Environmental Audit Report on the three-border area of Hungary Slovenia and Austria
Report ID: 5

The Austrian Court of Audit conducted an audit at the Federal Ministry of Forestry, Agriculture, Environment and Water Management and at the provincial governments of the provinces Styria and Burgenland. The audit took place from April to May 2005 and concerned the environmental situation at the border to Hungary and Slovenia. The audit focused on water quality (bodies of flowing water and ground water), soil quality and nature conservation (Natura 2000). The audit compared the actual state of the audited territory with the quality objectives as well as assessed the measures taken by the responsible authorities concerning their effectiveness to preserve and improve the environmental situation. The audited period covered the years from 2000 to the beginning of 2005.


Within their supervision duties the authorities responsible for water management (water management authorities) checked whether the municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants complied with the conditions defined by legal regulations and permissions. A comparison of the supervision activities in both provinces showed that the authorities of the province Burgenland investigated in a weekly rhythm whereas in Styria municipal plants were inspected three to six times a year and industrial plants usually once or twice a year.


In the opinion of the Austrian Court of Audit the inspection activities of the authorities should be harmonized all over Austria. It recommended that the Federal Ministry of Forestry, Agriculture, Environment and Water Management should work out guidelines concerning the frequency of controls. The frequency should be defined in such a way, that the water management authorities obtain a good overview of the installed systems and their emissions.


The objective of the Austrian Water Act concerning ground water quality is to obtain good chemical and quantitative conditions, a balance between extraction and regeneration and a quality, which generally allows the utilization of ground water as drinking water.

The Federal Ministry of Forestry, Agriculture, Environment and Water Management defined limit values for immissions by issuing regulations concerning drinking water and ground water. Based on the European Nitrate Directive an action programme was developed to protect the water bodies and to reduce and prevent water pollution caused by the agricultural use of land. This “Action Programme Nitrate” limits the application of fertilizers on agriculturally used land.

Financial means expended on air quality protection
Report ID: 28

The audits performed by the participating SAIs confirmed that commitments relating to international conventions on air and ozone layer protection were in principle fulfilled, Only Directive 96/62/EC of the Council on ambient air quality assessment and management and related regulations, were not being complied with. IN the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia the monitoring detected exceeding of thresholds of certain pollutants, specifically PM10 particles. 

Slovakia and the Czech Republic are meeting the Kyoto targets. Both countries committed to reduce GHG emissions by 8% compared to the year 1990 in the period 2008-2012, which is achieved continuously and there are conditions created for the future achievement.

Slovenia committed to reduce GHG emissions by 8% compared to the year 1986 in the period 2008-2012. Difficulties were detected in the creation of comprehensive policies on climate change on Slovenia. The GHG emission mitigation principles were not incorporated into other key sectorial policies (e.g. agriculture, transport and energy) SAI Slovenia recommended establishing a responsible body on the governmental level to insure forming comprehensive policy on climate change and to carry out sectorial measures continuously. 

Austria is obligated to reduce GHG emissions by 13% compared to the year 1990. Following the current findings, the development of emissions in the housing, industry and traffic sectors made achieving the Kyoto target unlikely. SAI Austria recommended taking additional measures  to meet the targets of the period 2008-2012, as well as commitments for the period after 2012. The first period of the national emission system showed no significant benefit for the environment but enabled the participants of the system to start well prepared into the second period. 

The audit findings were approved in individual national audit reports. The reports together with the proposal on measures to be taken were submitted to the respective SAIs involved and to the legislative bodies of the participating countries.

Funds earmarked for development of motorway D8
Report ID: 34

In 2005 and 2006, the two supreme audit institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic, the Bundesrechnungshof (BRH) and the Nejvyšší kontrolní úřad (NKÚ) conducted parallel audits of expenditure on the construction of the motorway Prague – Dresden (D 8 motorway in the Czech Republic and the A 17 motorway in the Federal Republic of Germany). The motorways are connected by a border bridge co-financed by the two countries. By working together with the NKÚ, the BRH was able to audit in depth the efficiency of the funds used for building the border bridge. As a result of working closely with the BRH the NKÚ was furnished for comparative purposes with the necessary data of German cost levels of bridges and tunnels.

As part of the joint audit effort motorway bridges on the D 8 and A 17 were compared based on the prices per square meter of area of the bridge structure. The statistical analysis of prices made it possible to identify bridges that came at a high cost per square meter. This analysis revealed that the border bridge was the most expensive bridge as compared to other large bridges having a length of over 100 meters. The price increase could also be attributed to the delays occurred in the tender procedure.

When auditors analyzed the costs of tunnel structures, they found that the prices of tunnels are considerably higher on the D 8 motorway than the prices of comparable tunnels in Germany.

The BRH and NKÚ now possess a database of prices for bridges and tunnels on which they can rely in future audit missions into the efficiency of the funds used for transport infrastructure purposes.

Concerning the construction of bridges the two audit institutions recommend the following:

  • standardizing bridge constructions and
  • using composite steel-concrete and special structures only if pre-stressed steel-concrete bridges are not adequate.

The main features of the cooperation were teamwork and informality. Throughout the parallel audit, the auditors shared their specific knowledge and skills.

Report on the three-border area of Hungary, Slovenia and Austria
Report ID: 75

Environment and nature protection are decisive factors in modern society. As environmental problems do not stop at national borderlines, intensive international cooperation is needed in order to prevent and reduce pollution. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) as independent organizations have a special function in covering these topics.

With the aim to contribute to a supranational approach on environmental issues, the Heads of the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria decided to carry out a coordinated audits on how to treat the frequently identical problems of environment and nature protection in the region located along the joint borders of the three countries. All SAIs already had experience with successful bilateral audit cooperation; this trilateral audit denotes a further step in cooperation and exchange of know-how between the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria.

The environmental audits carried out by the three SAIs covered the topics water, soil and nature protection. The audited area comprised the border region of the three countries with emphasis on the region of Raab/Rába and Mur/Mura border river basin and protected areas. The audits covered the period 2000-2005 with focus on the trends and recent developments.

The main objectives were to address:

• the quality of rivers, groundwater, soil and natural habitats,

• the situation of sewage disposal,

• the effectiveness of the measures taken by the authorities to foster environment and nature protection, and of the application of funds,

• deficiencies and need for further measures.

In the audits special emphasis was given to the transboundary cooperation of the competent authorities of the three countries in the field of environment protection.
The audits were carried out in the spirit of tight cooperation of the three SAIs. Beyond the in-depth reconciliation of the audit highlights with one another, each of the three SAIs carried out the audit under its own authority and as part of its annual national audit program. Audit results were published in separate national reports and condensed to the joint report, compiled by the three SAIs.


Report in german: intosai-cooperativeaudits.org/catalog/report/umweltschutz-im-dreilndereck-ungarn-sterreich-und-slowenien

On Administration of Corporate Income Tax
Report ID: 95

The objective of the audit is to gain assurance that institution subordinated to the Minister for Finance – the State Revenue Service provides administration of Enterprise Income Tax relief in accordance with the regulatory enactments in force: a) to verify if control over justified application of Enterprise Income Tax relief is provided and organized; b) to verify if tax amounts forgone the State budget as a result of application of tax relief specified by legal enactments, are accounted and reported. Also to verify if the Ministry of Finance provides development and implementation of tax policy regarding Enterprise Income Tax relief and if tax relief efficiency and benefit to the public is assessed.

A number of discrepancies were disclosed in the activity of the Ministry of Finance, providing development and implementation of tax policy, and in the activity of the State Revenue Service, providing administration of Enterprise Income Tax relief.