Monday, October 18

Intervention proposes a new audit to streamline municipal management

The auditor talks to Barcala, in a file image.

The auditor talks to Barcala, in a file image.

A new audit model to streamline management in the Alicante City Council. The auditor has submitted to the municipal groups a proposal to modify the control system with the aim of “reducing the incidence of inspection in the processing times of the files.” The technical initiative, which this Wednesday will explain to the political representatives, has to be approved in the municipal plenary session.

The method that the auditor intends to implement is not new, although it would be in the city of Alicante, as confirmed by municipal sources. And it means following the path set out two decades ago at the national level. «This formula has its origin in the model applied for more than twenty years by the General State Comptroller and will help to alleviate some inspection defects, such as slowing down the operation of the Administration, focusing control on formal aspects, limiting the vision as a whole, generate a false impression of transfer of responsibility to the auditing body “, according to the report of the senior official, in which it is argued that the exercise of” prior limited audit allows reducing the incidence of the audit in the deadlines of processing of files ”. And it is that the blocking of the projects in Intervention is one of the repeated complaints by the last government teams that have been in charge of the Alicante City Council.

The model that the municipal auditor wants to implement in the Alicante capital is known as “limited prior inspection”, compared to the current one of “ordinary prior intervention.” This is provided in the royal decree that regulates the legal regime of internal control of local public sector entities, where it is reflected that, after a report from the auditing body and on a proposal from the mayor, the Municipal Plenary may agree on the prior limited control regime, so that intervention is limited to verifying three main requirements: the existence of budgetary credits, that the one proposed is adequate to the nature of the expense or obligation that it is proposed to contract and, finally, that the obligations or expense are generated by a competent body .

Second check

After the previous audit, there may be a subsequent one, but with its particularities. «Obligations or expenses subject to the prior limited audit may be subject to a full one later, exercised on a representative sample of the acts, documents or files that gave rise to the audit, through the application of sampling or audit techniques, with in order to verify that they comply with the applicable provisions in each case and determine the degree of compliance with the legality in the management of credits ”.

On the other hand, the auditor’s report addresses financial control, which aims to verify the functioning of the public sector services in the economic-financial aspect to verify compliance with the regulations and guidelines that govern them. In this regard, the senior official explains that “many years ago the internal control system of the City Council was adapted to the requirements established in the current agreements of the Council of Ministers”, but stresses that it was “pending the formalization of the procedure.” The auditor points out that his department has examined more than 3,500 files in 2018 and 2019, which he takes advantage of to highlight a general complaint in the City Council: the alleged lack of personnel. «[Los datos] they show the volume of operations carried out in Intervention, which in relation to the means available and the increasing number of tasks that have been added over the last few years makes it necessary to regulate the form of the exercise of internal control », Adds the auditor, who when speaking to the increase in the tasks of his department refers to issues such as control of budget stability, the spending rule, and accountability to the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (Airef) , among other issues that fall on Intervention.

Meeting with municipal groups to inform about the new method

The municipal groups have this Wednesday (10 am) an informative meeting to learn first-hand the details of the new control method promoted by the municipal auditor, and which must be approved in the municipal plenary session. Representatives of the six municipal groups are summoned to the meeting. At the same time, the Hiring Table is also scheduled for Wednesdays. Two hours later a new session of the commission is called to study the street cleaning and garbage collection contract, in which it is expected to address the written responses given by the successful bidder (UTE Alicante) to the fifty questions raised from the opposition municipal.

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