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08 October 2020

EU requests from Kosovo more efficient implementation of NAO’s recommendations

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The performance and outcomes of the National Audit Office were addressed by the Kosovo Progress Report (for year 2020) which was published yesterday under the EU Enlargement Package.

The European Commission considers that the independent oversight institutions, especially the NAO and Ombudsperson, continue to address citizens’ right to good administration. However, the Commission requests from government institutions to be more efficient in implementation of recommendations made by NAO.

“The government should ensure more efficient implementation of their recommendations” the report states amongst others.

The report mentions the establishment of the Anti-Fraud Unit within the National Audit Office, which is described by European Commission that it has identified 26 cases of suspected fraud in the area of public procurement, up from 12 in 2018 (its first year of operation). All 26 cases were submitted to the Prosecutor.

In addition, the Kosovo Progress Report points out that “Kosovo’s constitutional and legal framework provides for the functional, organisational and financial independence of the National Audit Office in line with the standards of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, which the Office joined on 1 January 2020”.

“The Office’s institutional capacity increased further to 170 staff, of whom 141 are audit staff. NAO is implementing its 2018-2021 strategic development plan, which includes objectives, 103 performance indicators and a monitoring framework. It has recently established an Anti-Fraud Unit currently staffed by one official”, the report states.

The report further states that the National Audit Office introduced audit quality control and assurance procedures and continued to implement a certification programme for auditors.

“NAO finalised 15 performance audit reports, compared to 13 in 2018 and 11 in 2017. Even if there is an ongoing effort, the Office undertakes mainly regularity audits and the number of performance audits should continue to increase. In order to improve the impact of audit work, especially at local level, the Office worked with civil society organisations, to organise municipality-level public debates on the audit recommendations. According to its 2018 annual report, the proportion of fully implemented recommendations rose from 34% to 39%. While its cooperation with the Assembly committees has improved”, the report highlights.

Lastly, the European Commission requests from the Assembly to more systematically follow-up the recommendations of National Audit Office, while the NAO should also continue its communication effort to strengthen its overall image.

The Progress Report serves as a tool for the European Commission to measure the progress of a country in implementation of European Agenda during a calendar year. The report is published once a year, usually in early October.