Principal Auditor's Role
The Principal Auditor’s Role and Responsibilities
The primary role and powers of the Principal Auditor are set out in Section 74(1) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006, which requires that:
“The public accounts of Gibraltar and of all courts of law and all authorities and offices of the Government shall be audited and reported on by the Principal Auditor and for that purpose the Principal Auditor or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all books, records, reports and other documents relating to those accounts.”
Section 74(2) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 further requires that:
“The Principal Auditor shall submit and lay his reports before the Parliament.”
The independence of the Principal Auditor is clearly provided for under Section 74(3) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 when it further states that:
“In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution the Principal Auditor shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.”
Lastly, Section 25(3) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 appoints the Principal Auditor an officer of the Parliament.
The role and responsibilities of the Principal Auditor are further prescribed under Part VIII of the Public Finance (Control and Audit) Act, which sets out the Principal Auditor’s powers and duties, reporting responsibilities and right to access information.
The Principal Auditor is also required to audit the accounts of statutory corporations, authorities and agencies; and other bodies whose accounts the Principal Auditor is specifically required or empowered to audit and report on under their respective laws. A copy of every such audited accounts and any report of the Principal Auditor thereon is required to be laid before the Gibraltar Parliament.
Part IX of the Public Finance (Control and Audit) Act also empowers the Principal Auditor to audit and report on the accounts of every person, corporate or similar body that is in receipt of a contribution from public moneys; or in respect of whom the Government has given a guarantee to any person; or whose operations may impose or create a liability on any public moneys – not being a body corporate whose accounts the Principal Auditor is for the time being specifically required or empowered to audit and report on under any other law. A copy of every such audited account and any report of the Principal Auditor thereon is required to be laid before the Gibraltar Parliament.
He also has a statutory obligation to examine liquidators’ accounts in respect of companies in compulsory liquidation and official trustee accounts of debtors adjudged bankrupt where the winding up commenced prior to 1 November 2014, the date of the coming into force of the Insolvency Act 2011.
The Principal Auditor also audits all Government pension funds and other special funds.