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Poland 2001 ENG

In June 2000 the President of the Supreme Chamber of Control (SCC) of Poland asked Support for Improvement in Governance and Management in Central and Eastern European Countries (SIGMA) to undertake an assessment of the present functioning of the SCC, which got a new legal basis in 1994. The President of the SCC requested this assessment, among other reasons, as part of the preparations being made for the future accession of Poland to the European Union (EU).

Recommendations

SIGMA acknowledge the SCC’s accomplishments in promoting accountability in Poland. The SCC is regarded as an independent, trustworthy and highly professional organisation by a majority of its interested parties. SIGMA’s overall impression is that the SCC operates well.

SIGMA’s main areas of recommendation are: legal framework; adaptation and implementation of auditing standards; managing the SCC; auditing; the SCC’s role in special audit areas; and reporting and making use of audit findings. The raison d’être of the basic structures of the SCC (regions, decision making bodies etc) has not been assessed, as agreed with the SCC leadership, in this review.

SIGMA recommend that the SCC address the following major areas as an integrated package of actions and with a natural and logical flow.

The SCC should:
a) Separate the present audit type including all four audit criteria (audit scope): legality, economic prudence or economic efficiency, efficacy or effectiveness, and diligence or integrity and distinguish between: Regularity audits and Performance Audits. Attestation Audit, as a part of the Regularity audits, should get the highest priority and then when the resources admit, a further development of the Performance Audit should get SCC’s full attention.
b) Introduce a Total Quality Management concept.
c) Review the Reporting cycle, starting with simplified contradiction and appeals procedure and ending up with a revised system for getting the Sejm and the Government to take actions on audit findings and recommendations.
d) Create a Strategic Development Plan to pull together all the different major activities in a comprehensive and systematic approach.
e) Review the legal implications of the new approach. SIGMA consider the foregoing as the priority areas, possible to deal with in the near future. A significant number of further recommendations are also made by the peers. The most important ones of these, in a more comprehensive format and endorsed by SIGMA, are included in this report for SCC’s consideration in their work with the Strategic Development Plan.

Peer Review Team:

  • Mr. Phil Duncombe, former Director, National Audit Office, United Kingdom,
  • Mr. Edward Fennessy, Head of Division, European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg
  • Mr. Jan Landahl, Deputy Auditor General, Swedish National Audit Office, RRV
  • Mr. Detlev Sparberg, Member of the International Board of Auditors, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), seconded to NATO by the Bundesrechnungshof, Germany.

They worked closely on the assignment with Mr. Bo Sandberg, Principal Administrator at SIGMA

The peers were supported by a special SCC Working Group consisting of:

  • Mr. Jacek Mazur (chairing), Mr. Slawomir Grzelak,
  • Ms. Elzbieta Matuszewska and
  • Ms. Anna Urbanowicz.

The SCC contact person was Vice President Jacek Uczkiewicz, the SCC co-ordinator was Mr. Jacek Kolasinski and as observer Ms. Alina Hussein was appointed.