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.