State Funds Spent on the Enhancement of Purity of Water in the Oder Watershed
Report ID: 30

On October 23, 2001 in Seoul, representatives of the Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland, the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic and the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic (the participating parties) signed a joint standpoint on cooperation in the sphere of carrying out parallel audits of implementation of tasks related to protection of water against pollution in the Baltic Sea Area.

The parties carried out a jointly prepared audit related to the activities organized by state authorities of each of the parties and affecting the quality of water flowing into the Baltic Sea. A summary 'was drown up of financial means of the individual countries, employed to improve water management in the relevant areas.  The results of monitoring water quality were evaluated.

The SAI of Poland, in accord with its competence required that the state authorities implement recommendations connected to audit findings. It also evaluated the fulfilling of tasks following from the previous audit. The audit emphasized activities carried out on trans-boundary waters in the Oder watershed since 1997.

The SAI of the Slovak Republic audited implementation of measures connected to protection of water against pollution in the Dunajec and Poprad Rivers, which waters drain into the Baltic Sea through the other watercourses. Audits were carried out of purposeful and economically effective use of the means of the state budget and stole funds for investments, monitoring and other activities in the period since 1998. No serious inadequacies were found in these areas.

The SAI of the Czech Republic carried out audits of measures implemented since 1996 in the entire watershed of Oder in the territory of the Czech Republic and evaluated the results of monitoring in selected monitoring points in this territory. It summarized the means employed and audited selected recipients of state funds to ascertain whether they complied with the conditions under which this assistance was allocated. Trends in important water pollutants were evaluated and the ecological benefits of subsidies from the State Environmental Fund CR in the Oder watershed were evaluated.

AII the audit authorities were concerned with compliance with international agreements in the given area and stated that these agreements had been fulfilled. The Supreme Chamber of Control of the Republic of Poland pointed out difficulties occurring Since 1998 in connection with absence of the representative of the Government of the Republic of Poland in the frame work of the agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of Poland and the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic on water management on trans-boundary waters on March 21, 1958.

In relation to water quality, it was stated that this has improved over the lost approx. 5 years. This improvement is the result, amongst other things, of substantial l investments and other measures implemented in the individual countries.


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.


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.

Report on the parallel audit on the Management and Control Systems for Assistance Granted under the Structural Funds
Report ID: 68

This was a parallel audit on the application of the Structural Funds regulations, to ensure that all Member States establish appropriate audit trails and implement independent checks on 5% of transactions. The results of the audit will be used by all current and prospective new Member States in developing their own management and control systems.

The main conclusions were:

  • In most countries there is a sufficient audit trail as required by regulations, although some weaknesses in the audit trail were noted when examining individual projects, these were not usually systematic weaknesses, but individual project failings.
  • The progress reporting of projects was felt to be relatively weak, focusing largely on financial monitoring without providing any link to the outputs and outcomes of the projects.
  • In most countries the execution and reporting of the 5% checks complied with Commission Regulation 438/2001. Where this is not the case, the relevant authorities have taken steps in the right direction to ensure that the required checks will be carried out by the end of the programming period.
  • The independence of the organizations that carry out the 5% sample checks was guaranteed in all programmes.
  • The implementation of the 5% checks across all countries has been relatively slow and has often not been evenly spread over the period to date.
  • The way the Structural Fund rules are formulated by the European Commission (Commission) leaves room for ambiguous or even contradictory interpretations.
  • Furthermore, some Member States expressed concern about an increasing burden to implement the new provisions for the 2000 - 2006 Programme, with little opportunity to apply a risk-based approach, and associated resource costs that were out of proportion to the funding provided by the European Union.


Report on parallel audit on the processes of identifying reporting and following-up on irregularities
Report ID: 69

In total the 2000-2006 Structural Funds programme involved an expenditure of 141,5 billion Euro (without Community initiatives, innovative measures and technical assistance) to the nine Member States whose SAIs carried out the parallel audit.

The significance of the value of Structural Funds to all Member States prompted the Contact Committee in 2000 to establish a Working Group to carry out an exploratory survey of EU structural funds. A questionnaire was sent to the SAIs to gain an understanding of how these funds were controlled and managed by the various countries and to identify possible risk areas. Work was planned to coincide with the 2000-2006 funding cycle and revision of the regulations covering the funds.

The Working Group reported its findings from this work to the Contact Committee in November 2002 and recommended to conduct  a parallel audit aimed to identify parts of the controls that need to be improved, and provide an overview of best practice. It was determined that the best way to achieve this was to focus the parallel audit on the application of the regulations, to ensure that all Member States establish appropriate audit trails for transactions and implement independent checks on 5% of transactions. The results of the audit would be used not only for the Member States, but also for the new Member States.

Each SAI produced a Country Report which has been consolidated to provide an overall conclusion, identify good practice, weaknesses and recommendations arising from the work. Issues raised byindividual SAIs are annotated under each Objective where appropriate. The Working Group have then produced the combined report summarising the key findings and recommendations from those Country.

The audit approach was enhanced through the participation of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), in particular, towards the end of the report drafting process the ECA benchmarked the draft report findings and recommendations against those reported by the ECA. The report contains recommendations for  audit trails and 5% checks as well as for  future parallel audits.