- The Audit Office practices the previous control over the formalities on the revenues and expenses which value exceeds specific limits according to the type of each of them.
- The aim of this control is to confirm the validity of the formality, its conformity with the budget and the provisions of the laws and regulations.
- The law on the organization of the Audit Office considers this control as part of the essential formalities and binds the authorities under previous control not to engage or enter into contract with third parties but after obtaining the approval of the office.
- Is considered as non applicable, every formality that is not subject to control, and any employee is prevented from putting it in execution on the risk of the penalties stipulated in the article 60 of the mentioned law.
- As a result of this control, the office takes the decision to accept or not the formality. And if it is refused , the competent administration may present the case to the Cabinet who will decide on it by a justified decision after hearing the president of the office.
- The decisions of the office can be reconsidered within the scope of its previous control upon request of the competent administration or the president of the Audit Office or the public prosecution before the office.
- Among the advantages of the control is that it will be made before the execution and may hinder the occurrence of violations and misuses which contributes in keeping and maintaining public funds considered as part of the main tasks of the office.
- It stipulates the evaluation of the financial formalities starting from the date of their conclusion till their execution and registration with the Audit Office.
- It is practiced by the office through the identical data, the annual report and the special reports that will be submitted to the President of the Republic, the Speaker and the Prime Minister as well as to the concerned parties after that the Audit Office encloses it with the results of its control and recommendations.
The delayed administrative control grants the department the widest powers in the adjustment of the performance before the administrations and committees subject to their control and based on this evaluation, the remarks and proposals addressed as a result of it may effectively contribute in the adjustment of the situations and ameliorate the performance before the mentioned administrations and committees
We can distinguish two types of judicial control: control on the accounts and control on the employees:
Control on the Accounts
The purpose of the control on accounts is to decide on the validity of the accounts of the accountants and any person who interferes in the collection of the public funds and the funds deposited in the treasury or in its payment without legal capacity.
And this control deals with the following:
- Concerning the revenues: the validity of the documents through which the collection was made and the validity of collection and their compliance with the laws of collection and importation of the collected amounts to public funds.
- Concerning the expenses: The validity of the documents through which the payment was made and the conformity of the formality with the applicable laws and regulations and the presence of the papers proving the expenses as determined by the law.
- The validity of the treasury formalities, their collections and payments as well as the validity of receiving and keeping the materials in addition to the validity of the accounts and their conformity to the laws and regulations.
The Office issues, as the result of his control, temporary and final decisions. The temporary decision shows the faults and remarks addressed to the accountant and which shall be responded during the fixed delay. As to the final decision, it shows that the accountant is discharged, creditor or engaged, and in the latter case, the office rules against the accountant to pay the value remaining in his disposal.
The Audit Office exercises this control with regard to its great importance in controlling the use of the public funds by the bodies that are subject to its control through the auditing of accounts and the verification of the extent of respect of the officials to the financial laws and regulations; helping then the Parliament to impose a control on the executive power according to the provisions stipulated in the Constitution.
Control over the Employees
The aim of this control, as stated in article 1 of the Audit Office Code, is to sue the individuals who assume the responsibility of violating the laws and regulations related to the public funds.
This control comprehends according to article 59 the activities of whoever administrates or uses the public funds or the funds deposited in the treasury. And for the application of its provisions, it will be considered as employee “anyone who is not member of the personnel and was assigned to handle the functions provided for in paragraph 1 of the mentioned article being by appointment, election or contract”.
Article 60 enumerates the violations for which the Audit Office may proceed to the pursuit mentioning: expense contract unlike the provisions of the law or without obtaining a notification of the observer of the expenses contract or without the prior approval of the Audit Office or for false registration of one of the expenses to veil an overstep in credits or perpetration of error or deficiency or negligence that may cause damage to the public funds or violation to the text related to the administration of public funds.
The Audit Office seizes the financial violations being by error resulting of the method of auditing, verification and revision in the document that it is controlling or through the violations referred to it by its public prosecution or by the committee of central inspection or by the competent authorities in the Ministry of Finance.
The Audit Office issues its decisions on a temporary or final basis. The temporary decision includes a description of the violation attributed to the employee and grants him a delay for defense before rendering the final decision.
As to the fines imposed by the Audit Office, they vary between 150 Thousands and One Million Five Hundred Lebanese Pounds. Additional fines can be ruled if the violation caused effectively damage to the public funds.
The office has the competence to give his consultation in financial matters upon request of the administrations, public establishments, municipalities or other committees subject to its control.
According to the legal text, the opinion will have the consultation capacity; however, the administrations or the establishments requesting the opinion usually observe it and this depends on groups of consultative opinions issued by the office as references to seek where needed.
Control in Employees Appointment
It is handled by the office according to article 8 of the Code of its organization, and it stipulates not to disburse the expense when the appointment is in process unlike the legal proceedings and that by virtue of a judicial decision related to the subject, will be notified to the concerned administration and to the concerned party who will have the right to bring it in appeal before the concerned authorities.