Rome, November 19, 2017 - 17.10
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Public Sector Auditing

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The following Public Finance Auditing tasks, carried out by the Inspectorate General for Finance (Ispettorato Generale di Finanza - IGF) and related units , play an important role in the mission of the State General Accounting Department:

· Inspection controls on the regularity and profitability of the administrative and accounting management of the Public Administrations, public bodies and organizations, carried out directly by the Inspectorate General for Finance (Ispettorato Generale di Finanza - IGF);

· Accounting controls, coordinated by the Inspectorate General for Finance (Ispettorato Generale di Finanza - IGF);

· Supervision and audit of public bodies and organizations.

The inspection functions are carried out by the Public Finance Inspection Services (Servizi Ispettivi di Finanza Pubblica - S.I.Fi.P.). In addition to the hierarchical inspection activity that concerns the internal branches of the Ministry, the Services usually carry out administrative and accounting controls on Government Administrations, Local Authorities, public bodies and institutions and in every organization where, in general, public resources are managed.

Today, there are 148 Finance Inspectors and 4 area managers; they operate according to an annual program that includes both specific audits, focused on single Offices or Bodies or on specific management issues, and finalized audits based on a system of coordinated inspections of selected Offices or Bodies. The observations and the findings that are contained in the inspection reports then lead to direct interventions on the Government Administrations and Bodies that have been inspected in order to rectify the situation and also to inform the Regional Jurisdictional Chambers of the Court of Accounts (Procure Regionali della Corte dei Conti) of circumstances that could indicate a possible damage to public finance.

The functional area of the accounting controls is organized as a system and includes the Central Budget Offices (Uffici Centrali del Bilancio - UCB) that are present in every Ministry (14 in total, recently transformed into general management Offices by Legislative Decree n.173 of July 3, 2003) that are responsible of:

· the control of the legality of expenditures (legality audit);

· bookkeeping and accounting;

· the recording of expenditure commitments;

· the financial monitoring of the implementation of the budget and the assessment of costs and expenditure trends.

The Controls are also carried out by the 103 Provincial Accounts Offices (Ragionerie Provinciali dello Stato- RPS) that cover the entire national territory and control the administrative acts issued by the offices of the various Government administrations that have regional, provincial and inter-provincial authority. The Provincial Accounts Offices, when dealing with the decentralized Government bodies, have the same functions and powers of the Central Budget Offices that are located in the Ministries.

The Inspectorate performs the functions of supervision and audit of public bodies and organizations in conjunction with the single Ministries in the sectors of their respective jurisdiction and these actions are especially relevant in those instances when the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in concert with the supervising Ministry, has the power to approve the budgets of the public Bodies; the Inspectorate also examines the minutes transmitted by the boards of auditors and statutory auditors when one of the members of the board is a representative of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

In 2003, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, within the framework of the activities for the monitoring and the control of public expenditure, has instituted a Committee for Financial Coordination (Comitatodi Coordinamento Finanziario), that is structured on two levels: the central level is represented by the State Accountant General (Ragioniere Generale dello Stato), the Commander General of the Tax and Customs Police (Comandante Generale della Guardia di Finanza) and the Director General of the Revenue Agency (Direttore dell'Agenzia delle Entrate); at the Regional level, the territorial representatives of the above-mentioned institutions meet on a regular basis. The aim of this body is to create an operational synergy between the three organizations to promote a more effective and correct use of public resources with a particular focus on expenditure targeting.

Law n. 246/2002 has enhanced the above-mentioned duties concerning the monitoring and control of the public finance trends, particularly in terms of their governance.

The Inspectorate General for Finance publishes a specific annual report on the supervision and inspection activities of the State General Accounting Department (Ragioneria Generale dello Stato).