News in Brief

International Journal of Government Auditing –Autumn 2017


Malta

MALTA NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE HOSTS EU CONTACT COMMITTEE JOINT SEMINARS

Participants of the 2017 European Union Contact Committee Joint Seminars hosted by the National Audit Office of Malta standing in rows on a staircase.
Participants of the 2017 European Union Contact Committee Joint Seminars hosted by the National Audit Office of Malta.

The National Audit Office (NAO) of Malta hosted the 2017 European Union (EU) Contact Committee joint seminars on the Fiscal Policy Audit Network and Europe 2020 Strategy Audit Network May 30-31, 2017. Thirty-five participants from 18 national audit institutions, along with European Court of Auditors (ECA) representatives, attended the Fiscal Policy Audit Network seminar designed to improve methodologies and practices in auditing national fiscal policy. The network, chaired by the National Audit Office of Finland, strives to share best practices and knowledge among the network's Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).

Mr. Charles Deguara, Malta's Auditor General, welcomed guests and highlighted the network's progress, touching on key issues, including public finance sustainability, tax policy and fiscal reform effectiveness, as well as the international debt crisis. During his address, he also conveyed his appreciation to Ms. Tytti Yli-Viikari, Auditor General of Finland, and Ms. Anna Furtado, representing the Portuguese Court of Accounts, for their ongoing collaboration in organizing the events.

Malta Fiscal Advisory Council's Mr. Malcom Bray offered an engaging presentation on the "Quality of Public Finances," where he highlighted the important roles independent fiscal and national audit institutions play in increasing public finance quality.

The Fiscal Policy Audit Network seminar then focused on three themes:
  • Fiscal Policy Preparation and Implementation;
  • Transparent, True and Fair Views of Central Government Finances; and
  • Public Finance Sustainability.

The Europe 2020 Strategy Audit Network seminar followed with nearly 40 SAI delegates and ECA representatives in attendance at this forum aimed at sharing experiences and insight in auditing "Europe 2020" related topics.

The Portuguese Court of Accounts, chair of the Europe 2020 Strategy Audit Network, was represented by Mr. Josť Pinto Almeida, who opened the seminar citing the network's achievements since its establishment in 2009.

The agenda also included a brief overview on the "Europe 2020 Strategy: Education and Social Cohesion," offered by Dr. Jonathan Vassallo from the Office of the Prime Minister's Planning and Priorities Coordination Division.

Additional seminar topics focusing on Europe's 2020 Strategy included ongoing parallel audits, national audits, and related ECA work.

EUROPEAN COURT OF AUDITORS VISIT MALTA NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

A delegation from the European Court of Auditors (ECA) visited the National Audit Office of Malta (NAO) June 26, 2017.

Led by Mr. Klaus-Heiner Lehne, ECA President, and accompanied by Mr. Leo Brincat, Malta's ECA Member, the officials met with NAO senior leaders, including Mr. Charles Deguara, Auditor General, and Mr. Noel Camilleri, Deputy Auditor General, to discuss ECA and NAO objectives, roles and support.

Delegates meeting at a conference table.
ECA and NAO delegates meet at Malta's National Audit Office.

Mr. Lehne referenced ECA's primary objective as guardian of European Union (EU) funds-ensuring regularity, probity, value for money and sound financial management. He identified, in particular, benefits of the recently introduced ECA landscape reviews that consider broad themes relating to accountability, transparency, and effective EU funds management and utilization. Mr. Lehne also noted the key role of Supreme Audit Institutions in ensuring citizens regain trust in EU institutions.

Mr. Brincat conveyed his appreciation for the professionalism and independence the NAO has consistently shown and affirmed the ECA's honor in organizing a joint seminar hosted in Malta in September 2017. The seminar, "Audit Follow Up in the Public Sector: Enhancing Accountability," featured keynote speaker Mr. Martin Weber, Director in the ECA Presidency Directorate.

"NAO is committed to carrying out its constitutional mandate professionally, objectively and transparently," emphasized Mr. Deguara, and, he added, "We intend to promote good governance and the best use of public resources in the interests of our taxpayers."

Mr. Deguara reiterated NAO's readiness for the continued cultivation and strengthening of ECA relations to include participating in ECA-organized initiatives and providing technical and logistical support during ECA audit assignments in Malta.

Contact NAO at nao.malta@gov.mt or visit their website at http://nao.gov.mt for more information.