Judgment of Accounts
The Regional Court of Auditors verifies, examines and judges, within the limits of its jurisdiction, the accounts of local authorities and their groupings as well as those of public establishments under their supervision.
Local authorities and their groups produce their accounts annually in the RCA concerned, their accounts and supporting documents for revenue and expenditure on quarterly basis.
The accountants of the other organizations subject to the control of the RCAs must produce an annual accounting statement retracing the revenue, expenditure and cash transactions while the supporting documents can be consulted on site.
The investigation procedure is similar to that followed by the Court of Auditors. The Reporting Counselor, after completing his investigations, draws up two reports.
The first deals with the results of the examination of the account and raises, if necessary, observations on facts that may affect the responsibility, especially of the authorizing officer, the controller or the accountant in jurisdictional matters of the Regional Court.
The second takes up the observations on the management of local authority, the group, the company or the public establishment concerned and which relate to the competence of the Regional Court in terms of management control.
The first report is submitted to a Counselor counter-reporter appointed by the President of the Regional Court. The Counselor counter-reporter must within one month give his opinion on the first report and send it to the King's Attorney at the Regional Court who returns it, together with his conclusions, to the President of the Regional Court for inclusion in the hearings schedule.
The Regional Court rules on results in closed sessions after examining the report, the answers of the accountant, the opinion of the counter-reporter and the conclusions of the Kings Attorney.
The formation of the court is made up of five magistrates, including the President. It is decided by a majority vote.
If the Regional Court does not find any irregularity, it rules on the account by a final judgment. When it establishes the existence of irregularities, it enjoins the accountant by a provisional judgment to produce in writing its justifications or to pay back the sums which it declares as being due to the public body concerned within a period of three months.
The Regional Court rules with a final judgment within a period not exceeding one year since the date of the provisional judgment.
The final judgment establishes whether the public accountant is cleared, in advance, or in debit.
It should be noted that, like the Court of Auditors, bridges are established between the Judgment of accounts, budgetary and financial discipline, de facto management and disciplinary action.