101st anniversary of the establishment of NIK

The 7th February is an important date not only for NIK but also for the history of Poland. On that day in 1919, at the request of the Council of Ministers, Chief of State Józef Piłsudski issued a special decree and thus established the Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland. The document was countersigned by Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Minister of Treasury Józef Englich. The first person to stand at the head of the institution was Józef Higersberger. On 7 February 2020, the tribute was paid to the most outstanding employees of the Polish Supreme Audit Office and to all the people who fostered its development.

On 7 February 1919, a new institution was founded in liberated Poland. The Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland was responsible for modern state audit, upholding the principles of an honest state. The annual celebration is a reminder of the primary mission of NIK officials.

”We are objective and independent. Our reliability is a reason to be proud” - NIK President Marian Banaś has pointed out. ”For years of foreign occupation the Polish state has been in need for an independent institution to protect the state finance. And now Poland also needs an independent State Audit Institution to make sure the taxpayers’ money is settled properly.”

A special service was held at St. Alexander’s Church in Warsaw to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Polish Supreme Audit Office. The service was attended by NIK President Marian Banaś and other NIK employees including management board, auditors and others.

On that special day, the founders of NIK were commemorated, as it has been to date. NIK President Marian Banaś together with the Management Board of NIK, representatives of NIK regional branches and the trade union laid flowers at the monument of Józef Piłsudski near the Belvedere Palace and the monument of Ignacy Jan Paderewski in the Ujazdów Park.

Photos 1&2: Representatives of NIK Management Board laying flowers at the monument of Ignacy Paderewski and Józef Piłsudski

NIK President Marian Banaś and other NIK representatives also laid wreaths and lit candles for the late passengers of the fatal plane. On 10 April 2010, four persons related to NIK got killed in the plane crash near Smoleńsk: President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński, as well as Władysław Stasiak, Aleksander Szczygło and Sławomir Skrzypek. The values they followed have become an element of ethos of the state auditors.

Representatives of NIK Management Board laying flowers at the Powązki Cemetery

At the Powązki Cemetery Józef Higersberger, the first President of the Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland was also commemorated. He was buried there in 1921.

Representatives of NIK Management Board laying flowers on the grave of Józef Higersberger”

In the headquarters of NIK in Warsaw at Filtrowa Street there are places bringing back the memory of people who played an important role in the history of our institution. Quoting marshal of France Ferdinand Foch: ”When losing memory nations lose their lives”. In NIK headquarters the memory of those remarkable persons is still alive. 

Three years ago on 7 February 2017, a plaque to commemorate Marshal Józef Piłsudski was unveiled. The plaque was designed by Mark Moderau who also is the author of the monument of the Smoleńsk plane crash victims at the Powązki Military Cemetery. A few years earlier, on 7 February 2014, in the NIK headquarters the plaque commemorating Walerian Pańko was uncovered. Prof. Pańko was the first democratically elected President of NIK after 1989. The office where he used to work has been called his name. On 7 February 2012 the bust of Józef Higersberger was unveiled. And in 2011, on the 92nd anniversary of NIK establishment the plaque in memory of Lech Kaczyński, the founder of the modern state audit and the author of the new Act on NIK, was uncovered. Also NIK’s collegium hall was given the name of Lech Kaczyński. The brother and the daughter of the late President of the Republic of Poland were among the persons who took part in the ceremony of naming the hall and unveiling the plaque.

This year, in the NIK headquarters in Warsaw, NIK President Marian Banaś and NIK Vice-Presidents paid tribute to the late Presidents of NIK: prof. Lech Kaczyński and prof. Walerian Pańko. They also laid flowers at the bust of Józef Higersberger and the commemorative tablet of Józef Piłsudski.

Representatives of NIK Management Board laying flowers at the bust of Józef Higersberger and at the plaque of Józef Piłsudski”

In the regional branch of NIK in Cracow, on behalf of NIK President Marian Banaś flowers were laid on the tomb of Marshal Józef Piłsudski, President Lech Kaczyński, Vice-President Józef Nentwig and late Directors of NIK: Jan Dziadoń and Zbigniew Zdasień.

NIK has helped to improve the state for 101 years now. This year the Polish Supreme Audit Office is facing a lot of tasks and challenges. NIK is regularly informed about irregularities in various important areas of economic and social life. The information is sent by the citizens, social organisations and Parliament members. The need to audit selected areas is also signalled by the Sejm, Senate, Chancellery of the Prime Minister and the Ombudsman. As a reminder, this year’s work plan includes a lot of issues directly concerning the citizens, such as: the state’s preparation to act in the face of a real threat of epidemics, tariffication of health services or safety on the roads.

Each auditor, before starting his or her work, has to take an oath: „I pledge to serve the Republic of Poland, uphold the legal order, discharge obligations of an employee of the Supreme Audit Office conscientiously, impartially, to the best of my best knowledge and will”. Auditors remain faithful to those words. For 101 years NIK auditors have never forgotten about the superior values that they should follow, taking example from their predecessors.

Article informations

Date of creation:
24 February 2020 15:57
Date of publication:
07 February 2020 15:57
Published by:
Andrzej Gaładyk
Date of last change:
24 February 2020 15:57
Last modified by:
Andrzej Gaładyk
Representatives of NIK Management Board laying flowers at the bust of Józef Higersberger and at the plaque of Józef Piłsudski

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