Turkish president gives probe order on public bodies

Turkish president gives probe order on public bodies

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish president gives probe order on public bodies

Gül orders probes on a group of institutions, including the top defense body. DAILY NEWS photo

President Abdullah Gül authorized a top state body yesterday to audit a wide range of institutions that are part of public administration to improve transparency in the country.

In a statement published on the official website of the his office, Gül ordered Turkey’s State Audit Board (DDK), working under the presidency, to audit a group of institutions, including the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry, Turkish Red Crescent Society (Kızılay) and Green Crescent Society (Yeşilay). The order included the inspection and evaluation of the sufficiency of the internal control systems.

The sytems regard the security and personal data privacy of state-owned databases,
such as the tax, population, land registry, police and judicial databases.

Gül has used his constitutional authority to inspect some institutions the public is concerned do not have transparent internal auditing mechanisms, sources told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the auditing was underway.

According to the written statement, the DDK will focus on auditing the activities and proceedings of the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 while looking into previous years if necessary; the Development Agencies established in 2006 pursuant to Law No. 5449; the activities and proceedings of the Red Crescent Society for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012; the Green Crescent Society’s capacity to fight drug and other addictions and its activities; the Patent Law and its implementation; and the activities and proceedings of the Turkish Patent Institute for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Investigations follow DDK reports

Since 2008, the DDK has become an actively working body in line with the sensitivities of public opinion, the President’s Office said in a statement yesterday. The presidential statement noted that the DDK had inspected matters concerning former President Turgut Özal’s suspicious death; the controversy surrounding the 2009 helicopter crash that killed Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, the head of the Great Union Party (BBP); and the responsibilities concerning public servants in regards to the assassination of Hrant Dink, the chief editor of weekly Agos, who was killed in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.

“In this way, the need and functions of external auditing outlined by the Constitution have been met and also, societal needs and expectations for objective auditing/oversight which emerge in some situations have been met,” the statement said before listing new fields of examination, investigation and auditing for the DDK that were outlined upon Gül’s orders.

The DDK, which gradually became visible and active in the last few years, most recently came to public attention after its June 13 report which ruled Özal’s death “suspicious” and said it should be investigated, prompting prosecutors to open a case into the death. Özal’s body was exhumed last month, but an autopsy report has yet to be finished.