The Role of The State Audit Office

Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the State Audit Office Act, the State Audit Office is, in its activities, an independent state body exercising economic control. The State Audit Office is not competent to exercise powers of the state or to impose punishments. The function of the State Audit Office is to assist the Parliament and the Government, by proposals made by way of audits, in the performance of their duties and to provide the public with information concerning the use of funds by the public sector.

The State Audit Office is an information provider and, as such, does not engage in political discussion. The work of the State Audit Office commences immediately after the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) passes a resolution. It is the duty of the State Audit Office to verify the enforcement of resolutions as well as adherence to appropriate legislation, efficiency of enforcement and protection of national interests thereupon. For such purpose, a thorough analysis is carried out with an objective to obtain information on the basis of which new resolutions can be made. The State Audit Office offers an evaluation of a process: not only for statistical purposes but with a view to help the lawmakers in their future choices – which course of action should be continued and what should be improved or even amended. Although audit authorities of various countries have different powers, most of them still play the role of an independent source of information.

In order to render the use of public funds more efficient, the following sequence has been established: the Riigikogu expresses its wishes by passing an Act, the Government uses funds to carry out such wishes and reports on the expenditure, and the State Audit Office assesses to what extent the executive power has succeeded in carrying out the wish of the legislative power.

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