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Press conference “Results of the Public expenditure and financial accountability (PEFA) Performance Assessment Report”

Podgorica, 29th January 2020 – The State audit institution has hold the press conference regarding the presentation of the results from the Public expenditure and financial accountability (PEFA) Performance Assessment Report in external audit area.

President of Senate PhD Milan Dabović, members of Senate Zoran Jelić and Radule Žurić and general secretary of the Institution, Mihaela Popović have participate at the press conference.

In the opening speech, president of Senate has stated that „when it comes to the coverage and audit standards, the external audit performed by the SAI is an area of strength“. „The assessment results in this Report are largely consistent with the findings of the SAI. The SAI, through its audit process has significantly effect on strengthening fiscal discipline and efficient functioning of the revenue institutions. It has contributed to a consistent implementation of the budget classifications concept and it has reduced the deviations in the planned-executed budget ratio to a low and legally acceptable level“, said Dabović. The SAI will continue to work on improving its work by implementing the Strategic development plan of the SAI, organizing training and improving cooperation with the public entities, non-governmental organizations and citizens of Montenegro.

Member of Senate Zoran Jelić has presented the results of the assessment in the external audit area related to the audit coverage and standards, submission of audit reports to the legislature and external audit follow-up, while member of Senate Radule Žurić has talked about the assessment in area of the SAI’s independence.

Member of Senate Jelić has stated that in relation to the previous assessment of the World Bank from 2013, the SAI has increased its audit capacity, refined its audit methodologies and implemented internal quality assurance procedures. He has added that the assessment considered limitations that have impact on the performance of the SAI itself. „It refers to the implementation of the recommendations and limited coverage of the assets and liabilities in the financial statements of the government. It has also been stated that the SAI’s actual coverage of local self-governments and public enterprises remains very limited. The SAI’s capacity for performance audit has increased, but the number of audits of economy, efficiency and effectiveness is still limited. “

In relation to the above mentioned, the SAI has planned to increase the number of the audits of local self-government units and performance audits in the Annual audit plan for 2020. At the end of the current year, the Institution will be a host of the IV Annual meeting of the EUROSAI Task Force for Municipality audit and seminar “Municipal real estate management” with the aim to implement the best practices and improve its audit methodology. In order to fully comply with the international standards, the SAI has adopted the Instruction on methodology for performance auditing in accordance with IV level of ISSAI standards, Medium term plan of the SAI for performance auditing for period 2020-2024 that will be focused on auditing the sustainable development goals from the UN Agenda for sustainable development 2030 and has prepared a draft Manual for financial and regularity audit, stated member of Senate Jelić.

Member of Senate Žurić has stated that „Assessment included in the Report of the World Bank confirms that we achieved the planned reform related to harmonization of the legal acts with the international principles of independence, as it is stated in the PEFA Assessment Report from 2013. Based on this assessment, it is concluded that the independence of the SAI is guaranteed by the Constitution of Montenegro, Law on SAI and international standards of supreme audit institutions and it has been observed in the practice “. The World Bank has assessed the dimension of independence of the SAI with the highest score.

The State audit institution and other state institutions have been the subject of the assessment during 2019, which has been conducted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Government of Montenegro and the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro (DEU), with financing from the SAFE Trust Fund.

The Public expenditure and financial accountability (PEFA) Performance Assessment Report” is available at the web page of the Ministry of finance www.mif.gov.me.