The idea of auditing public expenditure and public financial management by an independent body has its roots in Ancient Greece. The ancient Greek philosophers, beginning with Plato, linked the concept of power with the concept of the financial responsibility of their leaders and with their obligation to account for and to inform their citizens regarding the exercise of this power, with which the people had entrusted them. The establishment of an auditing body was seen as the preferred means to ensure the orderly functioning of Athenian democracy and to avoid the abuse of power and arbitrariness of their leaders.
Today, more than ever, when modern societies are undergoing a period where institutions are under scrutiny and citizens demand greater transparency and accountability of those who manage public funds, the existence of a powerful and independent auditing body is an essential safeguard of democracy. The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus assigned this role to the Audit Office. Along the way, from 1960 onwards, this role has been extended through the provisions of a number of special laws beyond the scope of central government to public bodies and local authorities.
We, at the Audit Office of the Republic, recognize our responsibility for an objective and reliable assessment of public financial management and for the consolidation of public confidence towards the State. Our mission is to work towards a better, more efficient and sound public administration. Every euro of taxpayers’ money must be utilized in the best possible way. This is our mission and our vision. Be assured that we are committed to this goal and we invite every citizen to assist in achieving this vision for the progress of our country.
Dr Odysseas Ph. Michaelides
Auditor General of the Republic of Cyprus