Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus

Audits performed by the Audit Office

As is explicitly stated in the internal Auditing Guidelines issued by the Auditor General, the Audit Office conducts audits in accordance with the INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements (IFPP), while it also adopts the International Standards on Review Engagements (ISRE) and the International Standards on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), for its engagements within the scope of these standards. The Audit Office carries out financial, compliance and performance audits as defined in ISSAI 100 ("Fundamental Principles of Public-Sector Auditing") as well as technical audits, based on ISSAI 5520 (“Guidelines on Best Practice for the Audit of Public/ Private Finance and Concessions”) and environmental audits on the basis of ISSAI 5110 (“Guidance on Conducting Performance Audit with an Environmental Perspective”) and ISSAI 5120 (“Environmental Auditing in the Context of Financial and Compliance Audits”).

    • Financial audit:

      Financial audits concern the audit of government accounts as well as the audit of financial statements of statutory bodies and other organisations, special funds, state enterprises and local authorities and aims to express an opinion on the extent to which these give a true and fair view.

    • Compliance audit or regularity audit:

      Compliance audits may be conducted as separate audits or as part of a financial and/or performance audit. These audits are designed to assess whether the actions of the auditee are in accordance with applicable rules or principles. These rules or principles may include provisions of legislation, regulations or agreements or general principles of good financial governance and behavior of public officials in relation to general principles of administrative law. Compliance audits play an important role in ensuring that the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance are applied.

    • Performance audit:

      A performance audit is an independent examination of a programme, activity, operation or the management systems and procedures of audited organisations, with the aim of assessing whether the management of resources is done in the most economic, efficient and effective manner.

    • Technical audit:

      The purpose of technical audits is to ascertain whether the performance of public contracts is done, on the one hand, in accordance with the terms/specifications of the contract, the implementation timetable and the contract budget and on the other hand in the most economic, efficient and effective way and that projects were adequately planned, designed and executed. This examination includes, inter alia, the examination of feasibility studies, technical specifications and plans, the terms of the tenders, the terms of the contracts, the procedures for requesting, evaluating and awarding tenders, and the process of modifying contracts.

    • Environmental audit:

      Environmental audits are usually a combination of financial, compliance and performance audits, in relation to a specific issue related to environmental governance.

Audit process

Conducting audits involves the collection, analysis and evaluation of audit evidence. At all stages, appropriate professional methodology is followed to ensure that the audit is successfully conducted with objectivity, accuracy and reliability.

Upon completion of the audit, a report is sent to the auditees, listing the audit findings together with our observations and recommendations, upon which the auditees are invited to comment and give their views and explanations. Subsequently, a Special Report is prepared, which is published on our website and is accessible to all citizens of the Republic. It is desirable that the reports receive adequate media coverage, as this ensures the transparency of our findings and recommendations.

The Annual Report, which is submitted to the President according to article 116 of the Constitution, contains the following:

(a) List of all Special Reports prepared and issued since the date of submission of the previous Annual Report.

(b) Reference to programmes funded by the European Union through the State Budget.

(c) The audit of the Financial Report and the Budget Execution Report submitted by the Accountant General to the Minister of Finance pursuant to article 78 of Law 20(I)/2014.

(d) The audit of the financial statements which include all economic entities, prepared by the Accountant General in accordance with article 79 of the above Law and the consolidated financial statements of the General Government.

(e) The Report of the private auditor, to whom our Office assigns the audit of its financial statements on its own accord.

ISSAI 20 (“Principles of transparency and accountability”) explicitly defines that Supreme Audit Institutions publicly disclose their findings and recommendations unless these are defined as confidential by special legislation. The Standard makes special reference to a strong relationship with relevant Parliamentary Committees. With regard to the issue of publicity, the following are mentioned:

    • Supreme Audit Institutions communicate openly with the media or other interested parties on their operations and audit results and are visible in the public arena.
    • Supreme Audit Institutions encourage public and academic interest in their most important conclusions.
    • Abstracts of audit reports and court judgements are available in one of the official INTOSAI languages, in addition to the country languages.
    • Supreme Audit Institutions initiate and conduct audits and issue the relevant reports in a timely manner. Transparency and accountability will be enhanced if the audit work and related information provided are not obsolete.
    • Supreme Audit Institution reports are available and understandable to the wide public through various means (e.g. summaries, graphics, video presentations, press releases).

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