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OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL
Officium Recognitoris Generalis

 

STATUTES OF THE
OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL 
*

 

Nature

ART. 1

§ 1. The Office of the Auditor General is the Entity of the Holy See entrusted with the task of carrying out the financial audit of the consolidated statements of the Holy See and the Governatorate of Vatican City State.

§ 2. According to the annual audit plan approved by the Council for the Economy, the Office of the Auditor General has the task of auditing the annual individual Financial Statements  of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the institutions connected to the Holy See or that make reference to it, and the Administrations of the Governatorate of Vatican City State, that come together under the aforementioned consolidated statements.

§ 3. The Office of the Auditor General is the Anti-corruption Authority according to the Mérida Convention in force for the Holy See and Vatican City State since 19t October 2016.

§ 4. The Office of the Auditor General will perform financial audits of the Financial Statements of other entities and administrations referred to in art. 1§1 of the Statutes of the Council for the Economy upon request of the Council itself. The Secretariat for the Economy and the Responsible Person of the Entities and Administrations mentioned in art. 1§1 of the Statutes of the Council for the Economy may request that the Office of the Auditor General perform a financial audit on the aforementioned Entities.

§ 5. The same financial audits referred to in §4 may be initiated by the Auditor General who informs beforehand the Cardinal Coordinator of the Council for the Economy by citing the reasons.

§ 6. The Office shall be directed and represented by the Auditor General.

Functions

ART. 2

§ 1. The Office of the Auditor General performs financial audits according to internationally recognized Standards on Auditing.

§ 2. The Office of the Auditor General, in particular, shall:

a) relate functionally with the Council for the Economy;

b) perform autonomously and independently the financial audits referred to in Art. 1;

c) prepare a report at the conclusion of every assignment referred to in Art. 1 to be addressed to the Responsible Person of the Entity being audited and, if there are no particular reasons for confidentiality, to the Council for the Economy;

d) upon request of the Council for the Economy or the Secretariat for the Economy, the Responsible Person  of the Entities and Administrations referred to in Art. 1§1 of the statutes of the Council for the Economy, perform audits of particular situations concerning: anomalies in the use or the attribution of financial or material resources; irregularities in the concession of procurement or the execution of transactions or alienations; acts of corruption or fraud. It shall submit reports related to the aforementioned tasks to the requesting authority, which can communicate the outcomes to the concerned entity. The same audits may be initiated by the Auditor General who informs beforehand the Cardinal Coordinator of the Council for the Economy by citing the reasons.

Planning and Communication

ART. 3

§ 1. The Auditor General shall prepare within a time agreed upon with the Secretariat for the Economy its own annual audit plan, prepared in accordance with the calendar for the finalization of the Financial Statements determined by the Secretariat for the Economy, also adhering to the instructions from the Council for the Economy. The annual plan is communicated by the Auditor General to the Council for the Economy, which evaluates and approves it.

§ 2. The Auditor General shall inform the Council for the Economy regarding its own activities whenever necessary and in any case at least once a year after having concluded the financial audits of the consolidated statements referred to in Art. 1§1.

§ 3. The Office of the Auditor General shall give quarterly updates to the Audit Committee of the Council for the Economy on the activities carried out and currently underway, while receiving any information and useful direction for its own work.

 

Execution of Auditing Activity

ART. 4

§ 1. In carrying out its own functions the Office of the Auditor General shall request and obtain from the entities and administrations being audited:

a) to make available information and documentation of a financial or administrative nature necessary for completing the audit;

b) to send requests of confirmation and information to third parties chosen by the Office of the Auditor General, so that they respond directly to the Office, sending a copy of the communication also to the entity or requesting administration;

c) to participate in onsite verifications of assets or items of value;

d) to verify the integrity and security of information technology systems for administrative/accounting and financial records.

§ 2. In carrying out its own functions, the Office of the Auditor General shall also perform any other type of auditing procedure that it deems appropriate for the circumstances.

§ 3. The Auditor General shall:

a) inform the Council for the Economy through the Council’s Audit Committee of any irregularities found following the financial audits it has carried out;

b) send a report to the Financial Information Authority, pursuant to the relevant laws, when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that funds, assets, activities, operations or transactions are linked or related to money-laundering or the financing of terrorism;

c) report to the competent judicial authority of Vatican City State any evidence of criminal action found in the course of its activities.

External Auditors

ART. 5

§ 1. The Auditor General shall be consulted in the process of the selection of external professionals to whom the Council for the Economy will entrust a financial audit, according to art. 4§3 of its own Statutes.

§ 2. The aforementioned external professionals shall apply the same financial auditing principles approved by the Auditor General on the basis of Art. 2.

§ 3. The Office of the Auditor General may ask the Council for the Economy for access to all the documentation prepared or examined by the aforementioned external professionals.

Appointment and Term of Office

ART. 6

§ 1. The Auditor General shall be appointed ad quinquennium by the Holy Father and chosen among persons of proven reputation, who do not exercise activities that are incompatible with the appointment, who are free from any conflict of interest with the Holy See and Vatican City State according to the General Regulation of the Roman Curia, and who have recognized professional competence and skills in the relevant areas concerning the work of the Office. The Auditor General may be appointed only for two terms.

§2. For the appointment of the Auditor General, the Cardinal Coordinator of the Council for the Economy, having heard the Secretary of State and the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, and after performing all necessary due diligence regarding the character and competence of the candidates, shall submit a list of at least three candidates to the Holy Father.

Reports of Anomalous Activities

ART. 7

§ 1. The Auditor General shall receive reports  from persons who in the course of their own work become aware of particular situations regarding:

anomalies in the use or allocation of financial or material resources; irregularities in the concession of procurement or the conduction of transactions or alienations; acts of corruption or fraud. The Auditor General shall analyse the information and present them with a report to the appropriate commission composed of the Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, the Prelate Secretary of the Council for the Economy, and the Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy. The commission shall examine the reports and send them to the competent authority when they present elements of substance. Anonymous reporting shall not be given any follow-up.

§ 2. The Auditor General shall ensure the confidentiality, integrity and security of the information received. The identity of the reporting person (whistleblower) may only be revealed to the judicial authority when the latter, with a motivated decision, maintains it necessary for the purposes of the investigative or judicial inquiry.

§ 3. The reporting in good faith to the Auditor General of anomalous activities shall not generate any kind of responsibility for breach of the official secret or any other restriction upon communication imposed by legislative, administrative or contractual provision.

Human and Material Resources

ART. 8

§1. The Office of the Auditor General shall have adequate human and material resources, proportional to the scope of its institutional functions, within the limits of its organizational chart according to the General Regulation of the Roman Curia and within the limits of the approved budget.

§ 2. The Office of the Auditor General may also use external experts, when necessary and according to the approved budget, for temporary, well defined assignments.

§ 3. The personnel and external experts of the Office of the Auditor General shall be chosen among persons of proven reputation, who do not exercise activities that are incompatible with the appointment, who are free from any conflict of interest with the Holy See and Vatican City State according to the General Regulation of the Roman Curia, and who have recognized professional competence and skills in the relevant areas concerning the work of the Office. They shall inform the Auditor General without hesitation regarding instances of any situation of incompatibility or conflict of interest that may arise during their term. The Auditor General will take the appropriate safeguarding measures in that case and communicate them to the Audit Committee of the Council for the Economy.

§ 4. The applicable principles and norms contained in the General Regulation of the Roman Curia (of 30 April 1999) and in the Regulation of the Independent Commission for the evaluation and appointment of the lay personnel of the Apostolic See (of 22 October 2012), as they may be amended and supplemented, shall be observed for the appointment and employment of the personnel.

§ 5. The financial resources for the Office of the Auditor General shall be assigned annually on the basis of the approved budget according to the established procedures; within the limits of the approved budget, financial resources shall be autonomously utilized by the Auditor General according to the criteria of sound financial management.

Documentation and Confidentiality

ART. 9

§ 1. All the documents, data and information held by the Office of the Auditor General and any external consultants shall be:

a) used only for the purposes established by the present statues and the current laws;

b) protected with a view to ensuring their security, integrity and confidentiality; for this purpose the Auditor General shall take the necessary measures also when such documents, data, and information are held by other entities;

c) covered by the office secret.

§2. The Auditor General, the personnel of the Office and any external experts engaged in the Office work shall comply with any further security and confidentiality requirements applicable to the personnel of that entity or administration.

Archives

ART.10

§1. The Office of the Auditor General shall have a person responsible for maintaining its archives, which are to be held in a secure and protected place.

§2. The Auditor General shall establish policies and procedures to ensure the effective control and conservation of documents that have juridical and historical relevance in consultation with the Central Commission for the Archives of the Holy See and following that which is established in the Motu Proprio, La cura vigilantissima of 21 March 2005.

Internal Regulations

ART. 11

The Office of the Auditor general shall prepare its own regulations according to the General Regulation of the Roman Curia, art. 1§2.

Reference to the General Rules

ART. 12

In those matters not provided for by these Statutes, the relevant provision under Canon Law and the General Regulation of the Roman Curia shall apply.

This shall be established despite any provision to the contrary and shall repeal the previous Statues issued on 22 February 2015.

These Statues shall be promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano and take effect on 16 February 2019 before being published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, on 21 January 2019, the sixth year of the Pontificate.

FRANCIS

 

* Trattasi di traduzione di lavoro – Il testo ufficiale è quello in italiano