NKU to Focus on ESO, European Funds and Universities in 2017

National Supreme Audit (stock photo by Pravda.sk)

Bratislava, December 26 (TASR) – Reform of the ESO public administration system, European funds for informatisation, universities and legal services for the state will be subjects of scrutiny for the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) next year, TASR has learnt from NKU chair Karol Mitrik.

NKU has gradually been abandoning financial inspections and compliance checks and intends to focus significantly more attention on cross sectional performance assessments in order to ascertain efficiency in dealing with financial resources in public policies.

“We’re abandoning small-scale checks and are going to refocus more on wholesome, purposeful activities. We’d like to be an asset for this country in terms of making recommendations on public policies, pointing to their strong and weak points, rather than just evaluating travelling expenses. That is certainly not the task of a national audit authority like NKU,” stressed Mitrik.

Whereas performance assessment constituted only 2 percent of all audits in 2015, that number swelled to 20 percent in 2016, with the planned target for next year put at 43 percent. NKU also cooperates in the sphere of audits with the Financial Policy Institute (IFP) under the remit of the Finance Ministry.

In 2017, NKU will look at, for instance, the Interior Ministry’s ESO programme with an eye towards optimising public administration operational costs.

Auditors will inspect Operational Programme Informatisation of Society (OPIS) in order to evaluate processes ranging from public procurements to the conclusion of European fund projects.

NKU will conduct a cross sectional assessment of legal services by looking into various studies and legal opinions. “We feel that an inappropriately large amount of resources is being spent by the state on this field. In many cases it turns out that these studies are then put away in a drawer somewhere and not put to any use, although it costs a great deal of money,” emphasised Mistrik.

Another priority for NKU in 2017 will be to evaluate how universities and higher education facilities govern public resources and carry out strategic projects.