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SAIs open to the needs and expectations of citizens

Heads of the Czech, German and Polish Supreme Audit Institutions met at the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Maius. NIK President, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, President of the Czech Supreme Audit Office, Miloslav Kala and President of the Bundesrechnungshof, Kay Scheller held speeches on the role and meaning of SAIs in a civic society and under the rule of law.

The society is more and more aware that the activity of national audit institutions enables the citizens to enforce the implementation of tasks and obligations from the state - said President Kwiatkowski. Effectiveness of those actions is reflected by the trust towards public institutions. NIK President presented the results of a survey conducted in March in Poland, according to which the percentage of citizens who positively assess the activity of NIK increased (since September 2017) by 3%, up to 46% - and to 47% in case of younger people.

The main part of the lecture concerned finding a golden mean between solving the problems of citizens and performance of public administration tasks in compliance with the law. According to Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, despite an apparent clash between the two, they may be both satisfied. One should bear in mind, however, that the administration may be divided into at least two levels - first concerns the performance of tasks, usually finance-related. Their results are clear: particular state services or activities. The second level is the management of planned changes. It is of course important, how efficiently and reliably the administration functions. However, it is crucial for the citizens, whether the activities of administration cause changes and improve the social or economic situation.

President of Bundesrechnungshof, Kay Scheller, President of the Czech Supreme Audit Office, Miloslav Kala and NIK President, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.

President of Bundesrechnungshof, Kay Scheller, President of the Czech Supreme Audit Office, Miloslav Kala and NIK President, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.

It is not sufficient that the institutions execute legal acts and comply with the legality principle, the society needs to see the results of such actions - said NIK President. This concept was the basis for the establishment of performance audit. Each activity has to be effective, economic and bring the expected result. Performance audit assesses whether the results, which influence the society, are worth the taxpayers’ money. Such approach, on the one hand, guarantees a reliable and objective audit, and on the other, provides a credible assessment on whether the society obtained what it expected in an optimal way. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski also pointed out the good practices presented in NIK reports, so such activities that resulted in concrete, positive results. They show how to enrich one’s knowledge using the experience of others.

NIK President Krzysztof Kwiatkowski speaks to UJ students gathered at Collegium Maius.

The President also discussed challenges faced by the SAIs in democratic countries. The first one is to respond to the needs and expectations of the society. Our main task is to be in permanent contact with the public opinion - said President Kwiatkowski. The presented information should be credible and comprehensible for the citizens, so as to provide them with up-to-date knowledge on the activity of public institutions and its effects. In this context the most important task of the Supreme Audit Office is to professionally assess the performance of institutions executing public tasks, in order to improve the efficiency of public authorities and administration, so as to achieve results expected by the society - said Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.

- Our effective, successful cooperation may contribute to the positive changes that the society will feel, and to changes in politics, which will be accepted by the public opinion - said Kay Scheller, President of the German Bundesrechnungshof. - I am glad that we cooperate with the German and Polish colleagues and that we still develop the cooperation - added Miloslav Kala, President of the Czech Supreme Audit Office.

Author: , Date of creation: 2018-06-25 10:56:56