The National Audit Office (NAO) in collaboration with the European Court of Auditors (ECA) organised another joint seminar with the theme of ‘Supreme Audit Institutions: How Can They Influence Governments to Address Citizens’ Concerns’. In his opening address, Auditor General, Mr Charles Deguara, highlighted the importance on the part of every national audit institution of ensuring that the taxes being paid by our citizens are being used by the public administration in the best manner possible. In his keynote speech, Maltese member of the ECA, Leo Brincat, dealt with the important theme of ‘The EU’s Main Stakeholders are the Ordinary Citizens: Addressing Their Concerns Should be Our Priority’. He emphasised that the need to reconnect relations between institutions, governments and citizens has become a matter of urgency. This can be done by opening more direct channels of connectivity. He noted that the EU’s audit institutions met recently in Croatia, where both the ECA and the NAO took an active part, the focus being primarily on how SAIs share best practices and innovative ideas on how to improve their own interaction with citizens and their representatives.

Other main speakers during this seminar included Mr Gerhard Ross, Director of Chamber 11 within the ECA and Mr Mario Cutajar, Principal Permanent Secretary who referred to the need to set up standards which regulate the work of Parliamentary institutions and that these same institutions focus more on the future challenges which will be faced by the public administration and involve themselves in the discussions thereon. From their end Deputy Auditor General Noel Camilleri, and Manager Simon Vassallo focused on the National Audit Office’s ongoing efforts to take account of citizens’ concerns and suggestions.

This seminar was attended by members of the Public Accounts Committee, Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes Julia Farrugia Portelli and MP Alex Muscat, permanent secretaries and senior officials across the public service, and staff from the National Audit Office as well as the Internal Audit and Investigations Department.