EUROSAI Audit on Climate Change
Report ID: 22

The aim of the audit was to assess the actions taken in the States of the Cooperating SAIs to implement the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol to this Convention, Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and the requirements of the national legislation, in the scope of:

  • the performance of observations on climate change and its effects,
  • actions taken to mitigate climate change,
  • forecasts and assessments of the actual anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission and absorption levels,
  • reporting on the scope of the actions taken and planned to be taken in order to mitigate climate change and the achieved effects of these actions.

The audit demonstrated that in the period 2006 – 2008 in all the States of the Cooperating SAIs climate change observations were performed, covering climate variables and including analysis and interpretation of the research results. The scope and frequency of the research carried out in the individual States was different, but in all of them the basic climate variables were tested. The observation results were published in the reports of government agencies and statistical reports and they were also placed on the websites of the competent government institutions or meteorological services. All the States were involved in international cooperation in the scope of research and an exchange of observation data, e.g. through their participation in international networks and research projects, their work at the technical commissions of the World Meteorological Organisation and training courses. Climate change observations were funded with financial resources from the state budget, national, other than budget resources and international funds.

In all the States of the Cooperating SAIs, measures were taken to mitigate climate change through the limitation of their greenhouse gas emissions and the enhancement of the capacity of the sinks and reservoirs of these gases. Bodies responsible for taking measures to mitigate climate change were established. In 8 States, national and sectoral strategies, programmes or action plans necessary to stabilise and limit greenhouse gas emissions were prepared and in 2 States their preparation began. In 7 States the greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 30% - 53% with respect to the base year (under the Kyoto Protocol: 1988, 1990, 1995 or 2000, depending on the State) and in 1 State the emissions grew by 85.3%. The per capita levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions varied between 5.1 – 16.4 Mg CO2e.

In the EU Member States, the provisions of the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive were implemented. National emission allowance allocation plans were developed, an emission allowance trading scheme was established and the required registries were kept. Among the 6 States of the Cooperating SAIs which were not EU Member States, emission allowances were traded pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol only in 1 country.

6 States of the Cooperating SAIs – Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Denmark, Israel, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland – were involved in the implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, whereas 5 of them – Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine – participated in Joint Implementation (JI) projects. The international cooperation in the field of the mitigation of climate change effects also included the implementation of educational projects, support for legislative activities and participation in the working groups of international agencies. The activities within the framework of international cooperation were funded with national resources and those from international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and UNDP.

In all the States of the Cooperating SAIs, the measures to mitigate climate change were monitored.

The required reports were prepared and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat and the European Commission. Certain reports were submitted with a delay.

Joint report on parallel audit of Procurement of public building and corruption prevention
Report ID: 41

In January 2011, the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic (Czech SAI - NKÚ) and the Bundesrechnungshof of Germany (German SAI - BRH) agreed to conduct parallel audits both of the EU-wide awarding of building contracts and of corruption prevention.

The audit focused on the application of EU procurement law as transposed into national law and corruption prevention of contracts for building construction and road construction and/or transport infrastructure. The audit also covered contract awards below the EU thresholds with a view to corruption prevention.

The working groups of the two SAIs compared the legal frameworks and administrative regulations in the Czech Republic and in Germany and the results of their parallel audits which they conducted specifically in the fields of building construction and road construction.

The two SAIs´ audit findings are summarised in the joint report.


Joint final report on findings concerning the implementation of provisions of the convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area (the Helsinki Convention) 2001
Report ID: 42

In  2000, the SAIs of  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden decided to carry out a parallel audit to assess the implementation of the provisions of the Helsinki Convention of 1992, previously encompassed by the 1974 Convention, related to the protection of the Baltic Sea against land-originating pollution.

The participating SAIs prepared a common Audit Programme signed in Stockholm in May 2000.

The audits were undertaken on the initiative of the Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland, with consideration of the INTOSAI and EUROSAI guidelines on initiating and conducting international and regional audits of the implementation of tasks arising from provisions of international agreements related to environment protection.

In particular the SAIs examined:

  • Whether national legislation takes into account the provisions of the Helsinki Convention related to the protection of the Baltic Sea against pollution,
  • Whether control procedures and measures are in place in this respect,
  • The use of public funds for the implementation of tasks related to the protection of the Baltic Sea waters,
  • Audit of the non-point sources of pollution, mainly from agriculture,
  • Audit of land-based point pollution sources, regarding mainly urban zones and municipal wastewater treatment plants.

The audits scope covered the period between 1996 and 1999. The audit was carried out during the second half of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001. The audit findings were presented in the second quarter of 2001 in the form of national reports. Summaries of these reports served as a basis for preparation of this Joint Final Report.


Audit of the CO2 emissions trading systems
Report ID: 47

The Nordic–Baltic–Polish cooperative audit on emissions trading was performed in 2012 and involved the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.1 The report builds on 13 individual national audit reports.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to assess:

• the effectiveness of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions or fostering technology development
• the proper functioning of the EU ETS: national registries, greenhouse gas emissions permits and emissions reporting
• the implementation and administration of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) programmes.

There are clear indications from the cooperative audit that the emissions limitation targets adopted in the Kyoto Protocol or through the EU Burden Sharing Agreement are likely to be met in all seven countries by the end of the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period (end of 2012). The countries have implemented the EU ETS in line with the current EU legislation and the provisions under the UNFCCC. However, the effectiveness of the system in reducing emissions is a major challenge. For the Nordic countries the EU ETS provided little incentive for long-term reductions in CO2 emissions as allowance prices have been low due to a general surplus of allowances in the system during the period 2008–2012. Taking into account the slower economic
growth than expected, emissions trading did not provide a strong market mechanism that has raised the costs of emissions related to production and given a competitive advantage to cleaner production.

The audits for Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have shown that emissions have increased at a slower pace than economic growth. However, in this audit it has not been possible to measure whether this can be attributed to the effectiveness of the EU ETS.


Parallel audit of the use of public funds for motorway construction
Report ID: 65

The European motorway network forms the backbone of the passenger and freight transport in the European Union. As this situation will remain unchanged for the time being, investments in the expansion and maintenance of the European Motorway network are very important. Thus, examining the use of public funds for financing motorway construction projects is a key responsibility of Supreme Audit Institutions.

This report informs about the findings produced by the parallel audit missions regarding the funds spent on building the A 73 motorway (A 73) in Germany (section Thuringia/Bavaria satate border - Lichten - fels) and the D 1 motorway (D 1) in the Slovak Republic (section Vrtizer - Hricovske Podhradie). The audit missions focused on the public procurement procedure and a comparison of building standards and costs relative to the A 73 and the D 1. In the years 2009 to 2011, the audits were performed by the German SAI and the Slovak SAI in their respective country in order to share their findings and make comparisons.

The parallel audits found that by awarding the public works contract concerning the D 1 to a general contractor, competition was restricted placing small and medium sized enterprises at a disadvantage.

The expenses on building the two motorways increased considerably owing to the general increase in construction costs, the hike in value added tax (VAT) and, above all, the inadequate preparatory works performed by the respective national road works administrations. The two administrations did not or not adequately invite tenders for required work and services, with the result that supplementary agreements had to be subsequently concluded. Since the costs stipulated in these agreements were fixed in an environment with reduced or even no competition the contractors were able to enforce higher prices.