The UAE has announced a new authority to audit public finances and combat corruption in the country.
President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Federal Decree-Law No. (56) of 2023 on establishing the UAE Accountability Authority. The new Authority will replace the Supreme Audit Institution and report directly to the President.
Aiming at maintaining and enhancing the integrity of public finances, the new Authority will be the supreme authority for financial control, auditing, integrity, and transparency in the country.
The Federal Decree-Law regulates the UAE Accountability Authority’s functions and its multifaceted contribution, along with that of other specialised authorities, in preserving public funds through supervising financial, accounting, and operational activities in entities subject to its oversight in order to combat financial and administrative corruption, strengthen its risk management systems, optimise its detection, limit its causes, and hold perpetrators accountable.
According to the Decree, the Authority aims to enhance instilling integrity, accountability, transparency, and good governance in the Federal Government and the entities subject to the Authority, to bolster the country’s reputation and trust in its financial and economic systems.
The Authority’s functions include reviewing and auditing the Consolidated Annual Report of the federal government and expressing opinion on it, as well as auditing separate and combined annual financial statements of the entities subject to the control of the Authority, considering the laws and regulations that establish these entities.
Responsibilities also include assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of internal control systems for financial and operational operations, as well as setting the supreme policies on integrity and combating financial and administrative corruption, following their approval by the UAE President.
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 good governance rule.
According to the Decree, the heads of entities subject to oversight and the relevant ministers must implement the findings of the supervision conducted by the Authority in the UAE.
It requires them to provide responses to the authority within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the date of their notification, extendable under specified conditions.