UAE President issues new law to establish Accountability Authority

New body aims to enhance the integrity of public finances, promote transparency
UAE President issues new law to establish Accountability Authority
The new authority will replace the Supreme Audit Institution

According to state-owned news agency WAM, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has introduced Federal Decree Law No (56) of 2023 to establish the UAE Accountability Authority.

This new authority will replace the Supreme Audit Institution and will be directly accountable to the President. Its primary objective is to uphold and strengthen the integrity of public finances.

The UAE Accountability Authority will serve as the highest governing body for financial control, auditing, integrity, and transparency in the Emirates. Its mission is to promote integrity, accountability, transparency, and good governance within the federal government and affiliated entities. By doing so, it aims to enhance the UAE’s reputation and foster trust in its financial and economic system.

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In addition, the UAE Accountability Authority is tasked with reviewing and auditing the consolidated annual report of the federal government. Additionally, it is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of both individual entities and combined entities under its jurisdiction. These audits are conducted in adherence to the relevant laws and regulations that govern these entities.

Financial and operational oversight 

Among its responsibilities, the UAE Accountability Authority evaluates the effectiveness of internal control systems for both financial and operational functions. It is also responsible for establishing top-level policies regarding integrity and anti-corruption measures, subject to the President’s approval. The authority ensures that government entities are efficient and compliant with laws, regulations, policies, and governance principles.

As per the decree, the heads of supervised entities and relevant ministers are required to take action based on the authority’s findings. They must respond within 30 days of notification, with the possibility of an extension under specific circumstances. The authority is also in charge of investigating complaints and reports related to various financial misconducts, conflicts of interest, abuse of power, unauthorized disclosure of official information, and misuse of public office for personal or third-party gain.

Accountability and transparency

To prevent such misconducts, the authority implements preventive measures, administrative inquiry controls, financial transparency, and protection for whistleblowers. It also focuses on recovering public funds. Furthermore, the authority defines financial and administrative breaches, including decisions or statements that may impact the nation’s reputation and its financial and economic interests.

To maintain high-level governance standards, the authority is granted the power to audit, scrutinize, and evaluate documents, data, reports, digital records, and electronic systems of the relevant entities. It can review external audit reports and gain access to the electronic systems and programs of the entities and individuals associated with them.

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