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9 Nov 2017

Financial watchdogs of Belarus, Slovakia to take stock of e-procurement monitoring

MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) – The audit of e-procurement monitoring will become the first practical measure to be co-implemented by the supreme audit institutions (SAIs) of Belarus and Slovakia, Chairman of Belarus’ State Control Committee (SCC) Leonid Anfimov told the media following a meeting with President of Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office Karol Mitrik on 9 November, BelTA has learned.

“The first practical step of cooperation we discussed at the meeting will be an audit of e-procurement monitoring,” Leonid Anfimov said. He remarked that both countries have common issues, including those in the e-procurement system, when violations take place and the intervention of SAIs is required.

Leonid Anfimov expressed confidence that Slovakia is interested in Belarus’ experience because all the European SAIs have a limited authority and thus operate as chambers of accounts. “In Europe, the legislation does not outline the fields where a committee controls all the commercial and financial activities in a country. This is why our practices are of interest to foreign colleagues. They point out that the current structure in the SCC fully meets the requirements of the domestic economic situation,” Leonid Anfimov noted.

Karol Mitrik explained the interest in cooperation by the fact that a common plan of action will help conduct simultaneous and joint inspections, identify the strengths and weaknesses of audit in various states. “It does not matter that you have a presidential system and we have a parliamentary one. We have similar problems. This is why we are looking for common principles and approaches to increase our efficiency,” Karol Mitrik clarified.

A delegation of Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office came to Minsk to learn more about the work of the SCC and its departments, and exchange views on the promising avenues of cooperation between the financial watchdogs of Belarus and Slovakia, including those related with joint and simultaneous audits.

Interaction between the two bodies has been actively developing since 2016, when a delegation of the Supreme Audit Office attended a session of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Financial Control Bodies in Minsk on Belarus’ invitation. “We have decided to expand this event and invite our closest neighbors to take part in the capacity of observers. In the first place, in order to study the experience accumulated by the European SAIs, share ours, and compare the attitudes to audit in our countries. Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office was the first one to respond to our invitation,” Leonid Anfimov added. Back then, the sides reached a cooperation agreement and signed a memorandum. Belarusian specialists now take part in sessions of working groups on energy, environment, and natural resource accounting in the International and European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI and EUROSAI).

“The participation of the SCC in the meeting of heads of SAIs of the Visegrad Group in September 2017 was a breakthrough. This was a crucial political event for Belarus. We were invited as observers but we hope that Belarus will take part in the Visegrad Group sessions as a permanent observer thanks to the help of Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office,” Leonid Anfimov summarized.

 

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