Judgment of Accounts
The Court of Accounts checks, investigates, and judges the accounts of the departments of the State as well as those of public companies and establishments endowed by a public accountant. The Court judges the accounts of the persons declared or de facto accountants, that is those who have wrongly assumed the duties of the patent accountants.
Public accountants are required to produce annually to the Court, the accounts for the State services and the accounting statements for the other organisms in the forms provided for by the regulations in force.
1. Investigation :
The investigation proceeding is initiated by the appointment of a Reporting Counselor.
During the investigation, the Reporting Counselor has wide investigative powers; he may thus require from the authorizing officer, the controller, the public accountant or any other person in charge, any clarifications or justifications he deems necessary, within the scope of the competence of each and the documents he is required to keep in application the regulatory provisions in force. He can carry out on-site all the investigations he deems necessary to carry out his mission.
After completing his investigations, the Reporting Counselor draws up two reports as follows :
- The first relating to the presentation of the investigation results of the account accompanied by supporting documents. It notes, if necessary, observations on facts liable to prejudice the responsibility, in particular of the authorizing officer, the controller or the accountant in the jurisdictional matters of the Court.
- The second takes up the observations on the management of the service, the company or the public establishment concerned and which relate to the jurisdiction of the Court in matters of management control.
In order to increase the guarantees given to those subjects to control, the first report is submitted to a counter Reporting Counselor appointed by the President of the Chamber concerned.
The counter Reporting Counselor must within one month give his opinion on the first report and send it to the King’s Attorney General who returns it, together with his conclusions, to the President of the Chamber for inclusion in the list of hearings.
2. Judgment of accounts :
The court formation then decides according to documents and in private hearings after examining the report, the responses of those involved in the process of carrying out public financial operations, the opinion of the counter-rapporteur and the conclusions of the Attorney General. The court formation is made up of five magistrates, including the First President.
If the Court does not find any irregularity to be charged to the accountant, it rules on the account by a final judgment.
When it establishes the existence of irregularities, it enjoins the accountant by 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 Court decides by a final judgment, which establishes whether the public accountant is cleared, in advance, or in debit within a period not exceeding one year from the date of the provisional judgment.
3. De facto management :
Operations such as to constitute de facto management are referred to the Court of Auditors by the King’s Attorney General at the Court, who acts either on his own initiative or at the request of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministries concerned, the General Treasurer of the Kingdom or public accountants. In addition, the Court may seize on its own initiative upon findings made during the audit of accounts. When the Court declares a person to be a de facto accountant, it enjoins him by the same judgment to produce his account within two months.
From there, the clearance and judgment of the accounts produced by de facto accountants follow the same procedure as that applied to certified public accountants.
De facto accountant, if he is not the subject of criminal proceedings, may be fined according to the importance and the duration of the detention or handling of funds and securities, and the amount of the fine do not exceed the total sums improperly held or handled.