The High-level Conference „The Role of the Supreme Audit Institutions in Enhancing Accountability, Transparency and Integrity in the Public Sector”, organised by the Bulgarian National Audit Office under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union took place on 15 May 2018 in Sofia.
Heads and representatives from 26 European SAIs, including 19 EU Member State SAIs, Heads of SAIs of EU candidate and potential candidate countries and the ECA President Mr. Klaus-Heiner Lehne, took part at the conference.
The Conference was officially opened by Mr. Tzvetan Tzvetkov, President of the Bulgarian National Audit Office, followed by welcome addresses from Ms. Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council 2018, and Mrs. Mariya Ilieva – Chairperson of the Public Sector Accountability Subcommittee to the Budget and Finance Committee.
Mr Tzvetkov pointed out that the aim of this forum is to exchange experience and good practices on implementing the principles of good governance, aimed at improving citizens’ lives and to justify their trust.
The stability and trust in public administration, the integrity and supremacy of the law are impossible without the audit institutions, said Ms. Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Mr. Klaus – Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors, held a keynote speech.
„Good governance underpins our citizens’ trust in their institutions. Therefore, our role as auditors should not only be to identify weaknesses; we should also exchange and disseminate good practices for greater accountability, transparency and integrity throughout the public sector. The exchange of good practice between SAIs of the Member States and those of the candidate countries is very much the theme of this conference. We, at the European Court of Auditors are grateful to President Tzvetkov and the Bulgarian National Audit Office for providing us with this opportunity to obtain a clear perspective from the countries of the Western Balkans“, said Mr Lehne.
The Conference consisted of 4 panels. The first panel was dedicated to the institutional independence as a key factor for SAI effectiveness. The second panel focused on the value-driven audits. The third panel of the Conference was dedicated to the administrative capacity modernization of SAIs as an example of good governance in the public sector. The communication with stakeholders and increasing the trust of the citizens was discussed during the fourth panel.
During the conference the two heads of the SAIs of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Sayt Ahmet Bas and the head of SAI of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr Besnik Osmani, signed a consortium agreement between their institutions.