UAE News Today : Politics

New Accountability Authority created to lead UAE anti-corruption audits

Abu Dhabi: A new UAE Accountability Authority will be established to replace the Supreme Audit Institution, according to a federal decree issued by the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The new Authority will report directly to the President, and will be the “supreme authority for financial control, auditing, integrity and transparency of the country,” reported the WAM.

The issued decree regulates the “functions of the UAE Accountability Authority and its multifaceted contribution, together with other specialized authorities, in the preservation of public funds by supervising financial, accounting and operational activities in entities subject to its supervision, in order to combat financial and administrative corruption; and strengthen its risk management systems, optimize its detection, limit its causes and hold perpetrators accountable.

“According to the decree, the Authority aims to enhance the inculcation of integrity, accountability, transparency and good governance in the Federal Government and entities subject to the Authority, to reinforce the country’s reputation and confidence in its financial and economic system” .

Multifaceted contribution

The functions of the Authority include reviewing and auditing the Consolidated Annual Report of the federal government and expressing an opinion thereon, as well as auditing the separate and combined annual financial statements in the entities subject to the control of the Authority, considering the laws and regulations that govern them. establish. entities.

Responsibilities also include assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of internal control systems for financial and operational operations, as well as establishing the supreme financial and administrative integrity and anti-corruption policies, upon approval by the President of the UAE.

“In addition to ensuring the effectiveness and economic efficiency of the financial and operational activities of government entities and their adherence to laws, legislation, regulations, policies, decisions and standards of good governance,” added the WAM.

According to the decree, the heads of the entities subject to supervision and the competent ministers must implement the conclusions of the supervision carried out by the Authority. It requires them to provide responses to the Authority within a period of no more than (30) days from the date of their notification, extendable under specific conditions.

Administrative investigation

“The Authority will review and conduct administrative investigations into complaints and reports related to any misappropriation of funds and assets belonging to regulated entities, conflicts of interest, abuse of authority, disclosure of official data and information, or exploitation of public office for personal benefit. or benefit to third parties,” details the decree.

“The functions of the Authority involve implementing preventive measures, controls for administrative investigations, financial statements, identifying strong mechanisms to protect whistleblowers and witnesses, as well as initiatives to recover public funds and comprehensively defining financial and administrative violations, including related decisions “with taking actions or refraining from them, or making statements that may directly or indirectly affect the reputation of the country and its financial and economic interests.”

To ensure appropriate accounting and governance practices, the Authority is authorized to audit, examine and review any document, data, information, report or digital record, or any electronic system of the subject entities. You are also authorized to access external audit reports; in addition to accessing the electronic systems and programs of the entities to evaluate the protection of their official data and information, as well as the entities and people who work with them, in coordination with the corresponding authorities.

Protect whistleblowers

The decree also describes the procedures for carrying out an administrative investigation, in which the Authority informs the entity subject to its supervision or the competent authority, so that it may impose a disciplinary sanction on the offending employee. The effort should lead to the recovery of illegally obtained public funds by the offender, who should compensate for the damages caused. Decisions on the measures imposed by the entity must be submitted to the Authority within 15 days following the date of notification.

The procedures also include the referral by the Authority of the administrative investigation documents to the competent prosecutor’s office, in the event that the investigation reveals a suspicion of a criminal offense. The regulations on anti-corruption procedures include the provisions and controls for carrying out an administrative investigation.

The decree authorizes the granting of an incentive, whether moral or financial, to any person who provides substantial information that allows the discovery of a crime of financial and administrative corruption. The Decree establishes the procedures to grant exemption from the prescribed sanctions to persons who, as collaborators or partners, report their participation in acts of financial and administrative corruption before their disclosure.

The decree authorizes “preserving the administrative investigation by reaching an agreement that results in the recovery of public funds and the provision of information of public interest,” and “delineates the entities that fall within the authority of the Authority, providing comprehensive definitions of their functions and obligations. It also specifies the functions of the supervisory authority’s staff, clients and auditors.”

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