standards and Quality Control, Mr. Gjovalin Preci and the specialist of the Directorate of Communication, Publication and Foreign Relations, Ms. Alma Shehu.
The conference was interactive and deputies of the Parliament of Sweden and Latvia, as well as the representative of the Court of Auditors of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany presented the effective practices of the respective countries regarding:
- the way in which the hearings are conducted in Parliament, as well as the specific involvement and role of the SAI in these hearings;
- the key factors affecting the conduct of successful and effective hearings and the challenges these countries still face;
- how SAI's relations with Parliament have been institutionalized.
The representative of the European Court of Auditors presented the experience of this court by evaluating the system of reporters at various committees in the European Parliament as very successful and made a presentation of the benefits, risks and challenges of this system.
Representatives of the parliaments and SAIs of the Balkan countries briefly presented the procedures for forwarding to dedicated committees or other parliamentary committees the audit reports, the challenges they face in developing hearings that are more politically used than serve to strengthen of the role of the SAI and the implementation of its recommendations.
The Director of the Department of Strategy and Methodology, Standards and Quality Control, Mr. Gjovalin Preci presented the ALSAI experience in dealing with Parliament, emphasizing ALSAIs efforts to intensify this relationship qualitatively. Since couple of years ALSAI has asked the Parliament to consider its proposal for the creation of a subcommittee that will review the ALSAI reports. The creation of this subcommittee would serve not only to inform the Parliament on audits performed by the SAI, but through parliamentary oversight aimed at increasing pressure on central and local government institutions to implement the recommendations. Also with the decision of the Chairman no 34/39, on June 30, 2018, the Guidelines for the Institutionalization of Relations with Parliament have been adopted, which clearly set out the steps for an effective SAI relationship with Parliament with emphasis on:
- drafting a broad framework agreement which will include not only strengthening parliamentary oversight of the implementation of the ALSAI recommendations but also a concrete agenda for the implementation of the ALSAI key recommendations over the years;
- expanding relations with other parliamentary committees that are interested in special audit reports - using the Parliament's work to initiate audits of particular importance to the public;
- organizing a round table once a year with members of the Albanian Parliament to inform them on the concrete activity of the SAI.
Also Mr. Preci emphasized that in the framework of increasing transparency and intensification of relations with the Parliament, alone during 2019 SAI has forwarded to the Parliament 131 decisions and audit reports.
Participants in the conference had the opportunity to discuss in small groups and present concrete proposals and ideas for activities that contribute to further strengthening the relationship between SAIs and Parliaments, enhancing the impact of the audit work and financial oversight of Parliaments on governments.