This year, the National Audit Office embarked on various initiatives to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the setting up of the Office, whereby its full independence from the Executive was entrenched in the Constitution. The launching on 14 December 2022 of a new book entitled ‘STATE AUDIT IN TIMES OF TRANSITION – Reflections on Change and Continuity, Challenge and Opportunity, from Malta and Beyond’ is the last and most important of all these initiatives. In a nutshell, the book consists of a collection of eleven chapters, written to scholarly standards, documenting and reflecting on leading themes and issues associated with state audit in Malta and beyond, during the first two decades of the twenty-first century and into the future. The book is edited by Prof. Edward Warrington, Department of Public Policy, University of Malta; co-author of ‘Guardian of the Public Purse: A History of State Audit in Malta’, 1814-2014. The book offers a variety of perspectives: thematic and chronological, professional, and academic, technical, and political, local, and comparative.

The authors who contributed to this publication include various senior members of the NAO, Principal Permanent Secretary, Mr Tony Sultana, two former ministers and members at the European Court of Audit, Mr Leo Brincat and Dr Louis Galea, as well as University of Malta academics Prof. Peter J Baldacchino, Prof. Josette Caruana and Dr Lauren Ellul. An article by Einar Gorrissen, Director General of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), gives this publication on public sector auditing an international dimension. President Dr George Vella and Speaker Dr Anglu Farrugia kindly accepted to convey their messages by way of introduction to this book.

During today’s launch, the distinguished guests, including members of the Public Accounts Committee, the Principal Permanent Secretary, former ECA Member, Mr Leo Brincat, and NAO staff were addressed by the Auditor General, Charles Deguara, the book’s editor, Professor Edward Warrington, Speaker Dr Anglu Farrugia, and President Dr George Vella. In essence, all speakers conveyed their appreciation to all NAO staff, both past as well as present, for the sterling public sector audit work carried out within this constitutional office.