UAE President issues law to establish Accountability Authority

The new body aims to boost the integrity of public finances

The new authority is also responsible for examining the federal government's consolidated annual report. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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President Sheikh Mohamed has issued Federal Decree Law No (56) of 2023 to establish the UAE Accountability Authority, which will replace the Supreme Audit Institution, state-owned news agency Wam reported on Tuesday.

The new authority, which will report directly to the President, aims to maintain and boost the integrity of public finances. It will be the supreme authority for financial control, auditing, integrity and transparency in the Emirates.

The authority aims to enhance “instilling integrity, accountability, transparency and good governance in the federal government” and other related entities to bolster the UAE’s reputation as well as trust in its financial and economic system, Wam reported.

The authority is responsible for reviewing and auditing the federal government's consolidated annual report and auditing the annual financial statements of individual and combined entities under its oversight, in accordance with the pertinent laws and regulations governing these entities.

The duties include evaluating the effectiveness of internal control systems for financial and operational functions and establishing top-level policies for integrity and anti-corruption measures, once approved by the President.

This extends to ensuring the efficiency and compliance of government entities with laws, regulations, policies and governance principles.

Per the decree, heads of supervised entities and relevant ministers are obligated to act on the authority's findings. They must furnish responses within 30 days of notification, extendable under specific circumstances.

The authority is also responsible for investigating complaints and reports related to financial misuse, conflicts of interest, abuse of authority, unauthorised disclosure of official information, or leveraging public office for personal or third-party benefit.

Its functions cover preventive actions, administrative inquiry controls, financial transparency, safeguarding whistleblowers and efforts to recover public funds.

In addition, it delineates financial and administrative breaches, covering decisions or statements affecting the nation's reputation, financial and economic interests.

To uphold high-level governance standards, the authority is empowered to audit, scrutinise and evaluate documents, data, reports, digital records and electronic systems of the concerned entities.

It also holds the power to review external audit reports and gain access to entities’ electronic systems and programmes, as well as the entities and people working with them.

Updated: December 19, 2023, 5:13 PM