The significance of auditing

The significance of auditing

It is the requirement of the state to audit how public money is being spent. Throughout history, states have undertaken this auditing function differently according to the structure, size and culture of their states. 

After the emergence of democratic law states, auditing has become even more important. As a requirement of being a democracy, how and where the taxes are spent has been audited with more advanced methods. The reason for this is the principles of transparency and accountability in democracies. 

The awareness of auditing is defined today as every citizens’ right to follow up their votes and taxes with their “political and economic individual” identities. It has become a criteria of democratic advancement to hold a “critical political individual and critical economic individual” identity, and as a result of this, to call to account the administration not only from election to election but at evert stage, and demand accountability for the process, following up on the vote cast and the tax paid.  

From this point of view, in democratic states where law rules, the auditing of taxes (the budget) and other incomes (public funds) is present even in the most liberal systems. 

Administration and auditing 

Even though auditing is an indispensable part of democracy, administrations do not like auditing and administrators do not like auditors. Going under an audit is a cold matter. 

Certain liberal politicians regard auditing as a drag. As a matter of fact, late president Turgut Özal had this opinion and pursued a policy that moved public funds away from the jurisdiction of auditing mechanisms, disabling to a certain extent, the auditing organs of Turkey. 

Actually, auditing organs are not drags to the administration; they are organs that guide the government and provide them lawful functioning by revealing wrong practices, corruptions and abuses. State auditing organs, at the end of the day, are institutions controlling how the nation’s money is spent in the name of the nation.

Turkey Wealth Fund 

This debate has recently heated with the formation of the Turkey Wealth Fund, a fund which is given the country’s most valuable and strongest institutions. 

The Turkey Wealth Fund, as a mentality that has become a custom since Özal, has been kept out of the audit of the Court of Accounts. The parliamentary audit was made ineffective and quite dysfunctional. 

The Court of Accounts is a 155-year-old institution. Its duty is to audit in the name of the parliament, thus in the name of the nation, all public accounts, funds, resources and activities including private accounts regardless of them being a part of the public administration; all public administration and social security institutions within the context of the central administration budget, local administrations, joint stock companies that have public shares, other public administrations. 

In this context, even though this audit of the one-and-a-half-century-old institution provides as a relief for politicians and bureaucrats, facilitates their accountability, provides them to do their jobs correctly and protects the rights of the most disadvantaged individuals among the population; avoiding this audit will create an environment open to mistakes, wrongdoings, stains and abuses. It would be much more correct for the administration and the administrators to demand this audit instead of rejecting it in terms of their peace of conscience. 

The auditing of this giant fund by three independent auditors appointed by the prime minister is not the same as its audit by the Court of Accounts with the criteria of regularity, lawfulness and performance. 

This colossal Wealth Fund that is kept away from auditing is an arrangement that would cause significant debates and troubles in the future.