The Law on the Organization of and Procedure before the Audit Court was recently amended by means of Law No. 19/19, of 14 August 2019. This amendment seeks to establish faster, helpful and effective mechanisms of review and inspection of public finances and of sound financial management.
The changes enacted encompass inter alia the following:
(i) The period for tacit approval in simplified and urgent proceedings is now 10 days, as opposed to the previous 15 days;
(ii) The list of the entities subject to the jurisdiction of the Audit Court was extended, now covering for example also State-Owned Financial Institutions or financial companies with State-owned share capital, as well as concessionaires responsible for managing State-owned companies, companies with State-owned share capital, companies responsible for the management of public goods and services, and public works concessionaires;
(iii) The list of events which are not subject to the prior review of the Audit Court is extended and expressly includes contracts entered into following a simplified tender procedure due to urgency reasons not attributable to the contracting public entity;
(iv) The Audit Court may hire auditing companies or technical consultants to carry out tasks required for the performance of the Audit Court’s duties whenever same cannot be performed by the Court’s support services; and
(v) The number of judges who comprise the Audit Court is increased from 9 to 13.
The new statute also contains a transitional provision according to which until further regulations on the Audit Court’s fees are enacted, the current fee regime remains in force.
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