37% of citizens and 89 % of the audited entities have confidence in the NAO


Professionalism, independence and objectivity, openness and transparency are the main characteristics that public opinion and professionals associated with the image of the NAO. This shows nationally representative survey of Alpha Research Agency, for the public awareness of the activities of the NAO, the trust and expectations to it. The survey covers firstly, the citizens, and secondly, institutions and municipalities audited by the NAO.

NAO is among the most recognizable institutions controlling finances in the state. It ranks after BNB and NRA and shares third place with the Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund, and with respect to some indicators is ahead of them.

Among the functions performed by the NAO, the most widely popular (61%) is the examination of the asset declarations of senior public officials. In second place (50.5%) the public knows that the NAO verifies the accuracy of financial statements of the budget organizations. They are followed by other functions of the NAO - control of the lawful management of public funds, control of the finances of political parties and their election campaigns, information and reporting to the National Assembly of audits and its overall activity and control of the effects of the spending public funds .

From the objects that the NAO audits, citizens are most familiar with the state budget (52.8 %), government and public institutions such as the National Bank, NHIF, agencies and municipalities. Least known is that the NAO's audits state-owned enterprises (only 20 % know that) and companies with more than 50% state or municipal ownership (13 %). The last group, however, the Court of Auditors has the right to audit only since a few years.

A total of 37% of the respondents trust the NAO, and 42 % - not. Compared with high levels of distrust of key state institutions, the registered ration can be defined as “moderately positive“, says the study.

Social groups in society with higher education, higher income and professional status are more familiar with the work of the NAO. Sociologists point out a very positive sign for the NAO the fact that precisely those who know better its activities, have more confidence (52 %).

Of all the activities of the NAO only the checks of the asset declarations of senior government officials, generate distrust. The reason for this, however, is layered negative public attitudes towards political and party area, states Alpha Research.

The confidence of the audited entities and municipalities to the NAO is extremely high -- 89.7%. The auditees give high praise to the audit teams and reports and are satisfied with the communication and the explanations they receive.

According to 72% of the surveyed institutions, recommendations given to them by the Court for improving activity are feasible. Municipalities are less confident on this issue among the national institutions, as they highlighted objective obstacles related to the change of environment, regulatory framework and others.

The audited institutions recommend to the NAO to shift the burden of purely financial certification reports to audits examining the effectiveness of spending budget funds. Small municipalities do want to receive explanations and training to improve their accountability.

To the question “What kind of information would you like to learn from the NAO?”  the citizens responded that they want the NAO to make public the results of its activities more often, to impose significant penalties for unlawful and ineffective spending of budget funds , and to monitor how they spend taxpayers' money and if they are spent for good.

This is the first survey in the history of the Bulgarian National Audit Office and in it is in line with international best practices of the Supreme Audit Institutions.



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