The main mission of SAO is to provide constitutional institutions and citizens with reliable and competent information on the management of taxpayers' resources, resources collected under law, and state property.
The Office determines primarily whether state and other entities manage the state property and resources entrusted to them effectively and economically, and whether in doing so, they act in accordance with legal regulations. Based on the results of its auditing activity, the Office prepares and submits to the Chamber of Deputies, by set dates, its qualified statement to report on the implementation of the state budget and on the state final account. The SAO proceeds similarly in carrying out audits of the use of resources provided to the Czech Republic from abroad, and in audits of resources for which the state has assumed guarantees.
Also subject to auditing is the issue and amortization of government securities, and public tenders.
In addition, SAO prepares at the request of the Chamber of Deputies, the government and individual ministries comments and opinion on proposed legal regulations, especially those concerning the budget, accounting, statistics, and auditing, tax and inspection activities.
The SAO audit plan defines individual audits for the next budgetary year in terms of substance and schedule. The plan specifies the object and purpose of audits, designates the audited persons, and sets the schedule of audits. Also included in the plan are the names of the SAO members entrusted with drawing up the audit conclusions, and SAO bodies, which approve the conclusions.
The audit plan primarily draws on suggestions by President, Vice-President and SAO members. Suggestions from the Chamber of Deputies, its bodies and the Government of the Czech Republic are also considered.
The audit plan, approved by the SAO Board, is submitted by the SAO President for information to the Chamber of Deputies and the Government of the Czech Republic. The plan is published in the SAO Bulletin.
The basic audit procedures are prescribed in the audit rules, which are a part of the Act. They define the internal relationships within the SAO, among its bodies, members and auditors charged with the conduct of specific audits, as well as relationships to the audited persons. Audits are performed by SAO members and auditors on the basis of written warrants.
Adequate preparation is indispensable for qualified execution of audits. Preparation calls for maximum information about the subject of audits as well as about the entities to be audited. Selection and setting of evaluation criteria also occur at this stage.
On the basis of evaluation of collected data and items of information, programs of audits are devised and audit teams formed. Part of the preparatory work are briefings given to audit teams by the SAO member in charge, including in particular methodical and organizational aspects and schedules of audits.
Before audits, auditors present their warrants to the audited persons, acquaint them with the program and ask for their necessary cooperation.
Audits may be performed only by auditors whose objectivity with regard to the object of the audit and the audited persons is guaranteed.
During audits, auditors must ascertain the true state of affairs, prove it by appropriate documents, compare the ascertained state with the set criteria, and determine which legal regulations were contravened. Auditors have access to all parts of buildings and to all documents and other papers; they are obliged to respect the legitimate interests and rights of the audited persons. They must keep all ascertained facts confidential.
During audit, audited persons must cooperate and furnish necessary technical facilities. Fines may be imposed by SAO for failure to extend cooperation.
Audit protocols contain a description of ascertained facts and specify defects and legal regulations that have been contravened. Protocols must include the names of auditors, designation of auditees, the place and the date of the audit, its object and references to the documents on which the protocols are based. Protocols are signed by the auditors and the auditees. Auditees may file objections in writing and state the grounds for them. Heads of audit teams are empowered to decide on objections.
If the objections are disallowed by the head of the team, the auditee may file an appeal with responsible SAO bodies (SAO member, Senate or Board), which then decide on the objections and further procedure.
On the basis of audit protocols and relevant documents results of audits are summarized and evaluated in the form of audit conclusions.
Audit conclusions are prepared by SAO members responsible for the conduct of audits in cooperation with the appropriate coordinating or regional departments. They are approved by the Board or the Senate after members' comments have been considered.
The SAO President presents all approved audit conclusions without delay to the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, the Government of the Czech Republic, the Czech National Bank, and upon request to ministries concerned. They are also published in the SAO Bulletin. Audit protocols and other data pertaining to the approved audit conclusions are made available by the SAO, on request, to the Chamber of Deputies, its bodies and the Government of the Czech Republic.
If the SAO while auditing, discovers facts that indicate criminal offence or contravention of legal regulations, the SAO President notifies the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Summary results of the auditing and other activities of the Supreme Audit Office are evaluated in annual reports published in the SAO Bulletin. The annual reports contain in particular evaluations of the
The SAO Bulletin is published quarterly, and contains besides approved audit conclusions and annual reports also audit plan for the next year.