Royal Audit Authority
The Royal Audit Authority is established by an act of Parliament/ legislative assembly. Head of the SAI is appointed by Head of State. The appointment of the Head of the SAI can be terminated
- by the order of the Head of State
- on reaching the age limit
No qualifications are prescribed for Head of SAI. The Head of SAI does not has a fixed tenure but an age limit of 60 years.
The various conditions of service of the Head of the SAI to secure independence are:
- Special procedure for appointment
- Independence to frame workplans
- Eligible for any other appointment under government.
SAI is an Independent external auditing body. The SAI does not have financial independence. The annual Audit recoveries are submitted to the Head of State and also to the Council of Ministers. SAI accounts are also audited by independent private firm of accountants annually and the audit reports are made public.
The SAI's jurisdiction extends to following and there are no limitations imposed on this jurisdiction.
- Federal Government
- Provincial and local governments
- Bodies not owned but substantially funded by the government
- Banks whose capital forms part of the Federal, Provincial and local government and autonomous bodies substantially funded by the government
- Entities owned or controlled by Federal, Provincial and local governments and other entities owned or controlled by such government owned or controlled entities
- State joint ventures with foreign agencies and other enterprises
- Audit of Receipt of the government
- Concession granted by the Government to agencies for exploitation of public resources.
- Aid or grants provided by Foreign Government
SAI also has Jurisdiction over fallowing
- Regulatory bodies (e.g. Privatisation, Environment, Pollution Control, Telecom etc.)
- Agencies to whom performance and delivery of public services is contracted out.
The SAI has powers of requisitioning all records of the auditee departments/organisations to discharge its mandate as per
- Right to acess to books of accounts/information at all times
- Financial Rules and Regulations
The SAI has powers to enforce or initiate enforcement action to secure access to needed records which are not produced as per General auditing Rules and Regulations. The SAI has power to seal, search and seize documents and other related items considered necessary for audit and inspection. Further, it has power to seek testimonials of the persons concerned. It can seek co-operation of persons other than agencies subject to audit and inspection. It can seek co-operation of persons other than agencies subject to audit and inspection as per GARR.
The SAI does not have powers to instruct government investigating agencies to perform activities considered necessary. It has power to re examine its own adjudication. The SAI has powers to decide on claims of interested persons in connection with official actions, duties and behaviour of persons subject to audit and inspection. The SAI has the authority to dispense with, in whole or part, the audit of Federal, Provincial and local Governments accounts and other related matters. It can defer or postpone Audits.
The SAI does not have powers to take punitive action and/or impose surcharges. The SAI has the powers to access the computer systems of the auditees and download and use electronic data either in site or off site. It has the powers to review the development of computer systems by the auditees and suggest controls. The SAI has a role in the appointment of the other external auditors engaged by auditees for meeting the statutory requirements. It has powers to supervise and regulate their work.
Audit Procedures And Functions
The SAI prescribes Financial, Compliance, Performance and EDP Audits in its scope of Audit as per general auditing rules and regulations and financial rules and regulation of Bhutan. The SAI conducts Pre audit, Concurrent audit and Special audit which includes Transaction audit, Performance audit and Investigation audit etc. The SAI does not discharge judicial functions. The procedure in following up and enforcement of audit findings include
- Continuance follow up of the reports by the SAI
- Follow up during field audits (next audits)
- Holding discussions with Agencies
- Reporting to next superior/higher if response not received
- Submitting audit reports to Ministries/Agencies
The SAI is required to follow specific standards, practices and guidelines in conducting audit and reporting eg. INTOSAI guidelines. The SAI can consult and/or collaborate with other countries/SAIs and international organisations on matters relating to audit eg. for professional development activities with SAI Canada, INDIA, UK, GAO, USA. The SAI can engage consultants and/or obtain professional services in conducting audit. The SAI can report on acts that infringe upon State economic interests like mass embezzlement of state assets, serious losses and wastes. The SAI does not requires that any fraud or embezzlement be reported by the auditees but it can oversee the ultimate disposal of cases detected by it. The Audit reports are addressed to next higher administrative authority/ heads of ministries, Heads of related autonomous bodies and auditee agencies concerned. Serious findings are brought to the attention of the Royal Civil Service Commission and the Head of the State. It also has role on the disposal or action taken on the audit findings. The SAI presents an interim reports of other than consolidated annual accounts of the Government, where necessary, before rendering an annual report.
The SAI has also the powers to share its audit reports with public or media only after formal reporting to the Government. It does not have powers to to amend accounts in case of financial statements. The SAI has an advisory role e.g.. before issuing financial rules and regulations draft rules are sent to SAI for review and comments.
The SAI is constituted as an audit office with monocratic status i.e.. with an auditor general or equivalent as head. The SAI is empowered to engage external auditors/agencies/consultants.
Administrative Functions And Miscellaneous
The SAI can expend resources budgeted independently. Annual budget proposed by SAI and presented to the National Assembly by the Ministry of Finance as a whole. Expenditures must confirm to the budgetary norms. It has full independence in forming its workplan. The recruitment of staff is done in consultation with public service commission. The SAI is subject to an independent audit. The SAI is required to submit a report on its activities periodically to the Head of State.